Poems: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

A great hymn by Charles Wesley, an Anglican minister who never abandoned the church in which he had been ordained.

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

5 Responses

  1. Avatar Harry Colin says:

    A wonderful hymn.

    Each year at this time, I treasure the Christmas poems of St. Robert Southwell. Perhaps we could share those here, too?

  2. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    I’d be delighted. Please send texts or links or names and I’ll make sure they get posted during the 12 Days. Any suggestions for Advent poems?

  3. Avatar Harry Colin says:

    Thank you! I’ve forwarded a couple of poems via email. No advent poems jump to mind yet, but will keep thinking.

  4. Avatar Sam Dickson says:

    This is my favorite Advent hymn. The Wesleys (for all the enormity of their manifold heresies) set the standard for English hymns.

    The Encyclopedia Britannica says the greatest hymn writer in England was a Church of Anti-England bishop named Reginald Heber.

    I like his hymns too but to my taste the Wesleys edged Heber out.

    But then, as a Presbyterian, I have an immunity to art and culture so it’s not a field in which I would stand by my own personal opinion.

  5. Avatar Josh Doggrell says:

    Wonderful.