One of my favourite Charles Wesley hymns is “Arise my Soul, Arise.” Originally published in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1742, it was included as no. 194 in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists (1780).
The hymn emphasizes the assurance that comes from knowing that the sufficient once-for-all sacrifice of Christ is forever made effective through the ongoing high priestly work of the same ascended Lord, who intercedes on our behalf continually. Assurance, therefore, comes not from an inner feeling or from self-examination but from the objective reality of Christ’s fully sufficient work on our behalf. This assurance is communicated to us through the testimony of the Spirit, who assures us of our forgiveness and adoption specifically by witnessing to the very same saving work of Christ for us.
Scripturally, the hymn recalls several passages from Hebrews, notably 4:14-5:10, and chapter 10:1-25.
I grew up singing this to the tune “Darwall” (better known for “Rejoice the Lord is King), but online I’ve heard a number of other arrangements, including some new tunes. You can find a nice one by Kevin Twit on the Indelible Grace hymn site, here.1 Arise, my soul, arise, Shake off thy guilty fears, The bleeding sacrifice In my behalf appears; Before the throne my surety stands; My name is written on his hands. * 2 He ever lives above For me to intercede, His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead; His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace. * 3 Five bleeding wounds he bears, Received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers, They strongly speak for me; Forgive him, O forgive, they cry, Nor let that ransomed sinner die! * 4 The Father hears him pray, His dear anointed one, He cannot turn away
The presence of his Son: His Spirit answers to the blood, And tells me, I am born of God. * 5 My God is reconciled, His pard’ning voice I hear, He owns me for his child, I can no longer fear; With confidence I now draw nigh, And Father, Abba Father, cry!