John Wesley’s Poetry and Hymn Collections

Raised in a family of poets, John Wesley appears to have recognized early that he was not as gifted in creating original verse as his brothers Samuel Jr. and Charles. His undisputed efforts in this capacity are gathered at John Wesley’s Undisputed Verse.

At the same time, John shared the appreciation of his time for the power of poetry to convey convictions, stir the affections, and strengthen moral resolve. He particularly came to value the contribution of hymns to enlivening and shaping Christian life. This led him to devote a significant portion of his vocation to selecting, editing, and publishing collections of poetry and hymns. John drew on a number of authors beyond his family in these collections. This fact led George Osborn to omit many of these works from the 13-volume Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley, which is one of the limitations of Osborn’s collection.

In keeping with its guidelines for creating a standard source for scholarly study and citation of the poetical works of John and Charles Wesley, the present online collection provides the full text of all of John Wesley’s edited volumes of poetry and hymns, including a manuscript collection done during his student years at Oxford.

A list of the short titles and abbreviations for Wesley publications that are used throughout this collection is available.

Note: The texts below are in a .pdf format that is searchable using Adobe Reader 7.0 and above.

Collections in Chronological Order

MS Poetry Miscellany (1730)
[original]
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1737)
[original] [modern]
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1738)
[original] [modern]
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739)
[original] [modern]
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740)
[original] [modern]
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741)
[original] [modern]
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742)
[original] [modern]
Collection of Hymns (1742)
[original] [modern]
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1743; 2nd edn. of 1741)
[original] [modern]
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1744; 3rd edn. of 1741)
[original] [modern]
Moral and Sacred Poems (1744), vol. 1
[original]
Moral and Sacred Poems (1744), vol. 2
[original]
Moral and Sacred Poems (1744), vol. 3
[original]
Hymns for Times of Trouble (1744)
[original] [modern]
Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744)
[original] [modern]
Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744), 2nd edn. (1745)
[original] [modern]
Hymns on the Lord’s Supper (1745)
[original] [modern]
Whitsunday Hymns (1746)
[original] [modern]
Hymns for Children (1747)
[original] [modern]
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1747)
[original] [modern]
Watchnight Hymns (1750)
[original] [modern]
Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1753)
[original] [modern]
Answer to Gill (1754)
[original] [modern]
Select Hymns (1761)
[original] [modern]
Extract of Paradise Lost (1763)
[original] [modern]
Select Hymns (1761), 2nd edn. (1765)
[original] [modern]
Extract of Young's Night-Thoughts (1770)
[original]
Select Parts of Herbert (1773)
[original]
Hymns (1780)
[original] [modern]
Small Collection of Hymns (1781)
[original] [modern]
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1784)
[original] [modern]
Pocket Hymn Book (1785)
[original] [modern]
Pocket Hymn Book (1787)
[original] [modern]
Hymns for Children (1787)
[original] [modern]
Arminian Magazine (1778–1784)
[original]
Arminian Magazine (1785–1791) [original]