Scholarly study of Charles Wesley has been hampered by the absence of a reliable and accessible standard source for his published verse. The original works published during his lifetime are quite rare, scattered among research libraries. The 13-volume collection of The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley by George Osborn (1868–72) is more broadly spread; however, several features of the Osborn collection restrict its adequacy as a standard source (see the John Wesley page for more information).

The present online collection of the poetical works of John and Charles Wesley is intended to provide the standard for scholarly study and citation that has been needed. It was developed under a set of guidelines to maximize reliability and usefulness.

This subsection of the collection gathers the nearly 4,400 distinct poems and hymns published during Charles Wesley’s life that scholarly consensus traces to his pen.

The items included are organized in chronological order of their initial publication. Secondary collections in which Charles gathered poems which appeared first elsewhere are placed at the end. The text is available in two forms:

  1. retaining the original spelling and contractions
  2. with modern spelling and contractions

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

list of the short titles and abbreviations

Citation Guidelines

Citation guidelines are available on the Research Resources page.

Texts

The texts are in a (pdf) format that is searchable using Adobe Reader 7.0 and above.

Download a zipped file containing a complete set of the original transcripts of these hymns (.zip file).

Primary Sources in Chronological Order

Source/Year Original Document Modern Document
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739) – CW Verse
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739) – CW Verse
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739) – CW Verse
“Universal Redemption” (1739)
“Universal Redemption” (1739)
“Universal Redemption” (1739)
Means of Grace (1740)
Means of Grace (1740)
Means of Grace (1740)
Life of Faith (1740)
Life of Faith (1740)
Life of Faith (1740)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740)
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741) – CW Verse
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741) – CW Verse
Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741) – CW Verse
Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love (1741)
Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love (1741)
Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love (1741)
“Promise of Sanctification” (1741)
“Promise of Sanctification” (1741)
“Promise of Sanctification” (1741)
Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love, 2nd series (1742)
Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love, 2nd series (1742)
Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love, 2nd series (1742)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742)
Whole Armour of God (1742)
Whole Armour of God (1742)
Whole Armour of God (1742)
Taking of Jericho (1742)
Taking of Jericho (1742)
Taking of Jericho (1742)
Elegy on Robert Jones (1742)
Elegy on Robert Jones (1742)
Elegy on Robert Jones (1742)
Fourteenth Chapter of Isaiah (1742)
Fourteenth Chapter of Isaiah (1742)
Fourteenth Chapter of Isaiah (1742)
Thanksgiving for Colliers (1742)
Thanksgiving for Colliers (1742)
Thanksgiving for Colliers (1742)
Hymn for Condemned Prisoners (1742)
Hymn for Condemned Prisoners (1742)
Hymn for Condemned Prisoners (1742)
CPH (1743) – CW Psalms
CPH (1743) – CW Psalms
CPH (1743) – CW Psalms
“Prayer for Those Convinced of Sin” (1743)
“Prayer for Those Convinced of Sin” (1743)
“Prayer for Those Convinced of Sin” (1743)
“Primitive Christianity” (1743)
“Primitive Christianity” (1743)
“Primitive Christianity” (1743)
Hymn for Christmas Day (1743)
Hymn for Christmas Day (1743)
Hymn for Christmas Day (1743)
Moral and Sacred Poems, 3:206ff (1744)
Moral and Sacred Poems, 3:206ff (1744)
Moral and Sacred Poems, 3:206ff (1744)
Hymns for Times of Trouble (1744)
Hymns for Times of Trouble (1744)
Hymns for Times of Trouble (1744)
Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744)
Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744)
Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744)
“Bloody Issue” (1744)
“Bloody Issue” (1744)
“Bloody Issue” (1744)
Hymns for Christmas Day (1744)
Hymns for Christmas Day (1744)
Hymns for Christmas Day (1744)
“Act of Devotion” (1745)
“Act of Devotion” (1745)
“Act of Devotion” (1745)
Hymns on the Lord’s Supper (1745)
Hymns on the Lord’s Supper (1745)
Hymns on the Lord’s Supper (1745)
Hymns in Difference with Moravians (1745)
Hymns in Difference with Moravians (1745)
Hymns in Difference with Moravians (1745)
Hymns from Jeremiah (1745)
Hymns from Jeremiah (1745)
Hymns from Jeremiah (1745)
Hymns in Word in Season (1745)
Hymns in Word in Season (1745)
Hymns in Word in Season (1745)
Nativity Hymns (1745)
Nativity Hymns (1745)
Nativity Hymns (1745)
Hymns in Word to a Protestant (1745)
Hymns in Word to a Protestant (1745)
Hymns in Word to a Protestant (1745)
“Hymns for 1745”
“Hymns for 1745”
“Hymns for 1745”
Funeral Hymns (1746)
Funeral Hymns (1746)
Funeral Hymns (1746)
Resurrection Hymns (1746)
Resurrection Hymns (1746)
Resurrection Hymns (1746)
Ascension Hymns (1746)
Ascension Hymns (1746)
Ascension Hymns (1746)
Whitsunday Hymns (1746)
Whitsunday Hymns (1746)
Whitsunday Hymns (1746)
Festival Hymns (1746)
Festival Hymns (1746)
Festival Hymns (1746)
Thanksgiving Hymns (1746)
Thanksgiving Hymns (1746)
Thanksgiving Hymns (1746)
Gloria Patri (1746)
Gloria Patri (1746)
Gloria Patri (1746)
Graces (1746)
Graces (1746)
Graces (1746)
Hymn at the Sacrament (1747)
Hymn at the Sacrament (1747)
Hymn at the Sacrament (1747)
“Person Bearing Testimony” (1747)
“Person Bearing Testimony” (1747)
“Person Bearing Testimony” (1747)
Redemption Hymns (1747)
Redemption Hymns (1747)
Redemption Hymns (1747)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Vol. 1
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Vol. 1
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Vol. 1
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Vol. 2
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Vol. 2
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Vol. 2
New Year’s Hymns (1749)
New Year’s Hymns (1749)
New Year’s Hymns (1749)
Earthquake Hymns, Pt. I (1750)
Earthquake Hymns, Pt. I (1750)
Earthquake Hymns, Pt. I (1750)
Earthquake Hymns, Pt. II (1750)
Earthquake Hymns, Pt. II (1750)
Earthquake Hymns, Pt. II (1750)
“Death of Thomas Hogg” (1750)
“Death of Thomas Hogg” (1750)
“Death of Thomas Hogg” (1750)
Epistle to the Rev. John Wesley (1755)
Epistle to the Rev. John Wesley (1755)
Epistle to the Rev. John Wesley (1755)
“Catholic Love” (1755)
“Catholic Love” (1755)
“Catholic Love” (1755)
“Hymn on the Lisbon Earthquake” (1756)
“Hymn on the Lisbon Earthquake” (1756)
“Hymn on the Lisbon Earthquake” (1756)
Hymns for the Year 1756
Hymns for the Year 1756
Hymns for the Year 1756
Additional “Hymns for 1756”
Additional “Hymns for 1756”
Additional “Hymns for 1756”
Intercession Hymns (1758)
Intercession Hymns (1758)
Intercession Hymns (1758)
Intercession Hymns (1759)
Intercession Hymns (1759)
Intercession Hymns (1759)
Funeral Hymns (1759)
Funeral Hymns (1759)
Funeral Hymns (1759)
Invasion Hymns (1759)
Invasion Hymns (1759)
Invasion Hymns (1759)
“Hymn for the People of Custrin” (1759) 
“Hymn for the People of Custrin” (1759) 
“Hymn for the People of Custrin” (1759) 
Thanksgiving Hymns (1759)
Thanksgiving Hymns (1759)
Thanksgiving Hymns (1759)
“Hymns for the Methodist Preachers” (1760)
“Hymns for the Methodist Preachers” (1760)
“Hymns for the Methodist Preachers” (1760)
Scripture Hymns (1762), Vol. 1
Scripture Hymns (1762), Vol. 1
Scripture Hymns (1762), Vol. 1
Scripture Hymns (1762), Vol. 2
Scripture Hymns (1762), Vol. 2
Scripture Hymns (1762), Vol. 2
Hymns for Children (1763)
Hymns for Children (1763)
Hymns for Children (1763)
Family Hymns (1767)
Family Hymns (1767)
Family Hymns (1767)
Trinity Hymns (1767)
Trinity Hymns (1767)
Trinity Hymns (1767)
“Hymn for Mary Langson” (1770)
“Hymn for Mary Langson” (1770)
“Hymn for Mary Langson” (1770)
“Hymn for Whitefield” (1770)
“Hymn for Whitefield” (1770)
“Hymn for Whitefield” (1770)
Elegy on Whitefield (1771) 
Elegy on Whitefield (1771) 
Elegy on Whitefield (1771) 
Epistle to Whitefield (1771) 
Epistle to Whitefield (1771) 
Epistle to Whitefield (1771) 
Preparation for Death (1772)
Preparation for Death (1772)
Preparation for Death (1772)
Arminian Magazine (1778–87)
Arminian Magazine (1778–87)
Arminian Magazine (1778–87)
Ode on Dr. Boyce (1779)
Ode on Dr. Boyce (1779)
Ode on Dr. Boyce (1779)
Hymn for John Wesley (1779)
Hymn for John Wesley (1779)
Hymn for John Wesley (1779)
Tumult Hymns (1780)
Tumult Hymns (1780)
Tumult Hymns (1780)
Protestant Association (1781)
Protestant Association (1781)
Protestant Association (1781)
Hymns for the Nation (1781)
Hymns for the Nation (1781)
Hymns for the Nation (1781)
Hymns for the National Fast (1782)
Hymns for the National Fast (1782)
Hymns for the National Fast (1782)
Prayers for Condemned Malefactors (1785)
Prayers for Condemned Malefactors (1785)
Prayers for Condemned Malefactors (1785)

Secondary Collections (likely) gathered by Charles Wesley

Source/Year Original Document Modern Document
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1747)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1747)
Hymns and Sacred Poems (1747)
Watchnight Hymns (1750)
Watchnight Hymns (1750)
Watchnight Hymns (1750)
Answer to Gill (1754)
Answer to Gill (1754)
Answer to Gill (1754)
All in All (1761)
All in All (1761)
All in All (1761)

Issues of Authorship

John or Charles Wesley?
The Issue of Authorship in Early Wesley Hymn Collections

One of the challenges in studying the poetical works of John and Charles Wesley is determining which brother authored specific texts in their early shared collections. This challenge was created by the brothers’ agreement not to indicate individual authorship in these collections.

In some cases the question can be settled by the survival of a particular item in the manuscript collections of one of the brothers. Beyond that, scholars are reduced to debating internal criteria for discerning whether John or Charles might be the author of a particular text. A sense of this debate can be gained by comparing Henry Bett, The Hymns of Methodism in their Literary Relations (London: Epworth, 1920), 21-33; to Frank Baker, Representative Verse of Charles Wesley (New York: Abingdon, 1962), lviii-lxi. See also the summary by Oliver Beckerlegge in his Introduction to Hymns (1780) in John Wesley’s Works, 7:35-38.

Three broad generalizations have emerged from this debate. First, scholars generally concur that John took the lead in selecting and adapting the poems and hymns by other authors that are included in the various collections issued jointly by the brothers. Second, scholars also converge in assigning John authorship of the translations of German and Spanish hymns in the collections (except for a couple of loose adaptations by Charles in the Collection of Moral and Sacred Poems). Finally, there is consensus that the vast majority of original contributions in the early joint collections were penned by Charles.

The challenge of distinguishing between the two brothers dissipates by 1749, as Charles Wesley turned to publishing most of his verse independent of his brother’s editorial hand.