|“One generation will commend your works |
to another; they will tell of your mighty
acts. They will speak of the glorious
splendor of your majesty, and I will
meditate on your wonderful works.”
My old Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word “wonder” as “ Rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience.”
Children seem to catch the wonder of a moment more quickly than adults, probably because, to a child, everything presents itself as something new. However, if we take the time, adults can experience wonder, too.
Charles Wesley, the author of more than 6,000 hymns, occasionally would “borrow” phrases from the hymns of others. One such phrase he used, originated from the hymn, When All Thy Mercies, O My God, written by Joseph Addison in 1712.1
In this hymn, Joseph Addison looked back over his life and surveyed the way God had cared and guided him from infancy, through youth, in hidden dangers, sickness, sorrows, and “every period of my life.” He stated that, as he considered all the times and ways of God’s good providence over him, he got lost in wonder, love and praise.
As for Charles Wesley, he used this phrase in his well-known hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling in 1747.2 Wesley wrote this as a corporate prayer, asking God to work in His church to make us, His people, like Him in His love. He asks for Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God Himself to invade the hearts and minds of God’s people with His awesome character. We find the “borrowed” phrase at the very end of the hymn, where He concludes, Till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.
Taken together we see that God fills our earthly life with the wonders of His grace. And yet, we look forward to even greater wonders when “in heaven we take our place.” What a wonderful meditation from two godly men of the 18th century.
Let me suggest you find the words to these two hymns, meditate on them, and use them as a means of worship and praise. Lose yourself in the wonder of our gracious and glorious God!
|1 Addison, Joseph. When All Thy Mercies, O My God. Public Domain.|
|2 Wesley, Charles. Love Divine, All Loves Excelling. Public Domain.|