Hymn Story: Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Charles Wesley wrote Jesus, Lover of My Soul only months after he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. He titled his hymn “In Temptation”.

Little is known about the details and inspiration of the writing of the hymn. The title “In Temptation” clues us in to he meant it to help with fighting sin.

The poem was first published in 1740, but not paired to a melody until 1797 {nine years after Wesley’s death}.

Charles Wesley

Within a few decades, the hymn had spread to all denominations and became very popular.

Charles Spurgeon opened his London Meetings with Jesus, Lover of My Soul.

The great American preacher Henry Ward Beecher stated: “I would rather have written that hymn of Wesley’s … than to have the fame of all the kings that ever sat on earth. It is more glorious. It has more power in it. … But that hymn will go on singing until the last trump brings forth the angel band; and then, I think, it will mount up on some lip to the very presence of God.”

Charles Finney, the revivalist associated with the Great Awakening, sang this hymn on his deathbed in 1875.

This hymn was also sung at the graveside of Evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul has been published in over 2600 hymnals.

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