A charge to keep I have
A charge to keep I have. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).
First published in Short Hymns on Select Passages of the Holy Scriptures (Bristol, 1762), in two 8-line DSM verses. It is one of 21 hymns on Leviticus, mostly one-verse hymns but including ‘O thou who camest from above’*. This one is based on Leviticus 8: 35: ‘Keep the charge of the Lord, that ye die not.’ Its original ending followed the last phrase: ‘Assur’d, if I my trust betray,/ I shall for ever die.’ The severity of these lines (based on Matthew 25: 30) has caused problems. A&M (1904) altered them to ‘And let me ne’er my trust betray,/ But press to realms on high’ and HP to ‘So shall I not my trust betray,/ Nor love within me...
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