Written by Charles Wesley in 1744, Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus has become a well-loved Advent hymn in most churches today. Charles Wesley published some four thousand hymns during his lifetime, and left another two thousand in manuscript form. This advent carol was one of his first hymns, published in London in 1745, in a collection called Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord. It depicts the coming of the Messiah to reign within us and rule in the hearts of believers forever - until that final day when we shall be raised to His glorious throne.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Music: "Hyfrydol," by Rowland H. Prichard, 1830
(Alternate hymn tunes used include Stuttgart, St. Hilary, and Cross of Jesus.)