This coming Sunday will be the Covenant Service at Islington Central Methodist Church, which means we will be singing the Covenant Hymn ‘Come let us use the grace divine’. This has been part of the Covenant Service liturgy since the time of Wesley.
First published in 1762, the hymn is based on Jeremiah 50:5b ” Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.”
On 12th July 1778, during his ‘little conference’ in Dublin, Wesley recalled,
After I had several times explained the nature of it, we solemnly renewed our covenant with God. It was a time never to be forgotten; God poured down on the assembly “the spirit of grace and supplication;” especially in singing that verse of the concluding hymn,- To us the covenant blood apply…
Sources: Companion to Hymns and Psalms, The New Methodist Hymn-book Illustrated.
Come, let us use the grace divine,
And all with one accord,
In a perpetual covenant join
Ourselves to Christ the Lord:
Give up ourselves, through Jesu’s power,
His name to glorify;
And promise, in this sacred hour,
For God to live and die.
The covenant we this moment make
Be ever kept in mind;
We will no more our God forsake,
Or cast his words behind.
We never will throw off his fear
Who hears our solemn vow;
And if thou art well pleased to hear,
Come down, and meet us now.
To each the covenant blood apply
Which takes our sins away,
And register our names on high,
And keep us to that day.
Charles Wesley (1707-88)