Charles Wesley, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”

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In light of the current Christmas season of 2023, we posted yesterday on Arminian churchman Charles Wesley (brother of John Wesley) and his Christmas carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” As that post mentioned, Charles Wesley is considered to be one of the greatest hymn writers of all time and was labeled by one Christian History article as the “greatest hymn writer of all time.” Today, we are highlighting another tremendous Christmas carol he wrote–”Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” This post will simply lay out the lyrics of Wesley’s wonderful hymn and link to some discussion of it that might be of interest.

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 all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

For brief discussion of the carol and its biblical background, see the following articles:

Ligon Duncan, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”

Lily Pierce, “Christmas: The Story Behind ‘Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus'”

Keith Getty, “CHRISTMAS HYMN: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”

C. Michael Hawn, “History of Hymns: Hymn expresses longing for arrival of our Savior”

Chris Fenner, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (This one includes a bibliography.)