Charles Wesley was born before Christmas in 1707. He was premature and neither cried nor opened his eyes. The youngest of 18 children, Charles possessed prodigious talents that soon blossomed.
At age eight, he was taken to London to attend Westminster School. At thirteen he became a King’ Scholar and upon graduating he enrolled at Oxford. He was nineteen and full of life.
During his second year at Oxford he grew serious about spiritual things. Neither he nor his brother, John, had received Christ as Saviour, but they both began seeking to live the Christian life so methodically that they were dubbed “Methodists” by fellow students.
Their studies completed they volunteered to go as missionaries to Georgia, a new colony in America for those in Britain’s debtors’ prisons. They failed as missionaries. Charles was too demanding and autocratic. He left America ill and depressed.
Soon John also returned in low spirits. Finding themselves in spiritual crisis they began attending the meetings of the Moravian Church. On Sunday, 21st May 1738 Charles wrote: “I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in hope of loving Christ. I saw that by faith I stood.” John came to Christ about the same time too.
Charles became a prolific hymn writer. His lyrics are solidly based on Scripture. He penned some 9,000 spiritual poems, of which about 6,000 are hymns. His writings are passionate and well crafted. Many of them he wrote while riding on horseback to his evangelistic meetings.
“Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending” uses events of the past to remind us who we are in our faith, and guiding our vision to what the future holds, and rejoicing in who our God is. The hymn is powerful encouragement to all of us who are looking forward to the coming of Christ!
“‘Look, he is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see him, even those who pierced him’; and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him.’So shall it be! Amen.”(Revelation 1:7)