After writing the previous post on John 16:33, I checked the Wesley brothers’ publications to see what they had made of the verse. I found one of Charles’ hymns that falls into the foot-to-the-neck category--
Hymn 480 on John 16:33
Yes, the promised tribulation,
Saviour, in the world we find,
Find the pledge of sure salvation,
In a patient, cheerful mind;
We on all our foes shall trample,
Sharers of thy victory,
Followers of thy great example,
Conquerors of the world through thee.
However in one of John’s doctrinal sermons, as well as in his Earnest Appeal, I found references to overcoming the world by shifting one’s allegiance.
Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 8--
“O who shall warn this generation of vipers to flee from the wrath to come! Not those who lie at their gate, or cringe at their feet, desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fall from their tables. Not those who court their favour or fear their frown: none of those who mind earthly things. But if there be a Christian upon earth, if there be a man who hath overcome the world, who desires nothing but God, and fears none but him that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell; thou, O man of God, speak and spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet! Cry aloud, and show these honourable sinners the desperate condition wherein they stand! It may be, one in a thousand may have ears to hear, may arise and shake himself from the dust; may break loose from these chains that bind him to the earth, and at length lay up treasures in heaven.”
An Earnest Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion--
“Now suppose we were willing to relinquish our charge, and to give up this flock into your hands; would you observe the same order, as we do now, with them and the other souls under your care ? You dare not: because you have respect of persons. You fear the faces of men. You cannot; because you have not "overcome the world." You are not above the desire of earthly things. And it is impossible you should ever have any true order, or exercise any Christian discipline, till you are wholly "crucified to the world," till you desire nothing more but God.”
Coming across the hymn has got me imagining Jones in church singing hymns celebrating enemy trouncing and the words of those songs influencing him and his reading of John 16:33, which I can relate to given my recent experience when the words coming over the car radio influenced my mood.
Which has had a more lasting influence on your conception of the life of faith-- lyrics, essays or the lived example of people personally known to you?
Wesleyan Reflections on ὁ νικῶν
In his Notes on Revelation, John attributed the final victory to Christ. The saints will have a share in the victory won by Christ.
2:7, to every one that overcometh; that goeth on from faith and by faith to full victory over the world, and the flesh, and the devil.
2:26, To him will I give power over the nations - That is, I will give him to share with me in that glorious victory which the Father hath promised me over all the nations who as yet resist me, Psalm 2:8,9.
3:12, A share in that joy which I entered into, after overcoming all my enemies.
In one Charles Wesley hymn, Christians participate in the battle--
3455 on Rev. 2:26
With Thee in full paternal might
Vested, I shall go forth to fight,
Shall see the nations broke, subdued,
And scatter'd by Thine iron rod,
(Swift as the shiver'd vessel flies,)
And share the triumph of the skies.
However, a second hymn concludes with humility.
3467 on Rev. 3:21
2 Then let me meet my three-fold foe,
And conquering on to conquer go,
Arm'd with His sword, and mind, and name,
Who hell, the world, and sin o'ercame,
And get the final victory,
And die for Him, who died for me.
3 O Thou who hast the victory won,
Regard me from Thy Father's throne,
Regard my faith, (which is not mine,)
My humble, confidence Divine,
That Thou wilt all my foes subdue,
And bring me more than conqueror through.