S T Kimbrough, Jr, writing about Charles Wesley’s understanding of the “radical grace” God has shown us in Christ, introduces a poem that is noteworthy for how it links the theme of Advent with the theme of peacemaking:
In this poem from Scripture Hymns (1762), Wesley prays for the day when there shall be no more war. He is not longing merely for some distant paradise, however, for in stanza 2 he prays for love to be planted in every human heart at this very moment. Wesley is clear: where there is war, there is no reign of God (“Your kingdom is not there”). Once again Charles espouses a radical view.
Here’s the poem:
1. Messias, Prince of peace, Where men each other tear, Where war is learnt, they must confess Thy kingdom is not there: Who prompted by thy foe Delight in human blood, Apollyon is their king, they show, And Satan is their god. 2. But shall he still devour The souls redeemed by thee? Jesus, stir up thy glorious power, And end th’ apostasy; Come, Saviour, from above O’er all the earth to reign, And plant the kingdom of thy love In every heart of man. 3. Then shall we exercise The hellish art no more, While thou our long-lost paradise Dost with thyself restore; Fightings and wars shall cease, And in thy Spirit given Pure joy, and everlasting peace Shall turn our earth to heaven.