Facts About "And Are We Yet Alive"
Charles Wesley (18 December 1707 – 29 March 1788), an English leader of the Methodist group and a poet, wrote “And Are We Yet Alive” in 1749 and published it in his collection, Hymns and Sacred Poems. Johann G. Nägeli (1773-1836) composed the tune of the hymn.
Wesly was the 18th child of Anglican cleric and poet Samuel Wesley and his wife, Susanna. His older brother, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, the rival movement within the Church of England. Charles and John had different views and beliefs when they were young. Charles doesn’t want to get involved or to start a breach with the Church of England.
Wesley was elected as King’s scholar in 1721 and he had board and education free. After ten years, he was elected Westminster studentship at Christ Church in Oxford. He took a degree in 1729 and worked as a college tutor. In the same year, his religious knowledge has widened and he decided to form a group with his schoolmates called “Holy Club.” John Wesley and George Whitefield were among the students who joined the said group. Also, he became one of the first band of "Oxford Methodists."
The hymn is about the fellowship we share in Christ. The first stanza reminds us that God’s grace and mercy never leave us and that in times of solitude, He is the one who protects and sustains us. The second stanza reminds us that Jesus made Himself a sacrifice to save us from our sins. He has died for us to live. The third stanza is about our redemption and freedom from captivity and troubles. The last describes how Jesus’s grace works within us and prepares us for His second coming. The final stanza, however, was removed by John Wesley when he edited the hymn to suit it for holy conferencing inside the Methodist body. The original manuscript was released with the title “At Meeting of Friends” in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. The edition where the last stanza was omitted has first appeared in the 1780 edition of the Wesleyan Hymn Book. The hymn is loved by various denominations in America, especially the Methodists.