This hymn took on a special significance for me during the years of 1999-2001. Each Sunday I gathered with my fellow Christians to hear our pastor preach through Romans 4 and 5. Our worship gatherings were weighted by a felt sense of the greatness of God. Soaking in the doctrine of justification by faith Sunday after Sunday, we often sang Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can It Be?”
As I sang a corridor was opened, enabling me to see back through time into the dark dungeon of my own spiritual imprisonment. I saw the quickening ray of Christ shoot suddenly through my soul inflaming it with light, banishing guilt and condemnation. While singing I relished afresh what Christ has done for me, moved by the freedom he purchased for me. I pray God gives you a similar grace.
Charles wrote this hymn shortly after his dear brother John felt his “heart strangely warmed” in response to hearing how God works in the heart through faith in Christ. After hearing these comments by Martin Luther on Romans read aloud in a meeting, John repented and put his faith in Jesus. Reflecting on the experience John writes, “I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation: and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Shortly afterwards the Wesley brothers sang this hymn in praise of God’s immense and free saving mercy.
May God strangely warm your heart as you sing these eternal truths to our great Savior.- Jonathan Dodson
- And Can it Be
- Written and Arranged by: Austin Davidson, Jonathan Dodson, Zach Wallace, and Thomas Morris
- Guitars: Michael Guillot
- Drums: Thomas Morris
- Keys: Dave Hampton
- Synth/Programming: Austin Davidson & Nathan Johnson
- Vocals: Ryan Flagstad