"And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" is a Christian hymn written by Charles Wesley in 1738 to celebrate his conversion, which he regarded as having taken place on 21 May of that year. The hymn celebrates personal salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and is one of the most popular Methodist hymns today.
TUNE: SAGINA LYRICIST: CHARLES WESLEY MUSIC: THOMAS CAMPBELL DESCANT: CHIBUIKE N. ONYESOH
According to the editor of The Oxford Edition of the Works of John Wesley, “And Can It Be” was written immediately following Charles Wesley’s conversion to Christianity on May 21, 1738. Wesley had known his Bible well before this time but had not yet experienced affirmation of new birth or the wholeness of grace in his life.
Wesley starts the first stanza by expressing admiration over the love shown by Jesus dying for him and wonders how we who "pursued" his death are now graced by it.
In the second stanza, Wesley calls for appreciation of God's love and mercy in this sacrifice. In the third stanza, Wesley conveys the unending grace and mercy of Christ’s love and humility in the incarnation, death, and finding of lost sinners. In the fourth stanza, Wesley harkens to the "imprisonment" of his own sin and the freedom he found in Christ.
Finally, he reviews the results of Christ’s loving and merciful work: there is no condemnation for those made alive in Christ and clothed in his righteousness; rather, there is open access to the throne as we have the right to claim the divine crown.