Friday, June 23, 2023

A vigil hymn

1047 1st P. M. 6 lines 8s.
A solemn vigil.

HOW many pass the guilty night
   In revelling and frantic mirth!
   The creature is their sole delight—
   Their happiness the things of earth:
   For us suffice the season past:
   We choose the better part at last.

2 We will not close our wakeful eyes,
   We will not let our eyelids sleep,
   But humbly lift them to the skies,
   And all a solemn vigil keep;
   So many nights on sin bestow’d,
   Can we not watch one hour for God?

3 We can, O Jesus, for thy sake,
   Devote our every hour to thee;
   Speak but the word, our souls shall wake,
   And sing with cheerful melody:
   Thy praise shall our glad tongues employ,
   And every heart shall dance for joy.

4 Blest object of our faith and love,
   We listen for thy welcome voice;
   Our persons and our works approve,
   And bid us in thy strength rejoice;
   Now let us hear the mighty cry,
   And shout to find the Bridegroom nigh.

5 Shout in the midst of us, O King
   Of saints, and let our joys abound;
   Let us rejoice, give thanks, and sing,
   And triumph in redemption found:
   We ask in faith for every soul;
   O let our glorious joy be full!

6 O may we all triumphant rise;
   With joy upon our heads return;
   And far above these nether skies,
   By thee on eagles’ wings upborne,
   Through all you radiant circles move,
   And gain the highest heaven of love.
                         Charles Wesley
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

<idle musing>
There used to be a tradition in the Methodist/Wesleyan movement to hold a midnight vigil on New Year's Eve. I know some churches still do it. I've attended some of them over the years. This is one of the hymns that was written for a vigil service.
</idle musing>

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