On the Death of a Believer

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 2, hymn 72

In vain my fancy strives to paint
The moment after death
The glories that surround the saint,
When yielding up its breath.

2. One gentle sigh their fetters breaks,
We scarce can say, They're gone!
Before the willing spirit takes
Her mansion near the throne.

3. Faith strives, but all its efforts fail,
To trace her in her flight;
No eye can pierce within the veil
Which hides that world of light.

4. Thus much (and this is all) we know,
They are completely blest
Have done with sin, and care, and woe,
And with their Saviour rest.

5. On harps of gold they praise his name,
His face they always view;
Then let us follow'rs be of them,
That we may praise him too.

6. Their faith and patience, love and zeal,
Should make their memory dear;
And, Lord, do thou the prayers fulfil,
They offered for us here.

7. While they have gained, we losers are,
We miss them day by day;
But thou canst every breach repair,
And wipe our tears away.

8. We pray, as in Elisha's case,
When great Elijah went,
May double portions of thy grace,
To us who stay, be sent.

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