The Moon in Silver Glory Shone

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John Newton, on the eclipse of the moon, July 30, 1776, from Olney Hymns, vol. 2, hymn 85

The moon in silver glory shone,
And not a cloud in sight;
When suddenly a shade begun
To intercept her light.

2. How fast across her orb it spread,
How fast her light withdrew!
A circle, tinged with languid red,
Was all appeared in view.

3. While many with unmeaning eye
Gaze on thy works in vain;
Assist me, Lord, that I may try
Instruction to obtain.

4. Fain would my thankful heart and lips
Unite in praise to thee;
And meditate on thy eclipse,
In sad Gethsemane.

5. Thy peoples guilt, a heavy load!
When standing in their room
Deprived thee of the light of God,
And filled thy soul with gloom.

6. How punctually eclipses move,
Obedient to thy will!
Thus shall thy faithfulness and love,
Thy promises fulfill.

7. Dark, like the moon without the sun,
I mourn thine absence, Lord!
For light or comfort I have none,
But what thy beams afford.

8. But lo! the hour draws near apace,
When changes shall be o'er;
Then I shall see thee face to face,
And be eclipsed no more.

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