Time How Short

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

Time, with an unwearied hand,
Pushes round the seasons past,
And in life's frail glass, the sand
Sinks apace, not long to last:
Many, well as you or I,
Who last year assembled thus;
In their silent graves now lie,
Graves will open soon for us!

2. Daily sin, and care, and strife,
While the Lord prolongs our breath,
Make it but a dying life,
Or a kind of living death:
Wretched they, and most forlorn,
Who no better portion know;
Better ne'er to have been born,
Than to have our all below.

3. When constrained to go alone,
Leaving all you love behind;
Ent'ring on a world unknown,
What will then support your mind?
When the Lord his summons sends,
Earthly comforts lose their pow'r;
Honours, riches, kindred, friends,
Cannot cheer a dying hour.

4. Happy souls who fear the Lord
Time is not too swift for you;
When your Saviour gives the word,
Glad you'll bid the world adieu:
Then he'll wipe away your tears,
Near himself appoint your place;
Swifter fly, ye rolling years,
Lord, we long to see thy face.

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