Sweet was the hour

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General information

This is an hymn by James Allen, published in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of Those that Seek…, 1757.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. Sweet was the hour, the minutes sweet,
When my beloved me did meet;
His death to evidence:
My heart, which wounded was before,
Kindly. he bound; therein did pour
Love's healing quintessence.

2. Death's heritage he then laid waste;.
And calmed each stormy furious blast;
And cancelled. all my sins:
Placing his cross before mine eyes,
Look to me and be saved, he cries,
From death thy life begins.

3. Sweet was the feast my heart enjoyed;
I ate, l drank, nor was l cloyed,
For more I thirsted still:
Here let me stay, I longing prayed;
Sure this is Achor's vale, I said,
Or holy Tabor's hill.

4. His left hand under me was placed,
And his right hand my soul embraced,
His kisses sweet did prove:
Safely I sat beneath his shade;
Quite round my soul, he overspread
His canopy of love.

5. The watery deep he did divide:
The haughty tyrant's power destroyed,
And broke his chariots strong:
Thinking he would assault no more,
But that I now was safe on shore,
I sung the Hebrew's song.


6. I sung assured of Jesus' love;
Refreshed with manna from above,
For flesh no more I cried:
Warmed with the sun's enlivening beams,
I laid me down at Shiloh's streams,
Content and satisfied.

7. Untouched by Satan's envious crew,
Upon my fleece, like drops of dew,
His free grace did descend;
Strangers in vain attempt to tell
The joy immense, unspeakable,
I found in Christ my friend.

8. My mountain strong, as Bashan, stood;
I thought that unbelief's strong flood
Would ne'er assail me more:
At this my Bridegroom jealous grew,
His frequent visits he withdrew;
And then I felt quite poor.

9. Sin, which did heretofore seem dead,
Revived again, and raised its head;
This made me doubting cry,
Were all my joys but as a dream?
Still, still I feel I am unclean;
Help, Lord, or yet I die.

10. Like as the lonely turtles mourn,
So grieved I for my Lord's return;
I sought, l called, I cried:
Tell me, Jerusalem's daughters, tell,
Where my beloved Lord doth dwell;
And where his flocks abide.


11. His absence O! I cannot bear;
Each hour, each minute seems a year;
Come, Jesus, quickly come:
Was I the cause Thou didst depart?
Did I, O Jesus, grieve thy heart?
Why didst thou go so soon?

12. If so, dear Lamb, I prostrate fall,
And at thy feet for mercy call;
Pardon, forgive, pass by:
Were not thy hands and feet bored through,
Thy side and temples wounded too,
To bring backsliders nigh?

13. Think then, dear Jesus, on thy pain,
The toil and smart Thou didst sustain
To ransom my poor heart:
Kindly, dear Lamb, return and come;
And make my heart thy constant home,
Nor ever more depart.

14. No more let sable clouds of night
Arise to intercept my light;
Or earth my heart detain:
By thy dear cross still let me stay;
Here let me sing my self away:
And die to live again.

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