Sunday, April 14, 2019

The happy soul is fled

The following hymn by Baptist minister John Fawcett appears in Hymns Adapted to the Circumstances of Public Worship and Private Devotion (Leeds: G. Wright and Son, 1782). Though it often appears online with many less, the printing in the hymnbook contains seven stanzas.

Hymn XXVII. C. M.

On the death of the Rev. Mr James Hartley, late of Haworth.

1. Far from affliction, toil, and care,
The happy soul is fled;
The breathless clay shall slumber here,
Among the silent dead.

2. Slowly his earthly frame decay’d;
His end was long in sight;
Nor was his steady soul afraid
To take its awful flight.

3. The gospel was his joy and song,
E’en to his latest breath;
The truth he had maintain’d so long
Was his support in death.

4. Now he resides where Jesus is,
Above this dusky sphere;
He was no stranger to the bliss
While he sojourned here.

5. His body rests beneath the ground
’Till that tremendous day,
When the last trumpet’s thund’ring sound
Shall wake his sleeping clay

6. The church’s loss we all deplore,
And shed the falling tear;
We shall behold his face no more,
’Till Jesus shall appear.

7. But we are hast’ning to the tomb;
O may we ready stand!
Then, dearest Lord, receive us home,
To dwell at thy right hand.

According to Memoirs of the Late Rev. Wm. Crabtree (Isaac Mann, London: Button and Son, 1815, p. 20), Hartley died at Haworth in 1780, and had exercised “in the ministry as early as 1748.”

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