Sunday, February 07, 2021

The Departing Moment

1. Absent from flesh! O blissful thought!
What unknown joys this moment brings!
Freed from the mischiefs sin has brought,
From pains, and fears, and all their springs.

2. Absent from flesh! illustrious day!
Surprising scene! triumphant stroke
That rends the prison of my clay;
And I can feel my fetters broke.

3. Absent from flesh! then rise, my soul,
Where feet nor wings could never climb,
Beyond the heavens, where planets roll,
Measuring the cares and joys of time.

4. I go where God and glory shine,
His presence makes eternal day:
My all that’s mortal I resign,
For angels wait and point my way.

Information on “The Departing Moment” hymn, from A Dictionary of Hymnology by John Julian (London: John Murray, 1908, p. 8):

Absent from flesh, O blissful thought. I. Watts. [Death.] This hymn is part of a poem on ‘Death and Heaven,’ in five Lyric Odes, of which it is No. 2:—‘The Departing Moment; or Absent from the Body,’ and is in 4 st. of 4 l. These Odes appeared in Dr. Watts’s Reliquiae Juveniles, 1734. This ode is not in extensive use, although found in a few collections in G. Brit. and America. It is given, in a slightly altered form, in the New Cong[regational Hymn Book], No. 723. The orig. text is not found in modern collections. [W. T. B.]” suggests this long meter hymn might be sung with Repentance by Theodore E. Perkins.

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