Hymns for the Watch-Night (#4)
I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. — Lamentations 3:1 KJV
I, I am the man that hath known
Distress by the stroke of His rod;
And still through the anguish I groan,
And pine for the absence of God;
The happy in Jesus may sleep,
But O! till in me He appears,
Be this my employment to weep
And water my couch with my tears.
Or rather, if any are nigh,
Forlorn, and afflicted like me,
All night let us lift up our cry,
And mourn His appearing to see
(As watchmen expecting the morn),
Look out for the light of His face,
And wait for His mercy’s return,
And long to recover His grace.
His grace to our souls did appear,
And brought us salvation from sin;
We felt our Immanuel here
Restoring His Kingdom within;
But O! we have lost Him again,
His Spirit has taken its flight;
Our joy it is turned into pain,
Our day it is turned into night.
O what shall we do to retrieve
The loss for a season bestowed?
’Tis better to die than to live
Exiled from the presence of God!
With sorrow distracted, and doubt,
With palpable horror oppressed,
The city we wander about,
And seek our repose in His breast.
Ye watchmen of Israel declare
If ye our Beloved have seen,
And point to that heavenly fair,
Surpassing the children of men,
Our Lover and Lord from above,
Who only can quiet our pain,
Whom only we languish to love,
O where shall we find Him again!
The joy and desire of our eyes,
The end of our sorrow and woe,
Our hope and our heavenly prize,
Our height of ambition below;
Once if He shows us His face,
He never again shall depart,
Detained in our closest embrace,
Eternally hid in our heart.