Scripture Verse

Behold, now is the accepted time! 2 Corinthians 6:2


Ira D. Sankey (1840–1908)

Words: Ano­ny­mous, in First Truths; or, Les­sons and Hymns for Chris­tian Child­ren, new edi­tion (Lon­don: So­ci­ety for Pro­mot­ing Chris­tian Know­ledge, 1843), num­ber 275. The hymn is oft­en er­ro­ne­ous­ly cred­it­ed to Jo­seph Cook (1859–1933), who was born aft­er its pub­li­ca­tion: Cook quot­ed this text in his last speech to Par­lia­ment, which is prob­ab­ly where con­fu­sion orig­in­at­ed (Di­ane Sha­pi­ro, at the Hym­na­ry, ac­cessed 28 Jan 2017).

Music: So­no­ma Ira D. San­key, in Gos­pel Hymns No. 5, ed­it­ed by Ira San­key, James Mc­Gra­na­han & George C. Steb­bins (New York; Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio; and Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: John Church and Big­low & Main, 1887), num­ber 137 (🔊 pdf nwc).


Choose I must, and soon must choose
Holiness, or Hea­ven lose;
While, what Hea­ven loves, I hate—
Shut for me is Hea­ven’s gate.

Endless sin means end­less woe;
Into end­less sin I go—
If my soul, from rea­son rent,
Takes from sin its fi­nal bent!

As the stream its chan­nel grooves,
And within that chan­nel moves—
So doth ha­bit’s deep­est tide
Groove its bed, and there abide!

Light ob­eyed in­creas­eth light!
Light re­sist­ed bring­eth night;
Who shall give me will to choose,
If the love of light I lose?

Speed, my soul! this in­stant yield!
Let the light its scep­ter wield;
While thy God pro­long­eth grace—
Haste thee to­ward His ho­ly face!