Behold, now is the accepted time!@2 Corinthians 6:2
portrait
Ira D. Sankey (1840–1908)

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).

So­no­ma Ira D. San­key, in Gos­pel Hymns No. 5, ed­it­ed by Ira San­key, James Mc­Gra­na­han & George C. Steb­bins (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio/New York/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!