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