This night thy soul shall be required of thee.@Luke 12:20
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Peter P. Bilhorn (1865-1936)

Peter P. Bilhorn, 1892 (🔊 pdf nwc).

This hymn was suggested by an incident which occurred during a tent-meeting conducted by the author. One evening the front seat was occupied by a party of young ladies and gentlemen. One of the young men became anxious about his soul and was personally invited by the author to accept Christ. When about to rise, one of the young ladies gave him a significant touch with her foot. This caused him to settle back, laughingly shake his head and say, not tonight. On their way home that night they derisively re-enacted the solemn scenes of the meeting. One played the preacher, one the singer and the others would rise up for prayer, weep, and then laughingly say, not tonight. A stump caused the carriage to upset. The horses became frightened and ran away. The young man who became anxious about his soul but said, not tonight was killed.

Peter Bilhorn

Not tonight, so many say,
And turn from light and life away,
Alas! for some ’twill be too late;
Another night may seal their fate.

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Come tonight, O come tonight,
Jesus lovingly doth wait;
Come tonight, O come tonight,
Some other night may be too late.

Not tonight, a man replied,
And turned with careless laugh aside,
But death called loud that very night;
His soul in terror took its flight.

Refrain

Not tonight! O trembling heart,
Why longer bid thy Lord depart?
Why will you choose that bitter lot
To hear Him say, I know you not!

Refrain

Not tonight, O sad reply,
When Christ to save you waiteth nigh,
The day of grace may soon be past,
Your cry will be lost, lost at last!

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Not tonight, count well the cost,
Should you forevermore be lost?
If Heav’n and bliss you never see,
Where will you spend eternity?

Refrain