For you do not know when the master…comes.@Mark 13:35

Elizabeth H. Reed, in The Hymn Book, 1842.

J. Calvin Bushey (1847-1929) (🔊 pdf nwc).

A tram-car man was passing along the broadway at Deptford, England, where some Christians were singing at an open-air meeting. Oh, do not let the Word depart… He felt the force of the appeal and hastened home to pray. Though he knelt down and plead earnestly, no light, or peace, or rest came. A fortnight passed away in this state of uncertainty, and on the following Sunday he was so miserable that he could not go to his work on the tram-car. In the evening he went to a chapel and remained for the prayer-meeting. The leader of the open-air meeting, in which the hymn was sung a fortnight before, happened to be present, and he saw the young man weeping and covering his face with his handkerchief. Praying the Lord to give him a word for this troubled soul, the leader asked him, Are you trusting Christ? No, but I am seeking Him, the man replied. And there he found Him, to the joy of his soul. Thus, in the providence of God, the Christian worker who was the cause of producing the anxiety, without knowing at the time any of the circumstances, was also the means of removing it. This is but one of the numerous instances of the usefulness of Why not To-night? in evangelistic meetings.

Sankey, pp. 307-8

O do not let the Word depart,
And close thine eyes against the light;
Poor sinner, harden not your heart,
Be saved, O tonight.

Refrain

O why not tonight?
O why not tonight?
Wilt thou be saved?
Then why not tonight?

Tomorrow’s sun may never rise
To bless thy long deluded sight;
This is the time, O then be wise,
Be saved, O tonight.

Refrain

Our Lord in pity lingers still,
And wilt thou thus His love requite?
Renounce at once thy stubborn will,
Be saved, O tonight.

Refrain

Our blessèd Lord refuses none
Who would to Him their souls unite;
Believe on Him, the work is done,
Be saved, O tonight.

Refrain

Another adaptation, from Salvation Army Music (London: The Salvation Army Book Department, 1900), set to Confidence (Youens) (🔊 pdf nwc):

Oh, do not let thy Lord depart,
And close thine eyes against the light;
Poor sinner, harden not thy heart;
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?

Tomorrow’s sun may never rise
To bless thy long-deluded sight;
This is the time!—oh, then, be wise!
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?

Our God in pity lingers still;
Oh, wilt thou thus His love requite?
Renounce at length thy stubborn will,—
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?

Our blessèd Lord refuses none
Who would to Him their souls unite;
Then be the work of grace begun:
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?
Thou wouldst be saved—why not tonight?