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Hymn 84

John Newton


Lightning in the night.


A Glance from heav’n, with sweet effect,

Sometimes my pensive spirit cheers;

But, ere I can my thoughts collect,

As suddenly it disappears.

So lightning in the gloom of night,

Affords a momentary day;

Disclosing objects full in sight,

Which soon as seen, are snatched away.

Ah! what avail these pleasing scenes!

They do but aggravate my pain;

While darkness quickly intervenes,

And swallows up my joys again.

But shall I murmur at relief?

Though short, it was a precious view;

Sent to control my unbelief,

And prove that what I read is true.

The lightning’s flash did not create

The op’ning prospect it revealed;

But only showed the real state

Of what the darkness had concealed.

Just so, we by a glimpse discern

The glorious things within the veil;

That when in darkness, we may learn

To live by faith, till light prevail.

The Lord’s great day will soon advance,

Dispersing all the shades of night;

Then we no more shall need a glance,

But see by an eternal Light.

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