Hymn for the New Year
- Come, let us anew
Our journey pursue,
Roll round with the year,
And never stand still till the Master appear.
His adorable will
Let us gladly fulfil,
And our talents improve,
By the patience of hope and the labour of love.
Our life is a dream,
Our time as a stream
Glides swiftly away,
And the fugitive moment refuses to stay.
The arrow is flown,
the moment is gone;
The millennial year
Rushes on to our view, and eternity's here.
O that each in the day
Of his coming may say:
'I have fought my way through,
I have finished the work thou didst give me to do!'
O that each from his Lord
May receive the glad word:
'Well and joyfully done;
Enter into my joy, and sit down on my throne!'
Hymns and Psalms 354
From a penny tract of seven hymns entitled 'Hymns for New Year's Day' (1749), and based in part on the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30).
'Companion to Hymns and Psalms' comments:
"The greatest quality of this hymn... is its remarkable use of poetic form and imagery to describe the shortness of lfe; few poets have conveyed the sense of the swiftness of time and the urgency of the second coming with the force that Charles Wesley shows here...
In all the verses, but especially the third and fourth, Charles Wesley uses the verse form with extraordinary skill to express the rapidity of movement, ending with the astonishing phrase 'and eternity's here', meaning 'eternity has arrived', and 'eternity is present now'. In the imagination we are given to understand that the promised time has actually taken place: we are confronted with the unimaginable and inconceivable moment which will end all moments."
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