Few hymns bring me more comfort or more pause in our unexpected loss of our 35 year old son than this classic by Anne Steele, published in The Christian Hymn Book for the Sanctuary and Home (Dayton, Ohio: Christian Publishing Association, 1875).
When blooming youth is snatched away
By death’s resistless hand,
Our hearts the mournful tribute pay
Which pity must demand.
While pity prompts the rising sigh,
O may this truth, impressed
With awful power–I too–must die–
Sing deep in every breast.
Let this vain world engage no more;
Behold the gaping tomb!
It bids us seize the present hour,
To-morrow death may come.
The voice of this alarming scene,
May every heart obey;
Nor be the heavenly warming vain,
Which calls to watch and pray.
O let us fly, to Jesus fly,
Whose powerful arm can save;
Then shall our hopes ascend on high,
And triumph o’er the grave.
Great God, thy sovereign grace impart,
With cleansing, healing power;
This only can prepare the heart
For death’s surprising hour.