1 A present God is all our strength,
And all our joy and hope;
When he withdraws, our comforts die,
And every grace must droop.
2 But flattering trifles charm our hearts
To court their false embrace,
Till justly this neglected friend
Averts his angry face.
3 He leaves us and we miss him not;
But go presumptuous on,
Till baffled, wounded, and enslaved,
We learn that God is gone.
4 And what, my soul, can then remain
One ray of light to give?
Severed from him, their better life,
How can his children live?
5 Hence, all ye painted forms of joy,
And leave my heart to mourn:
I would devote these eyes to tears,
Till cheered by his return.
6 Look back, my Lord, and own the place,
Where once thy temple stood;
For lo, its ruins bear the mark
Of rich atoning blood.
The Hartford Selection of Hymns from the most approved authors, 1799