1. He is gone—a cloud of light
Has received Him from our sight;
High in Heav’n, where eye of men
Follows not, nor angels’ ken;
Through the veils of time and space,
Passed into the holiest place;
All the toil, the sorrow done,
All the battle fought and won.
2. He is gone—and we remain
In this world of sin and pain:
In the void which He has left
On this earth, of Him bereft.
We have still His work to do,
We can still His path pursue;
Seek Him both in friend and foe,
In ourselves His image show.
3. He is gone—we heard Him say,
Good that I should go away,
Gone is that dear form and face,
But not gone His present grace;
Though Himself no more we see,
Comfortless we cannot be:
No, His Spirit still is ours,
Quickening, freshening all ours powers.
4. He is gone—towards their goal
World and church must onward roll;
Far behind we leave the past;
Forward are our glances cast:
Still His words before us range
Through the ages as they change:
Wheresoe’er the truth shall lead,
He will give whate’er we need.
5. He is gone—but we once more
Shall behold Him as before;
In the heaven of heavens the same,
As on earth He went and came;
In the many mansions there,
Place for us He will prepare;
In that world unseen, unknown,
He and we shall yet be one.
6. He is gone—but not in vain,
Wait until He comes again:
He is risen, He is not here,
Far above this earthly sphere;
Evermore in heart and mind
There our peace in Him we find:
To our own eternal Friend,
Thitherward let us ascend.
Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, Dean of Westminster, one of the most distinguished English Churchmen of the nineteenth century, was the son of Rev. Edward Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, and was born at Alderly, in Cheshire, December 13, 1815. At the age of fourteen he became a pupil of Dr. Arnold, of Rugby, in whose famous school he displayed a strength of moral character which was a prophecy of the frank and courageous man that was to be. He took well-nigh all the honors at Oxford, where he graduated in 1837. Entering the ministry of the Church of England, he filled successively various positions of honor and responsibility until in 1855 he was appointed Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford. In 1864 he became Dean of Westminster. His… Go to person page >
He is gone—Beyond the skies. A. P. Stanley. [Ascension.] In a note to this hymn given in his Christ in Song, 1870, p. 261, Dr. Schaff says concerning it:—
"It is here given complete from a manuscript copy kindly furnished by the author to the editor, on Ascension Day, May 6, 1869. The Dean informs me that this hymn' was written about ten years ago (1859), at the request of a friend, whose children had complained to him that there was no suitable hymn for Ascension Day, and who were eagerly asking what had been the feelings of the disciples after that event.'"
It first appeared in Macmillan’s Magazine for June, 1862 (vol. vi. p. 153), and was signed "A.P.S." In the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book, 1883, it is given in full in 7 stanzas of 8 lines. It has also furnished the following centos which are in common use:—
1. Christ is gone—A cloud of light. In the Baptist Psalms & Hymns Supplement, 1880.
2. He is gone—A cloud of light. This revised and abbreviated version was given with the author's consent, in the Chapel Royal, Savoy, Hymnary Appendix, 1870, and repeated in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns and other collections.
3. He is gone—and we remain. In Alford's Year of Praise, 1867, and also several American hymn-books.
4. He is gone—Towards their goal. In the Wellington Collection Chapel Hymns 1880.
5. He is gone—we heard Him say. In the Oberlin Manual of Praise, 1880.
Taken in these various forms, the use of this hymn is extensive.