Hymnary Friends,

We don't often ask for money.

But, before you hit the "close" button on this box, please consider a donation to keep Hymnary.org going.

You are one of more than half a million people who come here every month: worship leaders, hymnologists, hymn lovers and many more. Here at Hymnary.org, you have free access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet. But this project does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue.

So if you benefit from Hymnary.org, would you please consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or you can click the Donate button below to be taken to a secure site.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary.org team,
Harry Plantinga

Life is the time to serve the Lord

Full Text

1. Life is the time to serve the Lord, The time t’insure the great reward; And while the lamp holds out to burn The vilest sinner may return. 2. Life is the hour that God has giv’n, To escape hell and fly to heav’n; The day of grace, and mortals may Secure the blessing of the day. 3. The living know that they must die, But all the dead forgotten lie; Their mem’ry and their sense is gone, Alike unknowing and unknown.

Source: The Sacred Harp: the best collection of sacred songs, hymns, odes, and anthems ever offered the singing public for general use (1991 rev.) #28b

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >


Life is the time to serve the Lord. I. Watts. [Life for God.] First published in his Hymns & Spiritual Songs, in the 2nd edition, 1709, Bk. i.. No. 88, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Life the Day of Grace and Hope." It is found in a few modern collections. In the authorized issue of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1781, No. xv., on Eccl. ix. 4, &c, it is recast as:—
"As long as life its term extends, Hope's blest dominion never ends."
In the markings of the Translations & Paraphrases by the eldest daughter of W. Cameron (q.v.), this recast is attributed to Cameron. Its use is very extensive. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 4 of 4)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
The Baptist Hymnal: for use in the church and home #252
The Cyber Hymnal #3742TextScoreAudio
The Sacred Harp (Rev. Cooper Ed.) #28b
The Sacred Harp: the best collection of sacred songs, hymns, odes, and anthems ever offered the singing public for general use (1991 rev.) #28bText
Include 330 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us