1 O that I were as heretofore!
When warm in my first love;
I only live my God t'adore,
And seek the things above!
2 Upon my head his candle shone,
And lavish of his grace,
With cords of love he drew me on,
And half unveil'd his face.
3 Far, far above all earthly things
Triumphantly I rode;
I soar'd to heaven on eagles' wings,
And found and talk'd with God.
4 Where am I now, from what a height
Of happiness cast down!
The glory swallow'd up in night,
And faded is the crown.
5 O God, thou art my home, my rest,
For which I sigh in pain!
How shall I 'scape into thy breast,
My Eden how regain?
Source: Hymns, Selected and Original: for public and private worship (1st ed.) #418
O that I was as heretofore. C. Wesley. [A Minister’s Prayer.] Published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, vol. i., No. 188, in 8 stanzas of 6 lines. (Poetical Works, vol. v., 1868-72, p. 105). Two centos from this hymn are in common use:—
1. Give me the faith which can remove. Composed of stanzas iii.-vii. in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 421, and later collections.
2. I would the precious time redeem. Composed of stanzas v.-vii. in the Baptist Hymnal, 1879.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)