1 O the hour when this material
Shall have vanished as a cloud;
When, amid the wide ethereal,
All th’invisible shall crowd;
And the naked soul, surrounded
With realities unknown,
Triumph in the view unbounded,
Feel herself with God alone.
2 In that sudden, strange transition,
By what new and finer sense
Shall she grasp the mighty vision,
And receive its influence?
Angels! guard the new immortal
Through the wonder-teeming space,
To the everlasting portal,
To the spirit’s resting place.
3 Will she then, with fond emotion,
Aught of human love retain?
Or, absorbed in pure devotion,
Will no earthly trace remain?
Can the grave those ties dissever,
With the very heart strings twined?
Must she part, and part for ever,
With the friend she leaves behind?
4 No: the past she still remembers.
Faith and hope, surviving too,
Ever watch those sleeping embers,
Which must rise and live anew.
For the widowed, lonely spirit,
Waiting to be clothed afresh,
Longs perfection to inherit,
And to triumph in the flesh.
5 Angels! let the ransomed stranger
In your tender care be blest,
Hoping, trusting, safe from danger,
Till the trumpet end her rest;
Till the trump which shakes creation,
Through the circling heav’ns shall roll,
Till the day of consummation,
Till the bridal of the soul,
6 Can I trust a fellow being?
Can I trust an angel’s care?
O Thou merciful, all-seeing!
Beam around my spirit there.
Jesus, blessèd Mediator!
Thou the airy path hast trod:
Thou the Judge, the Consummator!
Shepherd of the fold of God!
7 Blessèd fold! no foe can enter,
And no friend departeth thence.
Jesus is their sun, their center;
And their shield, Omnipotence.
Blessèd! for the Lamb shall feed them,
All their tears shall wipe away,
To the living fountains lead them,
Till fruition’s perfect day.
8 Lo! it comes, that day of wonder!
Louder chorals shake the skies.
Hades’ gates are burst asunder:
See! the new-clothed myriads rise.
Thought! repress thy weak endeavor:
Here must reason prostrate fall.
Oh, th’ineffable Forever!
And th’eternal All in All!
Josiah Conder was born in London, in 1789. He became a publisher, and in 1814 became proprietor of "The Eclectic Review." Subsequently to 1824, he composed a series of descriptive works, called the "Modern Traveller," which appeared in thirty volumes. He also published several volumes of poems and hymns. He was the author of the first "Congregational Hymn Book" (1836). He died in 1855.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >
O the hour when this material. J. Conder. [The Invisible State.] Published in Collyer's Collection, 1812, No. 898, in 8 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed “The Invisible State; or, ‘absent from the Body present with the Lord’ Rev. vii. 15-17." It was repeated in the Congregational Hymn Book, 1836, No. 620, and again in Conder's posthumous Hymns of Praise, Prayer, &c, 1856, p. 192. It is in common use in its full form, as in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853. A cento therefrom is also in use as "Jesus, blessed Mediator." This cento is popular in America.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
O the hour when this material, p. 849, ii. This hymn appeared in The Associated Minstrels, 2nd ed., 1811, and then in Collyer's Collection, 1812. Another cento is "Through life's vapours dimly seeing."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)