1 Whence has the world her magic power?
Why deem we death a foe?
Recoil from weary life's best hour,
And covet longer wo?
2 The cause is conscience--conscience oft
Her tale of guilt renews;
Her voice is terrible, though soft,
And dread of death ensues.
3 Then anxious to be longer spar'd,
Man mourns his fleeting breath;
All evils then seem light, compar'd
With the approach of death.
4 'Tis judgment shakes him--there's the fear
That prompts the wish to stay:
He has incurr'd a long arrear,
And must despair to pay.
5 Pay!--follow Christ, and all is paid;
His death your peace ensures;
Think on the grave where he was laid,
And calm descend to ours.
Source: Hymns, Selected and Original: for public and private worship (1st ed.) #700
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