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Written in Sickness

While sickness shakes the house of clay,

And, sapp’d by pain’s continued course,

My nature hastens to decay,

And waits the fever’s friendly force:

Whither should my glad soul aspire,

But heavenward to my Saviour’s breast?

Wafted on wings of warm desire,

To gain her everlasting rest.

O, when shall I no longer call

This earthly tabernacle mine?

When shall the shatter’d mansion fall,

And rise rebuilt by hands Divine?

Burden’d beneath this fleshly load,

Earnestly here for ease I groan,

Athirst for Thee the living God,

And ever struggling to be gone.

Where Thou, and only Thou art loved,

Far from the world’s insidious art,

Beyond the range of fiends removed,

And safe from my deceitful heart;

There let me rest, and sin no more:

Come quickly, Lord, and end the strife,

Hasten my last, my mortal hour,

Swallow me up in endless life.

Ah! let it not my Lord displease,

That eager thus for death I sue,

Toward the high prize impatient press,

And snatch the crown to conquest due.

Master, Thy greatness wants not me:

O, how should I Thy cause defend!

Captain, release, and set me free;

Here let my useless warfare end.

’Tis not the pain I seek to shun,

The destined cross, and purging fire;

Sin do I fear, and sin alone,

Thee, only Thee do I desire.

For Thee, within myself, for Thee

I groan, and for the adoption wait,

When death shall set my spirit free,

And make my liberty complete.

No longer, then, my Lord, defer,

From earth and sin to take me home:

Now let my eyes behold Thee near;

Come quickly, O my Saviour, come.

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