Time, By Moments, Steals Away

Home » Original Songs » Hymn Texts


Neither this text or tune have been updated (save one word - instead of asking for God's bowels to be moved it is much more fitting to ask that His feelings be moved!) but it is a hymn worth sharing as we face another new year (at least in the west). One of the best hymn-writers of all time, John Newton had the amazing ability to be introspective, doctrinal, eloquent, and Christ-centered in His hymns. This hymn can be set to several tunes, but we recommend the tune for "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." As we survey all of the failures of our past year, may we be encouraged by John's faithful reminders of the gospel: "Happy the believing soul! Christ for you has paid the whole."


             (Show Original Wordings)
Time, by moments, steals away,
First the hour, and then the day;
Small the daily loss appears,
Yet it soon amounts to years:
Thus another year is flown,
Now it is no more our own,
If it brought or promised good,
Than the years before the flood.

But (may none of us forget)
It has left us much in debt;
Favors from the Lord received,
Sins that have His Spirit grieved;
Marked by an unerring hand,
In His book recorded stand;
Who can tell the vast amount
Placed to each of our account?

Happy the believing soul!
Christ for you has paid the whole;
While you own the debt is large,
You may plead a full discharge:
But poor careless sinner, say,
What can you to justice pay?
Tremble, lest, when life is past,
Into prison you be cast!

Will you still increase the score?
Still be careless, as before?
Oh, forbid it, gracious Lord,
Touch their spirits by Thy Word!
Now, in mercy to them show
What a mighty debt they owe!
All their unbelief subdue:
Let them find forgiveness too.

Spared to see another year,
Let Thy blessing meet us here;
Come, Thy dying work revive,
Bid Thy drooping garden thrive:
Sun of righteousness, arise!
Warm our hearts, and bless our eyes;
Let our prayer Thy feelings move,
Make this year a time of love!

© Public Domain
Text by John Newton (1725-1807)
Tune: ABERYSTWYTH (Jesus, Lover of My Soul), Joseph Parry (1841-1903)


Leave a Comment

(click here to leave a comment)
Click here to check out Hymnicity Click here to continue
to Thousand Tongues

(while it is still alive!)