Encompassed with clouds of distress,
And tempted all hope to resign,
I pant for the light of thy face,
That I in thy beauty may shine;
Disheartened with waiting so long,
I sink at thy feet with my load,
All plaintive I pour out my song,
And stretch forth my hands unto God.
Shine, Lord! and my terror shall cease;
The blood of atonement apply;
And lead me to Jesus for peace,
The rock that is higher than I:
Speak, Saviour, for sweet is thy voice,
Thy presence is fair to behold;
I thirst for thy Spirit with cries
And groanings that cannot be told.
If sometimes I strive, as I mourn
My hold of thy promise to keep,
The billows more fiercely return,
And plunge me again in the deep:
While harassed and cast from thy sight,
The temptor suggests with a roar,
“The Lord has forsaken thee quite;
Thy God will be gracious no more.”
Yet, Lord, if thy love hath designed
No covenant blessing for me,
Ah, tell me, how is it I find
Some sweetness in waiting for thee?
Almighty to rescue thou art;
Thy grace is immortal and free.
Lord, succor and comfort my heart
And make me live holy to thee.
-Augustus Montague Toplady
And if you want to hear the modern arrangement by which I learned these words, you can find it at Park Slope Presbyterian’s website; it’s the last song on the page.