Blest hour, when mortal man retires

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1 Blest hour! when mortal man retires
To hold communion with his God,
To send to heaven his warm desires,
And listen to the sacred word.

2 Blest hour! when God himself draws nigh,
Well pleased His people's voice to hear,
To hush the penitential sigh,
And wipe away the mourner's tear.

3 Blest hour! for, where the Lord resorts,
Foretastes of future bliss are given,
And mortals find His earthly courts
The house of God--the gate of heaven!

4 Hail, peaceful hour! supremely blest,
Amid the hours of worldly care;
The hour that yields the spirit rest,
That sacred hour--the hour of prayer.

5 And when my hours of prayer are past,
And this frail tenement decays,
Then may I spend in heaven at last
A never-ending hour of praise.

Source: The Book of Worship #172

Author: Thomas Raffles

Thomas Raffles was born in London in 1788. He studied at Homerton College, and in 1809 became pastor of a Congregational society at Hammersmith. In 1812, he removed to Liverpool, where he was minister in the Great George Street chapel. This position he held for forty-nine years. He died at Liverpool, in 1863. He published several sermons, letters of travel, poems, and hymns for the use of his congregation. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >

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First Line: Blest hour, when mortal man retires
Author: Thomas Raffles


Blest hour when mortal man retires. T. Raffles. [Hour of Prayer.] Printed in the Amulet for 1829, pp. 304-5, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. One of the first to adapt it to congregational use was the Rev. J. Bickersteth, who included 4 stanzas in his Psalms & Hymns, 1832, as No. 242. Its modern use in any form in Great Britain is almost unknown, but in America it is one of the most popular of Dr. Raffles’s hymns, and is given in many of the leading collections. The full text is No. 883 in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872. Dr. Hatfield dates the hymn 1828, probably because contributions to the Amulet of 1829 would be sent to the editor in 1828.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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