When languor and disease invade

When languor and disease invade

Author: Augustus Toplady
Published in 285 hymnals

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1 When languor and disease invade
This trembling house of clay,
’Tis sweet to look beyond my pains,
And long to fly away.

2 Sweet to look inward, and attend
The whispers of His love;
Sweet to look upward to the place
Where Jesus pleads above.

3 Sweet to look back, and see my name
In life’s fair book set down;
Sweet to look forward and behold
Eternal joys my own.

4 Sweet to reflect how grace divine
My sins on Jesus laid;
Sweet to remember that His blood
My debt of suffering paid.

Source: Book of Worship (Rev. ed.) #464

Author: Augustus Toplady

Toplady, Augustus Montague, the author of "Rock of Ages," was born at Farnham, Surrey, November 4, 1740. His father was an officer in the British army. His mother was a woman of remarkable piety. He prepared for the university at Westminster School, and subsequently was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin. While on a visit in Ireland in his sixteenth year he was awakened and converted at a service held in a barn in Codymain. The text was Ephesians ii. 13: "But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." The preacher was an illiterate but warm-hearted layman named Morris. Concerning this experience Toplady wrote: "Strange that I, who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should b… Go to person page >


When languor and disease invade. A. M. Toplady. [Affliction and Death.] In the Lady Huntingdon Collection of Hymns, 1780, there is as No. 238, ”When languor and disease invade,” in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Meditation on God's Love," and as No. 263 "Sweet to rejoice in lively hope," in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Funeral," the two hymns thus making 14 stanzas of 4 lines. These two hymns, with an additional stanza (x.), were given in the Gospel Magazine, Oct. 1796, as a single poem, with this note appended thereto:—

"This hymn was written for the late Countess of Huntingdon, at her request, when in illness, by the Rev. Mr. Toplady, and kindly given to the publisher as it originally stood, by the Right Hon. Lady Ann Erskine."

From the poem as thus printed we find that No. 238 above was composed of stanzas i.-vii. and xiv., and No. 263 of stanza viii., ix., xi.-xiii. and xv. Stanza x. was not used. The centos from this poem now in common use are:—
1. How blest to rest in lively hope (stanza viii.). In Windle's Met. Psalter and Hymnal
2. Sweet to reflect how grace divine (st. iv.). In some American collections.
3. Sweet to rejoice in lively hope (stanza viii.). In a few American collections.
4. 'Tis sweet to rest in lively hope (stanza viii.). In common use in Great Britain and America.
5. When languor and disease invade (stanza i.). In extensive use in most English-speaking countries.
The full text of the poem is in D. Sedgwick's reprint of Toplady's Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1860.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #7328
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