Sweet the moments, rich in blessing

Sweet the moments, rich in blessing. Walter Shirley* (1725-1786). This hymn for Good Friday was first published in The Collection of Hymns, sung in the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel (Bath, 1770). It was a re-writing of some verses by the Inghamite minister James Allen* beginning ‘While my Jesus I’m possessing’ (see JJ, pp. 1274-5). Part of this text was reprinted in The Church Hymnal (1853), edited by William Cooke* and William Denton*, with some additional verses beginning ‘Lord, in ceaseless contemplation’. A five-verse text, with the last verse beginning ‘Lord, in ceaseless contemplation’, was in the Primitive Methodist Hymnal (1887), attributed there to Allen. The astonishing stanzas...

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