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Published in “New Church Hymn Book”, Shaw, 1874.

1 The Church has waited long   2 Saint after saint on earth
    Her absent Lord to see       Has lived, and loved, and died;
  And still in loneliness she waits,     And as they left us one by one,
    A friendless stranger she.       We laid them side by side.
  Age after age has gone     We laid them down to sleep,
    Sun after sun has set,       But not in hope forlorn,
  And still in weeds of widowhood,     We laid them but to ripen there
    She weeps, a mourner yet.       Till the last glorious morn.
3 The serpent’s brood increase,   4 We long to hear Thy voice,
    The powers of hell grow bold       To see Thee face to face,
  The conflict thickens, faith is low,     To share Thy crown and glory there,
    And love is waxing cold.       As here we share Thy grace.
  How long, O Lord, our God     Should not the loving Bride
    Holy, and true, and good,       The absent Bridegroom mourn;
  Wilt Thou not judge Thy suffering Church,     Should she not wear the weeds of grief
    Her sighs, her tears, and blood?       Until her Lord return?

5 The whole creation groans,
    And waits to hear that voice,
  That shall restore her comeliness,
    And make her wastes rejoice.
  Come, Lord, and wipe away
    The curse, the sin, the stain,
  And make this blighted world of ours
    Thine own fair world again. Amen.

Horatius Bonar, 1809 - 89.

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