Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.@1 Corinthians 15:20

Margaret Mackay, in The Amethyst; or Christian’s Annual, 1832. The introduction to the hymn reads: Sleeping in Jesus. By Mrs. Mackay of Hedgefield. This simple but expressive sentence is inscribed on a tombstone in a rural burying ground in Devonshire, and gave rise to the following verses. In reprinting the hymn in her Thoughts Redeemed, 1854, Mackay said the burying ground meant was that of Pennycross Chapel. She adds:

Distant only a few miles from a bustling and crowded seaport town [Plymouth], reached through a succession of those lovely green lanes for which Devonshire is so remarkable, the quiet aspect of Pennycross comes soothingly over the mind. Sleeping in Jesus seems in keeping with all around.

Rest (Bradbury) William B. Bradbury, 1843 (🔊 pdf nwc).

William B. Bradbury (1816-1868)

Asleep in Jesus! Blessèd sleep,
From which none ever wakes to weep;
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unbroken by the last of foes.

Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet,
To be for such a slumber meet,
With holy confidence to sing
That death has lost his venomed sting!

Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blessed;
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour
That manifests the Savior’s power.

Asleep in Jesus! Oh, for me
May such a blessèd refuge be!
Securely shall my ashes lie
And wait the summons from on high.

Asleep in Jesus! time nor space
Debars this precious hiding place;
On Indian plains or Lapland snows
Believers find the same repose.

Asleep in Jesus! Far from thee
Thy kindred and their graves may be;
But there is still a blessèd sleep,
From which none ever wakes to weep.