Scripture Verse

There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. Revelation 7:9

Introduction

portrait
Ralph Vaughan Williams
1872–1958

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Fun­er­al Hymns 1759.

Music: For­est Green Eng­lish tune. Ar­ranged by Ralph Vaugh­an Will­iams, 1906 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

  • Pisgah, Jo­seph C. Low­ry, 1817 (🔊 pdf nwc)
portrait
Charles Wesley
1707–1788

Anecdote

Charles Wes­ley died (1788) three years be­fore his bro­ther. It is said that some time af­ter his death John Wes­ley, then ven­er­a­ble with age and al­most to the mar­gin come, as­cend­ed the pul­pit on one oc­ca­sion in the Foun­dry Church, and af­ter read­ing the les­son, he turned to the hymn se­lect­ed as if to read it af­ter his us­u­al man­ner; but ins­tead he bur­ied his face in his hands and stood there in that solemn and im­pres­sive at­ti­tude for sev­er­al min­utes.

Every eye was fixed up­on him, and ev­ery ear list­ened as he then opened the hymn book and read in a most im­pres­sive man­ner his bro­ther’s hymn:

Come, let us join our friends above,
That have obtained the prize.

The au­di­ence was deep­ly moved and well knew where his thoughts were.

Nutter, p. 319

Lyrics

Come, let us join our friends above,
That have obtained the prize,
And on the eagle wings of love
To joys celestial rise.
Let saints on earth unite to sing
With those to glory gone,
For all the servants of our king
In earth and Heaven are one.

One family we dwell in Him,
One church above, beneath,
Though now divided by the stream,
The narrow stream of death;
One army of the living God,
At His command we bow;
Part of His host have crossed the flood,
And part are crossing now.

Ten thousand to their endless home
This solemn moment fly,
And we are to the margin come,
And we expect to die.
His militant embodied host,
With wishful looks we stand,
And long to see that happy coast,
And reach the heavenly land.

Our old companions in distress
We haste again to see,
And eager long for our release,
And full felicity:
Even now by faith we join our hands
With those that went before;
And greet the blood besprinkled bands
On the eternal shore.

Our spirits too shall quickly join,
Like theirs with glory crowned,
And shout to see our captain’s sign,
To hear His trumpet sound.
O that we now might grasp our guide!
O that the word were given!
Come, Lord of Hosts, the waves divide,
And land us all in Heaven.