Scripture Verse

If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:31


Charles C. Converse (1834–1918)

Words: Ano­ny­mous, in The Lex­ing­ton Col­lect­ion (Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tuc­ky: Mac­coun, Til­ford, 1811), num­ber 47.

Music: Er­ie Charles C. Con­verse, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:


Dark and thor­ny is the de­sert
Through which pil­grims make their way;
Yet be­yond this vale of sor­row,
Lie the fields of end­less day.
Fiends loud howl­ing in the tem­pest
Make them trem­ble as they go—
And the fie­ry darts of Sa­tan
Often lay their cour­age low.

Oh! young sol­diers, do you mur­mur
At the trou­bles of the way?
Do your hearts be­gin to fail you
And your vi­gor to de­cay?
Jesus, Je­sus shall de­fend you—
He shall lead you to His throne,
He that dyed His gar­ments for you,
And the wine press trod alone.

He whose thun­der shakes cre­ation,
He that bids the pla­nets roll,
He who rides up­on the tem­pest,
And whose scep­ter sways the whole;
Round Him see ten thou­sand angels,
Ready to re­ceive com­mand;
They are ev­er watch­ing round you,
’Till you reach the hea­ven­ly land.

There, on flow­ery fields of plea­sure,
And the hills of end­less rest—
Joy and peace and love, shall ev­er
Reign and tri­umph in your breast;
Who can paint the scenes of glo­ry,
Where the ran­somed dwell on high,
Where the gold­en harps for­ev­er
Sound re­demp­tion round the sky.

There a mill­ion flam­ing se­raphs
Fly across the hea­ven­ly plain;
There they sing im­mor­tal prais­es,
Glory! Glory! is their strain.
But me­thinks a sweet­er con­cert
Makes the crys­tal arch­es ring,
And a song is heard in Zi­on
Which the an­gels can­not sing!

See the hea­ven­ly host in rap­ture,
Gaze upon this shin­ing band—
Wondering at their cost­ly garments
And the laur­els in their hand.
There up­on the gold­en pave­ment,
See the ran­somed march along—
While the splen­did courts of glo­ry
Sweetly ec­ho to their song.

But me­thinks, in whit­er gar­ments,
Some are march­ing on be­fore;
Oh! their crowns, how bright they spar­kle,
Such as mon­archs ne­ver wore.
They were shep­herds in My pas­tures,
Faithful in My cause be­low;
They shall now, in peace for­ev­er,
Sit on thrones as white as snow.

Round them see the lambs they ga­thered,
See the flocks they fed with care;
Now they’re come to rich­er pas­tures;
Jesus is their shep­herd there.
Hail! ye hap­py, hap­py spir­its!
Death no more shall make you fear;
Sin and sor­row, pain and anguish,
Shall no more dis­turb you there.

Sinners here shall not de­ride you,
Tho’ they vexed you while be­low;
Now they’re gone, and gone for­ev­er,
To the gulf of end­less woe.
Closed in that eter­nal pri­son,
They can in­jure you no more;
Hell, alas, is all around them!
And eter­ni­ty be­fore!

There they find a God of jus­tice,
Whom they once re­fused to fear;
There a lake of burn­ing sul­fur,
Tho’ they dis­be­lieved it here;
Hark! me­thinks I hear from To­phet,
Cries more dread­ful than the rest;
Some ap­pear in great­er ang­uish,
And with sor­er ven­geance pressed.

Ah! they cry, we heard the Gos­pel,
Where the Lord re­vived His cause;
Saw how num­bers bowed be­fore Him,
Yet we still re­fused His laws.
We re­ject­ed ev­ery warn­ing—
Scorned the pe­ni­tent­ial tear;
We des­pised the calls of me­rcy—
Now we lie in fe­tters here.

Sinners, will you come to Je­sus?
Oh! that you would come to­day;
Come, be­fore the sword of ven­geance
Cuts you down upon the way.
Soon the har­vest may be ga­thered,
And the sheaves col­lect­ed home;
Then, in vain you’ll call for mer­cy,
And, in vain, may wish to come.