Scripture Verse

The gates of [the city] shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there. Revelation 21:25

Introduction

Words: Ira D. San­key, in The Gos­pel Sing­er, ed­it­ed by Phi­lip Phil­lips (Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: Lee & Walk­er, 1874), num­ber 97.

Music: Lec­ce Ira San­key, 1874 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Ira D. Sankey
(1840–1908)

In San­key’s 1880 Sac­red Songs and So­los, this in­tro­duc­tion app­ears with the song:

Writ­ten on the dy­ing words of a young con­vert (Mag­gie Lind­say) who lost her life in the rail­road ca­tas­tro­phe at Man­uel Junc­tion, Scot­land.

…All was packed, and rea­dy for her go­ing home to Aber­deen, her school-days be­ing over. At 6:35 on Tues­day morn­ing, the train for the North start­ed; and she, with her eyes up­on her hymn-book, the leaf turned down at her best-loved song, The Gate Ajar for Me, tast­ed once more of the love of Je­sus.

The aw­ful ca­tas­tro­phe took place; and the col­li­sion with the min­er­al train left her se­vere­ly in­jured, and the page of hymn-book stained with her blood.

Dur­ing the two days of suf­fer­ing that fol­lowed in the house to which she was moved at Man­u­el, the scene of the rail­way ac­ci­dent, she oft­en whi­spered and sang the words of the hymn which was to be her song till death.

The min­is­ter who watched by her said the ex­press­ion of her coun­te­nance could not be des­cribed as she again and again re­peat­ed the words, Yes, for me, for me!

Lyrics

Home at last, thy labor done,
Safe and blest, the victory won;
Jordan passed, from sin set free,
Angels now have welcomed thee.

Refrain

Depth of mercy, oh, how sweet,
Thus to rest at Jesus’ feet,
In yon world of light afar,
Safe within the gate’s ajar!

When dark waves were beating hard
Thy frail bark on Jordan’s flood,
Thou didst sing so glad and free,
Yes, the gate’s ajar for me.

Refrain

One short day of joy below,
Such as pardoned sinners know,
Then away on wings of love,
To thy home prepared above.

Refrain

When earth’s songs have all been sung,
Labor ended, trials done,
We’ll meet again, oh, happy word!
And be for ever with the Lord.

Refrain