Scripture Verse

The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. Matthew 13:39

Introduction

portrait
Johann S. Bach
1685–1750

Words: Her­bert Kyn­as­ton, Oc­ca­sion­al Hymns (Lon­don: R. Clay, Son, & Tay­lor, 1862), pag­es 8–9. And not thus on­ly does He make His dis­course ter­ri­ble, but al­so in show­ing the Hea­vens emp­tied. For all the an­gels will be with Him, He says, them­selves al­so wit­ness­ing how much they min­is­tered, sent by the Lord, for the Sal­va­tion of man­kind.— Chry­sos­tom (Hom. lxxix.) on St. Matt. xxv. 31.

Music: Zum Frie­den, Jo­hann S. Bach (1685–1750) (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
The Dead Christ with Angels
Édouard Manet, 1864

Lyrics

Hark! the trumpet, earth’s four regions
Parting at the Garden head,
Empties Heav’n of all its legions,
Beggars hell of all its dead:
All who sang the globe’s creation,
Caroled when the Christ was born,
Reap the world’s regeneration,
Thrust their sickle in the corn.

O, to see them write in glory
All they pictured once in gloom,
See who wiped the damp-drops gory,
Smoothed His grave clothes in the tomb;
See what brows were bent before Him
When the mourner sought Him there,
See them now with thee adore Him,
Magdalena, in the air!

Should one angel thence be parted,
One who ministered to life,
Binding once the broken hearted,
Crowning now the battle strife?
He who o’er the hill of Sion
Drove the deathful whirlwind past,
Chained the Babylonish lion,
Walked upon the furnace blast.

Who from shroudless destitution
Bears the beggar to his rest;
Spread the worms of retribution
On the tyrant’s purpled breast;
Now the guarding and the guarded
Crowd the Judgment seat in one;
Soon rewarding and rewarded
Part no more before the throne.