The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.@Matthew 9:37
portrait
Isaac B. Woodbury (1819–1858)

Is­aac B. Wood­bu­ry, in The Thanks­giv­ing (New York: F. J. Hunt­ing­ton, 1857).

Wood­bu­ry Is­aac B. Wood­bu­ry (🔊 pdf nwc).

[American] Pres­i­dent Gar­field was fond of this hymn, and it was sung at his fun­er­al [af­ter his as­sas­sin­a­tion in 1881]. In ad­dress­ing an au­di­ence of young peo­ple on one oc­ca­sion, Gar­field said, in sub­stance, re­gard­ing his own con­ver­sion:

“Make the most of the pres­ent mo­ment. No oc­ca­sion is un­wor­thy of our best ef­forts. God oft­en us­es hum­ble oc­ca­sions and lit­tle things to shape the course of a man’s life. I might say that the wear­ing of a cer­tain pair of stock­ings led to a com­plete change in my life. I had made a trip as a boy on a ca­nal boat and was ex­pect­ing to leave home for an­oth­er trip; but I ac­ci­dent­al­ly in­jured my foot in chop­ping wood. The blue dye in my home-made socks poi­soned the wound and I was kept home.

A re­viv­al broke out mean­while in the neigh­bor­hood, and I was thus kept with­in its in­flu­ence and was con­vert­ed. New de­sires and new pur­pos­es then took pos­ses­sion of me, and I was de­ter­mined to seek an ed­u­ca­tion in order that I might live more use­ful­ly for Christ.

It is said that this hymn has been the means of the con­ver­sion of thou­sands of souls in Aus­tral­ia and Great Bri­tain.

Sankey, pp. 149–50

Ho! reapers of life’s harvest,
Why stand with rusted blade,
Until the night draws round thee,
And day begins to fade?
Why stand ye idle, waiting
For reapers more to come?
The golden morn is passing,
Why sit ye idle, dumb?

Thrust in your sharpened sickle,
And gather in the grain,
The night is fast approaching,
And soon will come again;
The Master calls for reapers,
And shall He call in vain?
Shall sheaves lie there ungathered,
And waste upon the plain?

Mount up the heights of wisdom,
And crush each error low;
Keep back no words of knowledge
That human hearts should know.
Be faithful to thy mission,
In service of thy Lord,
And then a golden chaplet
Shall be thy just reward.