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).

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.