To every man his work.@Mark 13:34
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Fanny Crosby
(1820–1915)

Words: Fan­ny Cros­by, 1867. The song was ded­i­cat­ed to the Young Men’s Chris­tian As­so­ci­a­tion (YMCA).

Music: Phi­lip Phill­ips (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Philip Phillips
(1834–1895)

I have a young men’s Biible class, writes a Chris­tian wor­ker in Ro­ther­ham, Eng­land. Some years ago one of my schol­ars brought a stran­ger to the class, who had just come to our town on bus­i­ness. He con­tin­ued to at­tend ve­ry re­gu­lar­ly for about a year. Hav­ing ob­tained a bet­ter bus­i­ness ap­point­ment in a dis­tant town, he told me be­fore leav­ing the class that when he first ar­rived he had ful­ly made up his mind to shake him­self free from all re­li­gious in­flu­ence; as he had come to a strange town where no one knew him, he would en­joy him­self any way he chose.

But he con­sent­ed to at­tend the class just once. The first hymn sung was, Oh, what are you go­ing to do, bro­ther? Say, what are you go­ing to do? He could not get it out of his head all the week, and it was the means of en­tire­ly set­ting aside his in­ten­tions.

On ar­riv­ing at his new home he im­me­di­ate­ly unit­ed with a Chris­tian church. His stea­dy, con­sis­tent life won for him pro­mo­tion in bu­si­ness, and he now fills a po­si­tion of use­ful­ness and re­spon­si­bi­l­ity in an im­port­ant town. All the good he had re­ceived he at­trib­ut­ed to that hymn on the first Sun­day of his re­si­dence here.

Sankey, pp. 208–09

Oh, what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?
You have thought of some useful labor,
But what is the end in view?
You are fresh from the home of your boyhood,
And just in the bloom of youth!
Have you tasted the sparkling water,
That flows from the fount of truth?
Is your heart in the Savior’s keeping?
Remember, He died for you!
Then what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?

Will you honor His cause and kingdom,
Wherever your path may be?
And stand as a bright example,
That others your light may see?
Are you willing to live for Jesus?
And ready the cross to bear?
Are you willing to meet reproaches?
The frowns of the world to share?
Your lot may perhaps be humble,
But God has a work for you!
Then what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?

Oh, what are you going to do, brother?
The morning of youth is past;
The vigor and strength of manhood,
My brother, are yours at last.
You are rising in worldly prospects,
And prospered in earthly things:
A duty to those less favored
The smile of your fortune brings.
Go prove that your heart is grateful—
The Lord has a work for you!
Then what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?

Oh, what are you going to do, brother?
Your sun at its noon is high!
It shines in meridian splendor,
And rides through a cloudless sky.
You are holding a high position
Of honor, of trust, and fame;
Are you willing to give the glory
And praise to your Savior’s name?
The regions that sit in darkness
Are stretching their hands to you;
Then, what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?

Oh, what are you going to do, brother?
The twilight approaches now;
Already your locks are silvered,
And winter is on your brow.
Your talents, your time, your riches,
To Jesus, your master, give;
Then ask if the world around you
Is better because you live.
You are nearing the brink of Jordan,
But still there is work for you;
Then, what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?