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

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

Philip Phillips (🔊 pdf nwc).

I have a young men’s Bible-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. 208-9

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Philip Phillips (1834-1895)

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?