Behold, a sower went forth to sow.@Matthew 13:3

William S. Bourne, 1874. This hymn was written for Harvest Festival at Christ Church, South Ashford, Kent, England.

St. Beatrice John F. Bridge, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
John F. Bridge (1844-1924)

The sower went forth sowing,
The seed in secret slept
Through weeks of faith and patience,
Till out the green blade crept;
And warmed by golden sunshine,
And fed by silver rain,
At last the fields were whitened
To harvest once again.
O praise the heavenly Sower,
Who gave the fruitful seed,
And watched and watered duly,
And ripened for our need.

Behold! the heavenly Sower
Goes forth with better seed,
The Word of sure salvation,
With feet and hands that bleed;
Here in His Church ’tis scattered,
Our spirits are the soil;
Then let an ample fruitage
Repay His pain and toil.
Oh, beauteous is the harvest,
Wherein all goodness thrives,
And this the true thanksgiving,
The first fruits of our lives.

Within a hallowed acre
He sows yet other grain,
When peaceful earth receiveth
The dead He died to gain;
For though the growth be hidden,
We know that they shall rise;
Yea even now they ripen
In sunny Paradise.
O summer land of harvest,
O fields forever white
With souls that wear Christ’s raiment,
With crowns of golden light.

One day the heavenly Sower
Shall reap where He hath sown,
And come again rejoicing,
And with Him bring His own;
And then the fan of judgment
Shall winnow from His floor
The chaff into the furnace
That flameth evermore.
O holy, awful Reaper,
Have mercy in the day,
Thou puttest in the sickle,
And cast us not away.