Scripture Verse

Our Savior Jesus Christ…hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.@2 Timothy 1:10

Introduction

Words: George Mac­Kel­lar, in Hymns Se­lect­ed from Var­i­ous Au­thors (New Ber­lin, Penn­syl­van­ia: Henry Fish­er, 1850) pag­es 441–42.

Music: Bar Har­bor George F. Root, Pure De­light! (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: John Church, 1883), page 72 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you have ac­cess to a good pho­to of Mac­Kel­lar (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

portrait
George F. Root
(1820–1895)

Lyrics

There is a land immortal,
The beautiful of lands;
Beside the ancient portal
A sentry grimly stands.
He only can undo it,
And open wide the door;
And mortals who pass through it,
Are mortals never more.

Refrain

Oh beautiful, beautiful land!
Oh beautiful, beautiful land!
Amid its fields of glory
May we in safety stand.

That glorious land is Heaven,
And Death the sentry grim;
The Lord therefore has given
The opening keys to him.
And ransomed spirits, sighing
And sorrowful for sin,
Do pass the gate in dying,
And freely enter in.

Refrain

Though dark and drear the passage
That leadeth to the gate,
Yet grace comes with the message,
To souls that watch and wait;
And, at the time appointed,
A messenger comes down,
And leads the Lord’s anointed
From cross to glory’s crown.

Refrain

Their sighs are lost in singing,
They’re blessèd in their tears;
Their journey heav’nward winging,
They leave to earth their fears.
Death like an angel seemeth—
We welcome thee, they cry;
Their face with glory beameth—
’Tis life for them to die.

Refrain