Scripture Verse

He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:37–42

Introduction

portrait
John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 86. The wheat and tares.

Music: Old 100th, at­trib­ut­ed to Lou­is Bour­geois, in Four Score and Se­ven Psalms of Da­vid (Ge­ne­va, Swit­zer­land: 1551) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

Though in the out­ward church below
The wheat and tares to­ge­ther grow;
Jesus ere long will weed the crop,
And pluck the tares, in an­ger, up.

Will it re­lieve their hor­rors there,
To re­col­lect their sta­tions here?
How much they heard, how much they knew,
How long amongst the wheat they grew!

Oh! this will ag­gra­vate their case!
They per­ished un­der means of grace;
To them the word of life and faith,
Became an in­stru­ment of death.

We seem alike when thus we meet,
Strangers might think we all are wheat;
But to the Lord’s all-search­ing eyes,
Each heart ap­pears with­out dis­guise.

The tares are spared for va­ri­ous ends,
Some, for the sake of pray­ing friends;
Others, the Lord, against their will,
Employs His coun­sels to ful­fill.

But though they grow so tall and strong,
His plan will not re­quire them long;
In har­vest, when He saves His own,
The tares shall in­to hell be thrown.