Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud.@Psalm 149:5

Andrew Young, 1838.

Happy Land, Hindustani air, arranged by Leonard P. Breedlove, 1850 ( pdf nwc).

A college student in Virginia, proud of his intellectual attainments, thought if he ever became a Christian it would be through an eloquent sermon of some distinguished pulpit orator. While hunting deer during a vacation he was drawn to a gorge far away in the mountains, by the sound of a sweet female voice, engaged in singing. As he drew nearer he recognized the words of the hymn:—

There is a happy land
Far far away.

At length he perceived a log cabin, and an old female slave, with hair as white as snow, standing without at her wash tub singing away as though her heart was overflowing with gladness. She was unusually tall and very straight. As the young student stood enchanted with the romantic scene, he found that she was also blind, and, as she kept on singing and washing, her happy soul would become so full of joy that she would stop washing, and, for a while straightening up, and turning her sightless eye-balls heavenward, would make the surrounding rocks and mountains ring as her joyful voice would sing:—

There is a land of pure delight
Where saints immortal reign.

At length the student said to her, Auntie, I see you are blind? No, massa, said she, I is not blind. I can’t see you, nor dese trees, nor dese rocks, nor dese mountains, but I can see into the kingdom. I can see de happy land, far, far away.

The young student was so impressed with what he saw and heard that from that time on, he was deeply convicted of sin, and rested not until he found rest in Jesus.

He eventually became a minister, and told the author that the echo of that happy slave’s song still follows him.

Long, p. 372

There is a happy land, far, far away,
Where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day.
Oh, how they sweetly sing, worthy is our Savior king,
Loud let His praises ring, praise, praise for aye.

Come to that happy land, come, come away;
Why will ye doubting stand, why still delay?
Oh, we shall happy be, when from sin and sorrow free,
Lord, we shall live with Thee, blest, blest for aye.

Bright, in that happy land, beams every eye;
Kept by a Father’s hand, love cannot die.
Oh, then to glory run; be a crown and kingdom won;
And, bright, above the sun, we reign for aye.