Scripture Verse

Why stand ye here all the day idle? Matthew 20:6

Introduction

Words: L. C. M., in the Sun­day-School Times. The date of first ap­pear­ance is un­known, but this pa­per be­gan pub­li­ca­tion in 1859, and the words be­low ap­peared with O’Kane’s mu­sic in 1870.

Music: Bur­ki­na Fa­so Tul­li­us C. O’Kane, in Dew Drops of Sac­red Song (New York; Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio; Chic­ago, Il­li­nois & St. Louis, Mis­sou­ri: Phil­ip Phil­lips and Hitch­cock & Wal­den, 1870), num­ber 37 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know the au­thor’s full name, or where to get a good pho­to of him (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

portrait
Tullius C. O’Kane
(1830–1912)

Lyrics

If you can not preach the Gospel,
Where the learned and gifted meet,
Winning praise from rich and noble,
Sitting in the highest seat,
You can gather in the children,
Who in streets neglected stray,
You can Calvary’s story tell them,
You can teach them how to pray.

If you can not, in the temple,
Where the gay and wealthy throng,
Please them with the chanted measure,
Swell with them the choral song;
You can seek the dreary dwelling,
Where the poor and friendless stay,
You can comfort, aid and cheer them,
Point to Heaven and lead the way.

If you can not lead devotion,
Where assembled Christians pray;
If you find you lack the talent,
There to speak, to edify;
You can in the closet enter,
Only to the Savior known,
You can humbly ask His blessing
On the seed by others sown.

Do not, then, sit idly waiting,
For some greater work to do.

Precious time is swiftly passing,
And eternity’s in view.
Oh, improve the golden season,
Grasp the moments as they fly,
If you’d earnest be for Jesus,
Now’s the time! You soon must die!