Author: George Michael Mangold (1822-1894) Composer: Johann Schop, 1641 (1590-1667)
1. “Dost thou love Me?” the Saviour said To Peter, His true servant, When o’er the fold He gave him charge And His divine commandment. The Saviour did him thus remind That scorn and trials he would find, E’en death and persecution Would be the shepherd’s portion.
2. It is no art in peaceful days Our love to be revealing, When all is well with life and soul, When here no wolves are raging. But when the evil days appear, When trials, grief and pain draw near, Will yet our love be fervent, Abiding as His servant?
3. The Lord beholds us in our grief, And asks in true affection, “Dost thou love Me, my follower, In sorrow and affliction? Though grief may press on ev’ry side, Will yet thy love in Me abide? Wilt thou in persecution Still keep thy firm devotion?”
4. The common answer that we hear, And oft in deepest sadness, “Thou knowest, Lord, I hold Thee dear, Thou art my Joy and Gladness.” And then the Lord doth ask again, “Wilt thou love Me amid great pain? Will in the fiery trial Thy love know no denial?”
5. “Then, follow Me, and feed My sheep On pastures green and pleasant, And o’er them faithful vigil keep, For wolves are always present; Preserve and guide them on their way That leads through death to endless day, In love for them here living And for them your life giving.”
6. The faithful shepherds do not flee When hungry wolves are nearing; Ah, no, their duty then they see Unto their sheep adhering. Their sheep will follow after them When first they here the Cross of shame Upon their backs have taken, And shame leaves them unshaken.
7. Afflictions here on earth abound And burdens we must carry. Through Jesus’ death we shall attain The kingdom of His glory. Through many conflicts we must go, And bear our mutual grief and woe, For trials oft are given, Whereby our faith is proven.
Special thanks to the Apostolic Christians who diligently labored to keep their rich musical heritage alive when most other denominations forsook it in the challenging battle of changing cultures. Thanks be to those souls who labored to write and compose this treasure of praise, many now only known to GOD!