Text Source: Philothea, Würzburg, Germany, 1845 Composer: Hans Georg Nägeli (1773-1836)
1. The mighty tree, the cross, is spreading Its arms of suff’ring ev’rywhere; For wheresoe’er man’s foot is treading, The cross is certain to be there.
2. With thousand figures dark and dreary, The cross comes nigh with pain and dart; Reproach, contempt, and suff’rings weary Will hold their sword close to thy heart.
3. Though far or near if thou wouldst travel, A cross is ever standing nigh; And thou wilt always draw it nearer If thou wilt try to pass it by.
4. O, do not fear the cross’ affliction! The Saviour suffered on it, too, To cause eternal joy and pleasure To ripen evermore for you.
5. But if thou wouldst relieve its pressure, The figure of the cross then heed, ’Twill teach thee how to ease thy suff’ring; To consolation it will lead.
6. Two beams are in the cross united; A short one lies across the long, But instantly the cross is lightened When short lies parallel to long.
7. This figure then explains the meaning: Why often hard our suff’rings press; And how relief we may be gaining When souls are laden with distress.
8. The longer beam is God’s direction; Across it lies thy will, perverse. Thus brings the cross pain and affliction; God’s dispensation seems for worse.
9. Resist not then God’s regulation, Although His hand may press thee hard; But conquer thy own will with patience; Soon cross and suff’ring will depart. 10. If thus thou’lt overcome thy wishes And let God’s will prevail in thee, Then thou wilt find peace in thy suff’ring; And grace thy great reward will be.
11. Then bear thy woes with Jesus gladly, And fear the cross of life no more, For when thy journey here is ended, The cross will open heaven’s door!
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!