Author: Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769) Composer: Hans Georg Nägeli (1773-1836)
1. Come, children, let us journey; The evening draweth near; Our path is full of danger; The desert, dark and drear! Encourage now your heart To future life to wander, Grow strong, until up yonder All grief and woe depart.
2. We shall not be regretting We chose this pilgrims way; We know the One, so faithful, Who leads us day by day. Believe and serve ye Him, Each one his face directing, The narrow way selecting, Straight to Jerusalem!
3. The going out from Babel We never will regret, But hope to grow more perfect, More separated yet. Nay, children, do not fear; Despise the world’s alluring, Its wrath and hate enduring; March onward in good cheer.
4. Go up against your nature, And you’ll go straight and fine; Those who nurse flesh and creature Will never fall in line. Creation count but loss! Forsake all that would bind you; Leave e’er your “Self” behind you; And nail it to the cross.
5. As pilgrims we must wander, From earthly burdens free; Else as we journey yonder Our path would trying be! He fails who will not heed! The least can satisfy us, All things we would deny us Save what we truly need.
6. Adorn not house nor body, Embellish but your heart! We are but weary strangers, And soon we shall depart. All fleshly ease deceives; As pilgrims all resigning, All worldly lust declining At home you’ll find relief.
7. We must not pause to dally With child’s play by the way! Our powers we must rally; Sloth follows on delay. Pay no attention here. On then! All ease now spurning, Away from vain thoughts turning, For danger’s always near!
8. And be the path quite narrow, So lonesome, steep, and bent, Though thorns be without number, And many crosses sent, Yet there is but one way! Let us but journey onward; Attend our Leader homeward, Through darkness unto day.
9. What may take place about us, We scarcely hear or see; May these go on without us; No idle dreams have we. Eternal is our goal; Our dealings are in heaven; Our life to God is given; Our very heart and soul.
10. The meek Lamb’s disposition Is here on us impressed; Our actions give expression How childlike and how blest; How quiet, straight and still The lambs will face the distance, And go without resistance Just as their Shepherd will.
11. We journey in seclusion, Despised and quite unknown, Unseen mid the confusion Of this land, not our own; Yet, if the world pays heed, It hears our voices ringing, Songs of the home-land singing, For which we yearn indeed.
12. Up, then, let naught defy us; The Father with us goes; And He Himself stands by us; Each bitter step He knows. He will our courage raise; His looks of grace attend us; He will refresh, defend us; Oh, we have blissful days!
13. Then onward, sister, brother; Let us go hand in hand, With joy in one another, In this bewild’ring land. Oh, let us childlike be; Let here no strife divide us! The angels walk beside us, God’s children, they and we.
14. Should weak ones ever stumble, The stronger will take hold; We care and help each other And plant love in the fold. In closer union found, Let each one be the humblest, But also be the purest, As pilgrims homeward bound.
15. Come, let us journey gladly! Day follows after day; The way grows shorter daily; The flesh soon proves but clay. With courage and more love To be a little truer, Of earthly matters freer, And turned to things above!
16. Then journey on reliant; The goal is well worthwhile. Of all things be defiant That hinder or beguile! Earth, thou art small indeed: With Christ Himself to guide us, Eternity shall hide us; For Christ is all we need!
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!