Author: Unknown Composer: Philip Nicolai, 1599 (1556-1608)
1. Ye shepherds, who the Lord do love, And through the Spirit from above, Proclaim to men salvation, How much the Lord to you has willed, Who at His blessed kingdom build, It is beyond expression! Therefore, therefore, be ye faithful! How delightful! God with pleasure Will impart the crown and treasure.
2. Ye messengers of peace shall bring The glorious gospel of the King To man in accents truthful. How great your blest reward shall be When Jesus Christ, the Lord, will see That ye were true and faithful! Ev’ry brother who such mission And position has been granted, Shall be to the end undaunted.
3. Ye guards on Zion’s walls, prepare! For soon your Master will appear Your full reward bestowing. In joyful ranks ye then will stand; The evidence will be at hand, Your work and labor showing; In great numbers, souls enlisted And assisted to find favor In the eyes of Christ, the Saviour.
4. To ev’ry servant be it told, How he should use with courage bold The talent God has given. His treasure he should well defend, Abundantly good seed should spend, When it may lead to heaven, Many persons who receive it And believe it, they’ll have gladness, And be free from grief and sadness.
5. Such servant shall be full of cheer, His Master’s will fulfilling here With joy and with affection. His greatest pleasure he will find In doing good and being kind, To lead in Christ’s direction. Greatly shall the faithful servants, Pious virgins, be regarded With the bread from heav’n rewarded.
6. Oh, precious Saviour, fill anew Thy servants who are staunch and true With light and Holy Spirit, With joy and with Thy wondrous might, That in Thy service they delight, Producing fruits of merit! Shield Thou, bless Thou all who labor, Love their neighbor, and are faithful With the talent Thou didst render.
7. Hath he that trusted in the Lord, Here buildeth on His Holy Word, Not comfort overflowing? From day to day he brings his need To Him who giveth all indeed While perfect peace bestowing. Who here in faith sees God truly, Trusting fully, Him hath taken, He shall never be forsaken.
8. Though children may have faith within; And live no more in former sin, Yet have they need of teaching; They come into the highest school, Where Christ, Himself, doth teach, and rule, And guideth by His preaching. There His pure love every hour Us with power, animateth, Faith, love, hope in us createth.
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!