Author: Johann Sigismund Kunth (1700-1779) Composer: Hans Georg Nägeli (1773-1836)
1. God’s people yet shall take possession Of that sweet land of rest so bright; Rejoice! From bondage and oppression, From service in this earthly night, Soon Christ will come and will relieve you; Your tears will cease, and joy He’ll give you. Your pains and burdens He’ll remove, Will ease you of distress and sorrow, And on that bright and better morrow Will bring you to that rest above.
2. But only if we have been faithful, Have shunned no cross nor yet contempt, So shall we to that sweet and grateful Repose and rest in heav’n be sent. Then let us watch and pray sincerely And realize our duty clearly, As each and ev’ry one should do. So do not waste your time in sleeping, And finally come short of reaping This rest in heav’n prepared for you.
3. Ye who are now God’s chosen people, Look back to Israel of old! From their example take a teaching And cling to God with heart and soul! Without complaint and lamentation Bear ye distress and earth’s privation; Rely upon your Saviour’s hand. Your tears will change to joyful singing; From desert wild your God is bringing You to that fair and promised land.
4. There sheaves of joy we shall be bringing; The tearful sowing there will cease. The Father’s mansion shall be ringing With songs of praise in endless peace. No pain, nor death, nor tribulation When we shall reach our destination, And Christ, our King, we shall behold. He’ll wipe away our tears of sadness, Will fill our longing hearts with gladness, With glory that can ne’er be told.
5. There peace shall reign in fullest measure; No gnawing care shall mar our rest! Ye weary ones, ye shall have pleasure: Come, lean upon your Saviour’s breast! Oh, had we wings to hasten yonder, No more o’er earthly ills to ponder To join that bright, triumphant band! Make haste, my soul; forget all sadness, For peace awaits thee, joy and gladness. Thy perfect rest is nigh at hand.
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!