Composer: Ira David Sankey (1840-1908) (1958 melody)
1. The innermost life of the true Christian shineth Though outwardly darkened by trials at hand; What they have received of the kingdom of heaven No one but themselves can in truth understand. What no one perceiveth, what no one receiveth Hath filled and enlightened their mind and their spirit, And led them to heavenly honor and merit.
2. In outward appearance they have no attraction, A sight for the angels, despised by the world; But in their hearts dwelleth a lovely collection Of treasures to garnish the crown of the Lord. The wonder of ages, their true heart engages To love and adore their great King in His brightness And greet Him at last in their garments of whiteness.
3. Though outwardly they all in Adam are brothers, Who carry his likeness by nature indeed; They suffer the illness of flesh as all others; They eat and they drink, as they daily have need; In each undertaking, in sleeping and waking, They do as all others, and nothing neglecting Save that the world’s folly they all are rejecting.
4. In spirit their birth is of godly descension, For God by His mighty Word brought them to life; A spark of the flame from the heavenly mansion Is nourished and in their hearts e’er kept alive. And when they are voicing their songs of rejoicing It penetrates where the bright angels are singing, And joins with their praise, in eternity ringing.
5. They walk on the earth, but their life is in heaven. They are without power, and yet shield the world; ‘Mid turmoil of earth they have peace and are given, Though poor and rejected, what they may desire. They stand in affliction, yet full of affection; Are dead to all outward enjoyment and pleasure, They’re tasting the fruits of their faith in rich measure.
6. When Jesus, their life, is at last manifested; When He shall appear with His banner unfurled; Then they will as angels and saints, unmolested, Appear as a miracle unto the world. They never shall perish, but govern and flourish; In crowns and in garments of heavenly merit The new earth and heaven forever inherit.
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!