Author: George Michael Mangold (1822-1894) Composer: Hans Georg Nägeli (1773-1836)
1. When pure and upright hearts, By flames of love ignited, Are by the bond of faith More firmly yet united, The light of hope beams forth In radiance far and nigh, Invites us to partake The blessings from on high.
2. Then shall this vale of tears On earth become an Eden When joined in spirit we In prayer look up to heaven, Then bear we joyfully This earthly toil and care; We put our trust in God And all complaints forbear.
3. This union of our hearts Shall stand through grace in Jesus; We walk the path of life, While cheer and trust increases. Where God in truth abides, Where two join hand and heart, We find a threefold cord, Not lightly rent apart.
4. This God-made union then Shall never more be broken, Where faith and love have been The holy cov’nant’s token Where God the seal does give, The hope shall e’er remain, Though parting be our lot, To meet in heav’n again.
5. And then, what blissful joy Will bind such hearts together, When after parting’s grief They meet again in heaven, Who through this earthly vale Did journey hand in hand, Joined in the bond of grace By love’s most sacred band!
6. This covenant shall then Endure and stand forever; There neither grief nor pain Shall come to part or sever. There God shall e’er abide With us our truest friend, Our hearts in Him unite Forever, without end.
This hymn has become associated with weddings in Apostolic Churches and is certainly appropriate for a wedding service. However, it is unlikely that Mangold intended to refer to marriage at all when he penned these words, but rather to meditate on the blessings of Christian fellowship. The "threefold cord" in verse three is a reference to Ecclesiastes chapter 4, which (like this hymn) is often used in wedding services but does not actually have marriage as its subject. Additionally, the phrase "where two join hand and heart" is more literally translated "where two are of one mind." The author's theme in this text, the union of pure hearts by the "bond of faith," is well-suited for any gathering of believers.
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!