Behold a Sower! from afar He goeth forth with might; The rolling years His furrows are, His seed, the growing light; For all the just His Word is sown, It springeth up alway; The tender blade is hope’s young dawn, The harvest, love’s new day.
O Lord of life, to Thee we lift Our hearts in praise for those, Thy prophets, who have shown Thy gift Of grace that ever grows, Of truth that spreads from shore to shore, Of wisdom’s widening ray, Of light that shineth more and more Unto Thy perfect day.
Shine forth, O Light, that we may see, With hearts all unafraid, The meaning and the mystery Of things that Thou hast made; Shine forth, and let the darkling past Beneath Thy beam grow bright; Shine forth, and touch the future vast With Thine untroubled light.
Light up Thy Word; the fettered page From killing bondage free; Light up our way; lead forth this age In love’s large liberty. O Light of light! within us dwell, Through us Thy radiance pour, That word and life Thy truths may tell, And praise Thee evermore.
The sower went forth sowing, The seed in secret slept Through weeks of faith and patience, Till out the green blade crept; And warmed by golden sunshine, And fed by silver rain, At last the fields were whitened To harvest once again. O praise the heavenly Sower, Who gave the fruitful seed, And watched and watered duly, And ripened for our need.
Behold! the heavenly Sower Goes forth with better seed, The Word of sure salvation, With feet and hands that bleed; Here in His Church ’tis scattered, Our spirits are the soil; Then let an ample fruitage Repay His pain and toil. Oh, beauteous is the harvest, Wherein all goodness thrives, And this the true thanksgiving, The first fruits of our lives.
Within a hallowed acre He sows yet other grain, When peaceful earth receiveth The dead He died to gain; For though the growth be hidden, We know that they shall rise; Yea even now they ripen In sunny Paradise. O summer land of harvest, O fields forever white With souls that wear Christ’s raiment, With crowns of golden light.
One day the heavenly Sower Shall reap where He hath sown, And come again rejoicing, And with Him bring His own; And then the fan of judgment Shall winnow from His floor The chaff into the furnace That flameth evermore. O holy, awful Reaper, Have mercy in the day, Thou puttest in the sickle, And cast us not away.
Sow the seed beside all waters, North and south and east and west, That our toiling sons and daughters In the harvest may be blessed. Tell the tidings of salvation ’Mid the storms of Labrador; Speak the word of consolation By the lone Pacific shore.
Where the forests old are falling, Yielding place to lawn and lea; Where the fisher plies his calling ’Mid the perils of the sea; Where the tide of commerce rushes Through the city’s crowded street, And unpitying Mammon crushes Poor and weak beneath his feet.
Where our brothers, sowing, reaping, Delving for the hidden ore, Now with joy and now with weeping Labor to increase their store; Where the stranger wanders lonely In the homeless wilderness, Tell of Jesus, Jesus only, Who alone can save and bless.
Tell how tenderly He careth For the weary and oppressed, How their burdens all He beareth, As He leads them to His rest; Tell that He, the Lord from heaven, Died for all and lives again, All through Him may be forgiven, All with Him in glory reign.
Tell His love beyond all telling, Seeking, following those who flee, Love rebellious hearts compelling To His service glad and free. Thus a precious harvest gather, North and south and east and west, To the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit ever blest.