The gates of [the city] shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there. Revelation 21:25
In Sankey’s 1880 Sacred Songs and Solos, this introduction appears with the song:
Written on the dying words of a young convert (Maggie Lindsay) who lost her life in the railroad catastrophe at Manuel Junction, Scotland.
…All was packed, and ready for her going home to Aberdeen, her school-days being over. At 6:35 on Tuesday morning, the train for the North started; and she, with her eyes upon her hymn-book, the leaf turned down at her best-loved song, The Gate Ajar for Me, tasted once more of the love of Jesus.
The awful catastrophe took place; and the collision with the mineral train left her severely injured, and the page of hymn-book stained with her blood.
During the two days of suffering that followed in the house to which she was moved at Manuel, the scene of the railway accident, she often whispered and sang the words of the hymn which was to be her song till death.
The minister who watched by her said the expression of her countenance could not be described as she again and again repeated the words,Yes, for me, for me!
Home at last, thy labor done,
Safe and blest, the victory won;
Jordan passed, from sin set free,
Angels now have welcomed thee.
Depth of mercy, oh, how sweet,
Thus to rest at Jesus’ feet,
In yon world of light afar,
the gate’s ajar!
When dark waves were beating hard
Thy frail bark on Jordan’s flood,
Thou didst sing so glad and free,
Yes, the gate’s ajar for me.
One short day of joy below,
Such as pardoned sinners know,
Then away on wings of love,
To thy home prepared above.
When earth’s songs have all been sung,
Labor ended, trials done,
We’ll meet again, oh, happy word!
for ever with the Lord.