Scripture Verse

The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. Matthew 13:39

Introduction

portrait
Johann S. Bach
1685–1750

Words: Her­bert Kyn­as­ton, Oc­ca­sion­al Hymns (Lon­don: R. Clay, Son, & Tay­lor, 1862), pag­es 8–9. And not thus on­ly does He make His dis­course ter­ri­ble, but al­so in show­ing the Hea­vens emp­tied. For all the an­gels will be with Him, He says, them­selves al­so wit­ness­ing how much they min­is­tered, sent by the Lord, for the Sal­va­tion of man­kind.— Chry­sos­tom (Hom. lxxix.) on St. Matt. xxv. 31.

Music: Zum Frie­den, Jo­hann S. Bach (1685–1750) (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
The Dead Christ with Angels
Édouard Manet, 1864

Lyrics

Hark! the trum­pet, earth’s four re­gions
Parting at the Gar­den head,
Empties Heav’n of all its le­gions,
Beggars hell of all its dead:
All who sang the globe’s cre­ation,
Caroled when the Christ was born,
Reap the world’s re­ge­ne­ra­tion,
Thrust their sic­kle in the corn.

O, to see them write in glo­ry
All they pic­tured once in gloom,
See who wiped the damp-drops go­ry,
Smoothed His grave clothes in the tomb;
See what brows were bent be­fore Him
When the mourn­er sought Him there,
See them now with thee ad­ore Him,
Magdalena, in the air!

Should one an­gel thence be part­ed,
One who min­is­tered to life,
Binding once the brok­en heart­ed,
Crowning now the bat­tle strife?
He who o’er the hill of Si­on
Drove the death­ful whirl­wind past,
Chained the Ba­by­lon­ish li­on,
Walked up­on the fur­nace blast.

Who from shroud­less des­ti­tu­tion
Bears the beg­gar to his rest;
Spread the worms of re­tri­bu­tion
On the ty­rant’s pur­pled breast;
Now the guard­ing and the guard­ed
Crowd the judg­ment seat in one;
Soon re­ward­ing and re­ward­ed
Part no more be­fore the throne.