There remaineth…a rest to the people of God. Hebrews 4:9
Words: Henry F. Lyte, Poems, Chiefly Religious (London: James Nisbet, 1833), pages 99–100, alt.
Music: We Praise Thee W. Howard Doane, Sunny-Side Songs (New York: Biglow & Main, 1893) (🔊 pdf nwc).
My rest is in Heaven; my rest is not here;
Then why should I murmur when trials are near?
Be hushed, my dark spirit! the worst that can come
But shortens my journey, and hastens thee home.
It is not for me to be seeking my bliss
And building my hopes in a region like this:
I look for a city which hands have not piled;
I pant for a country by sin undefiled.
The thorn and the thistle around me may grow;
I would not lie down upon roses below:
I ask not my portion, I seek not a rest,
Till I find sweet quiet on Jesus’ breast.
Afflictions may damp me, they cannot destroy:
One glimpse of His love turns them all into joy;
The bitterest tears, if He smile but on them,
Like dew in the sunshine, grow diamond and gem.
Let doubt then, and danger, my progress oppose;
They only make Heaven more sweet at the close.
Come joy, or come sorrow, whate’er may befall,
An hour with my God will make up for it all.
A scrip on my back, and a staff in my hand,
I march on in haste through an enemy’s land:
The road may be rough, but it cannot be long;
I’ll smooth it with hope, and I’ll cheer it with song.