Scripture Verse

Be kindly affectioned one to another. Romans 12:10


Words: May L. R. Smith, in Sing­ing An­nu­al for Sab­bath Schools (New York: Phi­lip Phil­lips, 1870).

Music: Si­las J. Vail (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Vail (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Mary L. R. Smith (1842–1927)

For ma­ny years this was the fa­vo­rite hymn of Fran­cis Mur­phy, the great tem­per­ance lec­tur­er, and was the key­note of all his meet­ings. I had the plea­sure of at­tend­ing ma­ny of his ser­vic­es in Chi­ca­go, and have seen him move an au­di­ence to tears by his pa­the­tic ren­der­ing of this hymn. It is be­lieved that thou­sands of drink­ing men have been saved through its in­stru­men­ta­li­ty.

I had the plea­sure of meet­ing the au­thor of this hymn in Il­li­nois in 1878, and was sur­prised to learn that she her­self was child­less—al­though ve­ry fond of child­ren, as shown in the ten­der ex­press­ions in the lat­ter por­tion of the hymn.

Sankey, p. 241


Let us ga­ther up the sun­beams,
Lying all around our path;
Let us keep the wheat and ros­es,
Casting out the thorns and chaff;
Let us find our sweet­est com­fort
In the bless­ings of today,
With a pa­tient hand re­mov­ing
All the bri­ers from the way.


Then scat­ter seeds of kind­ness,
Then scat­ter seeds of kind­ness,
Then scat­ter seeds of kind­ness,
For our reap­ing by and by.

Strange we ne­ver prize the mu­sic
Till the sweet-voiced bird is flown!
Strange that we should slight the vio­lets
Till the love­ly flow­ers are gone!
Strange that sum­mer skies and sun­shine
Never seem one half so fair,
As when win­ter’s snowy pin­ions
Shake the white down in the air.


If we knew the ba­by fin­gers
Pressed against the win­dow pane,
Would be cold and stiff to­mor­row—
Never trou­ble us again—
Would the bright eyes of our dar­ling
Catch the frown up­on our brow?
Would the prints of ro­sy fin­gers
Vex us then as they do now?


Ah! those lit­tle ice-cold fin­gers,
How they point our me­mo­ries back
To the has­ty words and act­ions
Strewn along our back­ward track!
How those lit­tle hands re­mind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scat­ter thorns—but roses—
For our reap­ing by and by.