Scripture Verse

There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:10


Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1856–1922)

Words: John­son Oat­man, Jr., in Songs of Love and Praise, ed­it­ed by John R. Swe­ney (Phi­la­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: John J. Hood, 1894). This song was writ­ten in an age when sail­ing ships were the pri­ma­ry mode of world tra­vel. One can ima­gine how the words re­so­nat­ed for all those who had ev­er stood on a pier wait­ing and pray­ing for the re­turn of loved ones who had been in­com­mu­ni­ca­do for weeks or months at sea.

Music: John R. Swe­ney (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Oat­man,

John R. Sweney (1837–1899)


When our ships have crossed the ocean,
And have been all round the world,
When they safe­ly gain the har­bor,
And their sails again are furled;
We re­joice to see them en­ter,
And to know the an­chor’s cast,
Raising joy­ful shouts of wel­come,
For our ships are home at last.


Oh, what sing­ing, oh, what shout­ing,
When our ships come sail­ing home;
They have stood the migh­ty tem­pests,
They have crossed the ocean’s foam;
They have passed o’er stor­my bil­lows,
But they now have gained the shore;
The an­chor’s cast, they’re home at last,
The voy­age is safe­ly o’er.

But if there is such re­joic­ing
To see ves­sels here get home,
When we know that in a lit­tle
While these ships again will roam;
Oh, what must it be in Hea­ven
When a soul comes sail­ing in,
To go out no more for­ev­er,
Sailing on the sea of sin?


O, me­thinks I hear the an­gels shout,
Here comes an earth­ly bark;
She has found her way to Hea­ven,
Tho’ the way was rough and dark;
But she had a star to guide her,
Called the bright and morn­ing star;
It has guid­ed mill­ions over
From that dist­ant land afar.


So with Je­sus as our cap­tain
We ex­pect to gain that shore;
We ex­pect to cast our an­chor there,
And stay for­ev­er­more;
And we know the an­gels will be there
To greet us when we come;
They will join in songs of rap­ture,
Welcome home, oh, wel­come home.