Ere another Sabbath's close. [Sunday.] We have traced this popular hymn to the Missionary Minstrel, a little 48 mo collection, edited by "O. P." and published by Nisbet, Lon., May, 1826, a much enlarged edition being issued a few years later. It reads :—
i. Ere another Sabbath's close,
Ere again we seek repose,
Lord, our song ascends to Thee,
At Thy feet we bow the knee,
ii. For the mercies of the day,
For this rest upon our way,
Thanks to Thee alone be given,
Lord of earth and King of heaven,
iii. Cold our services have been,
Mingled every prayer with sin;
But Thou canst and wilt forgive,
By Thy grace alone we live.
iv. One there is at Thy right hand,
Angels bow at His command;
Yet He suffered in our stead,
And His wounds our pardon plead.
v. By the merits of Thy Son,
By the victory He won,
Pardoning grace and peace bestow,
Whilst we journey here below.
vi. Whilst this thorny path we tread,
May Thy love our footsteps lead;
When our journey here is past,
May we rest with Thee at last,
vii. Let these earthly Sabbaths prove
Sweet foretastes of joys above;
While their steps Thy pilgrims bend
To that rest which knows no end.
It has the initials appended, "O. P.," in common with about half of the hymns in the volume. One of the first, if not the first, to adopt it for congregational use was Baptist W. Noel, who included it with the omission of stanzas iv. and v. in his Selection, in 1832 (sometimes dated 1833 in error). From this fact arose the mistake of attributing it, at one time, to Baptist W. Noel, and at another, to his brother, Gerard T. Noel. In 1833 the same stanzas were repeated in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, and subsequently in other collections. Its use in all English-speaking countries is most extensive. From this hymn a cento beginning with stanza ii., "For the mercies of the day," has come into extensive use in America, and is sometimes ascribed to "J. Montgomery, 1853," as in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872. Its correct designation is "O. P., Missionary Minstrel, 1826.'' [William T. Brooke]