1. The Master comes! He calls for thee—
Go forth at His almighty word,
Obedient to His last command,
And tell to those who never heard,
Who sit in deepest shades of night,
That Christ has come to give them light.
2. The Master calls! Arise and go;
How blest His messenger to be!
He, who hath given thee liberty,
Now bids thee set the captives free;
Proclaim His mighty power to save,
Who for the world His lifeblood gave.
3. The Master calls! Shall not thy heart
In warm responsive love reply,
Lord, here am I; send me, send me,
Thy willing slave, to live or die—
An instrument unfit indeed,
Yet Thou wilt give me what I need?
4. And if thou canst not go, yet bring
An offering of a willing heart;
Then, though thou tarriest at home,
Thy God shall give thee too thy part;
The messengers of peace upbear
In ceaseless and prevailing prayer.
5. Short is the time for service true,
For soon shall dawn that glorious day
When, all the harvest gathered in,
Each faithful heart shall hear Him say,
My child, well done! your toil is o’er—
Enter My joy forevermore.
Emily May Grimes Crawford is described in the author index of the Book of Common Praise (Toronto, 1938) as a Canadian Anglican [as author of "The Master comes! He calls for thee], which she altogether was nor was not. The hymn was first published in London by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1890, before Emily May Grimes had ever left her native England. In 1893, she went to South Africa under CMS sponsorship to work among the Pondo tribe; then, in 1904, she married T.W.W. Crawford, M.D., and went to work with him among the Kikuyu of Kenya. Her career thus far is outlined in Julian (1907), p. 1712.
The mission station at which the bride arrived had indeed been started by the CMS, but had been turned over to the newly-formed mission… Go to person page >
The Master comes! He calls for thee. E. M. Crawford, née Grimes. [The Missionary's Call.] In the C.M.S. Gleaner, Sept. 1895, p. 140, there is a notice of this hymn, and of the writer. The hymn is in the Church Missionary Hymn Book, 1899, and is in great request at missionary meetings, &c. Miss Emily May Grimes went to Pondoland in 1893, and married in 1904 Dr. T. W. W. Crawford, Missionary of the C.M.S. at Kikuyu, British East Africa. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)