So far in 2023, 13 million people from 200-plus countries around the world have benefitted from the Hymnary website! Thank you to all who use and all who support it with gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you feel moved to support our work today with a gift of any amount and a word of encouragement, we would be grateful. You can donate online at our secure giving site. Or, if you'd like to make a gift by check, please send it to:, Calvin University, 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. May the hope, love, joy and peace of Advent be yours this day and always.

Your donation:

Crossing One By One

We shall cross the mystic river, one by one

Author: Johnson Oatman
Tune: [We shall cross the mystic river, one by one]
Published in 10 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 We shall cross the mystic river, one by one,
When beyond the hills we see life’s setting sun;
With the boatman, grim and pale,
Every soul must shortly sail,—
We shall cross the mystic river, one by one,

One by one, one by one,
We shall cross the mystic river, one by one,
To that land beyond the tide,
There forever to abide,—
We shall cross the mystic river, one by one.

2 We have seen our friends cross over, one by one,
When at even-tide their earthly race was run;
We have heard them say “good-bye,”
As we stood with tear-dimmed eye,—
We have seen them cross the river, one by one. [Refrain]

3 Days and weeks are passing swiftly, one by one,
Soon our toiling and our journey will be done,
Then with joy we’ll sail away
For that land of perfect day,—
Soon we’ll go where friends are waiting, one by one. [Refrain]

4 We shall cross the mystic river, one by one,
When the soul’s eternal morning is begun;
When the boat for us shall come,
We will sail away for home,—
We shall cross to be with Jesus, one by one. [Refrain]

Source: Uplifted Voices: a 20th century hymn book for sunday-schools and devotional meetings #134

Author: Johnson Oatman

Johnson Oatman, Jr., son of Johnson and Rachel Ann Oatman, was born near Medford, N. J., April 21, 1856. His father was an excellent singer, and it always delighted the son to sit by his side and hear him sing the songs of the church. Outside of the usual time spent in the public schools, Mr. Oatman received his education at Herbert's Academy, Princetown, N. J., and the New Jersey Collegiate Institute, Bordentown, N. J. At the age of nineteen he joined the M.E. Church, and a few years later he was granted a license to preach the Gospel, and still later he was regularly ordained by Bishop Merrill. However, Mr. Oatman only serves as a local preacher. For many years he was engaged with his father in the mercantile business at Lumberton… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: We shall cross the mystic river, one by one
Title: Crossing One By One
Author: Johnson Oatman
Language: English
Refrain First Line: One by one
Publication Date: 1898
Copyright: Public Domain



Instances (1 - 10 of 10)
Page Scan

Bright Melodies #50

Page Scan

Exalted Praise #138

Page Scan

Gospel Hosannas #20

Page Scan

Our Hymns #120

Page Scan

Praise and Rejoicing #41

Page Scan

Precious Hymns No. 2 #70

Page Scan

Songs for Work and Worship #30

Page Scan

Songs of Love and Praise No. 5 #20

Page Scan

The New Living Hymns (Living Hymns No. 2) #120

TextAudioPage Scan

Uplifted Voices #134

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us