1 Winter reigns o’er many a region,
Many a seed-field fallow lies;
When, O Lord, shall come the springtime,
With its quick'ning energies?
When shall this long night be ended?
When the morning dawn appear?
When shall drought give place to freshness?
When these deserts bloom with cheer?
2 Lord, Thy Church is ever praying:
Now her anxious yearnings hear;
Speed the triumphs of Thy Kingdom;
Spread its vict'ries far and near.
Own the work, Thy grace attend it,
Which we undertake for Thee;
Let a holy love inflame us;
Kindle zeal and fervency.
3 That Thy fields be rightly cultured,
Send the laborers that we need,
Men to light the heavy darkness,
Sow the wastes with precious seed.
Then send down the gentle showers,
Make Thy gracious sunlight shine,
That each field may joy with blessing,
Bringing forth the fruits divine.
4 By the breezes of Thy Spirit,
Fan all deadness into life;
Bless the seeds to Thee upspringing,
Keep each plant from blast and strife.
And, ye toilers in this seeding,
Know the promise God hath given:
Glorious crowns await the faithful,
And eternal gains in heaven.
Joseph Augustus Seiss (March 18, 1823–June 20, 1904) was an American theologian and Lutheran minister. He was known for his religion writings on pyramidology and dispensationalism.
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BETHANY, named after the village near Jerusalem, is a suitably dramatic tune for the song text. It was composed by Henry Smart (b. Marylebone, London, England, 1813; d. Hampstead, London, 1879), a capable composer of church music who wrote some very fine hymn tunes (REGENT SQUARE, 354, is the best-k…