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 A. Seiss was born and raised in a Moravian home with the original family name of Seuss. After studying at Pennsylvania College in Gettysburg and completing his theological education with tutors and through private study, Seiss became a Lutheran pastor in 1842. He served several Lutheran congregations in Virginia and Maryland and then became pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church (1858-1874) and the Church of the Holy Communion (1874-1904), both in Philadelphia. Known as an eloquent and popular preacher, Seiss was also a prolific author and editor of some eighty volumes, which include The Last Times (1856), The Evangelical Psalmist (1859), Ecclesia Lutherana (1868), Lectures on the Gospels (1868-1872), and Lectures on the Epistles (1885… Go to person page >
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…