Go, labor on: spend and be spent

Full Text

1 Go labor on; spend and be spent --
'Tis joy to do the Father's will.
It is the way the Master went;
Should not the servant tread it still?

2 Go labor on; count not the cost --
Your earthly loss is heav'nly gain.
The world indeed will praise you not,
But you will share in heaven's reign.

3 Go labor on while it is day;
The world's dark night is hast'ning on.
Speed, speed your work, do not delay,
For it is thus that souls are won.

4 They die in darkness at your side
Without a hope to cheer the tomb;
Take up the torch and wave it wide,
The torch that lights the thickest gloom.

5 Toil on, faint not, keep watch, and pray;
Be wise the erring soul to win.
Go forth into the world's wide way;
Compel the wand'rer to come in.

6 Toil on and in your toil rejoice;
For toil comes rest, for exile home.
Soon shall you hear the Bridegroom's voice,
The midnight cry, "Behold, I come!"

Source: Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #563

Author: Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. His education was obtained at the High School, and the University of his native city. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837, and since then has been pastor at Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His reputation as a religious writer was first gained on the publication of the "Kelso Tracts," of which he was the author. He has also written many other prose works, some of which have had a very large circulation. Nor is he less favorably known as a religious poet and hymn-writer. The three series of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," have passed through several editions. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >


Go, labour on, spend and be spent. H. Bonar. [Missions.] "Written in 1843, and printed at Kelso in a small booklet of three or four hymns." In 1843 it was included in Dr. Bonar's Songs for the Wilderness, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Labour for Christ." In 1857 it was repeated in his Hymns of Faith & Hope, 1st series, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Useful Life," from Daniel, iii. p. 128. Previous to this, however, it had been brought into common use through the Leeds Hymn Book1853, No. 604. In the Supplement to the New Congregational Hymn Book, 1869, No. 1157, it is divided into two parts, Pt. ii. being stanzas v.-viii., "Go, labour on while it is day." This arrangement is also found in other collections, sometimes as, "Go, labour on while yet His day." This second part is in somewhat extensive use in America as a separate hymn. In the American Sahbath Hymn Book, 1858, No. 879, stanzas iv., vi.-viii. are given as, "Go, labour on; your hands are weak”; and, in Holy Song, 1869, No. 535, stanzas i., ii., vii., and viii., very much altered, as, "Go forth to toil; to spend, be spent." This last arrangement is too wretched to be associated with Dr. Bonar's name.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



ERNAN (Mason)


William Boyd (b. Montego Bay, Jamaica, 1847; d. Paddington, England, 1928) composed PENTECOST in 1864 for the hymn text "Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire"; it was published in 1868 in Thirty-Two Hymn Tunes Composed by Members of the University of Oxford. The name PENTECOST derives from the subjec…

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Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #563Text
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #794
Small Church Music #3432Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #1937TextScoreAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #584TextPage Scan
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