Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep   3 comments

Churchyard

Above:  Country Churchyard, Monona County, Iowa, 1940

Photographer = John Vachon (1914-1975)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-060720-D

Text (1832) by Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)

Hymn Source = William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

Margaret Mackay wrote more hymns than this one, but “Asleep in Jesus” is the most popular of her works of that genre.  (I had to consult obscure and long out-of-print sources at archive.org to find other hymns she wrote.)  This hymn debuted in The Amethyst; or Christian’s Annual (1832).  She composed the text after visiting a rural cemetery, that of Pennycross Chapel, or the Chapel of St. Pancras, in Devonshire, England.

Seldom does a hymnal contain all six stanzas.  I have a collection of hymnals old and recent (mostly old).  Usually, when I found this hymn, I found four stanzas–not always the same ones.  Occasionally I located five stanzas on a page.  I had to resort to a hymnal companion volume to find all six stanzas.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep;

A calm and undisturbed repose,

Unbroken by the land of woes.

+++++

Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet

To be for such a slumber meet,

With holy confidence to sing

That death has lost his venomed sting!

+++++

Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,

Whose waking is supremely blest;

No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour

That manifests the Saviour’s power.

+++++

Asleep in Jesus! Oh, for me

May such a blissful refuge be!

Securely shall my ashes lie

And wait the summons from on high.

+++++

Asleep in Jesus! Time nor space

Debars this precious “hiding-place”;

On Indian plains or Lapland snows

Believers find the same repose.

+++++

Asleep in Jesus! Far from Thee

Thy kindred and their graves may be;

But there is still a blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

3 responses to “Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep

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  1. Pingback: All Saints/Communion of Saints | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: Margaret Mackay | GATHERED PRAYERS

  3. Pingback: Feast of Margaret Mackay (January 5) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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