YE CHRISTIAN HERALDS
Bourne H. Draper, 1775–1843
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
Many of us are often guilty of taking our pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders for granted. Seldom do we take time to really know them as persons or to let them know how much we appreciate their ministries.
Where would our world be today had there never been any missionaries and ministers of the gospel? Wherever the gospel has been preached, churches, schools, hospitals, social improvements, and advances in civilization have followed. Even in our own local communities it is often the rescue missions and other Christian organizations that are doing the most effective work in meeting the total needs of people. How important it is, then, that we as God’s children support these leaders and organizations with our prayers and financial gifts.
“Ye Christian Heralds” is taken from a seven-verse poem titled “Farewell to Missionaries,” which first appeared in an English newspaper in about 1803. Two years later it was reprinted in a hymnal with the title “On the Departure of the Missionaries.” One of the poem’s omitted verses not found in our hymnals is of interest:
Set up thy throne where Satan reigns, on Africa shores, on India’s plains;
On wilds and continents unknown, and be the universe thine own.
The author of this text, Bourne Draper, was a Baptist minister who served most of his life in the Baptist church in Southampton, England. Although he authored a number of other works, Draper is best known today for this one hymn written as a young man while he was preparing for the Christian ministry.
Ye Christian heralds, go proclaim salvation through Emmanuel’s name;
to distant climes the tidings bear, and plant the Rose of Sharon there.
God shield you with a wall of fire; with holy zeal your hearts inspire;
bid raging winds their fury cease, and calm the tempests into peace.
And when our labors all are o’er, then we shall meet to part no more;
meet with the ransomed throng to fall, and crown our Savior Lord of all!
For Today: Psalm 96; Isaiah 6:8; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13–15; 1 Corinthians 3:9
Determine to read in the near future a biography of some great missionary statesman. Also write a personal letter to one of your church missionaries. Then let your pastor know how much you appreciate his ministry. Reflect again on this hymn—