He sat to watch o’er customs paid,
A man of scorned and hardening trade,
Alike the symbol and the tool
Of foreign masters’ hated rule.
But grace within his breast had stirred;
There needed but the timely word:
It came, true Lord of souls, from thee,
That royal summons, ‘Follow me.’
Enough, when thou wast passing by,
To hear thy voice, to meet thine eye:
He rose, responsive to the call,
And left his task, his gains, his all.
O wise exchange! with these to part,
And lay up treasure in the heart –
Who now with crown of light doth shine
Among the apostolic line.
Come, Saviour, as in days of old;
Pass where the world has strongest hold,
And faithless care and selfish greed
Are thorns that choke the holy seed.
Who keep thy gifts, O bid them claim
The steward’s, not the owner’s name;
Who yield up all for thy dear sake,
Let them of Matthew’s wealth partake.
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- Tune: Winchester New
- Meter: LM
- Style: Baroque, Lutheran, Traditional German
- Composer: Unknown from Musickalisches Handbuch (1690)
- Lyricist: William Bright (1824 – 1901)
- Church Year: Feast of St Matthew
- Music and Lyrics Copyright Public Domain
- Performance Copyright ℗ 2019 Richard M S Irwin. Certain rights reserved.