Israel’s Canaan Journey I found while I was among the Brethren, and it has always instructed me of the Christian Church’s Pilgrimage, both individual and corporate. I tried to ascertain the correct author but have not found any reference, for from 1813 onwards none was ever given. Whether originated among the Methodists or Adventists God knows. It has found its way into many Church Hymnals and SongBooks.
(Millenial Praises, Containing a Collection of Gospel Hymns, in Four Parts; adapted to the Day of Christ’s Second Appearing, Composed for the use of His People. Hancock, Printed by Josiah Tallcott. Junior.1813. Part 4, Hymn 17.Adventist. Printed also in The Day Star for 1845 with note that it was used by the Philadelphian Brethren.) (Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Designed to Aid in the Devotions of Prayer, Conference, and Camp-Meetings”, Winsor,VT.Pub. by N.C. Goddard, 1836. Hymn 88.Methodist.)
Israel’s Canaan Journey
The old Israelites knew what it was they must do,
If fair Canaan they would possess,
They must still keep in sight of the pillar of light,
Which led on to the promised rest.
The camps on the road could not be their abode,
But as oft as the trumpet should blow,
They all glad of a chance of a further advance,
Must then take up their baggage and go.
I am thankful indeed for the heavenly Head,
Which before me hath hitherto gone;
For that pillar of love which doth onward still move,
And doth gather our souls into one. –
Now the cross bearing throng are advancing along,
And a closer communion doth flow,
Now all who would stand on the promised land,
Let them take up their crosses and go-
The way is all new, as it opens to view,
And behind is a foaming red sea;
So none now need to speak of the onions and leeks,
Or talk about garlicks to me.
My mind’s in pursuit, I must have the good fruit,
Which on Canaan’s rich vallies doth grow,
Although millions of foes should rise up and oppose,
I will take up my crosses and go.
What tho’some in the rear preach up terror & fear,
And complain of the trials they meet ;
Though the giants before with great fury do roar,
I’m resolved I will never retreat.
We are little, ’tis true, and our numbers are few,
And the sons of old Anak are tall;
But while I see a track I will never give back,
But go on at the risk of my all.
Though while scatter’d around in this wilderness ground,
With good manna a while we’ve been fed;
This will not always do, we must rise and go thro’.
Till we feed on the heavenly bread.
Now the morning doth dawn for the camps to move on,
And the priests with their trumpets do blow;
As the priests give the sound, and the trumpets resound,
All my soul is exulting to go.
On Jordan’s near side I can never abide,
For no place here of refuge I see,
Till I come to the spot, and inherit the lot
Which the Lord God will give unto me.
Now ’tis union I seek with the pure and the meek,
So an end to all discord and strife;
Since I have fix’d mine eyes on the heavenly prize,
I will go, at the risk of my life.
If I am faithful and true, and my journey pursue,
Till I stand on the heavenly shore,
I shall joyfully see what a blessing to me,
Was the mortifying cross which 1 bore.
Since these losses are gain, I will never complain,
But so long as I am able to move,
With the resolute few I’m resolv’d to go through,
Till I reach the fair Canaan above,
All my honors and wealth, all my pleasures and health,
I am willing should now be at stake,
If my Christ I obtain, I shall think it great gain
For the sacrifice which I shall make.
When I all have forsook, like a bubble ’twill look,
From the midst of a glorified throng,
Where all losses are gain, where each sorrow & pain,
Are exchanged for the conqueror’s song.