Skip to main content

Religion & morality

Prodigal son

(1) Prodigal son




Afflictions though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent;
They stopt the prodigal's career,
And forc'd him to repent.


I die with hunger here he cry'd,
I starve in a foreign land,
In my father's house there's bread in store,
And bounteous are his hands.

Although he no relenting felt
Till he had spent his store,
His stubborn heart began to melt,
When famine pinch'd him sore.

"What have I gain'd by sin," he said,
"But hunger, shame and fear ;
My father's house abounds with bread,
While I am starving here.

I'll go and tell him all I've done,
And fall before his face ;
Unworthy to be call'd his son,
I'll seek a servant's place."

His father saw him coming back,
He saw, he ran, and smil'd,
And threw his arms around the neck
Of his rebellious child.

"Father I've sinn'd but O forgive"
"I've heard enough," he said,
"Rejoice my house, my eon's alive,
For whom I mourned as dead."

"Now let the fatted calf be slain,
And spread the news around,
My son was dead but lives again—
Was lost, but now is found."

'Tis thus the Lord his love reveals,
To call poor sinners home ;
More than a Father's love He feels,
And welcomes all that come.


Come all ye wand'ring pilgrims dear,
Who are to Canaan bound;
Take courage and fight valiantly,
Obey the trumpets sound.
Our captain has before us gone,
He's God's eternal son;
Then pilgrims dear, pray don't you fear,
But let us follow on.

Through a dark howling wilderness,
Where chilling winds do roar,
A land of drought, of pits, and snares,
To Canaan's peaceful shore.
But Jesus Christ will with us go,
And lead us by the way;
Should enemies examine us,
He'll teach us what to say.

Appollyon. Good morning brother travellers,
Pray tell me what's your name—
And where it is you're travelling to,
Also from whence you came ?               
Pilgrim. My name it is the Pilgrim bold
To Canaan I am bound,
I'm from the howling wilderness,
And the enchanted ground.

Appol. Pray what is that upon your head,
Which shines so clear and bright,
Also the covering of your breast,
So dazzling to my sight ?
What kind of shoes are those you wear,
On which your hotly stands;
Likewise that shining instrument
You bear in your right hand ?

Pil. 'Tis glory's hope upon my head,
And on my breast my shield;
With this bright sword I mean to fight,
Until I win the field.
My feet are shod with gospel peace,
On which I boldly stand,
And I'm resolved to fight till death,
And win fair Canaan's land.

Appol. You'd better stay with me young man,
And give your journey o'er
Your Captain now is out of sight,
His face you'll see no more.
Appollyon, sir I am by name,
This land belongs to me.
And for thy arms and pilgrim's dress,
I'll give it all to thee.

Pil. O no, reply'd the pilgrim bold,
Your offer I disdain,
A glitt'ring crown of righteousness
I shortly shall obtain.
O, if I only faithful prove
To my great Lord's command,
I jointly shall be heir with him
To Canaan's richest land.

George Walter, Jun., Printer, Durham.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence