This hymn is superficially about the Parable of the Sower taught by Jesus in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 (the gospel for Sexagesima Sunday), tied in with the efficacy of God's Word and St. Paul's "yes, yes, no, no" argument in 2 Corinthians 1:15-22. Somehow it also seems to be a polemic in defense of the doctrine of objective justification. Not sure how I managed that. I wrote it without any notion of what tune it would be sung to, so it looks like I may have to write an original tune to go with it. Oh, well!
A sower went abroad his seed to sow:
Some fell on trampled paths, and there
Were snapped up by birds of the air;
Some that on stony soil began to grow,
Ill rooted, withered in the heat;
Some, choked by thorns, could not compete;
But some seed in a better soil took hold
And yielded thirty, sixty, hundredfold.
Behold, dear children, what these figures tell:
God is the man who works the soil;
Each sinner saved, fruit of His toil.
Above all other details, note this well:
The seed is God's implanted word
That grows and lives where it is heard.
Fret not to make your hearts receptive soil;
God makes the vessel that receives His oil.
God's word to you is not yes, yes, no, no;
His faithful promise, true and pure,
Is always yes in Christ, and sure.
As in the height of heaven, so below,
No shifting shadow is His will;
What He has pledged, He will fulfill:
Without condition, bias or degree,
He speaks and it is done, and perfectly.
Beloved, have this confidence in God:
It is His changeless, loving will
All hearts, all types of soil to till,
That all mankind, redeemed by Jesus' blood,
May be ruled righteous in His suit
And, trusting Him, bear lively fruit.
This yes of God, extended to all men,
Creates the faith to grasp it: our Amen.
UPDATE: Here's an original tune for this hymn, titled YES OF GOD. My friend Matthew Carver also wrote a Bohemian-inspired tune for it at the same time, which I hope to use in my next collection of hymns as an alternate tune.