"Never More To Sleep" is a song I'm working on for inclusion in the upcoming Abolitionist Hymnal collection. Little more than a chorus currently, this songs captures a kind of thematic center for this project.
Christian communities during theAfricanslave trade of earlier centuries put together these collections of abolitionist hymns. They'd sing them together to rehearse God's promise of deliverance from slavery and practice their own call to actively seek freedom in the lives of others. Today we're trying to help communities reclaim these kinds of prophetic liturgies in their own worship gatherings.
As the Not For Sale campaign reminds us, there are more people trapped in slavery today then there were at the height of the African slave trade. Many of these are children. Many are caught up in the worldwide sex trade. If there was ever a time for churches to reclaim their abolitionist roots, now is it.
Never More To Sleep
Music © 2009 Carl Thomas Gladstone
Words Public Domain
Hark! a voice from heaven proclaiming
Comfort to the mourning slave;
God has heard them long complaining,
And extends his arm to save;
Soon shall find a shameful grave.
Lo! the nation is arousing
From its slumbers, long and deep;
And the church of God is waking,
Never, never more to sleep,
While the bonded
In their chains remains to weep.
See! the light of truth is breaking
Full and clear on every hand;
And the voice of mercy, speaking,
Now is heard through all the land;
Firm and fearless,
See the friends of Freedom stand!
Long, too long, have we been dreaming
O'er our country's sin and shame;
Let us now, the time redeeming,
Press the helpless captives' claims,
They shall cast aside their chains.