“When the Mists Have Cleared Away”

"WHEN THE MISTS HAVE CLEARED AWAY"
"…And there was a rainbow about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald" (Rev. 4:3)

     INTRO.: A song which pictures heaven as a place before God’s throne where there is a rainbow like unto an emerald is "When the Mists Have Cleared Away." The text was written by Annie Herbert Barker. The date and place of her birth are unknown. She became a school teacher when gospel songs were becoming popular in evangelistic services in the late nineteenth century and produced several. This one is said to have dated from the time when Annie Herbert was seventeen years old, according to Ira David Sankey (1840-1908). The usual date given is 1883 when Sankey composed a tune for it and led it at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England, but the text may have been produced earlier than that. The song was first published, with Sankey’s tune, in an edition of Sankey’s Sacred Songs and Solos, begun in 1873 and completed in 1903. Having married a Mr. Barker, Annie and her husband moved to Montana with the pioneers. Then in 1888, they went to San Rafael, CA, where she lived the rest of her life, and she died there at the County Farm on Jan. 21, 1932. Most of our books have a tune composed by J. H. Anderson. I have been able to find no further information about him. Most denominational books use Sankey’s tune and also mark the text as "arranged." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song with Anderson’s tune appeared in the 1917 Selected Revival Songs published by F. L. Rowe; the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson; and the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today, the "arranged" text (though not so marked), with the Sankey tune, is found in the 1977 Special Sacred Selections edited by Ellis J. Crum.

     The song looks forward to the time when the trials and tribulations of this earth are over and we can rest on the eternal shore.

I. Stanza 1 talks about the rainbow of the spray
"When the mists have rolled in splendor From the beauty of the hills,
And the sunshine, warm and tender, Falls in kisses on the rills,
We may read love’s shining letter In the rainbow of the spray;
We shall know each other better When the mists have cleared away."
 A. The mists could represent the darkness that characterizes life on this earth: Jn. 3:19
 B. The sunshine would then represent the light of the Lamb that will illuminate the eternal city: Rev. 21:23
 C. Then we may read love’s shining letter in the rainbow of the spray because it is because of God’s love that we can be saved: Eph. 2:4-5

II. Stanza 2 (with Anderson tune) talks about snowy wings of peace
"If we err in human blindness, And forget that we are dust,
If we miss the law of kindness When we struggle to be just,
Snowy wings of peace shall cover All the plain that hides away,
When the weary watch is over, And the mists have cleared away."
 A. Often we err in human blindness and are guilty of sin: 1 Jn. 1:8
 B. Even as we struggle to be just, we sometimes miss the law of kindness: Jas. 2:8
 C. However, as we turn to the Lord in humble repentance, He has promised to forgive our sins and cover us with snow wings of peace: Ps. 17:8

III. Stanza 3 (with Anderson tune) talks about the golden fringe day
"When the mists have risen above us, As our Father knows His own,
Face to face with those that love us, We shall know as we are known;
Lo! beyond the orient meadows Floats the golden fringe of day.
Hear to heart we bide the shadows, Till the mists have cleared away."
 A. The Bible teaches that the Lord knows His own: 2 Tim. 2:19
 B. When the Lord comes, we shall see face to face once again those whom we have loved: 1 Thess. 4:16-17
 C. This will be the golden fringe of the eternal day: 2 Pet. 3:12

IV. Stanza 4 (#2 with Sankey tune) talks about the Savior’s "Come, ye blessed"
"Oft we tread the path before us With a weary burdened heart;
Oft we toil amid the shadows, And our fields are far apart.
But the Savior’s ‘Come, ye blessed,’ All our labor will repay,
When we gather in the morning Where the mists have cleared (rolled) away."
 A. Often while we tread the path before us we are weary with a burdened heart: 2 Cor. 5:4
 B. In addition, we toil amid the shadows in fields that are sometimes far apart: Ps. 90:10
 C. But all our burdnes and toils will be repayed by hearing "Come, ye blessed" from the Savior: Matt. 25:34

V. Stanza 5 (#3 with Sankey tune) talks about the song of our redemption
"We shall come with joy and gladness, We shall gather round the throne;
Face to face with those that love us, We shall know as we are known;
(Or: We shall hear angelic voices, And our cares will all have flown;)
And the song of our redemption Shall resound through endless day
When the shadows have departed And the mists have cleared (rolled) away."
 A. When the Lord returns, we shall gather round the throne in joy and gladness: Rev. 22:1-3
 B. Then we shall hear the angelic voices: Rev. 5:11-12
 C. And we shall join with them in singing the song of our redemption: Rev. 5:8-10

     CONCL.: The chorus encourages us to look forward to that eternal dawning of the morning.
"We shall know as we are known, Nevermore to walk alone,
In the dawning of the morning, Of that bright and happy day,
We shall know each other better When the mists have cleared (rolled) away."
The version used in most of our books has a little different wording in the chorus.
"We shall know as we are known, Nevermore to walk alone,
In the dawning of the morning, When the mists have cleared away;
In the dawning of the morning, When the mists have cleared away."
There are times when we do become weary of the burdens of life. While we continue to work for the Lord as long as we have life and breath, we receive courage to continue on as we anticipate that time "When the Mists Have Cleared Away."

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