Be In Earnest

Time is earnest, passing by

Author: Sidney Dyer
Published in 44 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Time is earnest, passing by;
Death is earnest, drawing nigh;
Sinner, wilt thou trifling be?
Time and death appeal to Thee.

2 Life is earnest; when 'tis o'er,
Thou returnest never more;
Soon to meet eternity;
Wilt Thou never serious be?

3 God is earnest; kneel and pray,
Ere thy season pass away;
Ere He set His judgment throne—
Vengeance ready, mercy gone.

4 O be earnest! death is near;
Thou wilt perish, ling'ring here:
Sleep no longer, rise and flee;
Lo! thy Saviour waits for thee!

Source: Redemption Songs: a choice collection of 1000 hymns and choruses for evangelistic meetings, solo singers, choirs and the home #262

Author: Sidney Dyer

Dyer, Sidney, who served in the U. S. Army from 1831 to c. 1840, is a native of White Creek, Washington County, New York, where he was born in 1814. On leaving the army he was ordained a Baptist Minister in 1842, and acted first as a Missionary to the Choctaws, then as Pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana (1852), and as Secretary to the Baptist Publication Society, Phila. (1859). He has published sundry works, and in the Southwestern Psalmist, 1851, 16 of his hymns are found. The following are later and undated:— 1. Go, preach the blest salvation. Missions. In the Baptist Praise Book, 1871, and The Baptist Hymn & Tune Book, 1871. 2. Great Framer [Maker] of unnumbered worlds. National Humiliation. In the Boston Unitarian Hymn [an… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Time is earnest, passing by
Title: Be In Earnest
Author: Sidney Dyer
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Time is earnest, passing by. [Old and New Year.] This popular Sunday School hymn appeared in three publications in the same year, and in each case anonymously. (1) It is found in Sidney Dyer's American Southwestern Psalmist, 1851 and signed "Anon."; (2) again in an American paper called Independent, 1851; (3) and again, in England, in The Bible Class Magazine, 1851, with the signature “Independent," the name of the American paper from which it was taken. It was in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. Subsequently it was reprinted in The Bible Class Magazine, with music by Mr. Joseph Dyer, the School¬master of the Wesleyan School, Pocklington. Miller says (Singers & Songs, &c, 1869, p. 551) that “it also appeared in Select Music for the Young (Sunday School Union), where it is headed, 'All Things Earnest; composed by Joseph Dyer.'" This curious association of two men of the name of Dyer with the hymn, the first in America, and the second in England, has led to its authorship being attributed at one time to Sidney Dyer, and at another to Joseph Dyer, and in each case without authority of any weight. Usually the hymn is given in an abbreviated form of 5 stanzas as in the Universal Hymn Book, 1885, the Congregational Church Hymnal, 1887, and others.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #11385
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 44 of 44)
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Choice Hymns of the Faith #237

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Christian Hymns #126

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Dyer's Psalmist #109

Gospel Praise Book, enlarged ed. #d130

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Gospel Praise Book. #244b

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Hymns and Songs #271

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Hymns of Grace and Truth #303

Hymns of Grace and Truth. 2nd ed. #d341

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Jewels of Praise #103

New Standard Singer #d229

New Standard Singer, Pt. 1-7 #d233

Notes of Joy, for the Sabbath School #d145

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Redemption Songs #262

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Sabbath Songs and Spiritual Hymns #94

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Sacred Songs & Solos #267

Sacred Songs and Solos #267

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Salvation Army Music #198

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Salvation Army Songs #114

Salvation Soldier's Song Book #d239

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Songs of Delight, for the Sunday School #27

Songs of Love for the Bible School #d141

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Songs of Praise with Tunes #201

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Songs of Victory #419

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Songs of Work and Worship #87

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Sparkling Rubies #79

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Sursum Corda #348

The American Hymnal #d624

The Canadian Hymnal #84

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The Canadian Hymnal #84

The Canadian Hymnal #84

The Charm #d94

The Church Hymn Book #d1036


The Cyber Hymnal #11385

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The Devotional Chimes #31

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The Golden Hymn Book #285

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The Guiding Star for Sunday Schools #76

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The New Song #36

The Salvation Soldier's Song Book #d114

The Salvation Soldier's Song Book #d202

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The Salvation Soldiers' Song Book #42

The Song Book of the Salvation Army #634

The South Western Psalmist #d407

The Village Hymn book #d278

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The Y.M.C.A. Hymnal #182

Exclude 43 pre-1979 instances
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