An extended metaphor likening the way to heaven to a railway journey and the various denominations of Christianity as carriages in the same train.
The line runs from Calvary through this vain world and the Valley of the Shadow of Death until it lands in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Oh what a deal we hear and read,
About railways and railway speed
Of line which are or may be made,
And selling shares is quite a trade
Chorus: "My Son" says God, "give me thy heart"
Make haste or else the train will start
The railway mania does extend from
John Of Groats to the Land's End
Where'ere you ride where'ere you walk,
the railway is the general talk
Allow me as an old divine¹,
to point you to another line
Which does from earth to heaven extend,
where real pleasures never end
Infinite wisdom sketched the plan
to save apostate, ruined man
And Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Son,
The mighty work himself has done.
Of truth divine the rails are laid,
and on the rock of ages laid
The rails are fixed in chairs¹ of love,
Firm as the throne of god above.
At Calvary's cross is does commence
and run through all the world from thence
Then crosses Jordan's swelling flood,
Before the royal throne of God.
One grand first class is used for all,
For Jew and Gentile, great and small.
There's room for all the world inside,
And kings and beggars there do ride
In days of old, forever past,
Men quarrelled about first and last.
And each contended loud and long,
My church is right and yours is wrong.
We're next the engine some would say,
Our carriage here does lead the way
But oft we see the train reversed,
The first is last - the last is first.
Let no one of his carriage boast,
Nor in his outward duties trust.
Those who shall see the Saviours face
Must be renewed by asking grace.
About a hundred years ago
Wesley¹ and others said they'd go
A carriage Mercy did provide,
That Wesley and his friends might ride.
'Tis nine and thirty years they say,
Whoever lives to see next May
Another coach was added then
Unto this all important train.
Linked to each other on we pass,
Supported by the Saviour's grace.
When to the better land we come,
We'll mix together round the throne.
Jesus is the first engineer,
He does the gospel engine steer.
The preachers of the sacred word,
Co-workers with their dying Lord.
We've Guards who ride, while others stand,
Close by the way with flag in hand
The flag of white, of red, of green,
At different places may be seen.
When we behold the flag that's white,
It cheers the heart for all is right
But when the green we do behold,
Caution it says and be not bold.
Red tells us there is danger near,
Be not high-minded. Rather fear
Place all your trust in God alone
And in the blood which does atone.
Then let not poor nor rich despair,
He still delights to answer prayer.
Remember he will not despise
Your humble wailing - mournful cries.
Afflictions are the tunnels drear
Through which we go while travelling here.
But these will all be shortly past
And heaven appear in view at last.
To cheer the dark and gloomy night,
We've lamps which give a brilliant light
And while we urge our course along,
The cross of Christ is all our song.
We've several laws about this road
Wrote by the fingers of our God.
Ye trespassers must all beware
For he the guilty will not spare.
No one from his place must alight
Until he hears the words all right.
And when this glorious signal's given,
You'll hear a whisper 'this is heaven'
The stations are the means of grace,
The house of God the holy place.
No matter where that place may be,
A field, a barn, or hollow tree.
You say you will not ride with me,
Well be it so, we still agree.
The church of England is before
The Quakers, yea, and many more.
Baptists and Independents too,
The Methodists both old and new
I can, I will, I do rejoice
That you have such a happy choice.