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January 01, 2006

319 Once To Every Soul and Nation

Lyrics: James Russell Lowell (1844), adapted in Hymns of the Spirit (1938); Music: TON-Y-BOTEL, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., T. J. Williams; lyrics revised by REH (2008).

1. Once to eve-ry soul and na-tion,
Comes the mo-ment to de-cide,
In the strife of truth with false-hood,
For the good or e-vil side;
Some great cause, God's new mes-siah,
Of-fering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice es-capes then from us,
'Twixt that night-fall and that light.

2. Then to side with truth is no-ble,
When we share its wretch-ed crust,
Ere that cause bring fame and prof-it,
And 'tis pros-perous to be just;
Then it is the brave one choos-es,
While the cow-ard stands a-side,
Till the mul-ti-tude make vir-tue,
Of the faith they had de-nied.

3. By the burn-ing light of mar-tyrs,
Christ, thy bleed-ing feet we track,
Toil-ing up new Cal-varies ev-er,
With the cross that turns not back;
New oc-ca-sions teach new du-ties,
Time makes an-cient good un-couth;
They must up-ward still and on-ward,
Who would keep a-breast of truth.

4. Though the cause of e-vil pros-per,
Yet 'tis truth a-lone is strong;
Though its por-tion be the scaf-fold,
And up-on the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaf-fold sways the fu-ture,
And, be-hind dim, name-less strife
Waits the Sove-reign 'midst the sha-dow,
Keep-ing watch a-bove all life.

Posted by rehurst at January 1, 2006 06:08 PM

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