733. Once to Every Man and Nation

1 Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
Off'ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
'Twixt that darkness and that light.

2 Then to side with truth is noble,
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And 'tis prosp'rous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
While the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.

3 By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track;
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever
With the cross that turns not back.
New occasions teach new duties;
Ancient values test our youth.
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.

4 Tho' the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the truth alone is strong;
Tho' her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong,
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God, within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.

Text Information
First Line: Once to every man and nation
Title: Once to Every Man and Nation
Author: James Russell Lowell
Publication Date: 1997
Meter: 8.7.8.7.D.
Topic: Walking with God: Spiritual Conflict and Victory
Language: English
Tune Information
Name: EBENEZER
Composer: Thomas J. Williams
Meter: 8.7.8.7.D.
Key: f minor
Notes: A lower setting may be found at #352



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