273. Once to Every Soul and Nation

1 Once to every soul and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah
Offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by for ever
'Twixt that darkness and that light.

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

3 By the light of burning martyrs,
Jesus' bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calvarys ever
With the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties;
Time makes ancient good uncouth;
They must upward still, and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.

4 Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet 'tis truth alone is strong;
Though 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 beside His own.

Text Information
First Line: Once to every soul and nation
Title: Once to Every Soul and Nation
Author: James Russell Lowell (1845, alt.)
Publication Date: 1996
Topic: Commitment; Cross; Darkness (5 more...)
Tune Information
Arranger: Thomas J. Williams
Key: f minor
Source: Welsh hymn melody

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