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Forward Through the Ages

Full Text

1 Forward through the ages, in unbroken line,
move the faithful spirits at the call divine;
Gifts in differing measure, hearts of one accord,
manifold the service, one the sure reward.

Forward through the ages, in unbroken line,
Move the faithful spirits at the call divine.

2 Wide grows God's dominion,
reign of love and peace;
for it we must labor, till all strivings cease.
Prophets have proclaimed it, teachers testified,
poets sung its glory, martyrs for it died. [Refrain]

3 Not alone we conquer, not alone we fall;
in each loss or triumph, lose or triumph all.
Bound by God's far purpose in one living whole,
move we on together to the shining goal. [Refrain]

Source: The New Century Hymnal #377

Author: Frederick Lucian Hosmer

Hosmer, Frederick Lucian, B.A., was born at Framingham, Mass., in 1840, and educated at Harvard, where he graduated B.A. in 1869. Entering the Unitarian Ministry in 1872 he has held charges in Quincy, Ill., 1872-77; Cleveland, Ohio, 1878-92; St. Louis, 1894-99; and since 1899, at Berkeley, Cal. His Way of Life, 1877, was a compilation of Prayers and Responsive Services for Sunday Schools. Of Unity Hymns and Carols, 1880, he was joint editor with W. C. Gannett and J. V. Blake. His hymns were published jointly by him and W. C. Gannett (q.v.), as The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.), 1st Series, 1885; 2nd Series, 1894. Of his 56 hymns in this work the following have come into common use, for the most part during… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Forward through the ages
Title: Forward Through the Ages
Author: Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1908)
Meter: D with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Forward through the ages
Copyright: Public Domain



The popularity of this hymn is partly due to ST. GERTRUDE, the marching tune that Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) composed for this text. The tune was published in the Musical Times of December 1871 in an advertisement for Joseph Barnby's (PHH 438) forthcoming Hymnary, which published both text and tune…

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ONWARD (Barrington)

ST. ALBAN (Haydn)



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The Cyber Hymnal #1599
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Small Church Music #4643
  • PDF Score (PDF)
The United Methodist Hymnal #555
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)


Instances (1 - 10 of 10)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #502
Small Church Music #990Audio
Small Church Music #4643Audio
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #465
The Cyber Hymnal #1599TextScoreAudio
The New Century Hymnal #377Text
The United Methodist Hymnal #555TextFlexscoreAudio
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #159Text
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #160Text
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #258
Include 68 pre-1979 instances