Lift up your heads, ye gates

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Lift up your heads, ye gates of brass!
Ye bars of Iron! yield;
And let the King of Glory pass,--
The Cross is in the field.

That banner, brighter than the star,
That leads the train of night,
Shines on their march and guides from far
His servants to the fight.

A holy war those servants wage;
--Mysteriously at strife,
The powers of heaven and hell engage
For more than death or life.

Earth's rankest soil they see outspread;
So throng'd, it seems within,
One city of the living dead,
Dead while alive to sin.

The forms of life are everywhere,
The spirit nowhere found;
Like vapours kindling in the air,
Then sinking in the ground.

No hope have these above the dust,
No being but a breath;
In vanity and lies they trust
Their very life is death.

Ye armies of the living God,
His sacramental host!
Where hallow'd footstep never trod,
Take your appointed post.

Follow the Cross, the ark of peace
Accompany your path,
To slaves and rebels bring release
From bondage and from wrath.

A barley-cake o'erthrew the camp
Of Midian, tent by tent,
Ere morn the trumpet and the lamp
Through all in triumph went.

Though China's sons like Midian's fill
As grasshoppers the vale,
The sword of God and Gideon still
To conquer cannot fail.

As Jericho before the blast
Of sounding rams' horns fell,
Sin's strongholds here shall be down cast,
Down cast these gates of hell.

Truth error's legions must o'erwhelm
And China's thickest wall,
(The wall bf darkness round her realm,)
At your loud summons fall.

Though few and small and weak your bands,
Strong in your Captain's strength,
Go to the conquest of all lands,
All must be His at length.

The closest seal'd between the poles
Is open'd to your toils;
Where thrice a hundred million souls
Are offer'd you for spoils.

Those spoils, at His victorious feet,
You shall rejoice to lay,
And lay yourselves, as trophies meet,
In His great Judgment-day.

No carnal weapons those ye bear,
To lay the aliens low;
Then strike amain, and do not spare,
There's life in every blow.

Life!--more than life on earth can be;
All in this conflict slain
Die but to sin,--eternally
The crown of life to gain.

O fear not, faint not, halt not now;
Quit you like men, be strong;
To Christ shall Buddhu's votaries bow
And sing with you this song:

"Uplifted are the gates of brass,
The bars of iron yield;
Behold the King of Glory pass;
The Cross hath won the field."

Sacred Poems and Hymns, 1854

Author: James Montgomery

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Lift up your heads, ye gates of brass
Title: Lift up your heads, ye gates
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Publication Date: 1918
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.


Lift up your heads, ye gates of brass. J. Montgomery. [Missions.] This hymn is amongst the “M. MSS.," but is undated. It was printed in the Evangelical Magazine, 1843; and again in Montgomery's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 265, in 19 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "China Evangelized"; Pt. ii. beginning “Ye armies of the living God”; and Pt. iii. "No carnal weapons those ye bear." In the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge em>Church Hymns, 1871, No. 291, is composed of stanzas i.—iii., xviii., xix. some¬what altered.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



ST. MAGNUS (Clarke)

ST. MAGNUS first appeared in Henry Playford's Divine Companion (1707 ed.) as an anonymous tune with soprano and bass parts. The tune was later credited to Jeremiah Clark (b. London, England, c. 1670; d. London, 1707), who was a chorister in the Chapel Royal and sang at the coronation of James II in…

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Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the…

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The Cyber Hymnal #4078
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Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #227
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #509
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Include 76 pre-1979 instances