Onward, Christian Soldiers

GodTube Staff Onward, Christian Soldiers
"Onward, Christian Soldiers" is a hymn from the 19th century that remains popular today. The hymn's theme is taken from references in the New Testament to the Christian being a soldier for Christ, for example, 2 Timothy 2:3 (KJV): "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." It was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.

1 Onward, Christian soldiers, 
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!
Christ, the royal Master,
leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
see his banner go!

Refrain:
Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!

2 At the sign of triumph
Satan's host doth flee;
On, then, Christian soldiers,
on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver
at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices,
loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

3 Like a mighty army
moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading
where the saints have trod;
We are not divided;
all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
one in charity. [Refrain]

4 Onward, then, ye people,
join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices
in the triumph song;
Glory, laud, and honor,
unto Christ the King;
This thro' countless ages
men and angels sing. [Refrain]

Songwriters Sabine Baring-Gould Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind Onward, Christian Soldiers

"Onward, Christian Soldiers" is a 19th-century English hymn. The words were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, and the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. Sullivan named the tune "St. Gertrude," after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune.  The Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favored processional.  The piece became Sullivan's most popular hymn.  

The lyric was written as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter's Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, "Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners." According to the Centre for Church Music, Baring-Gould reportedly wrote "Onward, Christian Soldiers" in about 15 minutes, later apologizing, "It was written in great haste, and I am afraid that some of the lines are faulty." He later allowed hymn-book compilers to alter the lyrics. For example, The Fellowship Hymn Book, with his permission, changed the phrase "one in hope and doctrine" to "one in hope and purpose." For the 1909 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, he changed the fifth line of the same verse from "We are not divided" to "Though divisions harass." However, Baring-Gould’s original words are used in most modern hymnals.

Watch 'Onward Christian Soldiers' videos below!


Popular Hymn Lyrics with Story and Meaning
Day by Day and With Each Passing Moment
Jesus Loves Me
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Blessed Assurance
Nearer My God to Thee
Abide with Me
His Eye is On the Sparrow
Be Thou My Vision
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty
Amazing Grace


Onward Christian Soldiers
ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS -- RAGTIME!
Dean Hopper, Ann Downing, Kim Hopper - Onward Christian Soldiers / We're Marching to Zion (Medley) (Live)

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