Friday, October 24, 2008

Once to Every Man and Nation

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

"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 have denied.

"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,
Time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.

"Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the 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 above His own."

-James R. Lowell, 1845

Find the history of this hymn here.

P.S. I know I already posted something for you to think on, but I was playing the piano tonight and came across this hymn and thought I would post it too. The style is almost hard to understand, it is so poetic; but if you read it carefully and think about it, you'll find it a blessing, I think. Remember who is in control of all history, no matter how prosperous and widespread evil may seem to be. This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially as the presidential election is approaching us so quickly!

"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men" (Psalm 11:4)

1 comment:

Alaina said...

That is a really good poem; I was thinking ( before I read your P.S.) that it needed to be set to music. I'll have to find that hymn!