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EVER SINCE the Apostle Paul told the Ephesian Christians to put on the armor of God,

Christian writers have used the symbolism of the soldier as a call for preparedness and courage.

But when Sabine Baring-Gould, a thirty-one-year old preacher and schoolteacher, wrote "Onward, Christian Soldiers,"

he simply wanted to write a marching song for his schoolchildren.

Later, he apologized for the hymn: "It was written in great haste, and I am afraid some of the rhymes are faulty."

Whitmonday was a festival day for schoolchildren in Yorkshire, and Baring-Gould's youngsters in the mill town of Horbury

had to walk to a neighboring town to join other children for the celebration.

"I wanted the children to sing when marching from one village to the other, but couldn't think of anything quite suitable," Baring-Gould commented,

"so I sat up at night and resolved to write something myself."

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 banners go!

Onward Chritian soldiers, Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus, Going on before.

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.

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 through countless ages Men and angels sing.

~Sabine Baring-Gould {1834-1924}

"Take your share of hardship, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

A soldier on active service must not let himself be involved in the affairs of everyday life if he is to give satisfaction to his commanding officer.

Again, no athlete wins a prize unless he abides by the rules.

The farmer who does the work has first claim to the crop.

Reflect on what I am saying, and the Lord will help you to full understanding."

2 Timothy 2: 3-7

"Onward Christian Soldiers"

Text reference from: "The One Year Book Of Hymns"

Compiled and Edited by: Robert K. Brown and Mark R.Norton

Devotions Written by: William J.Peterson and Randy Peterson

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