Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


        This is the season for graduations.  Two of my grandsons will graduate this year, one from college and one from high school.  Ceremonies will be held with guest speakers who will give the graduates all sorts of advice that, unfortunately, will soon be forgotten.  As a graduate and a former school teacher I have sat through over 40 such ceremonies and yet I can't recall anything significant from any of the speeches that I have heard.  Seldom is anything said that will be remembered by the graduates years later.  But there was at least one graduation where that probably wasn't the case.  It was 1887 and Ernest Shurtleff (1862-1917) was about to graduate from Andover Seminary.  His classmates recognized his poetic ability shortly before graduation and approached Shurtleff with this request. "Ernest, why don't you write our class poem.  After all, you have already published two volumes of poetry. What's the use of having a distinguished author in the class if he cannot rise to the occasion and do his class the honor of writing a good poem just for them?"  Shurtleff answered "Let's make it a hymn that we can all sing. We've been spending days of preparation here at seminary. Now the day of march has come and we must go out to follow the leadership of the King of kings, to conquer the world under His banner." Although the metaphors and expressions in this hymn were intended to challenge the graduating class of 1887 at Andover Seminary, the truths of this hymn have challenged the world in the many decades following that graduation.  This hymn is really a prayer, a prayer for God's guidance.  It speaks of marching and "fields of conquest" and "battle song", not because it celebrates war, but because it acknowledges the daily struggle in which God's people must engage against evil. We are in a spiritual battle that is growing more intense.  Our victory will come only as we follow the lead of our King.   We look forward to the celebration of victory, not with clashing swords and stirring drums, but as we demonstrate and share His love, show mercy to others, and follow His leading, equipped with our spiritual armor.  The hymn acknowledges the reality of the cross and celebrates the reality of the crown, the reward for those who are faithful.  And it closes, "Lead on, O God of might!"  May we be faithful to Him in these difficult days as we follow the the leading of our King, our God of might.

(1)     Lead on, O King eternal,
The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest
Thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation
Thy grace has made us strong;
And now, O King eternal,
We lift our battle song.

(2)     Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin's fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords' loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy
The heavenly kingdom comes.

(3)     Lead on, O King eternal,
We follow, not with fears,
For gladness breaks like morning
Where'er Thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted over us,
We journey in its light;
The crown awaits the conquest;
Lead on, O God of might.

Listen to it here.  LISTEN 1
Here is another rendition by a group of young people.   LISTEN 2

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