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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Soldiers of Christ, Arise by Charles Wesley

This year is the 300th anniversary of Charles Wesley's birth. Wesley wrote many hymns. One that I have seldom heard is "Soldiers of Christ, Arise." These are the words posted by the Cyberhymnal:

Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.

Stand then against your foes, in close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose throughout the evil day.
But meet the sons of night, and mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light, of righteousness divine.

Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole;
Indissolubly joined, to battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind that was in Christ, your Head.

But, above all, lay hold on faith’s victorious shield;
Armed with that adamant and gold, be sure to win the field:
If faith surround your heart, Satan shall be subdued,
Repelled his every fiery dart, and quenched with Jesu’s blood.

Jesus hath died for you! What can His love withstand?
Believe, hold fast your shield, and who shall pluck you from His hand?
Believe that Jesus reigns; all power to Him is giv’n:
Believe, till freed from sin’s remains; believe yourselves to Heav’n.

To keep your armor bright, attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight, and watching unto prayer.
Ready for all alarms, steadfastly set your face,
And always exercise your arms, and use your every grace.

Pray without ceasing, pray, your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey and call upon the Lord;
To God your every want in instant prayer display,
Pray always; pray and never faint; pray, without ceasing, pray!

In fellowship alone, to God with faith draw near;
Approach His courts, besiege His throne with all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go, nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know, and every heart His love.

To God your spirits dart, your souls in words declare,
Or groan, to Him Who reads the heart, the unutterable prayer:
His mercy now implore, and now show forth His praise,
In shouts, or silent awe, adore His miracles of grace.

Pour out your souls to God, and bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad, and pray for Zion’s peace;
Your guides and brethren bear for ever on your mind;
Extend the arms of mighty prayer, ingrasping* all mankind.

From strength to strength go on, wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well fought day.
Still let the Spirit cry in all His soldiers, “Come!”
Till Christ the Lord descends from high and takes the conquerors home.

These words were written by Wesley in about 1741.

*This word is new to me. I assume that it means what you would suppose that it did -- surrounding and containing.

Thanks for reading.



2 comments:

robert said...

Thanks for posting the hymn by Charles Wesley. Spotted your blog today as the anniversary of his birth rolled around again. I invite you to check out my daily blog on hymn history, Wordwise Hymns. I've tried to do my best to recognize Wesley's inestimable contribution to our hymnody in a brief post.

Just a word about the Cyber Hymnal. The site you've linked to is not the original. I know because I've worked with the creator on the site for about 13 years. His material was lifted to create a rival site, without his permission, and he was forced to change his original address. (The most observable difference in the two sites is that the original contains no advertising.) You'll find the real deal at...
http://www.hymntime.com/tch/

All the best.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, robert!

I knew that something was up with the Cyber Hymnal, but didn't know what.