1. Soldiers of the cross, arise!
Lo, your Captain from the skies,
Holding forth the glitt’ring prize,
Calls to victory.
Fear not, though the battle lower,
Firmly stand the trying hour,
Stand the tempters utmost power,
Spurn his slavery.
2. Who the cause of Christ would yield?
Who would leave the battle field?
Who would cast away his shield?
Let him basely go:
Who for Zion’s King will stand?
Who will join the faithful band?
Let him come with heart and hand,
Let him face the foe.
3. By the mercies of our God,
By Emmanuel’s streaming blood,
When alone for us he stood,
Ne’er give up the strife:
Ever to the latest breath,
Hark to what your Captain saith,
“Be thou faithful unto death;
Take the crown of life.”
4. By the woes which rebels prove,
By the bliss of holy love,
Sinners, seek the joys above;
Sinners, turn and live;
Here is freedom worth the name,
Tyrant sin is put to shame;
Grace inspires the hallowed flame,
God the crown will give.
Instrumental – Sampled Sounds
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This solemn Scottish tune and words appeared often in early American shapenote songbooks which were produced throughout rural America in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.
The words are a Christian spiritualization of a famous poem by Robert Burns, “Robert Bruce’s March To Bannockburn” (also called “Scots Wha Hae”), which celebrated Scotland’s independence from England.
In this re-interpretation, the celebration is about the Christian’s independence from the tyrant of sin, and his warfare on the same.