It's Sunday

LIBERTY, January 20, 2013 - This Sunday's hymn is a good one for the new year. Lead On O King Eternal with the Hymn Tune Lancanshire with lyrics by Ernest W. Shurleff. Shurtleff graduated from Andover Theological Seminary and was ordained a Congregational minister. He served in Buenaventura, California; Plymouth, Massachusetts; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent the last part of his career in Europe, founding the American Church in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1895, and working at the Academy Vitti in Paris, France.

Henry T. Smart wrote the music to the song. Smart became the organist at Blackburns Church, Lancashire, England, in 1831. He went on to play the organ at St. Philip’s Church, St. Luke’s Church, and St. Pancras Church, London. He went blind in 1864, but continued to compose. He was the music editor for Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), the Presbyterian Hymnal (1875) and the hymn book of the United Presbyterian Church of Scot­land.


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.

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.

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.


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