Once to every man and nation

2 minute read

In our time of cowardice and moral turpitude1 we forget the light. Oh yes there is plenty of self-congratulation and finger pointing as we rejoice that we are on the right side. But courage is different. It costs. Listen. Ponder. Let your spirit soar. And be ready.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. -1 Peter 4.12-13

Please note: If you’re reading this in an email or RSS feed, you must visit the website to watch the video.

Note the missing lyrics in this rendition. They are telling:

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track, Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;


Once to Every Man and Nation

By James Russell Lowell

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just; Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside, Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track, Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back; New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth, They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong; Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong; Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

The disciple is not above [his] master, nor the servant above his lord...If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more [shall they call] them of his household? ... 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. -Matthew 10
Originally published at: Comfort for Christians
  1. Inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions; shameful wickedness; depravity. -Websters 1913 Dictionary 



The lyrics to this notable and wonderful Christian song / hymn are timeless! The pointed words are there to challenge every Christian generation. Its message is not for weak-kneed Christians but for those disciples of Christ who are willing to rebuke the cultures deeds of darkness and to carry on with practical Gospel Truth. Actions of genuine discipleship which trump the talk of feeble fence-sitting “belief!”