Onward Christian soldiers

Onward Christian soldiers!
  Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
  Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
  Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
  See, His banners go!
  Onward, Christian soldiers!
  Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus,
    Going on before.
At the name of Jesus
  Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers,
  On to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver
  At the shout of praise:
Brothers, lift your voices,
  Loud your anthems raise!
Like a mighty army
  Moves the Church of God:
Brothers, we are treading
  Where the saints have trod;
We are not divided,
  All one Body we—
One in faith and Spirit,
  One eternally.
Crowns and thrones may perish,
  Kingdoms rise and wane;
But the Church of Jesus
  Constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never
  ’Gainst the Church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise,
  Which can never fail.
Onward, then, ye people!
  Join our happy throng;
Blend with ours your voices
  In the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor
  Unto Christ, the King;
This through countless ages
  Men and angels sing.
Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Sabine Baring-Gould wrote 85 books in areas as diverse as religion, travel, folklore, mythology, history, fiction, biography, sermons, and popular theology. He wrote a 15-volume "Lives of the Saints". He edited a quarterly review of ecclesiastical art and literature. But he loved children, and we remember him best for his children's hymns: "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Now the Day is Over".

After graduating from Cambridge, Baring-Gould started a church in his tiny 2-floor apartment. Soon, he said, "the congregation filled the room and the stairs and the kitchen. ... The singing had to bump down the stairs, fill the kitchen, and one strain of the tune after another came up irregularly through the chinks of the floor." - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton

Viva Hasta

Lagos, Nigeria

I so much love this music... Whenever the boko haram strike and the soldiers are going to take attack, I always remember this hymn

Onward Christian soldiers!

Marching as to war,

With the cross of Jesus

Going on before.

Christ, the royal Master,

Leads against the foe;

Forward into battle,

See, His banners go!

Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

This hymn was sung at the fun­er­al of Amer­i­can pre­si­dent Dwight Ei­sen­how­er at the Na­tion­al Ca­thed­ral, Wash­ing­ton, DC, March 1969.

"Whit-Mon­day is a great day for school fes­tiv­als in York­shire. One Whit-Mon­day, thir­ty years ago, it was ar­ranged that our school should join forc­es with that of a neigh­bor­ing vil­lage. I want­ed the child­ren to sing when march­ing from one vil­lage to another, but couldn’t think of any­thing quite suit­a­ble; so I sat up at night, re­solved that I would write some­thing myself. “Onward, Christ­ian Sol­diers” was the re­sult. It was writ­ten in great haste, and I am afraid some of the rhymes are faulty. Cer­tain­ly no­thing has sur­prised me more than its pop­u­lar­i­ty. I don’t re­mem­ber how it got print­ed first, but I know that very soon it found its way into sev­er­al col­lect­ions. I have writ­ten a few other hymns since then, but only two or three have be­come at all well-known." - Sabine Baring-Gould


The 2nd stanza, 1st line was improved from "at the sign of triumph" to "at the name of Jesus".

3rd stanza, last 2 lines, originally said, "One in hope and doctrine, one in charity."

4th stanza originally said "'gainst that church" instead of "'gainst the church". I prefer the original in this instance. Same meaning, but more emphatic.


Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

The chorus last lines are "looking unto Jesus, who is gone before"

church of Christ, wherever we are , we are ONE, One in His spirit, One in His Name, scattered physically though we be , we are UNITED IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Wherever and whenever you pray always agree with the true Body of Christ, His believers, His real church. Maranatha Lord, Maranatha!

Marilee Lampman

United States

My Dad's favorite! He's in heaven now. This song brings back memories of standing by him in church, singing with all his might!

Gressindo Raja Sinaga

Jakarta, Indonesia

I like this song because of the motivating words and music.

Paul continues, "To walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace" (vv. 1b-3). Whenever we talk about the practice of the church life, we must remember that the first thing needed is to keep the oneness of the Spirit. This requires that we forget about everything else. The third stanza of the traditional hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" says, "One in hope and doctrine, one in charity." This is not an accurate concept. Christians can never be one in doctrine. If someone has a certain understanding about a particular portion of the Bible, he may hold to that portion without caring for the oneness. Many Christians insist on baptism by sprinkling, some insist on a single immersion, and some insist on three immersions. Some immerse in warm water, others immerse in cold water, and still others baptize in other ways. In this one matter alone there are many opinions. In order to realize the church life we need to forget about doctrine. If we pay attention to doctrine, we may become a "three-immersions" church. Praise the Lord, the Spirit is in you and in me, so we all are one in the Spirit. Therefore, it is better to sing the above line as, "One in faith and Spirit, / One eternally" (Hymns, #871).