Christian, dost thou see them

Christian, dost thou see them
  On the holy ground,
How the powers of darkness
  Compass thee around?
Christian, up and smite them,
  Counting gain but loss;
Smite them by the merit
  Of the holy cross.
Christian, dost thou feel them,
  How they work within,
Striving, tempting, luring,
  Goading into sin?
Christian, never tremble,
  Never be downcast;
Gird thee for the conflict;
  Watch, and pray, and fast.
Christian, dost thou hear them,
  How they speak thee fair?
“Always fast and vigil,
  Always watch and prayer?”
Christian, answer boldly,
  “While I breathe I pray”;
Peace shall follow battle,
  Night shall end in day.
Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

The original text of this hymn was written by Andrew of Crete who was born in 650 a. d. in Damascus into a devout Christian family. Up until the age of seven, Andrew was unable to speak. However, his biography gives account that he was miraculously healed after receiving Holy Communion.

When he was fourteen, he traveled to Jerusalem to begin his ecclesiastical career at the Monastery of Saint Sava. Andrew led a strict and chaste life. He was a man of talent known for his virtue and came to be appointed secretary to the Patriarch—- a writing clerk.

In 680 a. d. archdeacon Andrew was included among the representatives of the Holy City and sent to the Sixth Ecumenical Council where he contended with heretical teachings by relying on his profound knowledge of the Orthodox.

Soon after, he was appointed archdeacon at the church of the Haga Sophia; The Wisdom of God. During Emperor Justinian The Second’s reign, (685-695) he was ordained bishop of the city of Gortineia on the island of Crete. In his new position, he shone as a true luminary of God— a theologian, teacher, hymnographer and preacher. His discourses were known for their dignified and harmonious phraseology. He was considered to be one of the foremost ecclesiastical orators of the Byzantine era.

Church historians have different opinions as to the date of his death. One suggests 712, and another 727 and still others 740 a. d. He died on the island of Mytilene while returning to Crete from Constantinople where he had been on church business. In 1350 a. d. Steven Novgorodets, a pious Russian, saw his relics at the Constantinople monastery named for Saint Andrew of Crete.

Andrene Demontagnac

Cincinnati, OH, United States


Dayton Perkins

United States

Wonderful. Wonder if they'll allow me to solo it in my Lutheran church?

Michele Miller Jean

Ocoee, FL, United States

This was my favorite childhood hymn, growing up in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran of Runnemede, NJ. I've always loved how it calls Christians to rise up in battle against the forces of evil in our world and our temporal flesh. Even today, at age (nearly) 63, this version (with this melody) is still one of my all-time favorite hymns!