This hymn, by George William Kitchen and Michael Robert Newbolt, written in
1916, is particularly appropriate for Passiontide - that is, the two weeks
before Easter - but is sufficiently general for use at other times. The third
verse in particular makes it appropriate for use at infant baptism. I like this
hymn a great deal, but it is not found in the English Hymnal and is
neither as well known or as well liked as it deserves. The refrain is sung both
before the first verse and after the last. Some hymnals list the first use of the
refrain as verse 1, but this is likely to lead to confusion. The usual tune is
Lift high the Cross,
The love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore
His sacred Name.
Come, brethren, follow where our Captain trod,
Our King victorious, Christ the Son of God.
Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.
Each newborn soldier of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of him who died.
This is the sign which Satan's legions fear
And angels veil their faces to revere.
Saved by this Cross whereon their Lord was slain,
The sons of Adam their lost home regain.
From north and south, from east and west they raise
In growing unison their songs of praise.
O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As thou hast promised, draw the world to thee.
Let every race and every language tell
Of him who saves our souls from death and hell.
From farthest regions let their homage bring,
And on his Cross adore their Saviour King.
Set up thy throne, that earth's despair may cease
Beneath the shadow of its healing peace.
For thy blest Cross which doth for all atone,
Creation's praises rise before thy throne.