Forward! Be Our Watchword

Melody - "St. Boniface," Henry Gadsby, 1875

Henry Alford, 1871

Forward! be our watchword, steps and voices joined;
Seek the things before us, not a look behind;
Burns the fiery pillar at our army's head;
Who shall dream of shrinking, by our Captain led?
Forward through the desert, through the toil and fight;
Jordan flows before us; Zion beams with light.

2. Glories upon glories hath our God prepared,
By the souls that love Him one day to be shared;
Eye hath not beheld them, ear hath never heard;
Nor of these hath uttered thought or speech a word;
Forward, marching eastward, where the heaven is bright,
Till the veil be lifted, till our faith be sight.

3. Far o'er yon horizon rise the city towers
Where our God abideth; that fair home is ours:
Flash the streets with jasper, shine the gates with gold;
Flows the gladdening river shedding joys untold.
Thither, onward, thither, in the Spirit's might;
Pilgrims to your country, forward into light!

4. To the eternal Father loudest anthems raise;
To the Son and Spirit echo songs of praise;
To the Lord of glory, blessed Three in One,
Be by men and angels endless honour done.
Weak are earthly praises, dull the songs of night:
Forward into triumph, forward into light!

This hymn was written for the Tenth Festival of the Parochial Choirs of the Canterbury Diocesan Union.

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