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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Hymns. II. “Round the Sacred City gather”

Samuel John Stone (1839–1900)

Battle Hymn of Church Defence

ROUND the Sacred City gather

Egypt, Edom, Babylon;

All the warring hosts of error,

Sworn against her, are as one:

Vain the leaguer! her foundations

Are upon the holy hills,

And the love of the ETERNAL

All her stately temple fills.

Get thee, watchman, to the rampart!

Gird thee, warrior, with thy sword!

And be strong as ye remember

In your midst is GOD the LORD:

Like the night-mists from the valley,

These shall vanish, one by one,

Egypt’s malice, Edom’s envy,

And the hate of Babylon.

But be true, ye sons and daughters,

Lest the peril be within;

Watch to prayer, lest in your slumber

Stealthy foemen enter in;

Safe the mother and the children

If their will and love be strong,

While their loyal hearts go singing

Prayer and praise for battle-song.

Church of GOD! if we forget thee,

Let His blessing fail our hand;

When our love shall not prefer thee,

Let His love forget our land—

Nay! our memory shall be steadfast

Though in storm the mountains shake,

And our love is love for ever,

For it is for JESUS’ sake.

Church of JESUS! His thy Banner

And thy Banner’s awful Sign:

By His passion and His glory

Thou art His and He is thine:

From the Hill of His Redemption

Flows thy sacramental tide:

From the Hill of His Ascension

Flows the grace of God thy Guide.

Yea: thou Church of GOD the SPIRIT!

His Society Divine,

His the living Word thou keepest,

His thy Apostolic line,

Ancient prayer and song liturgic,

Creeds that change not to the end,

As His gift we have received them,

As His charge we will defend.

Alleluia, Alleluia,


In Whose will the Church at warfare

With the Church at rest is one:

So to THEE we sing in union,

GOD in earth and Heav’n adored,

Alleluia, Alleluia,

Holy, Holy, Holy LORD.