Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment decide,
In the strife with false-hood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by for ever
‘Twixt that darkness and that light.
Then to side with truth is noble
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And ‘tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses,
While coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.
By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calvaries ever
With the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
Time makes ancient good uncouth;
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep a breast of truth.
Through the cause of evil prosper,
Yet truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne ne wrong;
Yet that scaffold sway the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.