Forward! Be our Watchword

Forward Be

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;
Canaan lies before us, Zion beams with light.

Forward, flock of Jesus, salt of all the earth,
Till each yearning purpose spring to glorious birth;
Sick, they ask for healing, blind, they grope for day;
Pour upon the nations wisdom’s loving ray!
Forward, out of error, leave behind the night;
Forward through the darkness, forward into light.

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, ever forward, clad in armour bright;
Till the veil be lifted, till our faith be sight.

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

 -H. Alford