The Son of God Goes Forth To War

by Reginald Heber, Anglican Bishop
(Calcutta, India)

Old Calcutta, India, 1795

Old Calcutta, India, 1795

Revelation 19:11-16

The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood red banner streams afar:
Who follows in His train?

Who best can drink his cup of woe,
Triumphant over pain;
Who patient bears his cross below,
He follows in His train.

That martyr first, whose eagle eye
Could pierce beyond the grave;
Who saw his Master in the sky,
And called on Him to save.

Like Him, with pardon on His tongue,
In midst of mortal pain,
He prayed for them that did the wrong:
Who follows in His train?

A glorious band, the chosen few
On whom the Spirit came;
Twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,
And mocked the cross and flame.

They met the tyrant’s brandished steel,
The lion’s gory mane;
They bowed their heads the death to feel:
Who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys,
The matron and the maid;
Around the Savior’s throne rejoice,
In robes of light arrayed.

They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
Through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
To follow in their train.

Will you help me get saved?

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Reginald Heber, missionary Bishop of Calcutta, was a famous Church of England pastor and missionary. He wrote many hymns including, Holy, Holy, Holy, From Greenland's Icy Mountains and The Son of God Goes Forth To War, lyrics written in 1812 and set to music by American organist Henry S. Cutler.

Most people do not know that Reginald's older brother Richard Heber was a gay man who loved his younger brother and supported his missionary work in India. Internationally famous in his own right as a wealthy book collector, Richard Heber's library contained more than 150,000 rare and exquisite volumes when he died.

The beautiful acquatint depicts Steuart and Company Coachworks, which occupied this building in Calcutta, India, from 1783-1907. They manufactured carriages, palanquins and elephant harnesses. This acquatint is in the public domain.

Painting of 9 year old Richard Heber
by John Singleton Copley, 1782
is in the public domain.

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