Hymns:Come Christians follow this triumphant sign
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|Come Christians follow this triumphant sign|
|Title||Come, Christians follow this triumphant sign|
|Author||George William Kitchin|
|Composer||Sydney Hugo Nicholson|
|Orig. Key||C Major|
|Meter||10 10 with Refrain|
|1st Line||Come, Christians follow this triumphant sign|
Come, Christians follow this triumphant sign
- stanza(s) 1: Matt. 16:24, 1 Pet. 2:21
- stanza(s) 2: Rev. 7:3
- stanza(s) 3: Ps. 107:1-3
- stanza(s) 4: John 12:32
- stanza(s) 5: Matt. 1:21
- stanza(s) 6: Ps. 103:19, Matt. 25:31
- stanza(s) 7: 2 Cor. 2:14, Col. 2:15
- reference(s): John 3:14
George W. Kitchin (b. Naughton, Suffolk, England, 1827; d. Durham, England, 1912) wrote the original version of this text in 1887 for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The hymn was intended to be used for a festival service at Winchester Cathedral, England. Michael R. Newbolt (b. Dymock, Gloucestershire, England, 1874; d. Bierton, Buckinghamshire, England, 1956) revised the text in twelve couplets for the 1916 Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern where it was set to CRUCIFER. Eight of his couplets are included in the seven stanzas and refrain.
Perhaps similar to Constantine's vision of Christ's cross, this text makes clear that the cross is a symbol of Christ's love. As Stanley L. Osborne states, "[The text's] images are biblical, its moods expectant, its promises courageous, and its demands costly" (If Such Holy Song, 321). "Lift High the Cross" reveals many implications of Christ's cross: Christ rallies his people behind him (st. 1-2); Christ gathers his people from throughout the world (st. 3-5); Christ gives healing to the despair of the world (st. 6); Christ's victory enjoins our praise to him (st. 7).
A scholar and Anglican clergyman, Kitchin spent most of his life in academic institutions. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, England, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1852. He served initially as a headmaster in Twyford, Hampshire, and then as a tutor at Oxford (1863-1883). Dean of Winchester Cathedral from 1883 to 1894 and of Durham Cathedral from 1894 to 1912, Kitchin was also chancellor of Durham University the last few years of his life. His publications include A Life of Pope Pius II (1881), a three volume work entitled A History of France (1877), and archeological writings.
Michael R. Newbolt was educated at St. John's College, Oxford, and ordained as priest in the Church of England in 1900. He ministered at several churches during the early part of his career and then became principal of the Missionary College in Dorchester (1910-1916). From 1916 to 1927 he served St. Michael and All Angels Church in Brighton and from 1927 to 1946 was canon of Chester Cathedral. Newbolt wrote several theological works, including a commentary on the Book of Revelation.
Lent; Holy Week; profession of faith; baptism and similar consecration/renewal worship services; missions (thus for Epiphany or Pentecost); many other occasions, especially as an opening or closing hymn.
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.
- Come, Christians follow this triumphant sign.
The hosts of God in unity combine.
- Each newborn servant of the Crucified
bears on the brow the seal of him who died.
- O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee.
- So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory!
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