1910 S. BARING-GOULD. Autograph MSs of the Hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers.
1910 S. BARING-GOULD. Autograph MSs of the Hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers.

1910 S. BARING-GOULD. Autograph MSs of the Hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers.

Regular price
$850.00
Sale price
$850.00

A very fine holograph of one of the most influential hymns of the missionary movement. According to Baring Gould, it was dashed off in a great hurry on Saturday, printed on Sunday, and performed on Monday. 

The song was at first a dud. The tune was unsingable, beign set to Joseph Hayden's Symphony in D, #15. But when it was reset by Arthur Sullivan, it went, quite literally, to the top of the charts. 

It immediately took legs in a surprising variety of communities. The two most significant early adopters were the Salvation Army, who used it as their official processional for many years, and the then exploding missionary movement. The language of battle and blood and sacrifice was especially fitting given the martyrdoms of the early 19th century on the field and the ongoing threats to life experienced by missionaries in the South Seas, Madagascar, and the Middle East. 

These days, Quakers and other pacifist communities aside, it would be very difficult to find a collection of Christian hymns that did not include it. 

The present contains the lines as follows:

Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!
Christ, the royal Master,
leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
see his banner go.

And is then signed, as usual, S. Baring Gould.

In very good condition. Nd. c.1910-1912