Scripture Verse

The God of Jacob defend thee. Psalm 20:1

Introduction

Words: Eli­za­beth Words­worth, 1885.

To the best of my know­ledge and be­lief, I wrote it in the win­ter of 1884–5, when the ex­cite­ment about Ge­ne­ral Gor­don was at its height…The lines Je­ho­vah-Nis­si ap­peared in the Guard­ian of Jan. 21, 1885, signed Ve­ri­tas. This is our fa­mi­ly mot­to, and as such was well known to my own fa­mi­ly circle

The hymn was fre­quent­ly print­ed as a leaf­let, and en­ti­tled Je­ho­vah-Nis­si. A hymn for our Sol­diers. It was in­clud­ed in Church [Hymns], 1903.

Julian, p. 1729

Music: Je­ho­vah-Nis­si George J. Ben­nett, in Church Hymns With Tunes, new edi­tion, Charles H. Lloyd & Ba­sil Har­wood, mu­sic ed­ito­rs (Lon­don: So­cie­ty for Pro­mot­ing Chris­tian Know­ledge, 1903), num­ber 295 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Elizabeth Wordsworth (1840–1932)
National Portrait Gallery

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Lyrics

O Lord our ban­ner, God of might,
Who wast with Jo­shua in the fight,
And Mo­ses on the hill,
Be with Thy ser­vants far away,
Their shield by night, their guide by day,
To suc­cor them from ill.

For hus­band, bro­ther, son, and sire,
We raise up hands that ne­ver tire
On this our mount of pray­er;
Thou know­est, we but dim­ly guess,
That day’s long toil, the night’s dis­tress,
And all they do and bear.

The bat­tle’s is­sue hangs on Thee;
In Thy firm hand the scales we see
Of mor­tal loss and gain:
And tid­ings car­ried swift as thought
’Twixt land and land to Thee are naught
But Thine own will made plain.

Giver of strength, O bless and aid
Thy ser­vants ’gainst the foe ar­rayed;
Go forth with them to fight!
In bat­tle’s storm their shel­ter be;
Thy Spir­it grant, of un­ity,
Of coun­sel, and of might.

Watch o’er the wound­ed in the field,
And, where the sick and dy­ing yield
Their souls, do Thou be nigh!
Give peace with­in the heart dis­tressed,
And peace on earth, and, last and best,
Thy peace be­yond the sky.