Story Behind The Hymn, “Am I A Soldier Of The Cross”

Isaac Watts, who wrote this hymn, was the father of hymn-writing in the English language. He was born in England. His father was not a member of the state church, and was twice thrown into jail for opposing it, so that when he was a baby his mother often carried him in her arms to visit his father in prison.

He became a minister in London. He was a little man, only about five feet tall. His health was very poor all his life, but his church took loving care of him, for he was greatly liked.

Early in life he became wearied with the versified Psalms which the churches used and set out to compose hymns of his own. This was a new departure and met with persistent opposition, but his hymns soon became widely popular in nearly all the churches.

This hymn was written by Dr. Watts in 1709, to follow a sermon on 1 Cor. 16:13, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Am I A Soldier Of The Cross – Hymn Lyrics

(1) Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause
or blush to speak His name?

(2) Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed thru bloody seas?

(3) Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

(4) Sure I must fight if I would reign:
Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.

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