We’ve a story to tell to the nations
That shall turn their hearts to the right –
A story of truth and mercy,
A story of peace and light,
A story of peace and light.
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noonday bright,
And Christ’s great Kingdom shall come to Earth,
The Kingdom of love and light.
We’ve a song to be sung to the nations
That shall lift their hearts to the Lord –
A song that shall conquer evil
And shatter the spear and sword,
And shatter the spear and sword.
We’ve a message to give to the nations,
That the Lord who reigneth above
Hath sent us His Son to save us
And show us that God is love,
And show us that God is love.
We’ve a Saviour to show to the nations,
Who the path of sorrow hath trod,
That all of the world’s great peoples
Might come to the truth of God,
Might come to the truth of God.
Henry Ernest Nichol was born in Yorkshire, England in 1862 and lived until 1926, so he experienced the struggles of World War I while in his fifties. Perhaps that experience caused him to write this song of hope for the world – hope for peace based on everyone’s knowledge of Jesus Christ as Saviour. Here we are in 2018, still a long way from achieving the fulfilment of that hope, even though the Gospel has been preached around the globe. Of course, it’s the living out of the teachings of Jesus that makes a difference in relationships between people and nations.
Nichol wrote 130 hymn tunes as well as many lyrics. With hymns for which he wrote both lyrics and melody, like this one, he used the pen name Colin Sterne – a rearrangement of the letters in Ernest Nichol. It was first published with that name in Sunday School Hymnary, in London, England. This song is considered his most memorable. Let’s keep on believing that “Christ’s great Kingdom shall come to Earth”!