We sang a hymn (not a very well-known one) on Wednesday. It’s one I’ve always liked, and it has this line, “Ruling the sense with soul.” We tend to think of “sense” as a good thing, as in, “He has a lot of sense.” That’s not the idea here, though.
Marching Beneath the Banner
music: H. Ernest Nichol
Hark to the sound of voices! Hark to the tramp of feet! Is it a mighty army Treading the busy street? Nearer it comes and nearer, Singing a glad refrain: List what they say as they haste away To the sound of a martial strain: Chorus: Marching beneath the banner, Fighting beneath the Cross, Trusting in Him who saves us, Ne’er shall we suffer loss! Singing the songs of homeland, Loudly the chorus rings, We march to the fight in our armour bright, At the call of the King of kings. Out of the mist of error, Out of the realms of night, Out of the pride of learning, Seeking the home of light! Out of the strife for power, Out of the greed of gold, Onward they roam to their Heavenly home, And the treasure that grows not old. Out of the bonds of evil, Out of the chains of sin, Ever they’re pressing onward, Fighting the fight within; Holding the passions under, Ruling the sense with soul, Wielding the Sword in the Name of the Lord, As they march to their Heavenly goal. On then, ye gallant soldiers, On to your home above! Yours is the truth and glory, Yours is the power and love, Here are ye trained for heroes, Yonder ye serve the King; March to the light, doing always right, With the song that ye love to sing:
It’s a martial hymn, drawing on the Scriptural imagery of the Christian life as a battle, one that is fought within. We’ve been set free from the bonds of evil and the chains of sin, but we still have to fight that fight.
The Scriptures tell us that our faith and our wisdom is not sensual — not driven by our senses, not earthly, not controlled by that which is pleasing to our senses. We are not controlled by our senses — we rule them. We keep the passions under.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
“Here are ye trained for heroes, Yonder ye serve the King!” Keep the passions under, and rule the sense with soul. You are in training — someday, you’ll actually really serve the King the way He should be served.