(week 26/17)

The School Song of CMS (Christian Missionary Society) Grammar School, Lagos Nigeria: the FIRST SECONDARY school in Nigeria founded on 6th June 1859.

  1. Lives are in the making here

Hearts are in the waking here

Mighty undertaking here,


We are arming for the fight

Pressing on with all our might

Pluming wings for higher flight,



Up boys! Truest fame

Lies in high endeavour

Play the game! Keep the flame,

Burning brightly ever.

  1. Fair before us lies the way

Time for work and time for play,

Fill the measure while we may:


Life and time will not delay

Time is running fast away

Life is Now – today, today!


  1. Foes in plenty we shall meet

Hearts courageous scorn defeat,

So we press with eager feet,


Ever onward to the fight

Ever upward to the light

Ever true to God and Right,


  1. Looking up by faith, we see

Christ our Saviour on the tree

Lifted up for you and me,


Crowning Christ as Sovereign Lord!

Fighting with the Spirit’s sword

Singing as we cross the ford.


  1. Africa will surely rise,

Fail will not in high emprise

Hidden here the secret lies.


Hail Schola Carissima

Laus Deo! Sursum Corda!

Nisi Dominus Frustra.


This poem was adopted as the School Song in 1917 with the permission of the author, Mr. John Oxenham. The last two verses were added in 1922 (also with permission) by the Rt. Rev. A.W. Smith. “Sursum Corda”, “Nisi Dominus Frustra” are the mottoes of the Diocese and the School. The music was composed by the late Rev. Canon E. J. Evans, Ex-Principal of the School, and harmonized by Professor Fela Sowande, M.B.E., F.R.C.O., D.Mus, an Old Boy.

This school song is prophetic of God’s purpose for Nigeria and Africa in this end-time.

Nigeria and Africa are spoken of prophetically in the scriptures as being the place where Zion, the perfect, 3rd day church will be  pioneered and then spread to the whole world, like the early church was pioneered in Israel and the Reformation was pioneered in Germany (1517).

When this poem was adopted as the CMS school song in 1917-22 by the missionaries running the school, the whole of Africa was under colonial rule. However, God prophetically revealed to the missionaries through adoption of this song that Africa will SURELY RISE from spiritual darkness and colonial domination.

Today in 2017, 100 years later, we see that a partial fulfillment of this prophetic school song has been accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

Hearts have been awakened, lives have been made here: the distinguished Alumni of the CMS grammar school include the pioneer chartered accountant in Africa and Nigeria Chief Akintola Williams; a former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan; a former Governor, Niyi Adebayo; a serving Senator, Gbenga Ashafa; pioneer Professors of Medicine like Prof Ogunlesi, the late Prof Femi Williams; legal practitioners like the late Chief F.R.A. Williams; late G.O.K. Ajayi; scientists and engineers like the late Prof. Ayodele Awojobi, among many others too numerous to mention individually, who have made and are making a tremendous impact in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world.

Africa is RISING from spiritual darkness and colonization BUT she has not YET FULLY ARISEN AND IS NOT YET FULLY SHINING, hence this prophetic message 100 years after this poem was adopted as the CMS school song.

The last stanza of the school song says ‘Africa will surely rise, fail will not in high emprise, HIDDEN HERE THE SECRET LIES’.

The secret alluded to here is the secret of BOTH secular and spiritual education.

We have obtained a secular education that has caused us to arise and dispel the spiritual darkness to some degree, HOWEVER, we MUST NOW embrace in its fullness, the spiritual education so that we can ARISE AND SHINE FULLY as it is written in the scriptures (Isaiah 60:1).

Secular education is the FOUNDATION for spiritual education: if you are not literate you cannot read the Bible and understand and fulfill God’s purposes in FULLNESS.

Just like Moses (Act.7.22, 30) and Paul (Act.22.3, Gal.1. 11-12) had FIRSTLY a secular education BEFORE God gave them a spiritual education by divine revelation to fulfill God’s purpose, we MUST NOW in this end-time seek God for spiritual education by revelation of the Holy Spirit through the scriptures, to FULLY fulfill our divine destiny to cause ‘AFRICA TO FULLY RISE AND SHINE’.

With this spiritual education, we will fulfill the 4th stanza:

‘Crowning Christ as Sovereign Lord’

‘Fighting with the Spirit’s Sword’.

By the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and praying with the supernatural utterance of the Holy Spirit we will overcome the ‘foes in plenty’ we will meet with ‘hearts courageous that will scorn defeat’ and ‘moving on with eager feet’ will cause ‘Africa to SURELY RISE AND SHINE’.

Ephesians 6:17-18 KJV:  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18)  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJV:  Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. (2)  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (3)  The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.