1. Look down, O Lord, from heav'n behold, And let thy pity waken! How few the flock within thy fold, Neglected and forsaken! Almost thou'lt seek for faith in vain, And those who should thy truth maintain Thy Word from us have taken.
2. With frauds which they themselves invent Thy truth they have confounded; Their hearts are not with one consent On thy pure doctrine grounded; And, whilst they gleam with outward show, They lead thy people to and fro, In error's maze astounded.
3. God surely will uproot all those With vain deceits who store us, With haughty tongue who God oppose, And say, "Who'll stand before us? By right or might we will prevail; What we determine cannot fail, For who can lord it o'er us?"
4. For this, saith God, I will arise, These wolves my flock are rending; I've heard my people's bitter sighs To heav'n my throne ascending: Now will I up, and set at rest Each weary soul by fraud opprest, The poor with might defending.
5. The silver sev'n times tried is pure From all adulteration; So, through God's word, shall men endure Each trial and temptation: Its worth gleams brighter through the cross, And, purified from human dross, It shines through every nation.
6. Thy truth thou wilt preserve, O Lord, From this vile generation; Make us to lean upon thy word, With calm anticipation. The wicked walk on every side When, 'mid thy flock, the vile abide In pow'r and exaltation.
Words: Martin Luther, 1524. Translated by Frances Elizabeth Cox, 1864.
Music: 'Es ist das Heil uns Kommen Her'traditional German circa 1400 from Etlich Christlich Lider, Wittenberg, 1524.
Setting: Karl August Haupt, 1869.
copyright: public domain. This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2009 Revision.
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