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O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold

"O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold"

by Dr. Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Text From:

THE HANDBOOK TO THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL

(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1942), p. 191

 

O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold

1. O Lord, look down from heaven, behold

And let Thy pity waken:

How few are we within Thy Fold,

Thy saints by men forsaken!

True faith seems quenched on every hand,

Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;

Dark times have us o'ertaken.

2. With fraud which they themselves invent

Thy truth they have confounded;

Their hearts are not with one consent

On Thy pure doctrine grounded.

While they parade with outward show,

They lead the people to and fro,

In error's maze astounded.

3. May God root out all heresy

And of false teachers rid us

Who proudly say: "Now, where is he

That shall our speech forbid us?

By right or might we shall prevail;

What we determine cannot fail;

We own no lord and master."

4. Therefore saith God, "I must arise,

The poor My help are needing;

To Me ascend My people's cries,

And I have heard their pleading.

For them My saving Word shall fight

And fearlessly and sharply smite,

The poor with might defending."

5. As silver tried by fire is pure

From all adulteration,

So through God's Word shall men endure

Each trial and temptation.

Its light beams brighter through the cross,

And, purified from human dross,

It shines through every nation.

6. Thy truth defend, O God, and stay

This evil generation;

And from the error of their way

Keep Thine own congregation.

The wicked everywhere abound

And would Thy little flock confound;

But Thou art our Salvation.

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Notes:

260 for the Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal

Text: Ps. 12

Author: Martin Luther, 1523

Translated by: composite

Titled: Ach Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein

Tune: Ach Gott vom Himmel

1st Published in: "Enchiridion"

Town: Erfurt, 1524