Hymn Information

PLEASE NOTE: Not all verses may be sung and words may vary in the particular hymn presentation.

O God, Our Lord, Thy Holy Word
Words: Author Unknown; Appeared in the Erfurt Enchiridion of 1527
Music: O Herre Gott | Appeared in the Erfurt Enchiridion of 1527
The English translation by William Gustave Polack (1890–1950) is © 1941 Concordia Publishing House.

The original German hymn appeared in the Erfurt Enchiridion of 1527, and thence in Wackernagel, iii. p. 123, in 8 stanzas of 12 lines. Included in Klug’s Gesang-Buch, 1529, and became very popular in Reformation times.

A very free translation of the German lyrics appears in the 1845 edition of Hymns of the Reformation.

How long, Oh God, Thy word of life
Lies from the world concealed!
They little know in many a place,
What truths are there revealed.
But now through Thy divine decree,
Despite of adverse leaven,
Again it meets the light of day,
A boon to Christians given.

0 Lord our God! with one accord
To Thee thanksgivings rise;
And every lip and every tongue
Its votive strain supplies,
That we have lived to see the hour,
The hour with blessings fraught,
In which Thy word of life is ours
And to our hand is brought.

Whilst those who from our cherished homes
And from our Father-land,
Would chase the message far away,
Must let its witness stand.
Those who are aliens from Thy word,
Who veil it from mankind,
With guile of human learning spoiled,
The souls to wisdom blind,

Oh Lord! with pitying eye regard
These children of the night,
And chase the mists of fallacy
With Thy own living light!
Give them a Spirit to discern
Truths unexplored till now,
And whilst their hearts those beauties trace,
Let Error’s empire bow!

Then keep us, gracious Lord, we pray,
Oh help with strength of Thine;
Make Thou this precious treasure ours
Within our hearts best shrine;
That, to our souls’ salvation blest,
This jewel we may hold,
And use with full devotion’s powers,
Its gems of worth untold.

Let Faith and Hope and Love arise,
And in our hearts bear sway;
That we, as doers of Thy word,
May serve Thee in the way.
That we may honor in our lives
And in our walk below,
Thy name, Thy blessed name, Oh God!
And Thy commandments do.

Oh Lord our God, in joy and grief,
In pleasure and in pain,
Beside Thy faithful people dwell,
And their defence remain!
Whilst still they seek with pure desire,
Thy precepts to fulfill
And all their soul with ardour burns
To know and do Thy will;

With righteous mind, with chastened thought,
With pure devotion’s flame,
And make the dictates of Thy word
Their spirit’s highest aim;
To these the servants, tried and true,
A glorious portion falls;
For heaven is their inheritance
Their towers are Zion’s walls.