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7238. We Saw Thee Not

1. We saw Thee not when Thou didst come
To this poor world of sin and death;
Nor yet beheld Thy cottage home,
In that despisèd Nazareth.
But we believe Thy footsteps trod
Its streets and plains, Thou Son of God.
But we believe Thy footsteps trod
Its streets and plains, Thou Son of God.

2. We did not see Thee lifted high,
Amid that wild and savage crew;
Nor heard Thy meek, imploring cry,
Forgive, they know not what they do!
Yet we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun.
But we believe the deed was done,
Which shook the earth and veiled the sun.

3. We stood not by the empty tomb,
Where late Thy sacred body lay;
Nor sat within that upper room,
Nor met Thee on the open way.
But we believe that angels said,
Why seek the living with the dead?
But we believe that angels said,
Why seek the living with the dead?

4. We did not mark the chosen few,
When Thou didst through the clouds ascend,
First lift to Heaven their wondering view,
Then to the earth all prostrate bend;
But we believe that mortal eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies;
But we believe that mortal eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies.

5. And now that Thou dost reign on high,
And thence Thy waiting people bless,
No ray of glory from the sky
Doth shine upon our wilderness;
But we believe Thy faithful Word,
And trust in our redeeming Lord;
But we believe Thy faithful Word,
And trust in our redeeming Lord.

Richter’s original poem:

1. We have not seen Thy footsteps tread
This wild and sinful earth of ours,
Nor heard Thy voice restore the dead
Again to life’s reviving powers:
But we believe—for all things are
The gifts of Thine Almighty care.

2. We have not seen the billowy sea
Grow calm and still at Thy command,
Nor the dim orbs again to see,
Beneath the healing of Thine hand:
But we believe the Fount of light
Again could give those eyeballs sight.

3. We did not see Thee tread the wave;
We did not hear the voice from heaven,
Which once with awful warning gave
That God’s own Son for us was given.
But we believe—oh! strengthen Thou
The faith which to Thy name we owe.

4. We did not see the armed throng
Steal to the garden’s midnight shade,
And watch the palm-tree’s boughs among,
Then quail beneath Thy glance afraid:
But we believe—Almighty love
Alone could such dark moments prove.

5. We did not see the darkness veil
With sudden gloom the noon-day skies;
Nor the fierce soldier’s cheek grow pale;
And priestly mockery veil their eyes;
When the proud Roman owned the power
Of heaven, ’twas in that awful hour.

6. We did not hear the footsteps fall
Within that lonely garden ground,
Of the all-wakeful sentinel,
Slow tracing there his watchful round;
But we believe—the Holy One
Bursting that tomb, in glory shone.

7. We were not with the chosen few
Who saw Thee through the clouds ascend,
Who gazed, and wished to follow too,
Then on the earth all prostrate bend;
But we believe that mortal eyes
Beheld the journey to the skies.

8. Chase every shade of doubt away;
Light of the World! in mercy shine;
Illume with faith our erring way,
We would no worship own but Thine.
Bring us to heaven’s peaceful shore,
And make us Thine forevermore!

Text Information
First Line: We saw Thee not when Thou didst come
Title: We Saw Thee Not
Author: Anne R. Richter (1834)
Adapter: John H. Gurney
Meter: LMD
Language: English
Source: Songs from the Valley: A Collection of Sacred Poetry (Kirkby Lonsdale: 1834); modified in Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (London: 1851)
Copyright: Public Domain
Notes: Alternate tunes: CREDO, John Stainer, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1875; DAVID'S HARP, Robert King, in The Divine Companion, 1722
Tune Information
Name: WE SAW THEE NOT
Composer: Knowles Shaw (1877)
Meter: LMD
Incipit: 11333 21122 24323
Key: E Major
Copyright: Public Domain



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