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We saw Thee not when Thou didst come

Representative Text

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 despised 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 saw thee not when lifted high
Amid that wild and savage crew;
Nor heard we that imploring cry,
"Forgive, they know not what they do!"
But we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun;
But we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun.

3 We gazed not in the open tomb
Where once thy mangled body lay;
Nor saw thee in 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 walked not with the chosen few
Who saw thee from the earth ascend;
Who raised to heaven their wondering view,
Then low to earth all prostrate bend;
But we believe that human eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies;
But we believe that human eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies.

Source: The Christian Sunday School Hymnal: a compilation of choice hymns and tunes for Sunday schools #24

Author: Anne R. Richter

Richter, Anne, ne'e Rigby, was the third daughter of the Rev. Robert Rigby, Vicar of St. Mary's, Beverley, Yorkshire, from 1791 to 1823, and married the Rev. W. H. Richter, sometime Chaplain of the County Gaol at Kirton Lindsey, Lincolnshire, and then Rector of St. Paul's, Lincoln. Mrs. Richter died at 23 Minster Yard, Lincoln, in 1857. She contributed to various magazines, and published The Nun and Other Poems, Hull, 1841. Her intimate literary acquaintances included Mrs. Hemans. Mrs. Richter was descended from the celebrated John Bradshaw, whose name is the first in the list of the signatures on the death warrant of Charles I. Her hymn, "We have not seen Thy footsteps tread," in its altered form as "We saw Thee not when Thou didst come,"… Go to person page >

Alterer: John Hampden Gurney

Gurney, John Hampden, M.A., eldest son of Sir John Gurney, a Baron of the Exchequer, was born in Serjeants’ Inn, London, Aug. 15, 1802, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1824. On taking Holy Orders he became Curate of Lutterworth (1827-1844), and subsequently Rector of St. Mary's, Marylebone, and Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral. He died in London, March 8, 1862. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and other religious societies had his cordial sympathy, and received his active support. His publications include several small volumes in prose, and the following:— (1) Church Psalmody; Hints for the improvement of a Collection of Hymns published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: We saw Thee not when Thou didst come
Author: Anne R. Richter
Alterer: John Hampden Gurney (1851)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


CREDO (Stainer)

John Stainer (b. Southwark, London, England, 1840; d. Verona, Italy, 1901) composed CREDO for the text "We Saw Thee Not When Thou Didst Come"; the tune was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875). CREDO, like some other Victorian tunes, depends as much on its harmonization as on its melody for…

Go to tune page >



Dmitri Stephanovich Bortnianski (b. Gloukoff, Ukraine, 1751; d. St. Petersburg, Russia, 1825) was a Russian composer of church music, operas, and instrumental music. His tune ST. PETERSBURG (also known as RUSSIAN HYMN) was first published in J. H. Tscherlitzky's Choralbuch (1825). The tune is suppo…

Go to tune page >



The Book of Common Praise: being the hymn book of The Church of England in Canada (revised 1938) #513b
The Cyber Hymnal #7238
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 79 of 79)
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A Collection of Hymns #88

Choral Song #d244

Christian Hymns #d341

Christian Hymns III #d429

Christian Hymns #201

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Church Hymnal #530

Church Hymnal, Third Edition #384

Church Hymns with Tunes #541

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Church Hymns #587

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Common Praise #229

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Crown of Beauty #191

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Favorite Hymns #275

Gloria in Excelsis #d736

Gloria in Excelsis #d457

Great Songs of the Church #d404

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Great Songs of the Church #354

Hymnal, Church of the Brethren #d445

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Hymni Ecclesiae #299

Hymns Ancient and Modern (Standard ed.) #174

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Edition #340

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #121

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Hymns of the Ages for Public and Social Worship #459

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Hymns of the Living Church #225

Hymns of the United Church #d432

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Hymns of the United Church #40

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In Excelsis #242

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In Excelsis #a242

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Loving Voices #163

Melodies of Zion #d270

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New Christian Hymn and Tune Book #742

Old Choir Selections #d59

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Our Song Book #80

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Pilgrim Songs for the Sunday School #100

Popular Hymns #d252

Popular Hymns No. 3 #d243

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Popular Hymns Number 2 #177

Popular Hymns Revised #d271

Popular Hymns #d268

Popular Revival Hymns #d51

Praise Him #d283

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Sacred Selections for the Church #313

Song Land Melodies #d190

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Songs of Glory, No.2 #25

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Songs of Pilgrimage #689

Songs of Worship for the Sunday School #d239

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Sursum Corda #384a

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Sursum Corda #384b

The American Hymnal #d643

The Book of Common Praise #513a


The Book of Common Praise #513b

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The Book of Common Praise #660

The Book of Praise #262

The Canadian Youth Hymnal #279

The Chapel Hymnal #d264

The Chapel Hymnal with Tunes #d201

The Choral Hymnal #d243

The Christian Hymnary. Bks. 1-4 #328

TextPage Scan

The Christian Sunday School Hymnal #24

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The Church Hymnary #124

The Concordia Hymnal #d399

The Concordia Hymnal. Rev. #d399


The Cyber Hymnal #7238

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The English Hymnal #509

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The English Hymnal #509

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The Evangelical Hymnal with Tunes #217

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The Greatest Hymns #55

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The Helping Hand #84

The Institute Hymnal #d188

The King's Praise ... a General Purpose Song Book #d225

The Methodist Hymn-Book with Tunes #148

The More Perfect Gospel Hymnal, a Revision of the Cross and Resurrection in Song #d304

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The Morning Star #12

The New Alphabetical Hymnal #d462

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The New Laudes Domini #393

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Worship in Song #335

Zion Songs, Spiritual Hymns #d184

Exclude 76 pre-1979 instances
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