The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Oh Let Thy Praise, Redeemer, God !

For Advent

Words: "Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ," by Martin Luther
Translation by Henrietta J. Fry

Source: Henrietta Joan Fry, Hymns of the Reformation (London: Charles Gilpin, 1845), pp. 16-18.


A.D. 1524.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,
which shall stand for an ensign of the
people ; to it shall the Gentiles seek : and
His rest shall be glorious.—Isaiah xi. 10.

Oh let Thy praise, Redeemer, God !
     Our votive hearts engage ;
Since Thou wast of a virgin born,
     Of David's lineage :
At this, in truth, with one accord,
     Angelic voices rise,
And pour their hallowed melody
     In rapture through the skies ;
Whilst praises full, and soft, and clear,
     Thy church supplies.

The Father's well-beloved Son
     Once in a manger lay ;
Divine with human reconciled,
     The wonder we survey.
It pleased the Great Eternal One
     Our fragile vest to wear,
Our garments of mortality,
     Our load of sin to bear :
Then let our heart's best praise be given
     For love so rare.

Him to contain, the ethereal heavens,
     With all their boundless spheres,
Throughout the circuit of those worlds,
     Too small, too mean appears ;
Yet this stupendous Lord of all,
     Who through creation lives,
Oh, miracle of passing worth !
     An earthly shrine receives :
Then praise the Saviour, who to dust
     Such honour gives.

That mighty monarch, who, alone,
     Upholds this wondrous frame,
The universe, with all its orbs,
     A little child became.
Behold ! the light of ages beams,
     It gilds this world of woe ;
It pours its living lustre round
     Where darkness reigned below :
Praise ye the Lord, who bade this tide
     Of bliss to flow.

Children of light and life, we hail
     Salvation's glorious ray ;
This bright inheritance is ours,
     As children of the day,
Son of the Father ! lo, He comes,
     One in the God-head known ;
How was He then a guest on earth,—
     God's well-beloved Son !
Then let us praise Him for His work
     Of mercy done.

Forth from the vale of misery,
     With burdens sore opprest ;
Where Pain and Sorrow's bondsmen dwell,
     Where night's dark curtains rest ;
Forth from this vale of tears, He calls
     To mansions fair and bright,
And bids us walk His hulls above,
     In uncreated light.
Then praise the Lord with all your powers,
     Your spirit's might.

In poverty, on earth He came,
     To pity and redeem,
To make us rich for heaven above,
     Like angels dear to Him.
This all, for us, hath Jesus wrought,
     To make His goodness plain ;
Then let His Christendom exult,
     With joy's triumphant strain,
And each adoring voice sound forth
     Messiah's reign.

Thus through eternal ages still,
     Thanksgivings shall ascend,
In one enduring jubilee—
     A sabbath without end ;
Whilst, from the censor of all hearts,
     Shall praise ascend.

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