1 Awake, Thou Spirit, who didst fire
The watchmen of the Church's youth,
Who faced the Foe's envenomed ire,
Who witnessed day and night Thy truth,
Whose voices loud are ringing still
And bringing hosts to know Thy will.
2 Lord, let our earnest pray'r be heard,
The pray'r Thy Son hath bid us pray;
For lo, Thy children's hearts are stirred
In ev'ry land in this our day,
To cry with fervent soul to Thee,
"O help us, Lord! so let it be!"
3 O haste to help, ere we are lost!
Send preachers forth, in spirit strong,
Armed with Thy Word, a dauntless host,
Bold to attack the rule of wrong.
Let them the earth for Thee reclaim,
Thy heritage, to know Thy name.
4 And let Thy Word have speedy course,
Through ev'ry land be glorified
Till all the heathen know its force
And fill Thy churches far and wide.
Wake Isreal from his sleep, O Lord,
And spread the conquest of thy Word!
5 The Church's desert path restore;
Let stumbling-blocks that in them lie
Hinder Thy Word henceforth no more:
Error destroy, and heresy,
And let Thy Church, from hirelings free,
Bloom as a garden fair to Thee!
Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #395
i. Wach auf du Geist der ersten Zeugen. [Missions.] First published 1750, as above, No. 133, in 14 stanzas of 6 lines, entitled, "For faithful labourers in the Harvest of the Lord, for the blessed spread of the Word to all the world." Included in the Berlin Geistliche Liedersegen, ed., 1863, No. 1383. Translated as:—-
Awake, Thou Spirit, Who of old. A good translation of stanzas i.-iii., v.-viii. by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1st series, 1855, p. 41, and thence, omitting st. ii., altered in metre, and beginning, "Awake, Thou Spirit, Who didst fire," as No. 290 in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868. In Miss Winkworth's Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 87, it is altered in metre to "Wake, Spirit, Who in times now olden," stanza vii. being omitted, and this form is No. 190 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
Another translation is "O spirit of the early martyrs, wake," in the British Herald, Oct. 1865, p. 151. Not in common use.
[Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)