Awake, Thou Spirit, who of old

Representative Text

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

Author: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Author: Carl Heinrich von Bogatzky

Bogatzky, Carl Heinrich von.   He was born Sept. 7,1690, on his father's estate of Jankowe, near Militsch, in Silesia. His father, J. A. v. Bogatzky, was descended from a noble Hungarian family, and entering the Austrian service attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Bogatzky's early education was picked up at various places as family arrangements permitted. He was for some time page at the Ducal Court of Weissenfels. From Weissenfels his father removed him to 13realau, to prepare for entering the army. During a long illness at Breslau he became convinced that God had other work for him to do. Receiving an offer of assistance from Count Heinrich xxiv., of Reuss-Kostriz, towards the expenses of an University course, he entered Urn Univer… Go to person page >


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)



DIR, DIR, JEHOVA was published anonymously in Georg Wittwe's Musikalisches Handbuch der Geistlichen Melodien (1690). The bar form (AAB) melody was expanded in Johann A. Freylinghausen's Geistreiches Gesangbuch (1704), where it was set to a hymn by Bärtholomaus Crasselius, "Dir, dir, Jehovah, vill i…

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Christian Worship #567

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #395

Hymnal 1982 #540

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