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By nature man cannot achieve

Representative Text

1 By nature man cannot achieve
True knowledge of salvation,
Nor yet the things of God believe,
However high his station.
Until Thy Word, that light divine,
Within our hearts begins to shine,
O God, we grope in darkness.

2 But Thou, O God, in days of old
Didst send us faithful teachers.
Who by Thy Spirit did unfold
Thy holy will as preachers;
At last Thy Son to earth came down,
Who wore for us the thorny crown,
Thy will and counsel taught us.

3 For this, O God, we sing Thy praise;
True knowledge now possessing,
May we continue in Thy ways
And thus obtain Thy blessing.
May we Thy Word with joy receive
And in its saving truth believe,
As Thine own revelation.

4 O let Thy Word, that shining light,
Illume our pathway ever;
Help us to keep it pure and bright,
And may it fail us never,
But comfort give in ev'ry need;
In life, in death may we take heed
And trust its faithful guidance.

5 O God, our Father, spread Thy Word
To Thine own praise and glory;
Enlighten us, O Christ, our Lord,
With Thy true Gospel story;
O Holy Spirit, gracious Light,
Teach us to know the truth aright
And work all good within us.


Source: American Lutheran Hymnal #97

Author: David Denicke

Denicke, David, son of B. D. Denicke, Town Judge of Zittau, Saxony, was born at Zittau, January 31, 1603. After studying philosophy and law at the Universities of Wittenberg and Jena, he was for a time tutor of law at Königsberg, and, 1624-1628, travelled in Holland, England and France. In 1629 he became tutor to the sons of Duke Georg of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and under father and sons held various important offices, such as, 1639, the direction of the foundation of Bursfeld, and in 1642 a member of the Consistory at Hannover. He died at Hannover, April 1, 1680 (Koch, iii. 237; Bode, p. 58). His hymns, which for that time were in good taste, and are simple, useful, warm, and flowing, appeared in the various Hannoverian hymnbooks, 1646-1659,… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: By nature man cannot achieve
Author: David Denicke

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American Lutheran Hymnal #97

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