O Father! send Thy Spirit down,
Whom we are bidden by Thy Son
To seek, from Thy high heaven;
We ask as He taught us to pray,
And let us ne’er unheard away
From ’fore Thy throne be driven.
No mortal man upon the earth
Is of this gift so noble worth,
No merit we’ve to gain it;
Here only grace availeth aught,
That Jesus Christ for us hath bought,
His tears and death obtain it.
O Father! much it grieves Thy mind
Us in such woful plight to find,
As Adam’s fall hath brought us;
The evil spirit’s pow’r, this fall
Hath brought on him, and on us all,
But Christ to save hath sought us.
To our salvation, Lord, we cleave,
That we are Thine in Christ believe,
From Him nought shall us sever;
And through His death and precious blood,
Our mansions fair, and highest good,
We look for, doubting never.
This is a work of grace indeed,
The Holy Spirit’s strength we need,
Our pow’r is unavailing;
Our faith and our sincerity
Would soon, O Lord! in ashes lie,
Were not Thy help unfailing.
Of faith Thy Spirit keeps the light,
Though all the world against us fight,
And storm with every weapon.
Although the prince of this world too,
May take the field to lay us low,
No ill through him can happen.
The Spirit’s is the winning side,
And where He helps, the battle’s tide
What’s Satan’s might and majesty?
It falleth when His standard high
The Spirit elevateth.
The chains of hell He rends in twain,
Consoles and frees the heart again
From everything that grieveth;
And when misfortunes o’er us low’r
He shields us better in their hour,
Than ever heart conceiveth.
The bitter cross He maketh sweet,
In gloom His light our eyes doth greet,
Care of His sheep He taketh,
Holds over us the shield, and when
Night falls upon His flock, He then
To rest in peace us maketh.
The Spirit God gives from above
Directeth all who truly love
In ways of safety ever;
He guides our goings every day,
From paths of bliss to turn away
Our feet permits us never.
He maketh fit, and furnishes
With needed gifts for service those
Who here God’s house are rearing,
Adorns their minds and mouths and hearts,
And light to them for us imparts,
What’s dark to us thus clearing.
Our hearts He opens secretly
When they His word so faithfully
As precious seed are sowing;
He giveth pow’r to it, where’er
It takes root, tending it with care,
And waters it when growing.
He teacheth us the fear of God,
Loves purity, makes His abode
The soul that sin refuseth;
Who contrite are, virtue revere,
Repent, and turn to Him in fear
And love, He ever chooseth.
He’s true, and true doth aye abide,
In death’s dark hour He’s at our side,
When all from us recedeth;
He sootheth our last agony,
Up to the halls of bliss on high
In joy and trust He leadeth.
Oh! happy are the souls and bless’d,
Who while on earth permit this Guest
To make in them His dwelling;
Who now receive Him joyfully,
He’ll take up to God’s house on high,
Their souls with rapture filling.
Now, Father, who all good dost give,
Our pray’r hear, may we all receive
From Thee this priceless blessing;
Thy Spirit give, that here He may
Rule us, and there in endless day
Our souls be aye refreshing.
Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867