O God, our fathers oft have told

O God, our fathers oft have told

Published in 3 hymnals

Representative Text

1 O God, our fathers oft have told
in our attentive ears;
Thy wondrous works wrought in their days,
and elder time than theirs.
2 Thy hand did drive the heathen out,
but plant them in their place:
Thou didst the heathen people waste,
but thine thou didst increase.

3 For 'twas not their own sword, to them
the land's possession gave;
Now was the strength of their own arm
the pow'r that did them save:
But Thy right hand, thine arm, the light
that shined from thy face;
Because on them thou pleased wast
thy favour free to place.

4 Thou art my king, O might GOD;
deliverances command
For Jacob in his deep distress,
who needs thy mighty hand.
5 Thro' Thee, as with an horn, we will
push down our enemies:
We thro' the name will tread down those
who up against us rise.

6 Because it is not in my bow
that I affiance have;
Nor is it any sword of mine
that ever can me save.
7 But thou hast sav'd us from our foes,
and haters put to shame.
8 In GOD we all the day triumph,
and ever praise thy name.

[2 Part]

9 But now thou seem'st to cast us off;
thou shamest us also;
And with our military troops
to battle dost not go.
10 Thou mak'st us from our enemies
basely to turn our back;
And they who hate us, for themselves
our spoils deserted, take.

11 As sheep for meat and slaughter doom'd,
thou giv'st us to their hands;
And scatt'rest our poor captives through
their barb'rous, heathen lands.
12 Thy people Thou hast sold for nought;
no wealthier art thou found:
13 Thou mak'st us a reproach and scoff
to all our neighbours round.

14 Yea ev'n among the heathen Thou
a proverb dost us make;
And people round us in contempt
at us their heads to shake.
15 Before our eyes continually
appears our great disgrace;
And wholly with confounding shame
o'er-covered is our face;

16 By reason of the voice of him
who taunts and vilifies;
By reason of the faces of
our spiteful enemies.

[3 Part]

17 But tho' all this be come on us;
yet we forget not thee,
Nor falsly to thy covenant
behave our selves do we.
18 Nor have our hearts returned back,
nor feet from thy way stray'd;
19 Tho' us Thou break'st in dragons dens,
and cov'rest in death's shade.

20 If our God's name forget, or hands
to a strange God we raise;
21 Would not GOD find it out? who sees
the heart's most hidden ways.
22 Yet we as sheep to slaughter doom'd,
kill'd for thy sake all day:
23 Wake Lord! why sleep'st Thou? rise! nor us
for ever cast away.

24 Thy countenance away from us,
O wherefore dost Thou hide?
Why dost Thou mindless of our grief,
and great distress, abide?
24 For down to dust our soul is bow'd,
to earth our bellies cleave;
26 O rise our mighty help, and us
in thy great mercy save.

Source: The Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs of the Old and New Testament, faithfully translated into English Metre: being the New-England Psalm-Book, revised and improved... (2nd ed.) #PXLIV

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First Line: O God, our fathers oft have told

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