O Lord, turn not thy face away

Representative Text

1 O Lord, turn not Thy face away
From them that lowly lie,
Lamenting sore their sinful life
With tears and bitter cry.

2 Thy mercy-gates are open wide
To them that mourn their sin;
O shut them not against us, Lord,
But let us enter in.

3 We need not to confess our fault,
For surely Thou canst tell;
What we have done, and what we are,
Thou knowest very well.

4 Wherefore, to beg and to entreat,
With tears we come to Thee,
As children that have done amiss
Fall at their father's knee.

5 And need we, then, O Lord, repeat
The blessing which we crave,
When Thou dost know, before we speak,
The thing that we would have?

6 Mercy, O Lord, mercy we seek,
This is the total sum:
For mercy, Lord, is all our prayer;
O let Thy mercy come.

Amen.

The Hymnal: Published by the authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895

Author: John Marckant

Marckant, John, fl. 1562; one of contributors to the Sternhold & Hopkins metrical psalter of 1562; inducted vicar of Clacton-Magna 1559; Vicar of Shopland, Essex 1563-8. LOC Name Authority Files… Go to person page >

Alterer: Reginald Heber

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Lord, turn not thy face away
Title: O Lord, turn not thy face away
Author: John Marckant
Alterer: Reginald Heber
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English

Notes

O Lord, turn not Thy face away. J. Marckant. [Lent.] This hymn, known as The Lamentation of a Sinner, is first found in J. Daye's edition of Sternhold and Hopkins, 1560-61 but without signature. In the edition of 1565, the authorship is given to Marckant. This name, sometimes written Market, appears also in the editions of 1595 and 1606. The first stanza is:—
"O Lord, turn not Thy face away From him that lies prostrate, Lamenting sore his sinful life Before Thy mercy gate.”
In The Whole Book of Psalms, &c, by J. Playford, 1677, p. 285, it begins "O Lord, turn not away Thy face." The authorship of this hymn is given by Miller (Singers and Songs, 1869, p. 46) and by Lord Selborne (Book of Praise, 1862, p. 239, and note) to John Mardley, although Miller adds a "?" in his Index. These conclusions are based upon Farr's note in his Select Poetry Chiefly Devotional of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, &c, 1845, vol. i. p. 1., where the signature "M" in the Old Version is thought to represent John Mardley. A second rendering of The Lamentation is that by Tate and Brady, in the 6th edition of the Supplement of the New Version, 1708. It is the Old Version text rewritten in 9 stanzas of 4 lines. The first stanza reads:—
0 Lord, turn not Thy face from me, Who lie in woeful state, Lamenting all my sinful life Before Thy mercy gate."
This text continued in use as a part of Tate and Brady until that work was superseded by modern hymnbooks. It is also found in a considerable number of the latter, but usually in an abridged form. A third rendering of The Lamentation, by Bishop R. Heber, was given in his posthumous Hymns, 1827, p. 104, in 12 double lines. The opening lines are:—
"Oh Lord, turn not Thy face away From them that lowly lie, Lamenting sore their sinful life With tears and bitter cry."
This rendering, signed in Heber's Hymns "Sternhold" in error, is given in full in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862, p. 239. It is considerably altered from the Old Version original. In several modern hymnbooks, including the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal, 1876, it is slightly altered, as "O Lord, turn not Thy face from us." Other altered forms of the text are (1) "Turn not Thy face away, O Lord," in the American Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, and others; and (2) "Turn not, O Lord, Thy face from me," in Alford's Psalms & Hymns, 1844, and his Year of Praise, 1867. The original texts of the Old and the New Versions may be found bound up with old copies of the Book of Common Prayer. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 42 of 42)
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A Liturgy and Hymns for Church Sunday Schools #97

A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for ... Diocese of Nova Scotia. 3rd ed. #d254

A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Every Sunday ... Diocese of Quebec #d94

A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for the Use of the Diocese of Nova Scotia. 3rd ed. #d253

Children's Hymns with Tunes #d107

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Church Hymns and Tunes #276

Church Hymns and Tunes for use in Baptist Churches #d393

Gloria in Excelsis #d494

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Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #421

Hymnal of the Evangelical Church. Word ed. #d548

Hymns for Public Worship in the Diocese of Fredericton. 2nd ed. #d145

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Hymns for the Church #163

Hymns of Salvation #d82

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Hymns of the Ages (3rd series) #87

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Hymns of the Church Militant #387

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Hymns of the Church Universal #236

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Hymns of Worship and Service (Chapel Ed., 4th ed.) #163

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Hymns of Worship and Service. (Chapel ed.) #163

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In Excelsis: hymns with tunes for Christian worship #402

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Laudes Domini: a selection of spiritual songs ancient and modern #639

Pilgrim Hymnal #580

Songs of Christian Praise with Music #d590

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Sursum Corda: a book of praise #360a

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Sursum Corda: a book of praise #360b

The Book of Praise #d258

The Book of Praise: or, Hymns for Public and Social Worship #d836

The Canadian Baptist Hymnal for the use of Churches and Families #d459

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The Church Hymnary: a collection of hymns and tunes for public worship #435

The Evangelical Hymnal. Text ed. #d263

The Harvard University Hymn Book #d175

The Harvard University Hymn Book #d175

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The Hymnal #503

The Hymnal : authorized by the General Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church #d306

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The Hymnal: published by the Authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. #468

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The Lutheran Hymnary #470

The People's Praise Book or Carmina Sanctorum #d444

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The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book: for the service of song in the house of the Lord #328a

The Sabbath Hymn Book. Baptist ed. #d1134

The Service of Song for Baptist Churches #d663

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