O Lord, turn not thy face away

Full 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)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A Liturgy and Hymns for Church Sunday Schools #97Page Scan
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
A Selection of Psalms, Hymns and Anthems, for every Sunday and principal festival throughout the year. for the use of congregations in the dioceses Quebec and Toronto. #H18Page Scan
Children's Hymns with Tunes #d107
Christian Praise: a manual of worship for public, social and private devotion #278Page Scan
Church Hymns and Tunes #276Page Scan
Church Hymns and Tunes for use in Baptist Churches #d393
Gloria in Excelsis #d494
Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #421Page Scan
Hymnal of the Evangelical Church. Word ed. #d548
Hymns for Public Worship in the Diocese of Fredericton. 2nd ed. #d145
Hymns for the Church #163Page Scan
Hymns of Salvation #d82
Hymns of the Ages (3rd series) #87Page Scan
Hymns of the Church Militant #387Page Scan
Hymns of the Church Universal #236Page Scan
Hymns of Worship and Service (Chapel Ed., 4th ed.) #163Page Scan
Hymns of Worship and Service. (Chapel ed.) #163Page Scan
In Excelsis: hymns with tunes for Christian worship #402Page Scan
Laudes Domini: a selection of spiritual songs ancient and modern #639Page Scan
Pilgrim Hymnal #580
Songs of Christian Praise with Music #d590
Sursum Corda: a book of praise #360aPage Scan
Sursum Corda: a book of praise #360bPage Scan
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
The Church Hymnary: a collection of hymns and tunes for public worship #435Page Scan
The Evangelical Hymnal. Text ed. #d263
The Harvard University Hymn Book #d175
The Harvard University Hymn Book #d175
The Hymnal #503TextPage Scan
The Hymnal : authorized by the General Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church #d306
The Hymnal: published by the Authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. #468TextPage Scan
The Lutheran Hymnary #470TextPage Scan
The People's Praise Book or Carmina Sanctorum #d444
The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book: for the service of song in the house of the Lord #328aPage Scan
The Sabbath Hymn Book. Baptist ed. #d1134
The Sacrifice of Praise. psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs designed for public worship and private devotion, with notes on the origin of hymns. #338Page Scan
The Service of Song for Baptist Churches #d663



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