R59b. Behold what witnesses unseen

1 Behold what witnesses unseen
encompass us around;
men, once like us, with suff'ring try'd,
but now with glory crown'd.
2 Let us, with zeal like theirs inspir'd,
begin the Christian race,
and, freed from each encumb'ring weight,
their holy footsteps trace.
3 Behold a witness nobler still,
who trod affliction's path,
Jesus, at once the finisher
and author of our faith.
4 He for the joy before him set,
so gen'rous was his love,
endur'd the cross, despis'd the shame,
and now he reigns above.
5 If he the scorn of wicked men
with patience did sustain,
becomes it those for whom he dy'd
to murmur or complain?
6 Have ye like him to blood, to death,
the cause of truth maintain'd?
and is your heav’nly Father’s voice
forgotten or disdain'd?
7 My son, saith he, with patient mind
endure the chast’ning rod;
believe, when by afflictions try'd,
that thou art lov'd by God.
8 His children thus most dear to him
their heav’nly Father trains,
through all the hard experience led
of sorrows and of pains.
9 We know he owns us for his sons,
when we correction share;
nor wander as a bastard race,
without our Father’s care.
10 A father’s voice with rev’rence we
on earth have often heard;
the Father of our spirits now
demands the same regard.
11 Parents may err; but he is wise,
nor lifts the rod in vain;
his chast’nings serve to cure the soul
by salutary pain.
12 Affliction, when it spreads around,
may seem a field of woe;
yet there, at last, the happy fruits
of righteousness shall grow.
13 Then let our hearts no more despond,
our hands be weak no more;
still let us trust our Father’s love,
his wisdom still adore.

Text Information
First Line: Behold what witnesses unseen
Meter: CM
Language: English
Publication Date: 2004
Notes: May sing to FRENCH (DUNDEE) (#65)
Tune Information
Harmonizer: David Evans, 1874-1948
Meter: CM
Key: F Major
Source: Wolber's Gesangbuch, Hamburg, 1598, adapted

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