The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee. Psalm 20:1
Words: Anonymous, in the Christian Observer, April 1804. This has been republished in many altered forms.
At that time [Napoleon] Bonaparte was First Consul, and meditating an immediate invasion of England. A day of humiliation and prayer was appointed.
In anticipation of this day the following editorial note, together with the hymn below, appeared in the Christian Observer:—
His Majesty has been graciously pleased to appoint Friday, the 25th of May next, to be observed throughout England and Ireland as a day of public humiliation and fasting.
We earnestly hope that it may be observed in a proper manner. We subjoin a hymn for the occasion, which has just reached us in time to obtain a place in this number.
Julian, p. 310
Dread Jehovah, God of nations,
From Thy temple in the skies,
Hear Thy people’s supplications,
Now for their deliverance rise.
Lo, with deep contritions turning,
Humbly at Thy feet we bend;
Hear us, fasting, praying, mourning;
Hear us, spare us, and defend.
Foes, who’ve ravaged peaceful regions,
Now for us the yoke prepare;
And, if Thou forsake our legions,
We, like them, the yoke must wear.
Shall religion’s foes enslave us?
Shall their heathen tongues exclaim,
Where’s your God? O rise to save us,
And assert Thy glorious name.
Though our sins, our hearts confounding,
Long and loud for vengeance call,
Thou hast mercy more abounding,
Jesus’ blood can cleanse from all.
Let that mercy veil transgressions,
Let that blood our guilt efface:
Save Thy people from oppression,
Save from spoil Thy holy place.
Hear, O God! the vows we tender;
With our hosts to battle go;
Shield the head of each defender,
And confound the impious foe,
So when ceased the battle’s raging,
Thine shall be the victor’s praise;
And in Thy holy bonds engaging,
We will serve Thee all our days.