Scripture Verse

The martyrs of Jesus. Revelation 17:6

Introduction

Words: Au­thor un­known, 8th Cen­tu­ry (Sanc­to­rum me­ri­tis in­cli­ta gau­dia). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale in The Hym­nal Not­ed, 1854.

Music: Das Herr­lich Hohe Fest Chris­toph Pe­ter, cir­ca 1674 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Peter (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

portrait
John M. Neale
(1818–1866)

Lyrics

The merits of the saints,
Blessèd for evermore,
Their love that never faints,
The toils they bravely bore—
For these the Church today
Pours forth her joyous lay—
These victors win the noblest bay.

They, whom the world of ill,
While it yet held, abhorred;
Its withering flowers that still
They spurned with one accord—
They knew them short lived all,
And followed at Thy call,
King Jesu, to Thy heavenly hall.

Like sheep their blood they poured,
And without groan or tear,
They bent before the sword,
For that their king most dear:
Their souls, serenely blest,
In patience they possessed,
And looked in hope towards their rest.

What tongue may here declare,
Fancy or thought descry,
The joys Thou dost prepare
For these Thy saints on high!
Empurpled in the flood
Of their victorious blood,
They won the laurel from their God.

To Thee, O Lord most high,
One in three Persons still,
To pardon us we cry,
And to preserve from ill:
Here give Thy servants peace,
Hereafter glad release,
And pleasures that shall never cease.