...we took it out of our hymnal even as God was answering the prayer:
Rise again, ye lion-hearted
Saints of early Christendom.
Wither is your strength departed,
Wither gone your martyrdom?
Lo, love's light is on them,
Glory's flame upon them,
And their will to die doth quell
Even the lord and prince of hell.
These are men by fear unshaken,
Facing danger dauntlessly;
These no witching lust hath taken,
Lust that lures to vanity.
Mid the roar and rattle
Of tumultuous battle
In desire they soar above
All that earth would have them love.
Great of heart, they know no turning,
Honor, gold, they laugh to scorn,
Quench desires within them burning,
By no earthly passions torn.
Mid the lions' roaring
Songs of praise outpouring,
Joyously they take their stand
On th' arena's bloody sand.
Would to God that I might even
As the martyred saints of old,
With the helping hand of Heaven,
Steadfast stand in battle bold!
O my God, I pray Thee,
In the combat stay me.
Grant that I may ever be
Loyal, staunch, and true to Thee. Amen.
And one that Mark Preus rightly laments we were utterly foolish to leave out of our hymnal: Luther's paraphrase of Psalm 12:
O Lord, look down from heav'n, behold
And let Thy pity waken;
How few are we within Thy fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on ev'ry hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o'ertaken.
With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error's maze astounded.
May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: "Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master."
Therefore, saith God, "I must arise.
The poor My help are needing.
To Me ascend My people's cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending."
As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So thro' God's Wordshall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter thro' the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.
Defend Thy truth, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of its way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our salvation.