Behold a Stranger at the Door

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Melody - "Hamburg", arr. by Lowell Mason, 1824
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Joseph Grigg, 1765

Behold a Stranger at the door!
He gently knocks, has knocked before,
Has waited long, is waiting still;
You treat no other friend so ill.

2. But will He prove a friend indeed?
He will; the very Friend you need;
The Friend of sinners - yes 'tis He,
With garments dyed on Calvary.

3. O lovely attitude! He stands
With melting heart and laden hands;
O matchless kindness! and He shows
This matchless kindness to His foes.

4. Rise, touched with gratitude divine,
Turn out His enemy and thine,
That hateful, hell-born monster, sin,
And let the heavenly Stranger in.

5. If thou art poor, and poor thou art,
Lo, He has riches to impart;
Not wealth, in which mean avarice rolls;
Oh, better far - the wealth of souls!

6. Thou'rt blind, He'll take the scales away
And let in everlasting day;
Naked thou art, but He shall dress
Thy blushing soul in righteousness.

7. Art thou a weeper? Grief shall fly,
For who can weep with Jesus by?
No terror shall thy hopes annoy,
No tear, except the tear of joy.

8. Admit Him, for the human breast
Ne'er entertained so kind a guest.
Admit Him, for you can't expel;
Where'er He comes, He comes to dwell.

9. Admit Him lest His anger burn
And He, departing, ne'er return;
Admit Him, or the hour's at hand
When at His door denied you'll stand.

10. Yet know, nor of the terms complain,
If Jesus comes, He comes to reign;
To reign, and with no partial sway;
Thoughts must be slain that disobey.

11. Sovereign of souls, thou Prince of peace,
Oh, may Thy gentle reign increase!
Throw wide the door, each willing mind,
And be His empire all mankind!

12. Oh, let the heavenly stranger in,
Let in thy heart His reign begin.
Admit Him, open wide the door,
And He will bless thee evermore.


Verse "12" is a composite created by the committee that put together the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnbook of 1912.

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