That Man a Godly Life Might Live

Original lyrics by Martin Luther
Translated by Richard Massie
1524

That man a godly life might live,
God did these ten commandments give
By his true servant Moses, high
Upon the mount Sinai.
Have mercy, Lord.

I am thy God and Lord alone,
No other God besides me own;
On my great mercy venture thee,
With all thy heart love thou me.
Have mercy, Lord.

By idle word and speech profane
Take not my holy name in vain;
And praise not aught as good and true
But what God doth say and do.
Have mercy, Lord.

Hallow the day which God hath blest,
That thou and all thy house may rest;
Keep hand and heart from labor free,
That God may so work in thee.
Have mercy, Lord.

Give to thy parents honor due,
Be dutiful and loving too;
And help them when their strength decays;
So shalt thou have length of days.
Have mercy, Lord.

Kill thou not out of evil will,
Nor hate, nor render ill for ill;
Be patient and of gentle mood,
And to thy foe do thou good.
Have mercy, Lord.

Be faithful to thy marriage vows,
Thy heart give only to thy spouse;
Keep thy life pure, and lest thou sin
Keep thyself with discipline.
Have mercy, Lord.

Steal not; oppressive acts abhor;
Nor wring their life-blood from the poor;
But open wide thy loving hand
To all the poor in the land.
Have mercy, Lord.

Bear not false witness, nor belie
Thy neighbor by foul calumny;
Defend his innocence from blame,
With charity hide his shame.
Have mercy, Lord.

Thy neighbor's wife desire thou not,
His house, nor aught that he hath got;
But wish that his such good may be
As thy heart doth wish for thee.
Have mercy, Lord.

God these commandments gave, therein
To show thee, son of man, thy sin,
And make thee also well perceive
How man for God ought to live.
Have mercy, Lord.

Help us, Lord Jesus Christ, for we
A Mediator have in thee;
Without thy help our works so vain
Merit naught but endless pain.
Have mercy, Lord.

This hymn is based on the Ten Commandments.