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Saint Stephen Was An Holy Man

1. Saint Stephen was an holy man,
Endued with heavenly might,
And many wonders did he work
Before the people's sight.
And by the blessed Spirit of God,
Which did his heart inflame,
He spared not in every place
To preach Christ Jesus' name.

O man, do never faint nor fear
When God the truth shall try,
But mark how Stephen for Christ's sake
Was willing for to die.

2. Which doctrine seem'd most wond'rous strange
Among the faithless Jews,
And for the same despitefully
Good Stephen they accused.
Before the elders was he brought,
His answer for to make,
But they could not his spirit withstand
Whereby this man did speak. [Chorus]

3. And then false witness did appear,
And look'd him in the face,
And said he spake blasphemous words
Against that holy place;
And how he said that Jesus Christ
The Temple would destroy,
And change the laws which they so long
From Moses did enjoy. [Chorus]

4. Whilst this was told, the multitude
Beholding him aright,
His comely face began to shine
Most like an Angel bright.
The High Priest then to them did say,
And bid them tell at large,
If this was true which at that time
They laid unto his charge. [Chorus]

5. Then Stephen did put forth his voice,
And he did first unfold
The wond'rous works that God hath wrought
Even from their fathers old;
That they thereby might plain perceive
Christ Jesus should be he
That from the burthen of the law
Should save us frank and free. [Chorus]

6. But, oh! quoth he, you wicked men,
Which of the prophets all
Did not your fathers persecute,
And keep in woeful thrall,
Who told the coming of the just
In prophecies most plain,
Who here amongst you was betray'd
And most unjustly slain? [Chorus]

7. But when they heard him so to say,
Their hearts in sunder clave,
And gnashing on them with their teeth,
Like mad men they did rave.
And with a should most loud and shrill
Upon him all they ran,
And then without the city gates
They ston'd this holy man. [Chorus]

8. Then he most meekly on his knees
To God did pray at large
Desiring that He would not lay
This sin unto their charge;
Then yielding up his soul to God,
Who had it dearly bought,
He lost his life, whose body then
To grave was seemly brought. [Chorus]

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