From "Melody Moments"...
I found this hymn in The Concordia Hymnal, 1932, from Augsburg Publishing House in Minneapolis. The author is J. H. Gurney (1802-1862) and it is set to the tune ST. PETERSBURG.
We saw Thee not when Thou didst come
To this poor world of sin and death;
Nor yet beheld Thy cottage home
In that despisèd Nazareth;
But we believe Thy footsteps trod
Its streets and plains, Thou Son of God.
We saw Thee not when lifted high
Amid that wild and savage crew;
Nor heard we that imploring cry,
“Forgive, they know not what they do!”
But we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun.
We gazed not in the open tomb
Where once Thy mangled body lay;
Nor saw Thee in that “upper room,”
Nor met Thee on the open way;
But we believe that angels said,
“Why seek the living with the dead?”
We walked not with the chosen few
Who saw Thee from the earth ascend;
Who raised to heav’n their wond’ring view,
Then low to earth all prostrate bend;
But we believe that human eyes
Beheld that journey to the skies.
We have not seen, yet have believed
As Thine apostles testified;
We thereby comfort have received,
Knowing Who for us lived and died,
Whom we shall gladly follow hence,
When faith is reconciled to sense.
IMAGE: Fouquet, Jean (c.1415/20-1481). Ascension of Christ. Fragments of the Gospels. From the Hours of Etienne Chevalier. Ms71, folio 3 recto. Photo: René-Gabriel Ojéda. Location: Musée Condé, Chantilly, France. Photo Credit: Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY