PAUL GERHARDT'S SPIRITUAL SONGS
PRINTED BY W. CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
PAUL GERHARDT'S SPIRITUAL SONGS
TRANSLATED BY JOHN KELLY
ALEXANDER STRAHAN, PUBLISHER 56, LUDGATE HILL, LONDON 1867
PAGE Preface vii Biographical Sketch xi Index of First Lines xliii Of the Holy Trinity 1 Advent 5 Birth of Christ—Christmas 14 Circumcision of Christ—New Year 43 The Sufferings of Christ—Good Friday 49 Resurrection of Christ—Easter 71 Whitsuntide 78 Repentance 83 Prayer and the Christian Life 97 Songs of the Cross and Consolation 143 Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving 238 Morning and Evening Songs 270 Miscellaneous 289 Of Death, the Last Day, and Eternal Life 312
This volume contains a large selection from Paul Gerhardt's "Spiritual Songs." Every piece included is given in full, and is rendered into the metre of the original. A few of the following translations have appeared at various times during the last three years in different periodicals. They have been revised for this volume. Several of the hymns have been beautifully translated by others; and had the Translator been compiling a volume composed of selections from various authors, this might have formed a strong reason for not doing them again, but to have omitted them from a volume like the present would have been to give a selection from Gerhardt without some of his most celebrated productions; besides, in the other collections where they appear they are not all given in full, nor are they always rendered into the metre of the original, save in those published with the music attached. As far as the Translator is aware, the greater number of the following songs have never appeared in an English dress before.
Every one who has reflected on the subject, or attempted metrical translation, knows that literality is rarely attainable, that a certain measure of freedom must be used. The Translator has, however, striven to maintain fidelity to the sense of the original, and has occasionally somewhat sacrificed euphony to fidelity.
It is not to be expected that the people's poet of one nation and of a former age will become, through translation, the people's poet of another nation in a later generation. Individual translations may win for themselves a place side by side with the favourite songs of native growth. Instances of this will occur to every one familiar with our hymnology; but this can hardly happen in many cases. The translations on the principle of this volume may neither be uninteresting nor unedifying on that account, and it may be permitted to the Translator to trust that Paul Gerhardt in his present dress may be found stimulating and refreshing to many. Gerhardt was peculiarly a son of consolation. The Translator has found him so in the hour of trial, and he will feel repaid if he should become the cup-bearer of the rich wine of consolation contained in the hymns of the staunch old German Lutheran to any English Christian readers "who may be in any wise afflicted."
The work of translation has been a labour of love. It has been the recreation of leisure hours from graver duties, and occasionally the occupation of days of unwilling, but unavoidable, total or partial freedom from professional engagements.
The edition used in this translation was Wackernagel's "Paulus Gerhardt's Geistliche Lieder getreu nach der bei seinen Lebzeiten erschienenen Ausgabe wiederabgedrueckt. Neue Auflage, in Taschenformat."—Stuttgart, Verlag von Samuel Gottlieb Liesching, 1855. This edition has been followed in the classification and titles both of the sections and hymns.
The principal sources whence the materials for the biographical sketch have been drawn are "Paul Gerhardt's Geistliche Andachten, &c., mit Anmerkungen, einer Geschichtlichen Einleitung und Urkunden herausgegaben, von Otto Schultze."—Berlin, 1842. "Paul Gerhardt, nach seinem Leben und Wirken, aus zum Theile ungedrueckten Nachrichten dargestellt," von E. G. Roth, Pastor Primarius zu Luebben in der Niederlausitz.—Leipzig, 1829.
Feustking, Langbecker, Herzog, and others were also read, or more or less consulted.
Paul Gerhardt was born in Graefenhainichen in Electoral Saxony, where his father, Christian Gerhardt, was Burgomaster. There is some doubt as to the precise year of his birth, owing to the destruction of the church books when the place was burnt by the Swedes on the 16th of April, 1637. According to some, the event took place in the year 1606; according to others, in 1607. The probability is in favour of the former date, for General Superintendent Goltlob Stolze, of Luebben, says that he died, in the 70th year of his age, in the year 1676.
There is no information concerning his youth and education. He was still very young when the Thirty Years' War broke out, and his preparation for his profession and entrance on it took place in those troublous times, which may account for his late settlement in a ministerial sphere. In the year 1651, when in his forty-fifth year, we find him still only a candidate of theology, and resident as a tutor in the family of Andreas Bertholdt, Chancery Advocate in Berlin, whose daughter he subsequently married. In that year a vacancy occurred in the ministry at Mittenwald, by the death of Probst Caspar Goede. The magistracy of that place applied to the clergy of Berlin to recommend a suitable man to them for the office. Paul Gerhardt was their unanimous choice. They recommended him as an honourable, estimable, and learned man, whose diligence and erudition were known, of good parts and incorrupt doctrine, of a peace-loving disposition and blameless Christian life, which qualities had procured for him the love of all classes, high and low, in Berlin. They furthermore added that he had frequently, at their friendly invitation, exercised the excellent gifts with which God had endowed him for the edification of the church, and had thereby deserved well of the people, and endeared himself to them. The clergy met together for consultation, and sent this recommendation to Mittenwald without the knowledge of Gerhardt; no higher testimony, therefore, could have been given to his character, learning, and abilities. He was accordingly appointed and set apart to his office in St. Nicholas' Church, Berlin, on the 18th of November, 1651, and entered before the close of the year on his duties. The church book which he kept from Jan. 1, 1652, till Dec. 31, 1656, bears testimony to his fidelity and conscientiousness in the discharge of this part of the duties of his office.
On February 11th, 1655, he was married to Anna Maria, daughter of the Chancery Advocate Bertholdt, in whose family he had been tutor. Before he left Mittenwald, his first child, a daughter, was born and died. There is a slab to her memory still standing in the church. Several circumstances in his position at Mittenwald conspired to make Gerhardt desire a change, and welcome a translation to Berlin when an opportunity offered. The relation between his colleague, Deacon Allborn, and himself was not friendly: Allborn had been passed over by the magistrates in favour of Gerhardt. The want of cordiality which prevailed in consequence must have been very trying to a man of Gerhardt's disposition. The income of the office was also small, and his circumstances consequently straitened. His ties and associations in Berlin would also be strong inducements of themselves to the acceptance of an appointment there.
The welcome relief came when the magistrates appointed him to the third Diaconate of St. Nicholas' Church, vacant by the death of Probst Peter Vher, and the consequent promotion of the other ministers. The spirit in which he received and accepted the invitation is shown in his letter to the magistrates on accepting their offer. He humbly and gratefully recognized the hand of God in the matter; and, owning his own weakness, earnestly solicited the prayers of the faithful. His letter is dated June 4, 1657, and in the register of St. Nicholas there is an entry of a baptism made by him on the 22nd of July. Consequently he must have entered on his duties soon after. Gerhardt, doubtless, joyfully returned to Berlin, anticipating a happy ministry there; but it was there his greatest trials awaited him. These trials arose out of the measures taken by Frederick William, at that time Elector of Brandenburg, to allay the animosity prevailing between the adherents of the Lutheran and Reformed Confessions respectively. The feud was of long standing, and the efforts made to heal it had been hitherto in vain.
With the laudable desire of pacifying party strife, the Elector appointed a conference to be held between the Lutheran and Reformed clergy of Berlin and Coeln-on-the-Spree, under the direction of the Lord President, Baron Otto von Schwerin, on the Reformed side, and Chancellor Lorenz Christian von Somnitz, of Pomerania, and others, on the Lutheran side. The Lutheran clergy of the three chief churches in Berlin and Coeln, and the Reformed court preachers, Bartholomew Stosch and Johann Kunschius, the rector of the Joachimsthal Gymnasium, and the philologue Joh. Vorstius, constituted the membership of the conference. Kunschius, being soon after summoned to accompany the Elector to Koenigsberg, took no part in the conferences, and his place was filled by Gerson Vechner, of the Joachimsthal Gymnasium.
The object of the Conference, according to the Electoral Rescript, was to consider the following points:—
I. Whether in the Reformed Confessions, particularly in those named in the last Electoral Edict (January 2nd, 1662), viz.:—The Confessio Sigismundi, the Colloquium Lipsiacum, the Declaratio Thoruniensis,—anything is taught or affirmed, in teaching, believing, or affirming which any one is, judicio divino, accursed.
II. Whether anything is denied or passed over in silence, without acknowledging or practising which no one could be saved.
The Berlin clergy were reluctant to enter on the conference. They thought that as it concerned the Church of the Mark generally it should not be limited to Berlin and Coeln, and that it was a subject requiring mature consideration. At length, however, having protested in vain, they consented, but manifestly determined to concede nothing.
The conference met at various times during the years 1662-63. Gerhardt took no public part. The speaking devolved first on Probst Lilius, but soon afterwards, and for the remainder of the meetings, on Archdeacon Reinhardt. Gerhardt wrote a judgment unfavourable to the conferences, because he thought nothing but syncretism would come out of it—i.e., the confusion of the two confessions, into which the Rinteln theologians had permitted themselves to be seduced. By his votes he evinced his interest in all its proceedings.
As might be surmised, from the state of party feeling, the conference was not only fruitless, but left matters in a worse condition than they were when it first met. Furthermore, at the last sitting but one, on the 22nd of May, 1663, the Berlin clergy incurred the high displeasure of the Elector, by defending and approving the conduct of their speaker Reinhardt on an occasion when he had given great offence to his Highness. It is thought, that at this time Gerhardt wrote his heart-stirring and beautiful hymn,—Ist Gott fuer mich, so trete? (Is God for me, t'oppose me?) The Elector, in consequence of the result of the conferences, issued an edict on the 16th of September, 1664, in substance the same but more stringent than the previous one. All were required to pledge themselves to obedience to this edict, whereas subscription to the former one had been required only from candidates at ordination. The edict required the clergy of both confessions, on pain of dismissal from office and other penalties, to refrain from vituperating each other, from deducing absurd and impious doctrines from each other's dogmas, and imputing them to their opponents. The edict also commanded that the ordinance of baptism should be administered without exorcism, when the parents desired it. The edict produced the most profound consternation. It was regarded as endangering religious liberty and the freedom of conscience. The Lutheran preachers felt themselves hampered by it in the discharge of their duties. Regarding, as they did, their symbolical books and ecclesiastical customs as sacred things, using their authorized formularies in the instruction of the people, and introducing the element of controversy largely into their ministrations, they felt themselves quite crippled in the discharge of their functions. It seemed to them that if they gave up their liberty in the pulpit, they would be necessitated to give up their customs also, and so violate their solemn obligations. They thought that compliance would imperil the Lutheran Church, the welfare of their congregations, and the peace of their own souls. Such was the view taken of the matter by many strict and conscientious men. We cannot help thinking that their view was mistaken and exaggerated, that these things were not endangered, that it was perfectly possible for them to have been loyal to their church, to have instructed their people faithfully in all the peculiar doctrines of their system, and yet have rendered obedience to the Electoral edict.
Many were actually conducting themselves both according to its letter and spirit, and yet were filled with those alarms which we must call groundless, at the very thought of binding themselves by a pledge to act as they were doing. While we hold them to have been mistaken, we cannot but respect their fidelity to their honest convictions, and their fortitude in accepting the sad consequences,—the severing of the ties that bound them to beloved flocks, the loss of office and emolument, and expatriation. The principles of toleration were not rightly understood, either by the Church or State at the time.
As we read the painful annals of the time, the thought often arises in the mind, how much better had it been if the evil which it was the laudable intention of the Elector to correct, had been permitted to work its own cure. There were doubtless many, who had given too much cause for complaint by the licence they allowed themselves in the pulpit in attacking their theological adversaries, but those who suffered most would probably be those, who, like Gerhardt, were not open to reproach, yet felt themselves constrained by conscience to refuse obedience to the Elector's command. Hundreds signed the edict. Some who had scruples yielded on account of their wives and children. There was a witticism current at the time which was put into the mouths of the pastors' wives:—
"Schreibt, Schreibt, Lieber Herre, auf dass ihr bei der Pfarre bleibt."
Which may be freely and roughly rendered,—
"Subscribe, subscribe, dear husband, do! Lest you must from the parish go."
Very many, however, were thrown into the greatest distress of mind, and could not obey and preserve a good conscience. The Berlin ministers sought the opinion of various theological faculties and churches on the crisis.
The Elector, ignorant of the trouble given to the consciences of many worthy men, viewed this conduct on their part as self-willed, and an unwarrantable opposition to what appeared to him a needful regulation. He ordered Lilius and Reinhardt to be removed from office, if they delayed to subscribe, and gave the others time for consideration. The two former, failing to obey, were deposed.
Gerhardt, with the three others who were threatened, turned to the magistracy, and solicited their good offices in intercession with the Elector. The magistrates represented to the Elector that the Berlin clergy had observed the edict, but that they objected to subscription; they begged the Elector not to enforce subscription on those already in office, as it would tend to compromise them with the people and foreign churches; they furthermore stated, that obedience rests not so much in subscription and in the letter, as in the mind and in deed. They begged him to reinstate Lilius and Reinhardt in office.
The Berlin clergy presented a petition, substantially to the same effect, at the same time. They stated, in addition, that the Reformed clergy had not been compelled to sign. The only result of this petition was, that the Reformed were forthwith commanded to subscribe the edict.
The ministers, in another document, set forth their scruples at large, but thereby only incurred the further displeasure of the Elector. The deposition of Lilius and Reinhardt, however, caused such an uproar, that the Elector issued a declaration on May 4, 1665, setting forth the seasons of his procedure. Further efforts were made, and the result was, that time was allowed to Lilius to reconsider his refusal, and in the beginning of the following year he subscribed. On account of his compliance, he became the object of the most bitter and galling attacks, and did not long survive. The last days of the old man were embittered by the treatment he received at the hands of zealous, but uncharitable Lutherans, and death was doubtless a welcome event to him. In the case of Reinhardt, the result was only a more severe sentence. He was banished from the town, forbidden to maintain any correspondence with it, and the magistrates were ordered to fill up the vacancy caused by his removal. He removed to Leipzig, where he was chosen to the pastorate of St. Nicholas' Church, and was subsequently made Professor of Theology, which office he held till his death, in 1669.
Paul Gerhardt was the next minister who was called on to subscribe the edict. The Elector was convinced that, next to Reinhardt, he was the most vehement opponent of peace between the Lutheran and Reformed. When Reinhardt was reproached in the Consistory with inciting his colleagues to resistance, Gerhardt said, with some warmth, that it was not so, that he had encouraged Reinhardt when he showed a disposition to yield; he was older in years, and had been longer in office, and he should be sorry to follow others. It was also said, that during an illness which befell him, he sent for his colleagues, and earnestly warned them not to subscribe the bond pledging them to observance of the edict. These things were, at least, carried to the Elector, and prejudiced him against Gerhardt. On the same day that Lilius was reinstated in office, Gerhardt was cited to appear before the Consistory (Feb. 6th, 1666), and called upon to sign. Eight days were allowed him for consideration, and in the first instance he accepted the delay, but before the rising of the same session, he declared that he had had ample time for consideration, and that he could not change his mind, whereupon he was deposed from office, in the name of the Elector.
Great as was the agitation produced in the public mind by the deposition of Lilius and Reinhardt, the sensation occasioned by Gerhardt's was much more profound. He was the most beloved, as well as most celebrated, of all the ministers. Measures were immediately taken by the community in his favour. The citizens and the guilds of the cloth-makers, bakers, butchers, tailors, and pewterers, united to petition the magistrates in favour of exemption for Gerhardt. They said that every one knew that he had never spoken against the faith and the co-religionists of the Elector, much less vituperated them, but that he had sought to lead every one to true Christianity, and had never attacked any one in word or deed.
The magistrates, on presenting this representation to the Elector, on the 13th of February, added:—"He has not thought of the Reformed, much less insulted them; he has maintained a blameless walk, giving offence to no one, so much so, that his Highness, without any suspicion, had admitted his songs into the hymn-book for the Mark, in 1658. Should a man so pious, so intellectual, so celebrated in many lands, leave the town, it was to be feared that grave thoughts would be excited in the minds of foreigners, and that God would visit them for it. If he refused subscription, it would not be imputed to disobedience, but to scruples of conscience, seeing that before the publication of the edict he had fulfilled its object by his modest behaviour." The Prince, in reply, stated that he had sufficient grounds for enforcing the provisions of the edict, and that Gerhardt must comply with them, or bear the penalty.
A second petition was got up in his favour, in which, in addition to the above guilds, the carpenters, cutlers, armourers, and coppersmiths joined. As this petition also was unfavourably received, the States of the Mark took up the cause of the deposed. "The dismissal of Gerhardt," they informed the Elector, on the 27th of July, 1666, "excited great fear in the country for religion, for this man is recognized by the adherents of both confessions as a pious, exemplary, and, without doubt, a peace-loving theologian, against whom no charge can be brought save his refusal to subscribe the edicts."
The Elector yielded at length. After his return from Cleve, he summoned the magistrates to appear before him, on January 9th, 1667, at three o'clock in the afternoon; and through the Lord President, Otto von Schwerin, in presence of several privy councillors, made the desired, but hardly expected announcement, that as there was no complaint against Paul Gerhardt, save that he refused to subscribe the edicts, his Electoral Highness must believe that he has misunderstood the purport of them; he, therefore, restored him to his office, and absolved him from the necessity of subscription.
Immediately after the audience, the Elector sent a private secretary to Gerhardt, to convey the intelligence to him, and to say at the same time that his Highness cherished the confident expectation that he would act conformably to the edicts, without subscription, and continue to manifest his known moderation. Next day the magistrates, delighted with the grace of the Prince, hastened to inform Gerhardt of his unconditional restoration to office, and on the 12th of January, the joyous event was announced in the Sunday Mercury, a weekly paper very much read in Berlin at that time. But the private message from the Elector threw Gerhardt into fresh distress of mind. He felt hampered by the condition still attached to his restoration to office, and he applied to the magistrates to aid him in discovering the exact terms of his restoration. In his letter to the magistrates, he expressed his earnest desire to spend the remainder of his life among his flock, if he could do so with a good conscience, saying how wretched a thing it was to hold office with an uneasy conscience. He knew the anxieties incident to the faithful discharge of the pastoral office, and said, that he would be the most wretched man on earth if to them were added the reproaches of a guilty conscience. His desire was not in the very least to appear to depart from his previous mode of teaching, and from the customs of his church, which, as a Lutheran clergyman, he had sworn to maintain. Referring to the moderation which had been so commended in him, he said, "I have never understood it, and never can understand it otherwise, than that I shall be permitted to remain faithful to my Lutheran confessions of faith, and especially to the 'Formula Concordiae,' and that I am not required to regard any of them, or permit others to regard any one of them, as a dishonourable, injurious, or blasphemous book."
The magistrates sent him a copy of the decree reinstating him in office, hoping thereby to remove his scruples. He made a further representation to the magistrates on the 26th of January, 1667. In this he pointed out how the decree ascribed his refusal to a misunderstanding of the edicts, and that, though absolved from subscription, he was bound by them still; that he could only understand the edicts literally; that he could not re-enter his office with any other conscience than he had first entered it with; he could not inflict on himself the wound on re-entrance into office which he had, in the strength of the Holy Ghost, patiently and silently endured a year's suspension to avoid; that if his conscience permitted him to yield obedience he would subscribe the edicts, "for," said he, "what I can do with a good conscience, I can easily consent and promise to do." He begged them to intercede for him with the Prince, that he might be absolved from obedience to the edicts on resuming office. In everything else he promised all possible hearty and humble obedience. He begged that he might be permitted to adhere to his Lutheran Confessions and "Formula Concordiae;" that he might so instruct his flock, and pledge himself to no other moderation than was rooted in these confessions. Only on these terms, he said, could he consent to preach. Gerhardt also wrote to the Elector to the same effect.
The magistrates resolved once more to apply to the Elector. They briefly stated the case, and begged his Highness to relieve Gerhardt's scruples. The Elector, on the very same day, returned their statement to the magistrates, with these words written on the margin:—"If the preacher, Paul Gerhardt, will not resume the office so graciously vouchsafed to him again, by his Serene Electoral Highness, for which he will have to answer to the Most High God, let the magistrates of Berlin, at their earliest convenience, invite some other able and peace-loving persons to preach as candidates; but let them not call any one until they have first humbly made known his qualifications to his Serene Highness.—Coehl-on-the-Spree, Feb. 4th, 1667.—(Signed) Friederich Wilhelm."
Gerhardt resigned his office, and so ended his ministry in Berlin. So great was the love his former flock bore to him that they still continued to contribute to his support.
It is commonly believed, that after his deposition in Berlin, he was invited to Saxe-Merseberg by Duke Christian, and that, on refusing the offer, the Duke granted him a pension. Otto Schultze, one of his biographers, and seemingly the most careful and thorough of them, says that he was unable to find any certain testimony to either of these facts. It seems strange that he should refuse to go to Saxe-Merseberg, when, a short time after, he unhesitatingly accepted an invitation from the magistrates of Luebben, which was in the territories of Duke Christian; and in his correspondence with the magistrates of Luebben there is no reference to such an invitation from the Duke. The fact of his refusal, in the first instance, and his ready acceptance in the second, might be accounted for, however, by the death of his wife, which took place in March, 1668, whereby one very strong tie that bound him to Berlin was severed.
A story is told about this period of his life, and was for a long time received as an undoubted fact, which is so romantic that we could almost wish it were true. It is said, that having no certain dwelling-place, he set out with his wife and family to return to his fatherland, Electoral Saxony; that one evening his wife was sitting in the hotel where they were staying for the night, bemoaning her hard lot. Gerhardt in vain endeavoured to console her, and quoted Psalm xxxvii. 5, to her. Touched by the words himself, he went and sat down on a garden seat and wrote the song,
"Commit whatever grieves thee," &c.,
and came and read it to his wife, who was immediately comforted. Later in the evening the Duke of Saxe-Merseberg's messengers arrived, bearing a letter to Gerhardt, offering him a pension, till he was otherwise provided for. They were glad when they found out who Gerhardt was, and handed him the letter, which he in turn handed to his wife, saying, "Did I not tell you to commit your ways unto the Lord?" Unfortunately for this story, the hymn in question had been published in 1666, and the story is otherwise inconsistent with the known facts of his history. The story is equally groundless, that this hymn was the means of procuring him an invitation from the Elector to return to Berlin.
The magistrates of Luebben, hearing of him, invited him to preach there, as a candidate for the vacant archdiaconate. He went thither and preached before them on October 14th, 1668. The next day he was informed as to the income, inspected the official residence, expressed his willingness to accept the appointment, and was assured that it would be offered to him. He then returned to Berlin. He did not take up his residence in Luebben until June in the following year, owing partly to domestic affliction, and partly to the vexatious delay in preparing his official house for his reception, arising from the dilatoriness and indifference of the magistrates in the matter. He had expressed hope, when he saw the house, which was unfit for any minister to live in, and not large enough for his family, that a more convenient one might be provided. He was assured that a deacon's house adjoining wonld be added to it. A friend visited Luebben some time after his appointment, and the work was not begun, nor even at a later period, when he himself went over. No sympathy was manifested towards him. He was asked if he wished to recede from his promise, and whether he wished a house pro dignitate; and was told that they did not know he had so large a household, and that what had been good enough before might be good enough still. All this must have been exceedingly annoying and humiliating to Gerhardt. Other points were raised with reference to the details of his ministerial duties; but leaving them for friendly settlement after his entrance on his office, he simply claimed that a house, not pro dignitate, but pro necessitate, should be prepared. A full statement of the case, addressed by him to the Government President, Alex. von Hoymb, at length produced the desired effect.
He took the oath of religion before the Consistory on the 6th of June, and entered on the duties of his office on the third Sunday in Trinity. Gerhardt, in these transactions, appears to great advantage, in the reasonableness of his demands, and the manner he dealt with the ungenerous imputations made upon his motives and character. He would have removed to Luebben sooner had there been a suitable house to be got; but there was none. He laid stress, in his correspondence, on the want of a study in the Archdeacon's house, and insisted on the necessity of having a place for meditation and prayer, if he was to discharge his duties aright.
There are no written records concerning his work in Luebben. Dim tradition says, that he was often melancholy, that in these moods he would betake himself to the church, and kneeling before the crucifix, seek strength in fervent prayer. Feustking (who was almost his contemporary), General Superintendent in Anhalt-Zerbst, says, in the preface to his edition of his songs,—"Along with his piety Gerhardt had the devil, the false world, and the enemies of religion continually on his neck, with which he had to contend on the right and on the left, day and night. He also prayed very diligently, as earnestly as one pleads with his father. At the close of his life he had pious Arndt's 'Prayer and Paradise Garden' continually before him, and so highly did he esteem it, that he wrote several hymns on its contents."
Many of Gerhardt's songs appeared in the first instance in various hymn-hooks. The first complete edition was published by J. E. Ebeling, Director of Music in the chief church in Berlin, in ten folio parts, each containing twelve songs, in 1666-67. It seems that Gerhardt never derived any pecuniary advantage from their publication. Tradition says, that after a warm conflict with the enemy he wrote the hymn "Wach auf mein Herz und Singe," in proof of which the second verse is quoted. But he wrote no song after leaving Berlin. Schultze mentions that there is no song bearing his name that had not been printed in 1667.
His will, and the rules of life, written before his death, for his son Paul Friedrich, are worthy of quotation, revealing as they do the piety, simplicity, purity, integrity, and also the narrowness of his character. After expressing his gratitude to God for all the goodness and truth shown him from his mother's womb till that hour (he had then reached his seventieth year), his hope of speedy deliverance from this life and entrance into a better, and praying God when his time came to take his soul into His Fatherly hands and grant his body quiet rest till the last day, when he should be reunited with those gone before as well as those left behind, and behold Jesus face to face, in whom he had believed though he had not seen Him, he goes on to say:—
"To my only son I leave few earthly possessions, but an honourable name, of which he will have no special reason to be ashamed.
"My son knows, that from tender infancy I gave him to the Lord my God as His own, that he should be a servant and preacher of His Holy Word. Let it be so, and let him not turn aside because he may have few good days therein, for God knows how to compensate for outward trial by inward gladness of heart and joy in the Holy Ghost. Study sacred theology in pure schools and incorrupt universities, and beware of Syncretists, for they seek the things of time, and are faithful neither to God nor man. In thine ordinary life, follow not bad company, but the will and commandment of thy God. In particular
"1. Do nothing evil in the hope that it will remain secret,
'For nothing can so small be spun That it comes not to the sun.'
"2. Never grow angry out of thine office and calling.
"If thou findest that anger hath inflamed thee, be perfectly silent, and do not utter a word until thou hast first repeated to thyself the Ten Commandments and the Christian Creed.
"3. Be ashamed of sinful, fleshly lusts; and when thou comest to years that thou canst marry, do so seeking direction from God, and the good counsel of pious, faithful, and judicious persons.
"4. Do people good whether they can requite you or not, for what men cannot requite the Creator of Heaven and earth has long ago requited, in that He created thee, hath given thee His dear Son, and in holy baptism hath received and adopted thee as His son and heir.
"5. Flee covetousness like hell. Be content with what thou hast acquired with honour and a good conscience, though it may not be too much. Should God grant thee more, pray Him to preserve thee from any hurtful misuse of temporal possessions.
Summa; pray diligently, study something honourable, live peacefully, serve honestly, and remain steadfastly in thy faith and confession. So wilt thou one day die and leave this world willingly, gladly, blessedly! Amen."
He died on the 7th of June, 1676, as the Luebben church-book testifies, after he had been seven years in Luebben and twenty-five in the ministry.
It is said, that he died with the words of one of his own hymns on his lips. "Death can never kill us even," from verse 8th of the Christian Song of Joy.
"Why should sorrow ever grieve me?"
He is buried in the chief church, probably near the altar, though the precise spot cannot be determined. A portrait in oil, hung up in the church, testifies to the estimation in which he was held by the congregation, for besides his, there are only the portraits of a few General Superintendents, and none of any of his predecessors in office.
Towards the side, at the foot of the picture are the words:—
"Theologus in cribro Satanae versatus."
And under that again, the following epigram written by J. Wernsdorf:—
"Sculpta quidem Pauli, viva est atque imago Gerhardti, Cujus in ore, fides, spes, amor usque fuit. Hic docuit nostris Assaph redivivus in oris Et cecinit laudes, Christe benigne, tuas. Spiritus aethereis veniet tibi sedibus hospes, Haec ubi saepe canes Carmina Sacra Deo."
It is not known what became of his son, and nothing is known of his posterity.
The editor of the Selection of Gerhardt's Songs—Bremen, 1817—states in his preface: "There is at present living in Bremen a great-granddaughter of Gerhardt's, eighty-one years of age, a simple Christian soul. Her father was, as she says, an advocate in Oldenburg; of her ancestor the poet she has neither written nor oral information."
There are three of Gerhardt's sermons extant in the library of the gymnasium of the Grey Cloister in Berlin; and the titles and texts of three more are known. They are all funeral sermons. We would close this notice of the life of Gerhardt with a few extracts from Wackernagel's preface to his edition of Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs.
"Paul Gerhardt," he says, "may be viewed in a one-sided manner, from two quite opposite points of view, in relation to the spiritual contents of his songs. His poems appear to mirror the transition character of his age, when the personal life of the feelings, the subjective tendency, began to assert itself beside the Christian consciousness of the congregation. He may therefore be regarded as the last and the most perfect of those poets who were grounded in the ecclesiastico-confessional faith, and with him the line of the strict ecclesiastical poets closes. He may also be regarded as beginning the line of those in whose songs, praise and adoration of the revealed God recede before the expression of the feelings that master the soul in contemplating its relation to God revealing Himself to it as its salvation. The true view is, that Gerhardt stood in the fore front of his age and united in himself in the most lively manner both tendencies. Though he did not write so expressly for the congregation, so immediately in the interest of the church, as Luther, but from personal necessity, in personal temptations, yet the pulsation of his inner life was the common ecclesiastical confession; and his experiences, however personal they might be, were only waves of the flood of baptism and life which every other member of the church breathed and shared. His sorrow, and God's love, the soul's questions, and God's answers in him and in his songs, become one—so one as can only be when the experience is not only true for the individual, but also for the people and the church.
"For this reason Paul Gerhardt's are people's songs. They remind us sometimes of Friedrich Spee; above all, the glorious song,
'Go forth, my heart, and seek delight.'
But how much richer and more many-sided is the Evangelical than the Catholic poet, and at the same time better known and more familiar to the people! The Catholic congregations know nothing now of Friedrich Spee; but where is the Evangelical congregation that does not know Paul Gerhardt; in what churches are not his holy songs heard? What the pious Catherine Zell of Strasburg says of beautiful spiritual songs in her hymn-book is true of him:—'The journeyman mechanic at his work, the servant-maid washing her dishes, the ploughman and vine-dresser in the fields, the mother by her weeping infant in the cradle, sing them.' High and low, poor and rich alike, find them equally consoling, equally edifying; in all stations, among young and old, there are examples to be found where some song of Gerhardt at particular periods in the history of the inner life was engraven for ever on the soul, and subsequently became the centre point of the dearest reminiscences. Winckleman's favourite song, even in Italy, after he had passed over to the Catholic Church, was,
'I sing to thee with heart and mouth.'
And once when he ordered a song-book from Germany, he was vexed, yea, exasperated, when he found that it did not contain this song.
"Schiller's mother nurtured the young mind of her son with the songs of our poet, with whom the song
'Now spread are evening shadows'
was a favourite,—the same song concerning which Johann Falk narrates that a beggar boy was preserved amid many temptations by singing to himself the stanza commencing
'O Jesus! be my cover.'
"Books devoted to the exposition of spiritual songs, or to facts concerning pious persons, relate how many of Gerhardt's hymns have quickened many hearts in heavy affliction and anxiety, and have quietly composed their minds in the hour of death, and led them to peace....
"Above all, it was the mothers who fostered the domestic spiritual song, and handed down the old songs to the new generation. The noble picture of such a mother, even of his own, is sketched by T. F. Hippel, and the words in which she described the peculiarity of the poet to her son serve to portray herself as well as Gerhardt:—
"'After Luther, I must confess, I know no better hymn-poet than Gerhardt. He, Rist, and Dach form a trefoil, but the chosen instrument, Luther, was the root. Gerhardt wrote during the ringing of the church bells, so to speak. A certain impressiveness, a certain sorrowfulness, a certain fervour, were peculiar to him; he was a guest on earth, and everywhere in his one hundred and twenty-three songs sunflowers are sown. This flower ever turns to the sun, so does Gerhardt to a blessed eternity.'
"The love with which the contemporaries of Gerhardt, as far as the bell of an evangelical church was heard, turned to his song, has only one precedent—the veneration, the devotion, with which Luther's songs were regarded. The songs of no other poet, either before or since, have ever produced so mighty an effect or obtained so speedy and so wide a circulation."
Wetzlar's "Analecta Hymnica."
One qualified and authorized to preach, but not ordained, ordination taking place only when the candidate is placed over a congregation as a pastor.
The Elector Sigismund had gone over to the Reformed Confession in 1613, and the position of the Lutherans and Reformed in the Mark in relation to the court had since been reversed.
Wackernagel says, that it was his official duty to sketch the writings in attack and defence, that they display great tact and acuteness, and furnish a new proof that critical acumen may be combined with a poetical temperament.
Since writing this sketch, the writer observes that currency has been given to this apocryphal story in a recent work, "Our Hymns: their Authors and their Origin. By the Rev. Josiah Miller."
In the reference to the Syncretists.
A Theologian experienced in the sieve of Satan.
A graven, indeed, yet living image of Paul Gerhardt, In whose mouth, faith, hope, love have ever been. Here Asaph returned to life, taught in our coasts, and sang thy praises, O Gracious Saviour! The Spirit will come to thee as a guest, from the heavenly seats wherever thou shalt sing these Sacred Songs to God.
INDEX OF FIRST LINES.
PAGE A Lamb bears all its guilt away 49 A rest here have I never 316 After clouds we see the sun 261 Ah! faithful God, compass'nate heart 169 Ah! lovely innocence, how evil art thou deem'd 160 Awake, my heart! be singing 276 Be glad, my heart! now fear no more 329 Be joyful all, both far and near 75 Be thou contented! aye relying 202 Behold! behold! what wonder's here! 14 Bless'd is he the Lord who loveth 132 Bless'd is he who never taketh 130 By John was seen a wondrous sight 347 Come, and Christ the Lord be praising 24 Commit whatever grieves thee 225 Creator, Father, Prince of might! 109 Father of mercies! God most high 175 For Thee, Lord, pants my longing heart 88 Full of wonder, full of art 302 Full often as I meditate 143 Go forth, my heart, and seek delight 289 How can it be, my highest Light! 259 How heavy is the burden made 246 How long, Lord, in forgetfulness 235 I have deserv'd it, cease to oppose 165 I into God's own heart and mind 219 Immanuel! to Thee we sing 37 In grateful songs your voices raise 238 In prayer your voices raise ye 45 Is God for me? t'oppose me 208 Jesus! Thou, my dearest Brother 112 Let not such a thought e'er pain thee 83 Look up to thy God again 195 Lord God! Thou art for evermore 312 Lord, lend a gracious ear 92 Lord, Thou my heart dost search and try 138 Lord! to Thee alone I raise 135 Mine art Thou still, and mine shalt be 333 My face, why shouldst thou troubled be 322 My God! my works and all I do 102 My heart! the seven words hear now 63 Now at the manger here I stand 32 Now gone is all the rain 298 Now spread are evening's shadows 285 Now with joy my heart is bounding 18 O Father! send Thy Spirit down 78 O God! from Thee doth wisdom flow 97 O God, my Father! thanks to Thee 117 O God! who dost Heaven's sceptre wield 294 O Jesus Christ! my fairest Light 122 O Lord! I sing with mouth and heart 255 O my soul, why dost thou grieve 155 Oh! bleeding head, and wounded 59 Oh, Jesus Christ! how bright and fair 307 On thy bier how calm thou'rt sleeping 338 Praise God! for forth hath sounded 251 Praise ye Jehovah 279 Say with what salutations 10 Scarce tongue can speak, ne'er human ken 1 See, world! thy Life assailed 54 Shall I not my God be praising 240 The daylight disappeareth 282 The golden morning, joy her adorning 270 The Lord, the earth who ruleth 266 The time is very near 341 Thou art but man, to thee 'tis known 148 Thou must not altogether be 230 Thy manger is my paradise 26 'Tis patience must support you 184 Twofold, Father! is my pray'r 107 Up! up! my heart with gladness 71 What pleaseth God, my faithful child 189 Why should sorrow ever grieve me 214 Why should they such pain e'er give Thee 43 Why without, then, art Thou staying 5
Of the Holy Trinity.
Scarce tongue can speak, ne'er human ken The myst'ry could discover, That God, from His high throne to men Makes known the world all over: That He alone is King above All other gods whatever, Great, mighty, faithful, full of love, His saints doth aye deliver, One substance but three persons!
God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! The name thrice holy given, On earth by all the ransom'd host, And by the hosts of heaven. He's Abraham's and Isaac's God, And Jacob's whom He knoweth, The Lord of Hosts, who every good Both night and day bestoweth, Who only doeth wonders!
His Son, from all eternity Begotten hath the Father, Who came as man, when God's decree Had fix'd, His sheep to gather. The Holy Ghost eternally, While all Their glory sharing, Their honour, pow'r, and majesty, A crown all equal wearing, Proceeds from Son and Father!
Be glad, my heart! thy portion see, Thy rich unequall'd treasure, He is thy Friend, supply will He Thy needs with bounteous measure. Who made thee in His image fair Thy load of guilt removeth, Gives thee His chosen's faith to share, Thy Joy in sorrow proveth, Through His own word most holy.
Bestir thyself, with all thy heart Thy God to know endeavour: Sweet rest such knowledge will impart, Thy soul with pure love ever Will cause to glow, and nourish thee For life and joy in heaven; Things heard of only here, shall be To open sight there given, By God to His dear children.
Woe! woe! to the besotted crew In wilful blindness living, Rejecting God, the honour due To Him, to creatures giving. The time will come when close shall He 'Gainst them the door of heaven; Who God drive from them here, shall be By Him hereafter driven, From His high throne most holy!
O Prince of might! Thy mercy show, Thou God of earth and heaven, To every sinner here below May saving grace be given! Bring back Thy sheep who go astray, And blinded eyes enlighten, And turn Thou every thing away That wickedly might frighten Thine own, whose faith is feeble.
Grant this, that we Thy people may All reach the heav'nly portals, And in Thy kingdom sing for aye, 'Mid all the bless'd immortals: That Thou above art King alone All other gods high over, The Father, Son, and Spirit, One, Thy people's Shield and Cover, One substance but three persons!
WHY WITHOUT, THEN, ART THOU STAYING?
Why without, then, art Thou staying, Blessed of the Lord from far? Enter now, no more delaying, Let it please Thee—Thou, my Star! Thou, my Jesus, Friend indeed, Helper in the hour of need! Saviour! ease the wounds that pain me, Let Thy comforts rich sustain me.
Lord, my wounds are pain and sorrow, That the hammer of the law With its terrors, night and morrow, Causeth, filling me with awe. Oh! the dreadful thunder peals When His anger God reveals, All my blood to tingle making, And my heart's foundation shaking!
Then with wiles the great deceiver Would to me all grace deny, Saying, in the hell for ever That torments him, I must be. But I suffer sorer pangs, For with poison'd serpent fangs Doth my conscience gnawing, tearing, Stir remorse beyond all bearing.
Do I seek my woe to soften, And to lessen pain desire, With the world commingling often, Sink I quite into the mire. There is comfort that deceives, Joy that by my mischance lives, Helpers there who only grieve me, Friends who only mock and leave me.
Nothing in the world endureth, Or the soul's thirst can allay; Fleeting is the rank that lureth. Have I riches? What are they Better than small dust of earth? Have I pleasure? What's it worth? What to-day my heart doth gladden, That to-morrow doth not sadden?
Comfort, joy, in boundless measure, Stor'd, Lord Jesus, are in Thee, Pastures of unfading pleasure, Where we roam and feast so free. Light of joy! illumine me Ere my heart quite broken be! Jesus, let mine eyes behold Thee; Lord, refresh me and uphold me!
Heart, rejoice, for He doth hear thee, And He visits thee again; Now thy Saviour draweth near thee, Bid Him gladsome welcome then, And prepare thee for thy guest, Enter thou into His rest, While with open heart receiving, Tell Him all that is thee grieving.
Lo! the things that seem'd to hinder How they all fall out for good. Hark! how He in accents tender Comforts thee in gracious mood. Ceas'd the dragon has to roar, Scheming, raging, now no more. His advantages forsake him, He must to th' abyss betake him.
Now thy life is calm and even, All thy heart's desire is thine; Christ Himself to thee hath given All He hath—exhaustless mine! His grace is thy fairest crown, Thou His seat art and His throne; With Himself as one He makes thee, Freely to His bosom takes thee.
God His golden-curtain'd Heaven Spreadeth to encompass thee! Lest thou shouldst away be driven By thy raging enemy. Angel hosts keep watch and ward At thy side and are thy guard; Lest in journeys aught should hurt thee, By the way their arms support thee.
All the ill thou hast done ever It is now remitted quite; God's love thee doth now deliver From sin's tyrant pow'r and might. Christ the Prince hath won the day, Rise against thee what ill may, He, to purest good converting, Robbeth of the pow'r of hurting.
All for thine advantage proveth, E'en what hurtful may appear. Christ accepteth thee and loveth, And His thoughts are all sincere. Thou in turn but faithful be, Then shall certainly by thee, With the angel hosts in Heaven, Thanks and praise for aye be given.
SAY WITH WHAT SALUTATIONS?
Say with what salutations Shall I Thine advent greet? Desire of all the nations, My Joy and Succour meet! O Jesus! Jesus! lead me On by Thy blessed light; What's Thy delight thus guide me To understand aright.
With palms doth Zion meet Thee, Spreads branches in the way; To raise my soul to greet Thee Glad psalms I'll sing to-day. My heart shall blossom ever, O'erflow with praises new, And from Thy name shall never Withhold the honour due.
What hast Thou e'er neglected For my good here below? When heart and soul dejected, Were sunk in deepest woe, When from Thy presence hidden, Where peace and pleasure are, Thou camest, and hast bidden Me joy again, my Star!
In bitter bondage lying, Thou com'st and sett'st me free; 'Neath scorn and shame when sighing, Thou com'st and raisest me. Thy grace high honour gives me, Abundance doth bestow, That wastes not, nor deceives me As earthly riches do.
No other impulse led Thee To leave Thy throne above, Upon Thine errand sped Thee, But world-embracing love! A love that deeply feeleth The wants and woes of men, No tongue its fulness telleth, It passeth human ken.
In thy heart be this written, Thou much afflicted band! Who evermore art smitten With griefs on every hand. Fear not! let nothing grieve thee, For help is at thy door, He'll consolation give thee, Oil in thy wounds will pour.
No care nor effort either Is needed day and night, How thou may'st draw Him hither In thine own strength and might. He comes, He comes with gladness! O'erflows with love to thee, To chase away the sadness He knows oppresseth thee.
Sin's debt, the mighty burden Let not thy heart affright; The Lord will freely pardon, His grace will cover quite. He comes! He comes! Salvation Proclaiming everywhere, Secures His chosen nation Their heritage so fair!
Thy foes why should they move thee? Their wiles and rage are vain, Thy Saviour, who doth love thee, Will scatter them again. He comes! a Conq'ror glorious, He'll scatter every band Of foes—His course victorious Too few they're to withstand.
He comes to judge each nation; Who curs'd Him, curse shall He; With grace and consolation, Who lov'd, receiv'd shall be. Oh! come, Thou Sun, and lead us To everlasting light, Up to Thy mansions guide us Of glory and delight.
Birth of Christ.—Christmas.
OF THE APPEARANCE OF THE ANGELS.
Behold! behold! what wonder's here! The gloomy night turns bright and clear, A brilliant light dispels the shade, The stars before it pale and fade.
A wondrous light it is, I trow, And not the ancient sun shines now, For, contrary to nature, night Is turned by it to day so bright.
What means He to announce to us, Who nature's course can alter thus? A mighty work design'd must be When such a mighty sign we see.
To us vouchsafed can it be The Sun of Righteousness to see, The Star from Jacob's stem so bright, The woman's Seed, the Gentiles' Light?
'Tis even so—for from the sky Heav'n's hosts with joyful tidings hie, That He is born in Bethl'hem's stall, Who Saviour is and Lord of all!
Oh blessedness! the goodly throng Of sainted fathers waited long To see this day, with hope deferr'd, As we may learn from God's own word.
Awake, ye sons of men, awake! Up! up! and now your journey take With me, let us together go To where the blessed angels show.
Behold! there in yon gloomy stall He lies who ruleth over all; Where once their food the cattle sought, The Virgin's child for rest is brought.
Oh, child of Adam! ponder well, And stumble not at what I tell, He who appears in this low state For us is, and aye shall be great.
In mortal flesh we Him behold, Who all things made and doth uphold, The Word who was with God is He, Himself is God whom now we see.
It is God's sole-begotten Son Through whom we now approach His throne, The First and Last, the Prince of Peace, The Conqueror through whom wars cease.
The times predicted are fulfill'd, God's fiery wrath must now be still'd; His Son, made man, doth bear our load Of guilt, our peace buys with His blood.
It is a time of joy to-day, With mourning and with woe away! Woe, woe to him who us revil'd! God's seen in flesh—we're reconcil'd.
The Lord who bears our sin is here, Who'll bruise the serpent's head is near, The Death of death—the Woe of hell— The Lord of Life with us doth dwell.
All foes are put our feet beneath, For sin and Satan, hell and death, Are brought to shame and put to flight Upon this great, this wondrous night.
Oh! happy world, thrice happy they! Who on this lowly infant stay Their souls, and with believing eyes In Him their Saviour recognize.
Now praise the Lord whoe'er can praise, Who from their low estate to raise His enemies, from His high throne Sent down His lov'd, His only Son.
Up! join the angel host and cry, Now glory be to God most High; Let peace prevail the world around, Good-will to men and joy abound.
NOW WITH JOY MY HEART IS BOUNDING.
Now with joy my heart is bounding, With delight Angels bright Praises forth are sounding. Hark! hark! how the choirs of Heaven, Through the sky Raise the cry, Christ to you is given!
He who's mighty to deliver, Goes that He Earth may free From all woes for ever. God is man, man to deliver, His dear Son Now is one With our blood for ever.
God in us must now take pleasure, For He gives Whom He loves Far beyond all measure. To redeem us He hath given His own Son From the throne Of His might in Heaven.
Who Himself and Kingdom ever, Giveth free, Oh! could He Drive us from Him?—never! Will not God's own Son now bless us? He who loves And removes All things that distress us!
Had our human nature ever By the Lord Been abhorr'd, He had been man never. Had our Lord delighted ever In our grief, He relief Would have brought us never.
All transgression He assumeth, That we've done 'Neath the sun, And our Lamb becometh. As our Lamb His life is given, So that we, From death free, May have peace and Heaven!
Now He's in the manger lying, Me and thee Calleth He, In sweet accents crying, "Banish, brethren, what's distressing, All your ills, All that falls, I bring times of blessing."
Come, and let us now go thither, Let us all, Great and small. Flock in crowds together. Love Him who with deep love burneth, See the light He so bright Kindly on us turneth.
Ye who sink in deepest anguish, Look ye here, Joy is near, Grieve no more, nor languish. Cleave to Him and He will bring you To the place, By His grace, Where no pain will wring you.
All ye hearts, oppress'd with sorrow, Ye who feel Sin's sore ill And conviction's arrow, Courage now! for One is living Who hath skill You to heal, All your pain relieving.
All ye poor ones and distressed, Come—come ye Take—'tis free, Of His store so blessed. Here do all good gifts flow over, Here is gold Stores untold! Here your hearts recover!
Gracious Saviour! deign to hear me, And let me Hang on thee, Undisturb'd stay near Thee. Of my life Thou art the Giver, I through Thee Joyfully Live contented ever.
Guilt no longer can distress me, Son of God! Thou my load Bearest to release me. Stain in me Thou findest never, I am clean, All my sin Is remov'd for ever.
For Thy sake I'm clean all over, Thou dost me Graciously With fair raiment cover. To my heart's throne I will raise thee, Glory mine! Flow'r divine! Let me love and praise Thee.
Diligently I'll preserve Thee, To the skies To Thee rise, Here live for and serve Thee. With Thee I at last shall wander, Joyfully, Endlessly, And in glory yonder!
Come, and Christ the Lord be praising, Heart and mind to Him be raising, Celebrate His love amazing, Worthy folk of Christendom!
Sin, death, hell, may all be grieving, Satan shame feel to him cleaving, We salvation free receiving, Cast our every care away.
See what God for us provideth, Life that in His Son abideth, And our weary steps He guideth From earth's woe to heav'nly joy.
His soul deeply for us feeleth, He His love to us revealeth, He who in the heavens dwelleth Came to save us from our foe.
Jacob's star His advent maketh, Soothes the longing heart that acheth, And the serpent's head He breaketh, Scattering the pow'r of hell.
Op'd hath He and freedom gain'd us From the prison that contain'd us, Where much grief and sorrow pain'd us, And our hearts were bow'd with woe.
O bless'd hour when we received From the foe who us deceived Liberty, when we believed, And Thee, gracious Savior, prais'd.
Beauteous Infant in the manger, O befriend us! beyond danger Bring us where is turn'd God's anger, Where with angel hosts we'll praise!
AT THE MANGER.
Thy manger is My paradise, O Jesus Christ! Where feeds my soul delighted. There 'fore mine eyes The Word now lies, Who to our flesh In person is united.
Whom wind and sea Obey, e'en He In servant's form And place for men's appearing. God's own Son, Thou Assumest now Clay weak and mean, Such as our own, art wearing!
Thou, highest Good! Dost raise our blood Up to Thy throne, High o'er all heights whatever! Pow'r endless, Thou Art brother now To us who like The grass and flowers, wither!
What harm can do Our soul's dread foe To us at all, Though full of gall his spirit? The things that he Accuseth me And others of, From Adam we inherit.
Be silent, fiend! There sits my Friend, My flesh and blood, High in the heav'ns enthroned: What Thou dost smite The Prince of might From Jacob's stem With honours high hath owned.
His health and light, Heal and give sight, And heaven's Joy All earthly ill undoeth. Immanuel, Of joy the Well, The devil, hell, And all their pow'r subdueth.
Believing heart, Whoe'er thou art, Be of good cheer, Let nothing e'er depress thee; Because God's Son Makes thee God's own, God must prove true To thee, and ever bless thee.
Now think and see How gloriously, He over all Distress hath thee uplifted. He who reigns o'er The angels, more Than thou art, is With blessedness not gifted.
Lo! seest thou Before thee now, Thy flesh and blood, Who air and clouds rules ever. What can there be (I ask of thee) That can arise, To fear thee to deliver?
Things oft affright Thy feeble sight And make thee sigh, Thy consolations vanish: Come hither, then, Behold again Christ's manger here, And all misgivings banish.
Though plagued with care, Yet ne'er despair! Thy Brother ne'er Thy misery disdaineth; His gracious heart Feels every smart, Nor when He sees Our woe, from tears refraineth.
To Him now go, He'll help bestow And rest, and thou Good cause shalt have for blessing. Full well He knows What burns and glows, What on the heart Of each sick one is pressing.
He therefore bore The wrath so sore Of the dread cross In His flesh, shrinking never, That through His pain He might retain The memory Of our distresses ever.
The gate is He That leadeth me To present joy, And to eternal blessing. He soon doth send A happy end To all the grief On pious heart that's pressing.
The world's base pelf Leave to itself, And make thou sure, This treasure thine remaineth. It firmly keep Nor let it slip, It there a crown For soul and body gaineth!
BESIDE THE MANGER.
Now at the manger here I stand, My Jesus, Life from Heaven! I stand, and bring Thee in my hand What Thou to me hast given. Take it, it is my mind and wit, Heart, soul, and all I have, take it, And deign to let it please Thee!
With Thy great love beyond compare, My soul Thou fillest ever, Thy glance so sweet, Thine image fair, My heart forgetteth never. How otherwise e'er could it be, How could I ever banish Thee, From my heart's throne, O Saviour!
Ere ever I began to be, Thou hadst for me appeared, And as Thine own hadst chosen me Ere Thee I knew or feared. Before I by Thy hand was made, Thou hadst the plan in order laid, How Thou Thyself shouldst give me.
I lay still in death's deepest night, Till Thou, my Sun, arising, Didst bring joy, pleasure, life, and light, My waken'd soul surprising. O Sun! who dost so graciously Faith's goodly light to dawn in me Aye cause; Thy beams how beauteous!
With rapture do I gaze on Thee, Ne'er can enough adore Thee, Pow'r more to do is not in me, I'll praise and bow before Thee. Oh! that my mind were an abyss, My soul a sea, wide, bottomless, That so I might embrace Thee.
Oh! let me kiss that mouth of Thine, My Jesus, Saviour gracious! Thy mouth that e'en the sweetest wine, And milk and honey precious, In pow'r and virtue doth excel, Of comfort, strength, and sap 'tis full, And inwardly refreshes.
When oft my heart within doth cry, No comfort can discover, It calls to me, Thy friend am I, Thine ev'ry sin I cover; My flesh and bone, why mournest thou? Let thy heart be of good cheer now, Thy debt, I have discharg'd it.
Who is the Master, where is he, Who in perfection sketcheth The hands this infant dear to me Now smilingly outstretcheth? The snow is clear, and milk is white, But both lose all their value quite Before these hands so beauteous.
Oh! wisdom fails me utterly For honouring and praising The eyes this infant fixedly To mine is ever raising. The fall moon, it is clear and fair, The golden stars most beauteous are, But these eyes far excel them.
Oh! that a star so passing fair Should in a crib be holden! Who mighty nobles' children are Should lie in cradles golden! Ah! hay and straw too wretched are, Silk, velvet, purple better far, Were for Thee, Child! to lie on.
Remove the straw, remove the hay, From where the child reposes, And flow'rs I'll bring that lie He may On violets and roses. With tulips, pinks, and rosemary, From goodly gardens pluck'd by me, I'll from above bestrew Him.
And snow-white lilies here and there His side shall be thrown over; When closed His eyes with slumber are, Them shall they softly cover. But Thou mayest love the grass so dry, My Child! more than the things that I Have spoken or have thought of.
Not for the world's pride dost Thou care, Nor joys the flesh doth offer; In human form Thou liest there, For us to do and suffer, Seek'st joy and comfort for my soul, While waves of trouble o'er Thee roll; I never will Thee hinder.
One thing I hope Thou'lt grant to me, My Saviour! ne'er deny me, That I may evermore have Thee Within, and on, and by me. And let my heart Thy cradle be, Come, come and lie Thou down in me, With all Thy joys and treasures!
'Tis true, that I should think how poor And mean my entertaining, Than dust and ashes I'm no more, Thou mad'st, art all-sustaining, Yet Thou'rt a guest belov'd and priz'd, For never yet hast Thou despis'd Him who delights to see Thee!
IMMANUEL! TO THEE WE SING.
Immanuel! to Thee we sing, The Fount of life, of grace the Spring, Than fairest lily fairer far, Lord of all Lords, the morning Star! Hallelujah!
With all Thy people, Lord, we raise To Thee our heart-felt songs of praise, That Thou, O long-expected Guest! Hast brought us our desired rest. Hallelujah!
Since the Creator said—"Light be!" How many a heart hath watch'd for Thee! Of Fathers, Prophets, Saints the throng With ardent hope have waited long. Hallelujah!
Than others more, the Shepherd King Belov'd by Thee, and wont to sing Thy praise on sounding harp, inspir'd By deeper longing, Thee desir'd. Hallelujah!
Ah Zion! that thy Lord to thee Would come and set thy captives free; Ah! that our help would now arise And gladden Jacob's waiting eyes. Hallelujah!
There art Thou now, Thou ever-bless'd! There dost Thou in the manger rest; The world Thou deck'st, all things hast made— Thou'rt naked there, in weakness laid. Hallelujah!
A stranger art Thou here below, To whom the Heav'ns allegiance owe; A mother's milk dost not despise, Who art the Joy of angels' eyes. Hallelujah!
The bounds of ocean fix'd hast Thou, Who art a swaddled infant now; Thou'rt God—a bed of straw Thou hast. Thou'rt man—yet art the First and Last. Hallelujah!
Of every joy Thou art the spring, Yet sorrow oft Thy heart doth wring. The Gentiles' Light and Hope Thou art, Yet findest none to soothe Thy heart. Hallelujah!
The sweetest Friend of man Thou art, Though many hate Thee in their heart! The heart of Herod loathed Thee, Yet what art Thou? Salvation free! Hallelujah!
Thy meanest servant, Lord! am I, I say it in sincerity; I love Thee, but not half so well As I should love,—more love I'd feel. Hallelujah!
My pow'r is weak, though will be there, But my poor heart against Thee ne'er Shall rise t' oppose,—Thou wilt receive By grace the little I can give. Hallelujah!
Thou to be weak dost not disdain, Dost choose the things the world deems vain, Art poor and needy, and dost come, By love impell'd, to want's drear home! Hallelujah!
Thou sleepest on the lap of earth, The manger where Thou at Thy birth Wast laid to rest, the hay, the stall Were mean, were miserable all. Hallelujah!
And therefore doth my courage rise, Thy servant wilt Thou not despise; The gracious mind that dwells in Thee Fills me with hope and gladdens me. Hallelujah!
Lord! though I've pass'd in sin my days, And wandered far from wisdom's ways, Yet therefore Thou to earth hast come, To bring the wand'ring sinner home. Hallelujah!
Had I no debt of sin to face, How could I ever share Thy grace? In vain for me Thine advent here, Had I no wrath of God to fear. Hallelujah!
Lord, fearlessly I come to Thee, Thou keep'st my soul from anguish free; Thou bear'st the wrath, dost death destroy, And sorrow turnest into joy. Hallelujah!
My Head Thou art, Thy member I In turn am, and Thy property; Lord, I will serve Thee while I live With all the grace Thou deign'st to give. Hallelujah!
Loud hallelujahs here I'll sing, With joy that from my heart doth spring, And when I reach yon mansions fair I will repeat them ever there. Hallelujah!
OF THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST.
Why should they such pain e'er give Thee, Why inflict such cruel smart? Jesus, why should they so grieve Thee, Who're uncircumcis'd in heart, By this rite? Though Thou art free From the law's yoke utterly, Yet man's nature art Thou wearing, But no sin its beauty marring.
For Thyself Thou dost not bear it, Of the Cov'nant Thou art Head; 'Tis our debts that make Thee share it, That like grievous load of lead Lie upon us, and Thy heart Pierce e'en to the inmost part; These Thou bearest to deliver Us, who could have paid them never.
Let your hearts be glad, ye debtors! Let the world rejoice to-day, For the Son of God our fetters Breaks, the price begins to pay. This day is the Law fulfill'd, This day is God's anger still'd, Whom to death law did deliver, God's Son makes God's heirs for ever.
We this grace enough can never Own, nor for it grateful be; Heart and mouth, O Saviour! ever Shall exalt and honour Thee! We shall praise with all our pow'r All Thy goodness, Thee adore, While in weakness here we wander, And Thy praise re-echo yonder!
In pray'r your voices raise ye To God, and Him now praise ye, Who to our life from heaven All needed strength hath given.
The stream of years is flowing, And we are onward going, From old to new surviving, And by His mercy thriving.
In woe we often languish, And pass through times of anguish, When fearful war aboundeth, That earth itself surroundeth.
As faithful mother keepeth Guard while her infant sleepeth, And all its grief assuageth When angry tempest rageth;
So God His children shieldeth, Them full protection yieldeth; When need and woe distress them, His loving arms caress them.
In vain is all our doing, The labour we're pursuing In our hands prospers never, Unless God watcheth ever.
Our song to Thee ascendeth, Who every day defendeth Us, and whose arm averteth The pain our hearts that hurteth.
O God of mercy! hear us; Our Father! be Thou near us; 'Mid crosses and in sadness Be Thou our Spring of gladness.
To me and all be given, Who from the heart have striven To gain Thy benediction, Hearts patient in affliction.
Oh! close the gates of sorrow, And by a glorious morrow Of peace, may places sadden'd By bloodshed dire be gladden'd.
With richest blessings crown us, In all our ways, Lord! own us; Give grace, who grace bestowest To all, e'en to the lowest.
Of all forlorn be Father, All erring ones ingather, And of the poor and needy Be Thou the succour speedy.
Grace show to all afflicted, And to all souls dejected, By melancholy haunted, May happy thoughts be granted.
All earthly gifts excelling, The Holy Ghost indwelling, Give us to make us glorious, And lead to Thee victorious.
All this Thy hand bestoweth, Thou Life! whence our life floweth, Thus Thou Thy people meetest With New Year's blessing greetest.
The Sufferings of Christ.—Good Friday.
A LAMB BEARS ALL THE GUILT AWAY.
Isa. liii. 4-7; John i. 29.
A Lamb bears all its guilt away The world thus to deliver, All sins of sinners patiently It bears and murmurs never. It goes, and weak and sick is made An off'ring on the altar laid, All pleasure it forsaketh, Submits to shame, and scorn, and wrath, To anguish, wounds, stripes, cross, and death, This cup with gladness taketh.
This Lamb, He is the soul's great Friend And everlasting Saviour, God chooseth Him sin's reign to end And bring us to His favour. "Go forth, my Son! redeem to Thee The children who're exposed by me To punishment and anger. The punishment is great, and dread The wrath, but Thou Thy blood shalt shed, And free them thus from danger."
"I'll go where, Father! thou dost send, Bear what on me Thou layest, My will doth on Thy word depend, My work is what Thou sayest." O mighty love! O wondrous love! Thou canst do all our thoughts above, Make God His Son deliver! O love! O love! Thy pow'r how great! Thou did'st Him e'en to death prostrate Whose glance the rocks can shiver.
Thou martyr'st Him upon the tree, With spear and nails destroying Thou slay'st Him, lamblike, ruthlessly, Till heart and veins are flowing, The heart with many a long-drawn sigh, And till His veins are copiously Their noble life-blood yielding. Sweet Lamb! what shall I do for Thee For all the good Thou doest me, Thus saving me and shielding?
All my life long I'll cleave to Thee And shall forget Thee never, As always Thou embracest me I will embrace Thee ever. My heart's Light Thou shalt ever be, And when my heart shall break in me Thy heart shall fail me never. O Thou, my Glory, I to Thee Myself as Thine own property Herewith resign for ever!
I ever shall both night and day Thy loveliness be singing, An offering of joy shall aye Myself to Thee be bringing. My stream of life shall still to Thee, And to Thy name, outpoured be, In gratitude enduring. Of every good Thou doest me, My soul shall mindful strive to be, In memory securing!
Shrine of my heart! now open'd be, To thee shall now be given Fair treasures that far greater be Than earth, and sea, and heaven. Away! gold of Arabia, Myrrh, calamus, and cassia, Far better I discover! My priceless treasure is, O Thou My Jesus! what so freely now From Thy wounds floweth over!
Good use of this behoves it me At all times to be making, My shield in conflict shall it be, My joy when heart is breaking, In happiness my song of joy; When all things else my taste do cloy, This manna then shall feed me, In thirst my well-spring shall it be, In solitude converse with me, And out and in shall lead me!
What can death's poison do to me? Thy blood to me life giveth, And when the sun burns fervently, With grateful shade relieveth; And when with sorrow sore oppress'd I ever find in it my rest, As sick men on their pillows. My anchor art Thou, when my skies Are clouded o'er, and tempests rise, My bark 'whelm in the billows.
And when at last heav'n's gate I see, And taste the kingdom's pleasure, This blood shall then my purple be, I'll clothe me in this treasure; It shall be then my glorious crown, In which I'll stand before the throne Of God, with none to blame me; And as a bride in fair array, I'll stand beside my Lord that day, Who woo'd, and then will claim me.
SEE, WORLD! THY LIFE ASSAILED.
See, world! thy Life assailed; On the accurs'd tree nailed, Thy Saviour sinks in death! The mighty Prince from Heaven Himself hath freely given To shame, and blows, and cruel wrath!
Come hither now and ponder, 'Twill fill thy soul with wonder, Blood streams from every pore. Through grief whose depth none knoweth, From His great heart there floweth Sigh after sigh of anguish o'er!
Who is it that afflicts Thee? My Saviour, what dejects Thee, And causeth all Thy woe? Sin Thou committed'st never, As we and our seed ever, Of deeds of evil nought dost know.
I many times transgressing, In number far surpassing The sand upon the coast, I thus the cause have given, That Thou with grief art riven, And the afflicted martyr host.
I've done it, and deliver Me hand and foot for ever Thou justly might'st to hell. The mock'ry to Thee offer'd, The scourging Thou hast suffer'd, My soul it was deserv'd it well.
The load Thou takest on Thee, That press'd so sorely on me, Than stone more heavily. A curse, Lord, Thou becamest, Thus blessings for me claimest, Thy pain must all my comfort be.
Not death itself Thou fearest, As surety Thou appearest For all my debts and me. For me Thy brow is crowned With thorns, and Thou'rt disowned By men, and bear'st all patiently.
Into death's jaws Thou springest, Deliv'rance to me bringest From such a monster dire. My death away Thou takest, Thy grave its grave Thou makest; Of love, O unexampled fire!
I'm bound, my Saviour, ever, By ties most sacred never Thy service to forsake; With soul and body ever, With all my pow'rs t' endeavour, In praise and service joy to take.
Not much can I be giving In this poor life I'm living, But one thing do I say: Thy death and sorrows ever, Till soul from body sever, My heart remember shall for aye.
Before mine eyes I'll place them, And joyfully embrace them, Wherever I may be, They'll be a glass revealing Pure innocence, and sealing Love and unfeign'd sincerity.
Of sin how great the danger, How it excites God's anger, How doth His vengeance burn How sternly He chastiseth, How His wrath's flood ariseth, Shall I from all Thy suff'rings learn.
From them shall I be learning, How I may be adorning, My heart with quietness, And how I still should love them Whose malice aye doth move them To grieve me by their wickedness.
When tongues of bad men grieve me, Of peace and name deprive me, My restive heart I'll still; Their evil deeds enduring, Of pardon free assuring My neighbour for his ev'ry ill.
I'll on the cross unite me To Thee, what doth delight me I'll there renounce for aye. Whate'er Thy Spirit's grieving, There I'll for aye be leaving, As much as in my strength doth lay.
Thy groaning and Thy sighing, Thy thousand tears and crying, That once were heard from Thee, They'll lead me to Thy glory, Where I shall joy before Thee, And evermore at rest shall be!
TO THE COUNTENANCE OF THE LORD JESUS.
Oh! bleeding head, and wounded, And full of pain and scorn, In mockery surrounded With cruel crown of thorn! Oh Head! before adorned With grace and majesty, Insulted now and scorned, All hail I bid to Thee!
They spit upon and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance! Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee, And flee before Thy glance. How hath Thy colour faded, The light too of Thine eye! Say who to pale hath made it? None shone so brilliantly.
Now from Thy cheeks is vanish'd Their colour once so fair; From Thy red lips is banish'd The splendour that was there. Death's might hath all things taken, Hath robb'd Thee ruthlessly; Thy frame, of strength forsaken, Doth hence in weakness lie.
O Lord! it was my burden That brought this woe on Thee, I earn'd it—for my pardon It has been borne by Thee. A child of wrath, look on me, Turn not away Thy face; O Saviour! deign to own me, And smile on me in grace.
My Guardian, now confess me, My Shepherd, me receive! Thou evermore dost bless me, All good things dost Thou give. Thy mouth hath often given Me milk and sweetest food. And many a taste of Heaven Thy Spirit hath bestow'd.
Oh! do not, Lord, deride me, I will not hence depart, Here will I stand beside Thee, When breaks Thine anguish'd heart; When on Thy breast is sinking In death's last fatal grasp Thy head, e'en then unshrinking Thee in mine arms I'll clasp.
Nought ever so much blesses, So much rejoices me, As when in Thy distresses I share a part with Thee. My Life, ah! were it ever Vouchsaf'd me on Thy cross My soul up to deliver, How blessed were my loss!
Thanks from my heart I offer Thee, Jesus, dearest Friend, For all that Thou didst suffer, My good didst Thou intend. Ah! grant that I may ever To Thy truth faithful be, And in the last death-shiver May I be found in Thee.
When hence I must betake me, And death at last must meet, Lord, do not then forsake me, Thy child with welcome greet. When terror has bereft me, Of heart and hope, again, Lord! from my woe uplift me, In virtue of Thy pain.
Be Thou my consolation When death o'ertaketh me; May Thy death-tribulation Before mine eyes then be! I'll on Thee, fondly gazing, Fix my believing eyes, While firmly Thee embracing,— He dies well who so dies.
THE SEVEN WORDS SPOKEN BY THE LORD JESUS ON THE CROSS.
My heart! the seven words hear now That Jesus Christ hath spoken, When on the cross His heart through woe And murder dire was broken; Ope now the shrine, And lock them in, As gifts all price excelling. In bitter grief, They'll give relief, 'Neath crosses joy instilling.
His first and chiefest care He made Who hated Him to cover: God for the wicked men He pray'd, That He'd their sin look over. "Forgive, forgive," He said in love, "Them every one, O Father! Not one doth see What doeth he, In ignorance 'tis rather!"
How fair it is, let all learn here, To love their foes who grieve them, And all their faults with hearts sincere Aye freely to forgive them. He also shows, How grace o'erflows His heart, how kind His mood is, That e'en his foe, Who'd work Him woe, Doth in Him find what good is!
Then to His mother doth He speak, Who stood near him He loveth, And as He can, though voice be weak, With words of comfort sootheth: "Woman! there see Thy son, for me Thou shalt by him be guarded. Disciple! see, Let her by thee As mother be regarded."
O faithful heart! thou car'st for all Thine own who truly love Thee, When they in tribulation fall Thou seest, the sight doth move Thee; A friend in need, In word and deed, Thou at their side appearest, Dost by Thy grace Find them a place, Them to good souls endearest.
The third thing that Thy lips have said Thou spak'st to him beside Thee, When, "Think upon me then," he pray'd, "When God Himself shall guide Thee Up to Thy throne, Thy head shall crown As Lord of earth and heaven:" "To walk with Me To-day shall thee In Paradise be given."
O blessed word! O voice of joy! Can aught affright us?—never! Let death who seeketh to destroy, Now disappear for ever! Though he rage sore, What can he more Than soul and body sever? And meanwhile I Mount up on high, In joy to dwell for ever.
Christ's word gives deepest peace and joy, The robber's trouble stilleth; But He cries from the agony His holy breast that filleth, "Eli, my God, What heavy load Am I, Thy Son, now bearing? I call, and Thou Art silent now, Though I sink, seem'st not caring."
This lesson learn, thou child of faith, When God His count'nance veileth, Lest thou be cast down in the path When trouble thee assaileth: Firm to Him cleave, Though He may leave, He'll comfort soon, and cheer thee; True do thou be, Cry mightily, Until He turn and hear thee.
The Lord His voice now clear doth raise Through thirst that paineth sorely; "I thirst," the Spring eternal says, The Lord of life and glory. What meaneth He? He showeth thee How He thy load sinks under, That thou did'st pile For Him, the while In sin's ways thou did'st wander.
Thereby He also telleth thee How much He longs that ever His cross in each may fruitful be, Fail of its end may never. Mark this all ye, Now carefully, Who're in soul tribulation: Th' eternal Sun Refuseth none The soul's part and salvation.
And as the gloomy night of death Upon the Lord descended, "'Tis finish'd," He with dying breath Said, "now my work is ended; What was foretold In days of old, By seers who went before me, Doth now betide; I'm crucified, And men now triumph o'er me."
"'Tis finish'd!"—why then toilest thou? In vain thy labour ever! As if aught human strength can do, Could e'er from guilt deliver! 'Tis done! beware, And never dare To add aught to it ever; Do thou believe, In faith aye cleave To Him, forsake Him never.
His voice at length the Lord doth raise, High over all 'tis swelling: "My spirit, Father! to the place Take where Thou'rt ever dwelling, My soul receive, That now doth leave This body sorely riven." And at the word, To the great Lord Release from pain was given.
Oh! would to God, that I might end My life as His was ended, My spirit unto God commend As His was then commended. O Christ, my Lord! May Thy last word The last be by me spoken; So happily I'll go to Thee, When life's last thread is broken.
Resurrection of Christ.—Easter.
UP! UP! MY HEART WITH GLADNESS.
Up! up! my heart with gladness, See what to-day is done! How after gloom and sadness Comes forth the glorious Sun! My Saviour there was laid Where our bed must be made, When to the realms of light Our spirit wings its flight.
They in the grave did sink Him, The foe held jubilee; Before he can bethink him, Lo! Christ again is free. And victory He cries, And waving tow'rds the skies His banner, while the field Is by the Hero held!
Upon the grave is standing The Hero looking round; The foe, no more withstanding, His weapons on the ground Throws down, his hellish pow'r To Christ must he give o'er, And to the Victor's bands Must yield his feet and hands.
A sight it is to gladden And fill the heart with glee, No more affright or sadden Shall aught, or take from me My trust or fortitude, Or any precious good The Saviour bought for me In sov'reign love and free.
Hell and its bands can never Hurt e'en a single hair, Sin can I mock at ever, Safe am I everywhere. The mighty pow'r of death Is my regard beneath; It is a pow'rless form, Howe'er it rage and storm.
The world my laughter ever Moves, though it rage amain, It rages, but can never Do ill, its work is vain. No trouble troubles me, My heart from care is free, Misfortune is my prize, The night my fair sunrise.
I cleave, and cleave shall ever, To Christ, a member true, Shall part from my Head never, Whate'er He passes through; He treads the world beneath His feet, and conquers death And hell, and breaks sin's thrall; I'm with Him through it all.
To halls of heav'nly splendour With Him I penetrate; And trouble ne'er may hinder Nor make me hesitate. What will, may angry be, My Head accepteth me, My Saviour is my Shield, By Him all rage is still'd.
He to the gates me leadeth Of yon fair realms of light, Whereon the pilgrim readeth, In golden letters bright: "Who's there despised with me, Here with me crown'd shall be; Who there with me shall die, Here's raised with me on high!"
BE JOYFUL ALL, BOTH FAR AND NEAR.
Be joyful all, both far and near, Who lost were and dejected: To-day the Lord of glory here, Whom God Himself elected As our Redeemer, who His blood Upon the cross shed for our good, Hath from the grave arisen.
How well succeeded hath thy might, Thou foe of life so ruthless! To kill the Lord of life and light; Thine arrow through Him scathless Hath pass'd, thou base injurious foe! Thou thought'st when thou hadst laid Him low, He'd lie in dust for ever.
No, no! on high His head is borne, His mighty pow'r asunder Thy gates hath burst, thy bands hath torn, Thyself hath trodden under His feet; who doth in Him confide Thy pow'r and claims may now deride And say, "Thy sting, where is it?"
Thy pow'r is gone, 'tis broken quite, And it can hurt him never Who to this Prince with all his might With heart and soul cleaves ever, Who speaks with joy, "I live, and ye Shall also live for aye with me, For I this life have purchas'd.
"The reign and pow'r of death are o'er, He never need affright you; I am his Lord, the Prince of pow'r, And this may well delight you; And as your risen Head I live: So ye, if ye on me believe, Shall be my members ever.
"Of hell have I the overthrow Accomplish'd, none now needeth To fear the pains of endless woe, Who Me and My word heedeth; He's freed from Satan's grievous yoke, Whose head I bruis'd, whose might I broke, And he can never harm him."
Now prais'd be God, who vict'ry hath To us through Jesus given, Who peace for war, and life for death, With entrance into heaven, Hath purchas'd, who death, sin, and woe, World, devil, what our overthrow Would seek, for aye hath vanquish'd.
O FATHER! SEND THY SPIRIT DOWN.
O Father! send Thy Spirit down, Whom we are bidden by Thy Son To seek, from Thy high heaven; We ask as He taught us to pray, And let us ne'er unheard away From 'fore Thy throne be driven.
No mortal man upon the earth Is of this gift so noble worth, No merit we've to gain it; Here only grace availeth aught, That Jesus Christ for us hath bought, His tears and death obtain it.
O Father! much it grieves Thy mind Us in such woful plight to find, As Adam's fall hath brought us; The evil spirit's pow'r, this fall Hath brought on him, and on us all, But Christ to save hath sought us.
To our salvation, Lord, we cleave, That we are Thine in Christ believe, From Him nought shall us sever; And through His death and precious blood, Our mansions fair, and highest good, We look for, doubting never.
This is a work of grace indeed, The Holy Spirit's strength we need, Our pow'r is unavailing; Our faith and our sincerity Would soon, O Lord! in ashes lie, Were not Thy help unfailing.
Of faith Thy Spirit keeps the light, Though all the world against us fight, And storm with every weapon. Although the prince of this world too, May take the field to lay us low, No ill through him can happen.
The Spirit's is the winning side, And where He helps, the battle's tide Assuredly abateth. What's Satan's might and majesty? It falleth when His standard high The Spirit elevateth.
The chains of hell He rends in twain, Consoles and frees the heart again From everything that grieveth; And when misfortunes o'er us low'r He shields us better in their hour, Than ever heart conceiveth.
The bitter cross He maketh sweet, In gloom His light our eyes doth greet, Care of His sheep He taketh, Holds over us the shield, and when Night falls upon His flock, He then To rest in peace us maketh.
The Spirit God gives from above Directeth all who truly love In ways of safety ever; He guides our goings every day, From paths of bliss to turn away Our feet permits us never.
He maketh fit, and furnishes With needed gifts for service those Who here God's house are rearing, Adorns their minds and mouths and hearts, And light to them for us imparts, What's dark to us thus clearing.
Our hearts He opens secretly When they His word so faithfully As precious seed are sowing; He giveth pow'r to it, where'er It takes root, tending it with care, And waters it when growing.
He teacheth us the fear of God, Loves purity, makes His abode The soul that sin refuseth; Who contrite are, virtue revere, Repent, and turn to Him in fear And love, He ever chooseth.
He's true, and true doth aye abide, In death's dark hour He's at our side, When all from us recedeth; He sootheth our last agony, Up to the halls of bliss on high In joy and trust He leadeth.
Oh! happy are the souls and bless'd, Who while on earth permit this Guest To make in them His dwelling; Who now receive Him joyfully, He'll take up to God's house on high, Their souls with rapture filling.
Now, Father, who all good dost give, Our pray'r hear, may we all receive From Thee this priceless blessing; Thy Spirit give, that here He may Rule us, and there in endless day Our souls be aye refreshing.
CONSOLATION FOR PENITENCE.
Let not such a thought e'er pain thee, As that thou art cast away, But within God's word restrain thee, That far otherwise doth say. E'en though thou unrighteous art, True and faithful is God's heart. Hast thou death deserv'd for ever? God's appeas'd, despond thou never!
Thou art, as is every other, Tainted by the poison, sin, That the serpent, and our father, Adam, by the fall brought in. But if thou God's voice dost hear, "Turn to me, do good," ne'er fear, Be of good cheer, He thy yearning Will regard, thy pray'r ne'er spurning.
He is not a bear nor lion Thirsting only for thy blood, Faithful is thy God in Zion, Gentle ever is His mood. God aye as a Father feels, He's afflicted by our ills, Our misfortune sorrow gives Him, And our dying ever grieves Him.
"Truly," saith He, "as I'm living, I the death of none desire, But that men themselves upgiving, May be rescu'd from sin's mire." When a prodigal returns, God's heart then with rapture burns, Wills that not the least one even Ever from His flock be driven.
Shepherd was so faithful never, Seeking sheep that go astray; Couldest thou God's heart see ever, How He cares for them alway, How it thirsts and sighs and burns After him who from Him turns, From His people's midst doth wander, Love would make thee weep and ponder.