299. Dear Christians, One and All

1 Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice,
With exultation springing,
And, with united heart and voice
And holy rapture singing.
Proclaim the wonders God has done,
How his right arm the vict'ry won,
What price our ransom cost him!

2 Fast bound in Satan's chains I lay,
Death brooded darkly o'er me,
Sin was my torment night and day;
In sin my mother bore me.
But daily deeper still I fell;
My life became a living hell,
So firmly sin possessed me.

3 My own good works all came to naught,
No grace or merit gaining;
Free will against God's judgment fought,
Dead to all good remaining.
My fears increased till sheer despair
Left only death to be my share;
The pangs of hell I suffered.

4 But God had seen my wretched state
Before the world's foundation,
And, mindful of his mercies great,
He planned for my salvation.
He turned to me a father's heart;
He did not choose the easy part,
But gave his dearest treasure.

5 God said to his beloved Son:
"Tis time to have compassion.
Then go, bright jewel of my crown,
And bring to all salvation;
From sin and sorrow set them free;
Slay bitter death for them that they
May live with you forever."

6 The Son obeyed His Father's will,
Was born of virgin mother;
And, God's good pleasure to fulfill,
He came to be my brother.
His royal pow'r disguised he bore,
A servant's form, like mine, he wore,
To lead the devil captive.

7 To me he said: "Stay close to me,
I am your rock and castle.
Your ransom I myself will be;
For you I strive and wrestle;
For I am yours, and you are mine,
And where I am you may remain;
The foe shall not divide us.

8 "Though he will shed my precious blood,
Of life me thus bereaving,
All this I suffer for your good;
Be steadfast and believing.
Life will from death the vict'ry win;
My innocence shall bear your sin;
And you are blest forever.

9 "Now to my Father I depart,
From earth to heav'n ascending,
And, heav'nly wisdom to impart,
The Holy Spirit sending;
In trouble he will comfort you
And teach you always to be true
And into truth shall guide you.

10 "What I on earth have done and taught,
Guide all your life and teaching;
So shall the kingdom's work be wrought
And honored in your preaching.
But watch lest foes with base alloy
The heav'nly treasure should destroy;
This final word I leave you."

Text Information
First Line: Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice
Title: Dear Christians, One and All
Original Language: German
Translator: Richard Massie, 1800-1887 (alt.)
Author: Martin Luther, 1483-1546
Meter: 87 87 887
Language: English
Publication Date: 1978
Topic: Justification; Epiphany 4; Easter 6
Tune Information
Meter: 87 87 887
Key: F Major
Copyright: Setting © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship

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