A Lamb bears all its guilt away

Representative Text

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, outpourèd 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.

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >

Translator: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: A Lamb bears all its guilt away
German Title: Ein Laemmlein geht und traegt die Schuld
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



The tune AN WASSERFLÜSSEN BABYLON was composed by Wolfgang Dachstein (b. Gffenburg an der Kinzig, Germany, 1487; d. Strasbourg, Germany, 1553) and published in the Strassburger Kirchenampt (1525), edited by Dachstein and his friend Matthaus Greiter. In that collection it was the setting for Dachste…

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal #67

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Evangelical Lutheran hymnal #67

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal. 9th ed. #a67


Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs #12

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