Alas! my God! my sins are great

Representative Text

1 Alas, my God, my sins are great,
My conscience must upbraid me;
And now I find that at my strait
No human pow'r can aid me.

2 Were I to flee in my despair
In some lone spot to hide me,
My grief would still be with me there
And peace still be denied me.

3 I must, O Lord, by you be sought;
Oh, pity and restore me.
Just God, make not your wrath my lot;
Your Son has suffered for me.

4 If pain and woe must follow sin,
Then be my path still rougher.
Here spare me not; if heav'n I win,
On earth I gladly suffer.

5 But curb my heart, forgive me still,
Oh, make my patience firmer;
For they ignore your kindly will
Who at your chast'nings murmur.

6 All that you do is for my best;
Your grace will help me bear it
If but at last I see your rest
And with my Savior share it.

Source: Lutheran Worship #232

Author: Martin Rutilius

Rutilius, Martin, son of Gregorius Rüdel or Rutilius (who in 1548 was diaconus at Salza, near Magdeburg, and in 1551 became pastor at Düben on the Mülde, in Saxony), was born Jan. 21, 1550. After studying at the Universities of Wittenberg and Jena, he was appointed, in 1575, pastor at Teutleben, near Gotha. In 1586 he became diaconus at Weimar, where, after being for some time archidiaconus, he died Jan. 18, 1618. The translations [of his hymns] in common use are:— 1. 0 God my Lord! How great's the Hoard. In full by J. C. Jacobi, in his Psalter Germanica, 1722, p. 56. In his edition 1732, p. 89, it was greatly altered, and st. 1.—ill., viii., x. of this form were included in the Evangelical Union Hymn Book, 1856. 2. When… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Alas! my God! my sins are great
German Title: Ach Gott und Herr wie groß und schwer
Author: Martin Rutilius (1604)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



The Cyber Hymnal #146
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Lutheran Worship #232


The Cyber Hymnal #146

Include 19 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us