From the Revelation of John.—Chap. VII

By John was seen a wondrous sight

Translator: J. Kelly; Author: Paul Gerhardt
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

By John was seen a wondrous sight,
A noble light,
A picture very glorious:
A multitude stood ’fore him there
All bright and fair,
On heav’nly plain victorious;
Their heart and mood
Were full of good,
That mortal man
With gold ne’er can
Procure, so high ’tis o’er us.

Palm branches in their hands they bore,
They stood before
The Lamb’s throne, ’fore the Saviour;
Praise from their lips did ever flow,
Their robes like snow,
Their song still higher ever,
So sweetly rang;
Glad thanks they sang,
And in their song
The holy throng
Of angels joinèd ever.

“Who,” said the wond’ring John, “are they
In white array,
Whom now I see before me?”
“They are,” said one from out the crowd
That round him stood,
One of the elders hoary,
“They’re men, my son,
Who fought and won
The fight of faith,
Despis’d the scath,
Attain’d the prize of glory.

“They’re those who on the earth below,
Long, long ago,
Pass’d through great tribulation;
Who for the honour of their Lord
And of His word,
All grief and all vexation,
From blame all free
But patiently,
Though smarting sore
By God’s help bore,
O’ercame with exultation.

“They wash’d their robes and made them white
(Their hearts were right),
In faith’s bath them renewing,
And they resisted evermore
With all their pow’r
Hell's art, it quite subduing,
Did aye deride
Earth’s pomp and pride,
Chose Jesu’s blood
As their chief good,
All other good eschewing.

“And therefore with their doings, they
Stand there for aye,
Where God’s fair temple’s standing,
The temple where they night and day
Praise God for aye,
His glorious name commending.
There do they live
With nought to grieve,
From toil all free
Joys taste and see,
That never know an ending.

“There in His dwelling sitteth God
And spreads abroad
His goodness as a cover,
There with bliss manifold is bless’d
In quiet rest,
The wearied whose life’s over;
What pleasure gives,
The heart relieves,
The longing stills,
And the eye fills,
In full bloom stands there ever.

“No thirst, nor hunger there, no need;
The heav’nly bread
All wants aye satisfieth;
And shineth there the sun no more
In too great pow’r,
Its light pure joy supplieth;
Heav’n’s sun so bright
And heart’s delight,
Is our great Lord
The living Word,
Who no good thing denieth.”

The Lamb His flock will ever feed
E’en as they need,
In pastures never wasting;
He will them to the fountain bring,
Whence ever spring
Streams of life everlasting;
And certainly
Ne’er rest will He,
Till wash’d away
All tears for aye
Are, and His bliss we’re tasting.

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867

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 >

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 >

Text Information

First Line: By John was seen a wondrous sight
Title: From the Revelation of John.—Chap. VII
German Title: Johannes sahe durch Gesicht
Translator: J. Kelly
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Meter: 8.4.7.8.4.7.4.4.4.7
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.

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Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs #75

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