Commit thy ways and goings

Representative Text

I. Commit thy Ways and Goings,
And All that grieves thy Soul,
To him, whose wisest Doings
Rule all without Controul:
He makes the Times and Seasons
Revolve from Year to Year,
And knows Ways, Means, and Reasons,
When Help shall best appear.

II. Unto the Lord turn wholly,
For he will never fail
To rescue thee from Folly,
If thou dost but bewail
Thy stiff-neck'd Self-Reliance;
Shake off that Yoke of Hell,
Which ever bids Defiance
To him that governs well.

III. Trust also in him ever,
Without reluctant Will:
His Promises will never
Once come behind thy Zeal.
His Goodness knows no Measure,
His Love and Care no End,
For such as wait with Pleasure
Till he Salvation send.

IV. And he shall surely lighten
The Sorrows on thy heart,
And with his Glory brighten
Thy darken'd inward Part.
When Thou his great Salvation
With wond'ring Eyes shalt see,
Thou'lt say, without Cessation,
He loves and cares for Thee.

V. Bring to to pass, O Blessed
Above what Words can tell:
And see us all released
From Sin and Death and Hell.
Direct us, O most Holy,
In the blest heav'nly Way,
That leads through this dark Valley
To everlasting Day.

Source: Psalmodia Germanica: or, The German Psalmody: translated from the high Dutch together with their proper tunes and thorough bass (2nd ed., corr. and enl.) #63

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: Johann Christian Jacobi

Jacobi, John Christian, a native of Germany, was born in 1670, and appointed Keeper of the Royal German Chapel, St. James's Palace, London, about 1708. He held that post for 42 years, and died Dec. 14, 1750. He was buried in the Church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. His publications included :— (1) A Collection of Divine Hymns, Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes and Thorough Bass. London: Printed and Sold by J. Young, in St. Paul’s Churchyard; . . . 1720. This edition contains 15 hymns. Two years later this collection, with a few changes in the text and much enlarged, was republished as (2) Psalmodia Germanica; or a Specimen of Divine Hymns. Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Commit thy ways and goings
German Title: Befeihl du deine Wege
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: Johann Christian Jacobi
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Befiehl du deine Wege. P. Gerhardt. [Trust in God.] This hymn, which Lauxmann in Koch, viii. 392, calls "The most comforting of all the hymns that have resounded on Paulus Gerhardt's golden lyre, sweeter to many souls than honey and the honey-comb," appeared as No. 333 in the Frankfurt edition, 1656, of Crüger's Praxis pietatis melica. Thence in Wackernagel's edition of his Geistliche Lieder, No. 66, and Bachmann's edition, No. 72, in 12 stanzas of 8 lines, and included as No. 620 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851. It is an acrostic on Luther's version of Ps. xxxvii. 5, "Befiehl dem Herren deine Wege und hoffe auf ihn, er wirds wohl machen," formed by the initial words of the stanzas, those in Wackernagel’s edition being printed in blacker type. This acrostic form has been preserved by Jacobi and Stallybrass.
Translation not in common use:—
(1) "Commit thy Ways and Goings," by J. C. Jacobi, 1720, p. 15 (1722, p. 38, 1732, p. 03).

-- Excerpt from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzl…

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Instances (1 - 2 of 2)
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A Hymn and Prayer-Book #64

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Psalmodia Germanica #63

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