Ere earth's foundations yet were laid

Representative Text

1 Ere earth's foundations yet were laid,
Or heaven's fair roof was spread abroad;
Ere man a living soul was made,
Love stirred within the heart of God.

2 Thy loving counsel gave to me
True life in Christ, Thy only Son,
Whom thou hast made my way to Thee,
From whom all grace flows ever down.

3 Oh Love, that long ere time began,
This precious name of child bestowed;
That opened heaven on earth to man,
And called us sinners "sons of God!"

4 I am not worthy, Lord, that Thou
Shouldst such compassion on me show,
That He who made the world should bow
To cheer with love a wretch so low.

5 Could I but honor Thee aright,
Noble and sweet my song should be;
That earth and heaven should learn Thy might,
And what my God hath done for me.

Source: The Book of Worship #133

Author: Johann Gottfried Herrmann

Herrmann, Johann Gottfried, D.D., son of Gottfried Herrmann, pastor at Altjessnitz, near Bitterfeld, Saxony, was born at Altjessnitz, Oct. 12, 1707. After studying at the University of Leipzig (M.A. in 1731), he was appointed in 1731 diaconus at Ranis, near Neustadt on the Orla; in 1734 diaconus at Pegau, near Leipzig; in 1738 superintendent at Plauen; and in 1746 chief Court preacher at Dresden, and oberconsistorialrath. He died at Dresden, July 30, 1791 (Koch, v. 503-505). The only hymn by him translated into English appeared in the Privilegirte neue und vollständige Voigtländische Gesang Buch, Plauen, 1742, which he edited while Superintendent at Plauen. It is: Gent hin, ihr glaubigen Gedanken. The Love of God. A fine hymn, founded on… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ere earth's foundations yet were laid
German Title: Geht hin, ihr gläubigen Gedanken
Author: Johann Gottfried Herrmann
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Language: English



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