Under the Cross when God Delays His Help

Father of mercies! God most high

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

Father of mercies! God most high,
Deign graciously to hear me,
Thou say’st, “Knock at my door and cry,
In time of need draw near me.
As urgently
Thou long’st, to thee
I’ll come to help and raise thee,
That with thy mouth,
In very truth,
Thou joyfully may’st praise me.”

Commit to God, both morn and night,
Thy ways, and doings ever;
He knoweth how to guide thee right,
And always will deliver.
To Him reveal
Whate’er dost feel
Thy heart to sorrow moveth;
He is Thy Lord,
Knows how to guard
And shield thee whom He loveth.

For His belovèd child will care
The faithful loving Father;
Who righteous and believing are,
He to His rest will gather.
Then, people dear,
Hope ever here
On Him who aye relieves you;
His throne before
Your hearts outpour,
Tell Him whatever grieves you!

Ah! God our Shield! Thy word how sweet
It sounds to Thine afflicted:
“I’ll come to thee with succour meet,
When thy heart is dejected.
He loveth me,
So lov’d shall be,
Secure for aye I’ll make him,
From care all free
Shall sit by me,
I’ll to my bosom take him.”

The Lord to them is ever nigh
Who trustfully draw near Him,
He’s at their side whene’er they cry,
Helps them o’ercome, who fear Him.
In misery
Who low do lie,
He raiseth and relieveth,
And joy imparts
To fainting hearts,
Them pow’r and might he giveth.

“In truth, who my great name doth fear,”
Saith Christ, “and firm believeth,
God doth regard his pray’r sincere,
His heart’s wish freely giveth.”
Then one and all
Draw near and call,
Who asketh, he obtaineth;
Who seeketh there,
The fruit so fair
With great advantage gaineth.

Hear what yon unjust judge doth say:
“This widow’s supplication
I must regard, lest day by day
Her coming cause vexation.”
His people’s cry
Shall God deny,
Who day and night are praying?
It cannot be,
He’ll set them free
From woe, not long delaying.

For when the just shed tears through care,
God soon with joy relieveth,
To those who broken-hearted are,
Again He laughter giveth.
He’ll suffer woe
Who will below
’Mid men be godly living;
But at his side
Will God abide,
Him grace sufficient giving.

“A moment I’ve forsaken thee,
And left thee in temptation;
With mercy great, as thou shalt see,
And boundless consolation,
I’ll give the crown,
And to the throne
Of glory shall I raise thee,
To joy convert
Thy grief and hurt,
Thou evermore shalt praise me.”

Ah! gracious God, ah! Father’s heart!
For years my consolation!
Why dost Thou let me feel such smart,
Pass through such tribulation?
My sad heart aches,
My eye awakes,
And bitter tears sheds ever,
My face once bright
Doth lose its light,
From sighing ceasing never.

How long, O blessèd Lord! wilt Thou,
Unmindful of me, leave me?
How long shall I in grief lie low,
And inward sorrow grieve me?
How long wilt chide,
And Thy face hide,
In darkness let me languish?
Say, when care’s load
Shall cease, my God!
To wring my heart with anguish?

Wilt Thou eternally repel,
And show Thy goodness never?
And shall Thy word and promise fail,
Be put to shame for ever?
Doth wrath so burn,
That Thou’lt ne’er turn
To me, and stand beside me?
Yet, Lord, I will
Cleave to Thee still,
Thy hand in all can guide me.

My heart amid earth’s misery
For Thee, O Lord! is aching;
My God! I wait and hope in Thee,
Let not shame me o’ertaking;
Thy friend in woe
Plunge, or the foe
Give cause for jubilation;
But, Lord, may I
Rejoice, rais’d high,
In glorious exaltation.

Ah! Lord, Thou true and faithful art,
Thy heart can ne’er disown me;
Nerve me in fight to bear my part,
With victory then crown me!
Lay Thou on me
The load, by Thee
Appointed, that I bear it.
When Thou the rod
Dost use, my God!
In measure may I share it!

Thy strength, O Lord! is infinite,
Thy hand hath all created,
Could all again with ruin smite,
Its pow’r is unabated.
We sound Thy name
With high acclaim,
As Lord of Hosts we own Thee!
In counsel right
No skill nor might
Can foil, nor e’er dethrone Thee.

Thou who dost Israel console,
Thou, Saviour, in affliction!
Ah! why permittest Thou my soul
To sink in sore dejection?
Thou dost not rest,
Thou’rt as a guest,
Who’rt in the land a stranger!
A hero Thou
Whose courage low
Sinks ’fore disgrace or danger?

Nay, Lord, not such a one art Thou!
My inmost heart believeth;
Thou standest firm, ’mid us shines now
The light that Thy word giveth.
Here restest Thou,
Lord, with us now;
Who call upon Thee ever,
At fitting hour
Wilt by Thy pow’r
From ev’ry woe deliver.

O Lord! my lengthen’d tale is o’er,
Then hear Thou my petition,
Help me, who often at Thy door
Have knock’d, and sought admission.
Help, Helper, me!
I’ll joyfully
Thankoff’rings lay before Thee;
And when life’s o’er
Shall evermore
In heav’n above adore Thee.

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… 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: Father of mercies! God most high
Title: Under the Cross when God Delays His Help
German Title: Barmherziger Vater, hoechster Gott
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Meter: 8.7.8.7.4.4.7.4.4.7
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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