The Wonderful Estate of Matrimony

Full of wonder, full of art

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

Representative Text

Full of wonder, full of art,
Full of wisdom, full of pow’r,
Full of kindness, grace, and heart,
Full of comfort flowing o’er,
Full of wonder, still I say,
Is Love’s chaste and gentle sway.

Those who’ve never met before,
Ne’er each other known nor seen,
Never in the idlest hour
Thus employ’d their thoughts have been,
Yet whose hearts and hands in love
Tieth God who lives above!

His child doth this father guide,
That one traineth his each day,
Each their special wind and tide
Speed upon their sep’rate way,
When the time appointed’s there,
Lo! they’re a well-mated pair!

Here grows up a prudent son,
And a noble daughter there;
One will be the other’s crown,
One the other’s rest from care
Each will be the other’s light,
But from both ’tis hidden quite,

Till it’s pleasing in His sight
Who the world holds in His pow’r,
To all giveth what is right
Freely in th’ appointed hour;
Then appears in word and deed
What hath been by Him decreed.

Then Ahasuerus’ eye
First doth quiet Esther see;
To where Sara peacefully
Dwells, Tobias leadeth He;
David then, with pliant will,
Fetcheth prudent Abigail.

Jacob flees from Esau’s face,
And he meeteth Rachel fair;
Joseph in a foreign place
Serves, and winneth Asnath there;
Moses did with Jethro stay,
And bore Zipporah away.

Each one taketh, each doth find
What the Lord doth choose for him;
What in Heaven is design’d,
Comes to pass on earth in time.
And whatever happens thus
Order’d wisely is for us.

This or that might better be,
Oft this foolish thought is ours;
But as midnight utterly
Fails to be like noonday’s hours,
So the feeble mind of man
God’s great wisdom cannot scan.

Whom God joins together live,
What the best is knoweth He,
Our thoughts only can deceive,
His from all defects are free;
God’s work standeth firm for aye,
When all other must decay.

Look at pious children who
Enter’d have the holy state,
How well for them God doth do,
See what joys upon them wait;
To their doings God doth send
Evermore a happy end.

Of their virtues the renown
Blossometh for evermore,
As a shadow when is gone
Of all other love the flow’r;
When truth faileth everywhere,
Their’s still bloometh fresh and fair,

Fresh their love is evermore,
Ever doth its youth renew,
Love their table covers o’er,
Sweetens all they say and do.
Love their hearts aye giveth rest,
When they’re burden’d and oppress’d.

Though things oft go crookedly,
Even then this love is still,
Can the cross bear patiently,
Thinking ’tis the Father’s will.
From this thought doth comfort taste,
Better days will come at last

Meanwhile streams of blessing gives
God with bounty rich and free,
Mind and body He relieves,
And the house too foundeth He;
What is small and men despise,
Makes He great and multiplies.

And when all is over here
That the Lord designs in love,
For His faithful children dear,
Taketh them to courts above,
And with great delight in grace
Folds them in His warm embrace.

Now ’tis ever full of heart,
Full of comfort flowing o’er,
Full of wonder, full of art,
Full of wisdom, full of pow’r,
Full of wonder, still I say,
Is love’s chaste and gentle sway.

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

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: 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: Full of wonder, full of art
Title: The Wonderful Estate of Matrimony
German Title: Voller Wunder, voller Kunst
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Meter: 7.7.7.7.7.7
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 #66

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