I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

Full Text

1 I greet thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
my only trust and Savior of my heart,
who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray thee from our hearts all cares to take.

2 Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
reigning omnipotent in every place:
so come, O King, and our whole being sway;
shine on us with the light of thy pure day.

3 Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
and all our substance and our strength receive;
sustain us by thy faith and by thy power,
and give us strength in every trying hour.

4 Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
no harshness hast thou and no bitterness:
O grant to us the grace we find in thee,
that we may dwell in perfect unity.

5 Our hope is in no other save in thee;
our faith is built upon thy promise free;
Lord, give us peace, and make us calm and sure,
that in thy strength we evermore endure.

Source: Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #586

Author (attributed to): Jean Calvin

John Calvin (French: Jean Calvin, born Jehan Cauvin: 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his seminal work Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536. In that year, Calvin was recruited by William Farel to help reform the church in Geneva. The city council resisted the implementation of Calvin's and Farel's id… Go to person page >

Translator: Elizabeth Lee Smith

Smith, Elizabeth Lee, née Allen, daughter of Dr. W. Allen, President of Dartmouth University, was born in 1817, and married in 1843 to Dr. H. B. Smith, who became Professor in Union Theological Seminary, New York, in 1850, and died in 1877. Mrs. Smith's hymns, including translations of "Je Te salue", “O Jesus Christus", are in Schaff's Christ in Song, 1869 and 1870. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I greet Thee, who my sure Redeemer art
Title: I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art
Author (attributed to): Jean Calvin
Translator: Elizabeth Lee Smith (1868, alt.)
Source: French Psalter, Strasbourg, 1545; French, 1545
Language: English


Scripture References:
st.1 = Isa. 12:2, Isa. 40:1-2
st.2 = Luke 1: 78-79, Isa. 60:20
st.3 = Acts 17:28
st.4 = Eph. 4:3

The strong text of "I Greet My Sure Redeemer" features many themes suitable to various times and places of Christian worship – indeed, to all Christian living: Jesus is my Redeemer, whom I love (st. 1); Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords (st. 2); Jesus lives in us and enables us to live (st. 3); Jesus is our model for personal growth and community (st. 4); Jesus is revealed in the Scriptures (st. 5).

The original French text, 'Je te salue, mon certain Redempteur," was published in the 1545 Strasbourg edition of Clement Marot's Psalms and appears to be a Protestant version of the Roman Catholic hymn "Salve Regina." The French text was later printed in Opera, volume 6 of an 1868 edition of John Calvin's works, and has been attributed to Calvin himself. However, modern scholars such as Pierre Pidoux have found no real proof for Calvin's authorship, and Calvin (unlike Luther) left no heritage of adapting Roman Catholic texts. The translation (1868) is mostly the work of Elizabeth L. Smith; it was published in Philip Schaff's Christ in Song (New York, 1869).

Elizabeth Lee Allen Smith (b. Hanover, NH, 1817; d. New York, 1898) was the daughter of the theologian, college president, and hymn writer William Allen (who published his Psalms and Hymns in 1835). In 1843 she married Henry Boynton Smith, who served on the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York City (1850-1877). Well-versed in various languages, she traveled with her husband in Europe in 1869, where he sought to recuperate from physical and mental collapse. Writer of her husband's memoirs, she also inherited an interest in hymnody from her father and translated hymns from German and French.

Smith's translation of this text came to eight stanzas in the same meter as the French original (10 10 666 666) and began with the words "I greet Thee, who my sure Redeemer art." It is not known who condensed the text to fit the 10 10 10 10 meter found in modern hymnals. The stanzas in the Psalter Hymnal are adapted from Smith's first five stanzas.

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions in Christian worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



TOULAN was originally an adaptation of the Genevan Psalter melody for Psalm 124 (124). In one melodic variant or another and with squared-off rhythms, the tune was used in English and Scottish psalters for various psalm texts. It was published in the United States in its four-line abridged form (cal…

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