1 I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in thy cleansing blood,
To dwell within thy wounds; then pain
Is sweet, and life or death is gain.
2 Take my poor heart and let it be
For ever closed to all but thee;
Seal thou my breast, and let me wear
That pledge of love for ever there.
3 How blest are they who still abide
Close sheltered in thy bleeding side,
Who life and strength do thence derive,
And for thee fight, and in thee live.
4 O conquering Jesus, Saviour thou,
To thee, lo! all our souls we bow;
To thee our hearts and hands we give;
Thine we will die, thine we will live.
Source: The Song Book of the Salvation Army #424
|First Line:||I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of God|
|German Title:||Ach mein verwundter Fürst|
|Translator:||John Wesley (1740)|
|Author:||Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von Zinzendorf|
I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God. [Union with Christ.] This hymn, by John Wesley, first appeared in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1740 (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 265), thus—
1. "I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in thy cleansing Blood,
To dwell within thy Wounds; then
Pain Is sweet, and Life or Death is Gain.
2. "Take this poor Heart, and let it be
For ever clos'd to all but Thee!
Seal Thou my Breast, and let me wear
That Pledge of Love for ever there.
3. “How blest are they who still abide,
Close shelter'd in thy bleeding Side!
Who Life and Strength from thence derive,
And by Thee move, and in Thee live.
4. "What are our Works, but Sin and Death,
'Till Thou thy quick'ning Spirit breathe?
Thou giv'st the Power thy Grace to move;
0 wondrous Grace! 0 boundless Love!
5. "How can it be, Thou heavenly King,
That Thou should'st us to Glory bring;
Make Slaves the Partners of thy Throne,
Deck'd with a never-fading Crown?
6. "Hence our Hearts melt, our Eyes o'erflow,
Our Words are lost; nor will we know!
Nor will we think of ought beside
My Lord, my Love is crucify'd!
7. "Ah ! Lord, enlarge our scanty Thought,
To know the Wonders Thou hast wrought;
Unloose our stammering Tongues, to tell
Thy Love immense, unsearchable.
8. "First-born of many Brethren, Thou!
To Thee, lo! all our Souls we bow,
To Thee our Hearts and Hands we give,
Thine may we die, Thine may we live! "
This hymn is made up from four German hymns, all of which appeared in Appendix vii. to the Herrnhut Gesang-Buch, 1735. Of Wesley's hymn stanzas i., ii., are based on stanzas i., iii. of N. L. von Zinzendorf's;
Stanzas iii.-vi. are based on J. Nitschmann's;
Stanza vii. is based on stanzas i., ii. of Zinzendorf’s;
Stanza viii. is based on stanza xiv. of a hymn, by Anna Nitschmann, which begins "Mein Konig deine Liebe."
Wesley's translation was first adopted for congregational use as No. 61 inMoravian Hymn Book, 1742, in full and unaltered. In the 1789 and later editions it is abridged and begins "We pray Thee, wounded Lamb of God." In 1753 Wesley's full text was given in his Hymns & Spiritual Songs, No. 14, and repeated in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780. It is also in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, People's Hymnal, 1867, and others. It is found in the following abridged or altered forms:—
1. Jesu, Thou wounded Lamb of God (i. alt.). The Hymnal Companion and others.
2. 0 come, Thou wounded Lamb of God (i. alt.). Whitefield's Hymns, &c, 1753; Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760, and others.
3. 0 come, Thou stricken Lamb of God (i. alt.). Walker's Psalms & Hymns, 1855, &c.
4. Jesus, Thou holy Lamb of God (i. alt.). Rugby Church Hymn Book, 1839.
5. We pray Thee, wounded Lamb of God (i. alt.), in Robinson's Songs for the Sanctuary, N.Y., 1865, &c.
6. Take my poor heart, and let it be (ii. alt.), in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872.
7. Lord J take my heart, and let it be (ii. alt.). American Presbyterian Hymnal 1874, &c.
8. How can it be, Thou heavenly King (v.). American Methodist Episcopal South Collection, 1847, &c. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)