I will not let Thee go; Thou Help in time of need!

Representative Text

I will not let Thee go; Thou Help in time of need!
Heap ill on ill
I trust Thee still,
E'en when it seems that thou wouldst slay indeed!
Do as Thou wilt with me,
I yet will cling to Thee,
Hide Thou Thy face, yet, Help in time of need,
I will not let Thee go!

I will not let Thee go; should I forsake my bliss?
No, Lord, Thou'rt mine,
And I am Thine,
Thee will I hold when all things else I miss.
Though dark and sad the night,
Joy cometh with Thy light,
O Thou my Sun; should I forsake my bliss?
I will not let Thee go!

I will not let Thee go, my God, my Life, my Lord!
Not Death can tear
Me from His care,
Who for my sake His soul in death outpoured.
Thou diedst for love to me,
I say in love to Thee,
E'en when my heart shall break, my God, my Life, my Lord,
I will not let Thee go!

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #25

Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler

Dessler, Wolfgang Christoph, son of Nicolaus Dessler, jeweller, at Nürnberg, was born at Nürnberg, Feb. 11, 1660. His father wished him to become a goldsmith, but, as he was not physically suited for this, he was permitted to begin the study of theology at the University of Altdorf. His poverty and bodily weakness forced him to leave before completing his course, and, returning to Nurnberg, he supported himself there as a proof reader. Becoming acquainted with Erasmus Finx or Francisci, then residing in Nürnberg, he was employed by Finx as his amanuensis, and at his request translated many foreign religious works into German. In 1705 he was appointed Conrector of the School of the Holy Ghost at Nürnberg, where he laboured with zeal and… 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: I will not let Thee go; Thou Help in time of need!
German Title: Ich lass dich nicht, du Hülf in alien Nothen
Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler (1692)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English


Ich lass dich nicht, du musst mein Jesus bleiben. [Constancy to Christ.] Founded on Genesis xxxii. 36. First published 1692 along with Meditation xviii., which is entitled "The striving love." Wetzel (A. H., vol. i., pt. iv., p. 20) says it was sung, at her request, Sept. 5, 1726, at the deathbed of Christiana Eberhardina, a pious Queen of Poland. In the Berlin Geistlich Lieder, edition 1863, No. 728, in 9 stanzas of 10 lines. Translated as:— I will not let Thee go, Thou Help in time of need, a fine translation, beginning with stanza iv. ("Ich lass dich nicht, du Hülf in alien Nothen"), and adding translations of stanzas v., ix., by Miss Winkworth, in the 1st ser., 1855, of her Lyra Germanica, p. 59. Thence as No. 851 in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1875; No. 205 in the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal, 1876; No. 139 in the Canadian Presbyterian Hymn Book 1880. --Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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