If God were not upon our side

If God were not upon our side

Author: Justus Jonas; Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Published in 6 hymnals

Representative Text

1 IF God were not upon our side
When round us foes are raging,
Were not Himself our help and guide
When bitter war they're waging,
Were He not Israel's mighty shield,
To whom their utmost craft must yield,
We surely must have perished.

2 But now no human wit or might
His chosen people frighteth,
God sitteth in the highest height,
And He their counsels blighteth;
When craftiest snares and nets they lay,
god goes to work another way,
And makes a path before us.

3 Against our souls they rage and mock,
Exciting great commotion:
As billows meet with angry shock
Out on the stormy ocean,
So they our lives with fury seek;
But God hath pity on the weak,
And Him they have forgotten.

4 They call us heretics, and aye
Their Christian name are flaunting;
They seek to spill our blood, while they
Their fear of God are vaunting.
Ah, God! that precious name of Thine
O'er many a wicked deed must shine,
But Thou wilt once avenge it.

5 They open wide their ravenous jaws,
And threaten to devour us,
But thanks to God, who rules our cause,
They shall not overpower us;
Their snares He yet will bring to naught,
And overthrow what they have taught;
God is too mighty for them.

6 How richly He consoleth those
Whom no one else befriendeth!
The door of grace doth never close;
Sense cannot comprehend it,
How this may be, and deems all lost,
When through this very cross a host
Of champions God is raising.

7 Our foes, O God, are in Thy hand,
Thou knowest their endeavor;
But only give us strength to stand,
And let us waver never,
Though reason strives with faith, and still
It fears to wholly trust Thy will,
And sees not Thy salvation.

8 But heaven and earth, O Lord, are Thine,
For Thou alone hast made them;
Thy light let on Thy people shine,
And in their sorrows aid them;
Kindle our hearts to love and faith
That shall be steadfast e'en to death,
Howe'er the world may murmur!

Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #284

Author: Justus Jonas

Jonas, Justus (Jobst, Jost, Jodocus), son of Jonas Koch, burgomaster of Nordhausen, in Thuringia, was born at Nordhausen, June 5, 1493. He studied at Erfurt (M.A. 1510), and Wittenberg (LL.B.); returning to Erfurt in 1517, where, in 1518, he was appointed Canon of the St. Severus Church, Professor, and, in 1519, Rector of the University. In the festal ode on his rectorate (by his friend Eoban Hesse) he was called the Just Jonas, and henceforth he adopted Jonas as his surname, and it is as Jonas that he is known. In 1521 he was appointed Probst of the Schlosskirche (All Saints) at Wittenberg, D.D., and Professor of Church Law in the University. Here he worked for twenty years as a true and devoted friend and helper of Luther and Melanchthon,… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: If God were not upon our side
Author: Justus Jonas
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Copyright: Public Domain



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Book of Hymns for the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin and Other States #d104

Book of Hymns for the joint Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and other states #d106

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book with Tunes #d171

TextPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #137

TextPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #284

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnbook (Lutheran Conference of Missouri and Other States) #d136

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