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Jesu meine Freude, Meines Herzens Weide

Full Text

1. Jesu, meine freude,
Meines herzens weide,
Jesu, meine zier!
Ach wie lang, ach! lange
Ist dem herzen bange,
Und verlangst nach dir!
Gotteslamm, Mein bräutigam,
Außer dir soll mir auf erden
Nichts sonst liebers werden.

2. Unter deinen schirmen
Bin ich für den stürmen
Aller feinde frei.
Laß den satan wittern,
Laß den feind erbittern,
Mir steht Jesus bei.
Ob es jetzt
Gleich kracht und blitzt,
Obgleich sünd' und hölle schrecken,
Jesus will mich decken.

3. Trotz dem alten drachen,
Trotz des todes rachen,
Trotz der furcht dazu!
Tobe, welt! und springe!
Ich steh' hier und singe
In ganz sichrer ruh';
Gottes macht
Hält mich in acht;
Erd' und abgrund muß verstummen,
Ob sie noch so brummen.

4. Weg mit allen schätzen;
Du bist mein ergötzen,
Jesu, meine lust!
Weg! ihr eitlen ehren,
Ich mag euch nicht hören,
Bleibt mir unbewußt!
Elend, noth, Kreuz, schmach und tod
Soll mich, ob ich viel muß leiden,
Nicht von Jesu scheiden.

5. Gute nacht! o wesen,
Das die welt erlesen,
Mir gefällst du nicht.
Gute nacht, ihr sündden!
Bleibet weit dahinten,
Kommt nicht mehr an's licht!
Gute nacht!
Du stolz und pracht!
Dir sei ganz, du lasterleben,
Gute nacht gegeben.

6. Weicht, ihr trauergeister!
Denn mein freudenmeister,
Jesus tritt herein..
Denen, die Gott leiben,
Muß auch ihr betrüben
Lauter zucker sein.
Duld' ich schon
Hier spott und hohn,
Dennoch bleibst du auch im leide,
Jesu! meine freude.

Source: Kirchen-Gesangbuch: für Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden #251

Author: Johann Franck

Franck, Johann, son of Johann Franck, advocate and councillor at Guben, Brandenburg, was born at Guben, June 1, 1618. After his father's death, in 1620, his uncle by marriage, the Town Judge, Adam Tielckau, adopted him and sent him for his education to the schools at Guben, Cottbus, Stettin and Thorn. On June 28, 1638, he matriculated as a student of law at the University of Königsberg, the only German university left undisturbed by the Thirty Years' War. Here his religious spirit, his love of nature, and his friendship with such men as Simon Dach and Heinrich Held, preserved him from sharing in the excesses of his fellow students. He returned to Guben at Easter, 1640, at the urgent request of his mother, who wished to have him near her in… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Jesu meine Freude, Meines Herzens Weide
Author: Johann Franck
Language: German


Jesu meine Freude. J. Franck. [Love to Christ.] This beautiful hymn appears in C. Peter's Andachts Zymbeln, Freyberg, 1655, No. 211, in 6 stanzas of 10 lines, followed by a seventh stanza marked off “Vater aller Ehren," from Franck's Vaterunserharfe (i.e. one of his metrical versions of the Lord's Prayer). It is also in J. Crüger's Praxis, Frankfurt, 1656, No. 385 (with the melody by Crüger still in German use); in Franck's Geistliches Sion, 1674, No. 85 (1846, p. 58), and in most later hymn-books generally in the original 6 stanzas, as in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No 762.

It is modelled on a Song in H. Alberti's Arien, pt. iv., Königsberg, 1641, No. 24, which begins, “Flora meine Freude; Meiner Seelenweide." When the hymn began to be extensively used many of the older Lutherans objected that its depth of spiritual experience unfitted it for use in public worship; just as in our days Bishop C. Wordsworth, in the preface to his Holy Year, objected on similar grounds to the use of "Jesus, lover of my soul," by an ordinary congregation. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 279-286, relates many instances in which the use of this hymn was blessed. He adds that it was translation into Esthonian in 1667; into Russian in 1724, by command of Peter the Great; and about the same time into Latin.

Translations in common use:—
1. Jesus, my chief pleasure. A good translation, omitting stanza iii., contributed by R. Massie, as No. 436, to the 1857 edition of Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book (Ox. edition, 1864, No. 339, omitting the translation of stanza iv.). Mr. Massie included the translation in his Lyra Domestica, 1864, p. 132, and it is also in Reid's Praise Book 1872; Schaff’s Christ in Song, &c.
2. Jesu, priceless treasure. A good translation, omitting stanza iii., by Miss Winkworth, as No. 151, in her Chorale Book for England, 1863, repeated, adding a translation of stanza iii., in her Christian Singers , 1869, p. 228. Included in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880, No. 280, with a translation of stanza iii. not by Miss Winkworth.
3. Jesus, Thou art nearest. A translation of stanzas i., ii., v., vi., by M. W. Stryker, as No. 119 in his Christian Chorals, 1885.

Other translations are, (1) "Jesu! Source of gladness," by J. C. Jacobi, 1722, p. 74. Slightly altered in his 2nd edition, 1732, p. 128, and repeated in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. In the Moravian Hymn Book, 1789, No. 453 (1849, No. 655), the three opening lines of this version and little else are from Jacobi. (2) "Jesus, my chief pleasure, Comfort," by Dr. H. Mills, 1845 (1856, p. 90). (3) "Jesu, my Joy-giving," by N. L. Frothingham, 1870, p. 150. (4) "Jesu, Fount of Pleasure," by J. H. Hopkins, in his Carols, &c, 3rd edition, 1882. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Jesu meine Freude, p. 591, ii. This is in Crüger's Praxis, Berlin, 1653.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



Johann Crüger (PHH 42) composed JESU, MEINE FREUDE, a bar form tune (AAB) written for this text. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) incorporated the tune into his cantatas 12, 64, 81, and 87 and composed a beautiful motet and several organ preludes on the melody. Sing this great chorale in harmony throughout.…

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