Let not such a thought e’er pain thee,
As that thou art cast away,
But within God’s word restrain thee,
That far otherwise doth say.
E’en though thou unrighteous art,
True and faithful is God’s heart.
Hast thou death deserv’d for ever?
God’s appeas’d, despond thou never!
Thou art, as is every other,
Tainted by the poison, sin,
That the serpent, and our father,
Adam, by the fall brought in.
But if thou God’s voice dost hear,
“Turn to me, do good,” ne’er fear,
Be of good cheer, He thy yearning
Will regard, thy pray’r ne’er spurning.
He is not a bear nor lion
Thirsting only for thy blood,
Faithful is thy God in Zion,
Gentle ever is His mood.
God aye as a Father feels,
He’s afflicted by our ills,
Our misfortune sorrow gives Him,
And our dying ever grieves Him.
“Truly,” saith He, “as I’m living,
I the death of none desire,
But that men themselves upgiving,
May be rescu’d from sin’s mire.”
When a prodigal returns,
God’s heart then with rapture burns,
Wills that not the least one even
Ever from His flock be driven.
Shepherd was so faithful never,
Seeking sheep that go astray;
Couldest thou God’s heart see ever,
How He cares for them alway,
How it thirsts and sighs and burns
After him who from Him turns,
From His people’s midst doth wander,
Love would make thee weep and ponder.
God the good not only loveth
Who in His house ever dwell,
But His heart compassion moveth
Tow’rds those whom the prince of hell
Hath enslav’d, the cruel foe
Who men’s hearts with hate to glow
Makes ’gainst Him, who when He ever
Moves His foot, can make earth quiver.
Deep His love is and enduring,
His desire is ever great,
He is calling and alluring
Us to enter heav’n’s wide gate.
When they come, whoe’er they be,
Seeking now that liberty
From the devil’s fangs be given,
Glad are all the hosts of heaven.
God and all on high who’re dwelling,
’Fore whom heav’n must hush its voice,
When their Maker’s praise forth-telling,
O’er our penitence rejoice;
But what has been done amiss
Cover’d now and buried is,
All offence to Him we’ve given,
All, yea all, is now forgiven.
From no lake so much is gushing,
No depth is so deep at all,
With such force no stream is rushing,
All compar’d with God is small;
Nought is like His grace so great,
That remits our mighty debt,
That He ever throweth over
All our lives e’en as a cover.
Soul, why art thou sad and dreary?
Rest now and contented be!
Why wilt thou thyself so weary
When there is no need for thee?
Though thy sins appear to thee
Like a vast and shoreless sea,
If thou with God’s heart compare them,
’Twill a trifle seem to bear them.
Could we myriad worlds discover
All sunk in apostacy,
Had the sins there o’er and over
Every one been done by thee,
Oh! still they were less by far
Than the light of grace so clear
Could on earth extinguish ever,
God from greater could deliver.
Of such wondrous love and favour
Open wide the door to me;
Ey’rywhere and aye, my Saviour,
Tasted be Thy grace by me.
Love me, Lord! and let me be
Nearer ever drawn to Thee,
That I may embrace and love Thee,
Never more to anger move Thee!
Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867