Long in the spirit-world my soul had sought

Representative Text

Long in the spirit-world my soul had sought
Some friendly being, close to her akin;
Long had prepared a dwelling in her thought
And heart for such an one; for she could win
Through Him alone her strength, for Him she yearned,
Toward Him her fervent longing ever burned.

And rich the world in things invisible,
In heathen gods, and spirits great and small,
And bright and dark; yet ever did she dwell
Alone, for One was wanting 'mid them all;
One having might and glory, rich in love,
God, who as man could shame and weakness prove.

Then came the Word, and took on Him our flesh,
And dwelt with men, here in the world of sight,
And made an end of strife, and linked afresh
Our sinful earth unto the throne of light;
Into His ancient glory He is gone,
And yet He dwells with us till time be done.

Thus, O my soul, hast thou received thy will;
The glory of the world of ghosts is dim
Before the One, who is and was, and still
Shall ever be; all hearts are fixed on Him,
And spirit worlds, since He is there, become
Hallowed and safe to thee, thy proper home.

Thou soarest now through all their heights sublime,
And not as once dost empty back return,
But gazing on Thy God, forgettest time
Beneath His loving glance, whence thou wouldst learn
How thou shouldst love, and know His Word aright:
Ah, blest the love and faith that ask not sight!

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #78

Author: Johann Baptist von Albertini

Albertini, Johann Baptist. s. of Jakob Ulrich v. Albertini, a native of the Grisons, Switzerland, who had joined the Moravians, and settled among them at Neuwied, near Coblenz, b. at Neuwied Feb. 17, 1769. After passing through the Moravian school at Niesky, and their Theological Seminary at Barby, in both of, which he had Friedrich Schlciermacher as a fellow-student, he was, in 1788, appointed one of the masters in the Moravian school at Niesky, and in 1789 at Barby. In 1796, he was appointed tutor at the Theological Seminary at Niesky, and ordained as diaconus of the Moravian Church. Up to this time he had devoted himself chiefly to the study of the Oriental languages, and of botany, but now his studies of Holy Scripture for his theologic… 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: Long in the spirit world my soul had sought
Title: Long in the spirit-world my soul had sought
Author: Johann Baptist von Albertini (1821)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English



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Lyra Germanica #191


Lyra Germanica #78

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