Lord, how shall I be meeting

Representative Text

1 Lord, how shall I be meeting
And how shall I embrace
Thee, earth’s desire, when greeting
My soul’s adorning grace!
O Jesus, Jesus, holding
Thyself the flame in sight,
Show how, Thy beam beholding,
I may, my Lord, delight.

2 Fresh palms Thy Zion streweth
And branches ever green,
And psalms my voice reneweth,
To raise my joy serene.
Such budding tribute paying,
My heart shall hymn Thy praise,
Thy holy name obeying
With chiefest of my lays.

3 What hast Thou left ungranted
To give me glad relief?
When soul and body panted
In utmost depth of grief,
In hour of degradation,
Thy peace and pity smiled,
Then Thou, my soul’s salvation,
Didst happy make Thy child.

4 I lay in slavish mourning,
Thou cam’st to set me free;
I sank in shame and scorning,
Thou cam’st to comfort me.
Thou raised’st me to glory,
Bestowing highest good,
Not frail and transitory,
Like wealth on earth pursued.

5 Naught, naught did send Thee speeding
From mansions of the skies,
But love all love excelling,
Love able to comprise
A world in pangs despairing,
Weighed down with thousand woes
That tongue would fail declaring,
But love doth fast enclose.

6 Grave on your heart this writing,
O band of mourners poor!
With pains and sorrows fighting,
That throng you more and more;
Dismiss the fear that sickens,
For lo! beside you see
Him who your heart now quickens
And comforts; here is He.

7 Why should you be detainèd
In trouble day and night,
As though He must be gainèd,
By arm of human might?
He comes, He comes all willing,
All full of grace and love,
Those woes and trouble stilling,
Well known to Him above.

8 Nor need ye tremble over
The guilt that gives distress.
No! Jesus all will cover
With grace and righteousness:
He comes, He comes, procuring
The peace of sin forgiven,
To all God’s sons securing
Their part and lot in Heaven.

9 Why heed ye then the crying
Of crafty foemen nigh?
Your Lord shall send them flying
In twinkling of an eye.
He comes, He comes, forever
A king, and earth’s fell band
Shall prove in their endeavor
Too feeble to withstand.

10 He comes to judge the nations,
Wroth if they wrathful prove,
With sweet illuminations
To those who seek and love.
Come, come, O Sun eternal,
And all our souls convey
To endless bliss supernal,
In yonder court of day.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #11127

Translator: James W. Alexander

James W. Alexander (b. Hopewell, Louisa County, VA, 1804; d. Sweetsprings, VA, 1859) was often overshadowed by his father, the renowned Archibald Alexander, first professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. But James Alexander was also a fine preacher, teacher, and writer. He studied at New Jersey College (now Princeton University) and Princeton Seminary. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, he alternated his career between teaching and pastoring; for two years (1849-1851) he was professor of ecclesiastical history and church government at Princeton Seminary. Alexander translated a number of hymns from Greek, Latin, and German but is mainly known today for his translation of "O Sacred Head." Bert Polman… Go to person page >

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. GraEenhainichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was re… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Lord, how shall I be meeting
German Title: Wie soll ich Dich empfangen?
Translator: James W. Alexander
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Language: English

Tune

ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)

Now often named ST. THEODULPH because of its association with this text, the tune is also known, especially in organ literature, as VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN. It was composed by Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635) for "Valet wi…

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The Cyber Hymnal #11127
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The Cyber Hymnal #11127

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