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Lord Jesus Christ, my Life, my Light

Representative Text

1 Lord Jesus Christ, my Life, my Light,
My strength by day, my trust by night,
On earth I'm but a passing guest,
And sorely by my sins oppressed.

2 O let thy sufferings give me power
To meet the last and darkest hour.
Thy cross, the staff whereon I lean,
My couch, the grave where Thou hast been.

3 Since Thou hast died, the pure, the just,
I take my homeward way in trust;
The gates of heaven, Lord, open wide,
When here I may no more abide.

4 And when the last great day is come,
And Thou, our Judge, shalt speak the doom,
Let me with joy behold the light,
And set me then upon Thy right.

5 Renew this wasted flesh of mine,
That like the sun it there may shine
Among the angels pure and bright.
Yea, like thyself, in glorious light.

6 Ah, then I have my heart's desire,
When, singing with the angels' choir,
Among the ransomed of thy grace,
Forever I behold thy face.


Source: The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal: official hymnal of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church #295

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 >

Author: Martin Behm

Behm, Martin, son of Hans Behm [Bohme, Boehm, Behemb, Behem, Boheim, Bohemus or Bohemius], town-overseer of Lauban in Silesia, was born at Lauban, Sept. 16, 1557. During a protracted famine, 1574, Dr. Paul Fabricius, royal physician at Vienna, a distant kinsman, took him to Vienna, where he acted as a private tutor for two years, and then went to Strassburg, where, from Johann Sturm, Rector of the newly founded University, he received much kindness. Returning home at his mother's request after his father's death, May, 1580, he was, at Easter, 1581, appointed assistant in the Town School, and on Sept. 20, ordained diaconus of the Holy Trinity Church. After his senior had been promoted to Breslau the Town Council kept the post nominally vacan… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Lord Jesus Christ, my Life, my Light
German Title: O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht
Author: Martin Behm
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht. [For the Dying.] His finest hymn. First published in a collection entitled Christliche Gebet, 1610, and then in his Zehen Sterbegebet, appended to his Centuria secunda, 1611 (see above), in 14 stanzas of 4 lines, entitled "Prayer fora happy journey home, founded upon the sufferings of Christ." Thence in Wackernagel, v. p. 235, Noldeke, 1857, p. 79, and the Unverfalschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 835. The translation in common use are:—
Lord Jesus Christ, my Life, my Light. A very good translations by Miss Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica, 2nd Series, 1858, p. 213, stanzas v., x. being omitted and viii., ix. combined as one stanza. In her Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 190, she omitted her stanzas v., vi., and united her stanzas iv., vii. as iv. This translations is included more or less abridged in Wilson's Service of Praise, 1865, and in America in the Baptist Hymn Book, Phil, 1871, the Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878/and the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880, &c.

--Excerpt from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #3831
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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)
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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #291

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The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #295


The Cyber Hymnal #3831

Include 31 pre-1979 instances
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