My God! my works and all I do,
Rest only on Thy will, I know,
Thy blessing prospers ever,
When Thou dost guide, we persevere
In right ways, erring never.
It standeth not in human might
That man’s devices issue right,
His way with gladness endeth:
God’s counsel only prospers sure,
’Tis He success who sendeth.
Man often thinks in haughty mood
That this or that is for his good,
Yet widely he mistaketh;
He often thinketh that is ill
Whereof the Lord choice maketh.
But wise men e’en who joyfully
Begin a good work, frequently
Reach no good termination;
They build a castle firm and strong,
But sand is the foundation.
How many in their fancy stray
High over mountain peaks away,
Ere they bethink them ever;
Down to the ground they fall, and vain
Has been their strong endeavour.
Dear Father! therefore, who the crown
And sceptre bear’st on Heav’n’s throne,
Who from the clouds dost lighten,
Regard my words, and hear my cry,
From Thy seat my soul brighten!
Vouchsafe to me the noble light
That from Thy countenance so bright
On pious souls aye breaketh,
And where the pow’r of wisdom true
Through Thine own pow’r awaketh.
Give understanding from on high,
That I henceforward may rely
Upon mine own will never.
Be Thou my counsel, that I may
Fulfil the good, Lord! ever.
Prove all things well, whate’er is good
Give to me, but what flesh and blood
Doth choose, withhold it ever.
The highest good, the fairest part,
Thy glory is and favour.
Sun of my soul! my chief delight!
Whate’er is pleasing in Thy sight,
Oh! may I choose and do it;
And what’s displeasing unto Thee,
May I, O Lord! eschew it.
Is it from Thee? my work then bless;
Is it of man? withhold success,
And change what I’m resolving.
Dost Thou not work? ’twill come to nought,
In failure soon involving.
But should Thine and our enemy
Begin to rage revengefully
Against the good Thou’rt meaning,
My comfort is, Thou canst avert
His wrath, me ever screening.
Draw near, and let it easy be,
What seems impossible to me,
A happy issue give it;
What Thou Thyself didst undertake,
Thy wisdom did conceive it.
Though hard at first the work may be,
And I may through the deepest sea
Of bitter grief be passing,
Oh! may I only driven be
To sighs and pray’r unceasing.
Whoever prays and trusteth Thee,
With valiant heart shall victor be
O’er all that frightens ever,
In thousand pieces speedily
Grief’s heavy stone shall shiver.
The way to good is almost wild,
With thorns and hedges is it fill’d;
Along this way who goeth
He by the Spirit’s grace at last
What heav’nly joy is knoweth.
I am Thy child, my Father Thou!
Thou hast abundance to bestow,
Nought can I find within me;
Help, that I may maintain my ground,
As victor home, Lord! bring me.
Thine be the glory and the pow’r!
Thy mighty works I’ll more and more
From heart with rapture swelling,
Before Thy folk and all the world,
All my life long be telling.
Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867
|First Line:||My God! my works and all I do|
|Title:||For Success and Blessing in all Christian Works and Purposes|
|German Title:||Ich weisz, mein Gott, dasz all mein Thun|
|Paraphraser:||J. Kelly (1867)|
|Copyright:||This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.|