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The Seven Words Spoken by the Lord Jesus on the Cross

My heart! the seven words hear now

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

My heart! the seven words hear now
That Jesus Christ hath spoken,
When on the cross His heart through woe
And murder dire was broken;
Ope now the shrine,
And lock them in,
As gifts all price excelling.
In bitter grief,
They’ll give relief,
’Neath crosses joy instilling.

His first and chiefest care He made
Who hated Him to cover:
God for the wicked men He pray’d,
That He’d their sin look over.
“Forgive, forgive,”
He said in love,
“Them every one, O Father!
Not one doth see
What doeth he,
In ignorance ’tis rather!”

How fair it is, let all learn here,
To love their foes who grieve them,
And all their faults with hearts sincere
Aye freely to forgive them.
He also shows,
How grace o’erflows
His heart, how kind His mood is,
That e’en his foe,
Who’d work Him woe,
Doth in Him find what good is!

Then to His mother doth He speak,
Who stood near him He loveth,
And as He can, though voice be weak,
With words of comfort sootheth:
“Woman! there see
Thy son, for me
Thou shalt by him be guarded.
Disciple! see,
Let her by thee
As mother be regarded.”

O faithful heart! thou car’st for all
Thine own who truly love Thee,
When they in tribulation fall
Thou seest, the sight doth move Thee;
A friend in need,
In word and deed,
Thou at their side appearest,
Dost by Thy grace
Find them a place,
Them to good souls endearest.

The third thing that Thy lips have said
Thou spak’st to him beside Thee,
When, “Think upon me then,” he pray’d,
“When God Himself shall guide Thee
Up to Thy throne,
Thy head shall crown
As Lord of earth and heaven:”
“To walk with Me
To-day shall thee
In Paradise be given.”

O blessèd word! O voice of joy!
Can aught affright us?—never!
Let death who seeketh to destroy,
Now disappear for ever!
Though he rage sore,
What can he more
Than soul and body sever?
And meanwhile I
Mount up on high,
In joy to dwell for ever.

Christ’s word gives deepest peace and joy,
The robber’s trouble stilleth;
But He cries from the agony
His holy breast that filleth,
“Eli, my God,
What heavy load
Am I, Thy Son, now bearing?
I call, and Thou
Art silent now,
Though I sink, seem’st not caring.”

This lesson learn, thou child of faith,
When God His count’nance veileth,
Lest thou be cast down in the path
When trouble thee assaileth:
Firm to Him cleave,
Though He may leave,
He’ll comfort soon, and cheer thee;
True do thou be,
Cry mightily,
Until He turn and hear thee.

The Lord His voice now clear doth raise
Through thirst that paineth sorely;
“I thirst,” the Spring eternal says,
The Lord of life and glory.
What meaneth He?
He showeth thee
How He thy load sinks under,
That thou did’st pile
For Him, the while
In sin’s ways thou did’st wander.

Thereby He also telleth thee
How much He longs that ever
His cross in each may fruitful be,
Fail of its end may never.
Mark this all ye,
Now carefully,
Who’re in soul tribulation:
Th’ eternal Sun
Refuseth none
The soul’s part and salvation.

And as the gloomy night of death
Upon the Lord descended,
“’Tis finish’d,” He with dying breath
Said, “now my work is ended;
What was foretold
In days of old,
By seers who went before me,
Doth now betide;
I’m crucified,
And men now triumph o’er me.”

“’Tis finish’d!”—why then toilest thou?
In vain thy labour ever!
As if aught human strength can do,
Could e’er from guilt deliver!
’Tis done! beware,
And never dare
To add aught to it ever;
Do thou believe,
In faith aye cleave
To Him, forsake Him never.

His voice at length the Lord doth raise,
High over all ’tis swelling:
“My spirit, Father! to the place
Take where Thou’rt ever dwelling,
My soul receive,
That now doth leave
This body sorely riven.”
And at the word,
To the great Lord
Release from pain was given.

Oh! would to God, that I might end
My life as His was ended,
My spirit unto God commend
As His was then commended.
O Christ, my Lord!
May Thy last word
The last be by me spoken;
So happily
I’ll go to Thee,
When life’s last thread is broken.

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Translator: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: My heart! the seven words hear now
Title: The Seven Words Spoken by the Lord Jesus on the Cross
German Title: Hoer an! mein Herz, die sieben Wort
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Meter: 8.7.8.7.4.4.7.4.4.7
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.



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