1 O FRIEND of souls, how blest am I
Whene'er Thy love my spirit calms!
From sorrow's dungeon forth I fly,
And hide me in Thy shelt'ring arms.
The night of weeping flies away
Before the heart-reviving ray
Of love, that beams from out Thy breast;
Here is my heaven on earth begun;
Who is not joyful, that has won
In Thee, O Lord, his joy and rest?
2 The world may call herself my foe,
So be it; for I trust her not,
E'en though a friendly face she show,
And heap with her good things my lot.
In Thee alone will I rejoice,
Thou art the Friend, Lord, of my choice,
For Thou art true when friendships fail;
'Mid storms of woe Thy truth is still
My anchor; hate me as she will,
The world shall o'er me ne'er prevail.
3 The Law may threaten endless death
From awful Sinai's burning hill,
Straightway from its consuming breath
My soul through faith mounts higher still;
She throws herself at Jesus' feet
And finds with Him a safe retreat
Where curse and death can never come.
Though all things threaten condemnation,
Yet Jesus, Thou art my Salvation,
For in Thy love I find my home.
4 Through deserts of the cross Thou leadest,
I follow leaning on Thy hand;
From out the clouds Thy child Thou feedest,
And giv'st him water from the sand.
I know Thy wondrous ways will end
In love and blessing, Thou true Friend;
Enough, if Thou art ever near.
I know whom Thou wilt glorify,
And raise o'er sun and stars on high,
Thou lead'st through depths and darkness here.
5 To others death seems dark and grim,
But not, Thou Life of life, to me,
I know Thou ne'er forsakest him
Whose heart and spirit rest in Thee.
Oh! who would fear his journey's close,
If from dark woods and lurking foes
He then find safety and release?
Nay, rather, with a joyful heart
From this dark region I depart
To Thy eternal light and peace.
6 O Friend of souls, then blest indeed
Am I when on Thy love I lean!
The world, nor pain, nor death I heed,
Since Thou, my God, my Joy hast been.
O let this peace that Thou hast given,
Be but a foretaste of Thy heaven,
For goodness infinite is Thine.
Hence, world with all Thy flattering toys!
In God alone lie all my joys;
O rich delight, my Friend is mine!
Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #109