1 O Jesu Christe, wahres Licht,
erleuchte die dich kennen nicht,
und bringe sie zu deiner Herd',
daß ihre Seel' auch selig werd'.
2 Erfüll mit deinem Gnadenschein,
die in Irrtum verführet sein,
auch die, so heimlich fichtet an
in ihrem Sinn ein falscher Wahn.
3 Und was sich sonst verlaufen hat
von dir, das suche du mit Gnad',
und sein verwund't Gewissen heil',
laß sie am Himmel haben teil.
4 Den Tauben öffne das Gehör;
die Stummen richtig reden lehr',
die nicht bekennen wollen frei,
was ihres Herzens Glaube sei.
5 Erleuchte, die da sind verblend't,
bring her, die sich von uns getrennt,,
versammle, die zerstreuet gehn,
mach feste, die im Zweifel stehn:
6 So werden sie mit uns zugleich
auf Erden und im Himmelreich,
hier zeitlich und dort ewiglich
für solche Gnade preisen dich.
Source: Missionsfestlieder #13
O Jesu Christej wahres Licht. J. Heermann. [Christian Church.] First published in his Devoti musica cordis, Breslau, 1630, p. 120, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines as one of the "Songs of Tears" in the section entitled, "In the time of the persecution and distress of pious Christians." Thence in Mützell, 1858, No 49; in Wackernagel's edition of his Geistliche Lieder, No. 37, and the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 242. It is a beautiful hymn on Christ as the Light and Centre of the world, and the most widely used through English translations of any of Heermann's hymns. Translated as:—
1. 0 Thou, the true and only Light, Direct, &c. A good translation of stanzas i., ii., by W. Ball, as part of his book of words for the English edition of Mendelssohn's St. Paul, 1836, and thence in Robinson's Church Psalter & Hymn Book , 1860. To this in Allon's Supplemental Hymns and Congregational Psalmist Hymnal, 1886, Baptist Hymnal, 1879, &c, translations of stanzas iv.-vi., from Chope (see below), were added; and in the Supplement of 1874 to the New Congregational Hymnal, trs. of stanzas iii.-vi. from Miss Winkworth (see below). The version in the Anglican Hymn Book , 1868, No. 275 (1871, No. 316), is stanzas i. by Ball, ii.-vi. by R. C. Singleton, 1867.
2. 0 Christ, the Light of heavenly day! A full and very good translation by A. T. Russell, as No. 137 in his Psalms & Hymns , 1851, and thence in Bosworth's Church Hymns , 1865, and G. S. Jellicoe's Collection, 1867. In the Cooke-Denton Hymnal , 1853, No. 12 is composed of sts. i., iv,, v., ii., vi., of Russell, in the order named. This form is repeated in Chope's Hymnal, 1862, Thring's Collection, 1880-82, &c. The form beginning "O Jesu, Light of heavenly day," in Kennedy, 1863 (thence in Dr. Thomas's Augustine Hymn Book, 1866), is Chope greatly altered.
3. 0 Thou, the true and only Light! Enlighten, &c. A somewhat free translation in 5 stanzas, as No. 58 in J. F. Thrupp's Psalms & Hymns, 1853.
4. O Christ, our true and only Light. A good and full translation by Miss Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica, 2nd Ser., 1858, p. 21, repeated in her Chorale Book for England , 1863, No. 100. This is found in the Appendix of 1874 to the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853; Psalmist , 1878 ; and in America in the Presbyterian Hymnal, 1874; Baptist Hymn Book, 1871; Baptist Service of Song , 1871; Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880, &c.
5. 6 Jesu Christ, the world's true Light. A good but rather free version by E. Massie in his Sacred Odes, vol. ii., 1867, p. 175, and thence in J. L. Porter's Collection, 1876.
Another translation is, "O Christ, Thou heavenly Light, illume," by Dr. G. Walker, 1860, p. 31. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
O Jesu Christe, wahres Licht, p. 838, i. The version in the S.P.C.K. Church Hymns, 1903, No. 203, beginning "O Christ, the true and only Light," is taken from the translations by Ball and Russell noted at p. 838, i. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)