O Jesus Christ, how bright and fair

Representative Text

Oh, Jesus Christ! how bright and fair
The state of holy marriage where
Thy blessing rich is given
What gracious gifts Thou dost bestow,
What streams of blessing ever flow
Down from Thy holy heaven,
When they
True stay
To Thee ever,
Leave Thee never,
Whose troth plighted,
In one life have been united.

When man and wife are mated well,
In harmony together dwell,
Are faithful to each other,
The streams of bliss flow constantly
What bliss of angels is on high
From hence may we discover;
No storm,
No worm
Can destroy it,
Can e’er gnaw it,
What God giveth
To the pair that in Him liveth.

He giveth of His grace the boon,
And in its bosom late and soon
His own belov’d He keepeth,
His arms He daily spreadeth o’er,
Guards as a Father by His pow’r
Us and our house, nor sleepeth.
Still we
Must be
Here and thither
Roaming ever,
Till He gives us
Pious homes, and thus relieves us.

The husband’s like a goodly tree
Whose branches spread so fair and free;
The wife a vine that giveth
Much fruit, and nurtures what it bears,
Whose fruit increaseth with the years,
Fruit that remains and liveth.
All hail!
Husband’s treasure!
House’s pleasure!
Crown of honour!
On His throne God thinketh on her.

O wife! the Lord hath chosen thee
That from thy womb brought forth should be
The folk His church that buildeth;
His wondrous work goes on for aye,
The mighty word His mouth doth say,
What thou beholdest, yieldeth,
Sons fair
Stand there,
Daughters sitting
Working, knitting,
Finely spinning,
And with art time wisely winning.

Be of good cheer, it was not we
Who first this order did decree,
It was a higher Father,
Who lov’d and loveth us for aye,
And from whose lips when griev’d each day
We friendly counsel gather;
Good end
He’ll send,
What we’re doing
And pursuing,
Or conceiving
Wise and happy issue giving.

A time will come, it cannot fail,
When we ’neath trials sore shall quail,
And tears be freely flowing;
To him who bears it patiently,
By God’s grace shall his sorrow be
Turn’d into joy o’erflowing.
Toil now,
Wait thou,
He arriveth
Who rest giveth,
Who can ever
Banish care and soon deliver.

Come hither then, my King so bless’d!
In trials guide, in pain give rest,
In anxious times relieving!
To Thee we shall ascribe the praise,
Our hearts and voices we shall raise
In one loud song, thanks giving,
Till we
With Thee
Ever dwelling,
And fulfilling
Thy will ever,
Thy name cease to praise shall never.

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… 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: O Jesus Christ, how bright and fair
German Title: Wie schoen ists doch, Herr Jesu Christ
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Adapting a tune written for Psalm 100 found in Wolff Köphel's Psalter (1538), Nicolai composed WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET, which was published with the text in 1599. Although the tune was originally more varied rhythmically, the hymnal version here is isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) and set to the rich ha…

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The Cyber Hymnal #15136
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The Cyber Hymnal #15136

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