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,
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;
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.
Here and thither
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.
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,
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;
What we’re doing
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.
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,
Thy will ever,
Thy name cease to praise shall never.
Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867