Oh well for him who all things braves

O well for him who all things braves

Author: Jacob Gabriel Wolf; Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Published in 2 hymnals

Representative Text

Oh well for him who all things braves,
A soldier of the Lord to be,
Whom vice counts not among her slaves,
From envy, pride, and passion free;
Who wars against the world of sin
Without him, and self-will within.

Who follows Christ whate'er betide,
Is worthy of a soldier's name;
Is He thy Way, thy Light, thy Guide,
'Tis meet thou also bear His shame;
Who shrinks from dark Gethsemane,
Shall Tabor's glories never see.

What profits it that Christ hath deigned
To wear our mortal nature thus,
If we ourselves have ne'er attained
That God reveal Himself in us?
The pure and virgin soul alone
He chooseth for His earthly throne.

What profits it that Christ is born,
And bringeth childhood back to men,
Unless our long-lost right we mourn,
And win through penitence again,
And lead a God-like life on earth,
As children of the second birth?

What profits all that Christ hath taught,
If man is slave to reason still,
And worldly wisdom, honour, thought,
Rule all his acts, and move his will?
He follows what his Lord doth teach
Who true denial of self would reach.

What profit us His deeds and life,
His meekness, love so quick to bless,
If we give place to pride and strife,
Dishonouring thus His holiness?
What profits it, if for reward,
And not in faith, we call Him Lord?

What profits us His agony,
If we endure not pain and scorn?
'Tis combat brings forth victory,
Of sorrow sweetest joys are born;
And ne'er to him Christ's crown is given,
Who hath not here with Adam striven.

What profit ye His death and cross,
Unless to self ye also die?
Ye love your life to find it loss,
Afraid the flesh to crucify.
Wouldst live to this world still? Then know,
His death to thee is barren show.

What profit that He loosed and broke
All bonds, if ye in league remain
With earth? Who weareth Satan's yoke
Shall call Him Master but in vain.
Count ye the soul for reconciled,
Yet slave to earth, by sin defiled?

What profits it that He is risen,
If dead in sins thou yet dost lie?
If yet thou cleavest to thy prison,
What profit that He dwells on high?
His triumph will avail thee nought
If thou hast ne'er the battle fought.

Then live and suffer, do and bear,
As Christ thy pattern here hath done,
And seek His innocence to wear,
That he may count thee of His own.
Who loveth Christ cares but to win
New triumphs o'er the world of sin.

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #70

Author: Jacob Gabriel Wolf

Wolff, Jakob Gabriel, LL.D., son of Jakob Wolff, sometime conrector at Greifswald, was born at Greifswald in 1684. He matriculated, in 1702, at the University of Greifswald, as a student of law. In 1705 went to Halle, where he graduated LL.D. In 1716 he was appointed extraordinary, and in 1724, ordinary professor of law at Halle, and afterwards received the title of Hofrath. He resigned his professorship in 1744, and died at Halle, Aug. 6, 1754 (Koch, iv. 375; Bode, p. 174; the Grischow-Kirchner Kurzgefasste Nachrichte, Halle, 1771, p. 54, &c). Wolff's hymns were mostly written early in life, principally during his student years at Halle. He was in thorough sympathy with the characteristic teachings of the Halle Pietists, and his hymns sh… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O well for him who all things braves
Title: Oh well for him who all things braves
German Title: Wohl dem der sich mit Fleiss bemuhet
Author: Jacob Gabriel Wolf
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Meter: 8.8.8.8.8.8
Language: English

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Lyra Germanica: hymns for the Sundays and chief festivals of the Christian year #167

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Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #70

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