O world, behold upon the tree

Representative Text

1 O world, behold! upon the tree
Thy Life is hanging now for thee:
Thy Savior yields His dying breath.
The mighty Prince of glory now
For thee doth unresisting bow
To cruel stripes, to scorn and death.

2 Alas! my Savior, who could dare
Bid Thee such bitter anguish bear?
What evil heart ill-treat Thee thus?
For Thou art good, hast wrongéd none,
As we and ours too oft have done;
Thou hast not sinner, dear Lord, like us.

3 My grievous sins, the number more
Than yonder sands upon the shore,
Have brought to pass this agony:
'Tis I have caused the floods of woe
That now Thy soul in death o'erflow,
And those sad hearts that watch by Thee.

4 'Tis I to whom these pains belong;
'Tis I should suffer for my wrong,
Bound hand and foot in heavy chains:
Thy scourge, Thy fetters, whatsoe'er
Thou bearest, 'tis my soul should bear,
For I have well deserved such pains.

5 Lord, from Thy sorrows I will learn
How fiercely wrath divine doth burn,
How terribly its thunders roll;
How sorely this our loving God
Can smite with His avenging rod;
How deep His floods o'erwhelm the soul.

6 And I will nail me to Thy cross,
And learn to count all things but dross,
Wherein the flesh doth pleasure take;
Whate'er is hateful in thine eyes,
With all the strength that in me lies,
Will I cast from me and forsake.

7 Thy heavy groans, Thy bitter sighs,
The tears that from Thy dying eyes
Were shed when Thou wast sore oppressed,
Shall be with me, when at the last
Myself on Thee I wholly cast,
And enter with Thee into rest.

Source: The Lutheran Hymnary #317

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 >

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O world, behold upon the tree
German Title: O welt, sich hier dein Leben
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Language: English

Tune

VATER UNSER

Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSE…

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Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 10 of 10)
Page Scan

Christ in Song #174

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnbook (Lutheran Conference of Missouri and Other States) #d272

Hymnal of the Evangelical Church. Word ed. #d586

Page Scan

Offices of Worship and Hymns: with tunes, 3rd ed., revised and enlarged #576

Rosche's Junior Church Choir No.2 #d19

Page Scan

The Liturgy and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum #151

TextPage Scan

The Lutheran Hymnary #317

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