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One thing only, Lord, is needful

Representative Text

1 One thing only, Lord, is needful;
Teach Thou me but this to know.
All things else, tho' fair appearing,
Prove a heavy yoke of woe.
Beneath it the heart, with its pining and fretting,
Finds naught of true pleasure, new failures regretting.
But one thing is needful, that must I possess;
This one thing for all things assures me redress.

2 O how Mary's heart was longing
For contentment pure and sweet
When, aglow with true devotion,
She reclined at Jesus' feet!
Her soul, to the Master in ecstasy turning,
No longer in vain for salvation was yearning;
Her being was wholly to Jesus inclined,
Thus finding the one thing for which she had pined.

3 Even so would I in rapture,
Dearest Jesus, cling to Thee;
Grant that I, to Thee united,
May Thy faithful member be.
Tho' many return to the world and its pleasure,
In love Thy communion I ever shall treasure.
Thy Word is both spirit and life to me, Lord.
Nor is there a blessing Thou dost not afford.

4 Naught have I to win God's favor,
Naught but Thee, my highest Good;
Thou my rescue hast effected
By the shedding of Thy blood.
True righteousness, Jesus, the fruit of Thy merit,
My soul, if it trust but in Thee, doth inherit;
The robes of salvation most surely are mine,
And in them my faith will for evermore shine.

5 Therefore, O my faithful Master,
Thou my One and All shalt be;
Prove my heat's intent most closely,
From dissembling purge Thou me.
Lest I with the wicked my lot should be casting,
Lead Thou me, O Lord, in the way everlasting.
This one thing is needful, all others are vain;
I count them as loss, that I Jesus may gain.

Source: American Lutheran Hymnal #222

Author: Johann Heinrich Schröder

Schröder, Johann Heinrich, was born Oct. 4,1667, at Springe (Hallerspringe) near Hannover. He studied at the University of Leipzig, where he experienced the awakening effects of A. H. Francke's lectures. In 1696 he was appointed pastor at Meseberg, near Neuhaldensleben; and in the registers there records of himself (writing in the third person), " 1696, on the 17th Sunday after Trinity, viz. on Oct. 4, on which day he was born, with the beginning of his 30th year, he entered on the pastorate of this parish." He died at Meseberg, June 30, 1699 (Koch, iv., 381; Blatter für Hymnologie, 1883, p. 192, &c). Schröder is best known by the four hymns which he contributed to the Geistreiches Gesang-Buch, Halle, 1697; and which are repeated in the… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: One thing only, Lord, is needful
German Title: Eins ist not; ach Herr, dies Eine
Author: Johann Heinrich Schröder
Language: English


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American Lutheran Hymnal #222

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