1 Our blessed Savior sev'n times spoke
When on the cross our sins He took
And died lest we should perish.
Let us His last and dying words
In our remembrance cherish.
2 "Father, forgive these men; for, lo,
They truly know not what they do."
So far His love extended.
Forgive us, Lord, for we, too, have
Through ignorance offended.
3 Now to the contrite thief He cries:
"Thou, verily, in Paradise
Shalt meet Me ere tomorrow."
Lord, take us to Thy kingdom soon
Who linger here in sorrow.
4 To weeping Mary, standing by,
"Behold thy son," now hear Him cry;
To John, "Behold thy mother."
Provide, O Lord, for those we leave:
Let each befriend the other.
5 The Savior's fourth word was "I thirst."
O mighty Prince of Life, Thy thirst
For us and our salvation
Is truly great; do help us, then,
That we escape damnation.
6 The fifth, "My God, My God, O why
Forsake Me?" Hark, the awe-full cry!
Lord, Thou wast here forsaken
That we might be received on high;
Let this hope not be shaken.
7 The sixth, when victory was won,
"'Tis finished!" for Thy work was done.
Grant, Lord, that, onward pressing,
We may the work Thou dost impose
Fulfil with Thine own blessing.
8 The last, as woe and suff'rings end,
"O God, My Father, I commend
Into Thy hands My spirit."
Be this, dear Lord, my dying wish;
O heav'nly Father, hear it.
9 Whoe'er, by sense of sin oppressed,
Upon these words his thoughts will rest,
He joy and hope obtaineth
And through God's love and boundless grace
A peaceful conscience gaineth.
10 O Jesus Christ, Thou Crucified,
Who hast for our offenses died,
Grant that we e'er may ponder
Thy wounds, Thy cross, Thy bitter death,
Both here below and yonder.
Da Jesus, an des Kreuzes Stamm. [The Seven Words.] First appeared in the Hannover G. B. , 1646, No. 45, in 10 stanzas of 5 lines, repeated in Crüger's Praxis pietatis melica, 1656, and many later collections. It was evidently written to supersede the older hymn noted under Boschenstein. Frequently, as by Hunsen in his Versuch, 1833, No. 168, and the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, edition 1863, No. 220, it is ascribed to J. Zwick. But the version of the Seven Words on the Cross given by Wackernagel, iii. p. 612, as by Zwick, and first published 1545, is in 7 stanzas of 8 lines, beginning, "Im Ersten wort der hoptgrund stat," and is entirely different. Translated as:—
1. Seven times our blessed Saviour spoke. A good and full translation by Miss Cox in her Sacred Hymns from the German, 1841, p. 31 (Hymns from the German, p. 57, slightly altered). In 1848, stanzas i.-viii. were included, unaltered, as No. 135 in the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book. In full, but slightly altered, as No. 401 in the 1857 edition of Mercer's Church Psalm and Hymn Book. Omitting stanza ix., it was included in Rorison's Hymns and Anthems, 1851, No. 70; and again in Darling's Hymns for the Church of England, 1874, altered as, "Seven words our blest Redeemer spoke." [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)