Pure essence! Spotless Fount of Light

Representative Text

Pure essence! Spotless Fount of Light,
That fadeth never into dark!
O Thou, whose eyes, more clear and bright
Than noonday sun, are quick to mark
Our sins; lo, bare before Thy face
Lies all the desert of my heart,
My once fair soul in ev'ry part
Now stain'd with evil foul and base.

Since but the pure in heart are blest
With promised vision of their God,
Sore fear and anguish fill my breast,
Rememb'ring all the ways I trod;
Mourning I see my lost estate,
And yet in faith I dare to cry,
Oh let my evil nature die,
Another heart in me create!

Enough, Lord, that my foe too well
Hath lured me once away from Thee;
Henceforth I know his craft how fell,
And all his deep-laid snares I flee.
Lord, through the Spirit whom Thy Son
Hath bidden us in prayer to ask,
Arm us with might that every task,
Whate'er we do, in Thee be done.

Unworthy am I of Thy grace,
So deep are my transgressions, Lord,
And yet once more I seek Thy face;
My God, have mercy, nor reward
My sins and follies, dark and vain;
Reject, reject me not in wrath,
But let Thy sunshine now beam forth,
And quicken me with hope again.

The Holy Spirit Thou hast given,
The wondrous pledge of love divine,
Who fills our hearts with joys of heaven,
And bids us earthly toys resign;
Oh let His seal be on my heart,
Oh take Him nevermore away,
Until this fleshly house decay,
And Thou shalt bid me hence depart.

But ah! my coward spirit droops,
Sick with the fear that enters in
Whene'er a soul to bondage stoops,
And wears the shameful yoke of sin;
Oh quicken with the strength that flows
From out the Eternal Fount of Life,
My soul half-fainting in the strife,
And make an end of all my woes.

I cling unto Thy grace alone,
Thy steadfast oath my only rest;
To Thee, Heart-searcher, all is known
That lieth hidden in my breast;
Thy Joy, O Spirit, on me pour,
Thy servent will my sloth inspire,
So shall I have my heart's desire,
And serve and praise Thee evermore.

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #113

Author: Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen

Freylinghausen, Johann Anastasius, son of Dietrich Freylinghausen, merchant and burgomaster at Gandersheim, Brunswick, was born at Gandersheim, Dec. 2, 1670. He entered the University of Jena at Easter, 1689. Attracted by the preaching of A. H. Francke and J. J. Breithaupt, he removed to Erfurt in 1691, and at Easter, 1692, followed them to Halle. About the end of 1693 he returned to Gandersheim, and employed himself as a private tutor. In 1695 he went to Glaucha as assistant to Francke; and when Francke became pastor of St. Ulrich's, in Halle,1715, Freylinghausen became his colleague, and in the same year married his only daughter. In 1723 he became also sub-director of the Paedagogium and the Orphanage; and after Francke's death in 1727,… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Pure essence! Spotless Fount of Light
German Title: O reines Wesen, lautre Quelle
Author: Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (1713)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



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Chorale Book for England, The #113

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Lyra Germanica #43


Lyra Germanica #18

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