Shan't I sing to my Creator

Representative Text

I. Sha'nt I sing to my Creator?
Sha'nt I give him Thanks and Praise?
Who by ev'ry Thing in Nature
Magnifies his tender Grace:
What but loving Condescension
Still enclines his faithful Heart,
To support and take their part,
Who pursue his blest Intention:
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

II. As a Hen is us'd to gather
Her young Brood beneath her Wings,
So has God my Heav'nly Father,
Kept me safe from dismal Things,
From the Hour of my Formation,
When he breathed Life in me,
Rearing it by each Degree,
Till he brought me to this Station.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

III. Nay, his darling Son eternal
He delivers up for me,
To redeem me from infernal
Death and endless Misery.
Depth of Love beyond Dimension!
Whence can my weak Spirit fetch
Thoughts profound enough to reach
This unfathon'd Condescension?
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

IV. His good Spirit's best Direction
He vouchsafes me in his Word;
And his Wings their kind Protection
In my Pilgrimage afford:
He endows my Soul and Spirit
With the Light of living Fatih
T'overcome the Pow'r of Death
And escape the Hell I merit.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

V. My Soul's Welfare and Advances
Are the Object of his Care,
Nay, the Body's Change and Chances
In his Goodness have a Share.
When my nat'ral Strength is shrinking,
In the time of utmost Need,
He my God steps in with Speed,
And recovers me from sinking.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

VI. Heav'n and Earth, with ev'ry Creature,
For my Service are design'd;
Where I make my Search in Nature,
Food and Raiment there I find.
Cattle, Corn, Fruit, Fowl and Fishes,
Vales below, and Hills on high,
Woods and Waters, Earth and Sky
Furnish me with various Dishes.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

VII. When I sleep, his Love is taking
Care to rouse my drowsy Soul,
That i find each Morn at waking
Light renew'd from Pole to Pole.
Had my God withdrawn the Numbers
Of his Angels from my Head,
And forsook me in my Bed,
I had perish'd in my Slumbers.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

VIII. Oh! how many sore Afflictions
Have been rais'd by Satan's Crew?
Which, by God's Divine Restrictions,
Never came within my View.
Guardian Angels of his sending
Stopt the Malice which the Fiend
To my Ruin did intend,
Far beyond my comprehending.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

IX. As a Father's kind Affection
Still endures towards his Child,
Tho' he merit sore Correction,
When by World and sin beguil'd;
Thus, upon my true Repentance,
Sins are by my pard'ning God
Punish'd with a Father's Rod,
Not a Judge's damning Sentence.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

His Chastisements and Corrections,
Tho' they bitter seem to be,
Yet, upon mature Reflections,
Are but Monitors to me:
His blest Purpose they discover,
To reduce my captive Sense
From the World's Impertinence
To my God, my heav'nly Lover.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

XI. This I know with full Coniction,
As a Maxim ever sure:
Christian Crosses and Affliction
Do but for a time endure:
After Winter's Frost and Snowing,
Smiling Summer then appears;
After Sadness, Pains, and Tears,
Joyful Comforts will be flowing.
All Things to their Period tend,
But his Mercy knows no End.

XII. Since nor End, nor Bound, nor Measure
Can in God's great Love be found,
Heart and Hands I lift with Pleasure,
As a Child in Duty bound;
Lord, I humbly ask this Favour
To embrace with all my Might
Thee, my Father, Day and Night,
Till I change this Infant Savour
For the Taste of Bliss above,
Manly Praise and endless Love.


Source: Psalmodia Germanica: or, The German Psalmody: translated from the high Dutch together with their proper tunes and thorough bass (2nd ed., corr. and enl.) #153

Translator: Johann Christian Jacobi

Jacobi, John Christian, a native of Germany, was born in 1670, and appointed Keeper of the Royal German Chapel, St. James's Palace, London, about 1708. He held that post for 42 years, and died Dec. 14, 1750. He was buried in the Church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. His publications included :— (1) A Collection of Divine Hymns, Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes and Thorough Bass. London: Printed and Sold by J. Young, in St. Paul’s Churchyard; . . . 1720. This edition contains 15 hymns. Two years later this collection, with a few changes in the text and much enlarged, was republished as (2) Psalmodia Germanica; or a Specimen of Divine Hymns. Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes… 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: Shan't I sing to my Creator
German Title: Solt ich meinen Gott nicht singen?
Translator: Johann Christian Jacobi
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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Die Union Choral Harmonie #d159

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