Thank God That Towards Eternity

Thank God that towards eternity

Author: August Hermann Francke; Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Tune: ZERAH
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Thank God that towards eternity
Another step is won!
Oh, longing turns my heart to Thee
As time flows slowly on,
Thou Fountain whence my life is born,
Whence those rich streams of grace are drawn
That through my being run!

2 I count the hours, the days, the years,
That stretch in tedious line,
Until, O Life, that hour appears,
When, at Thy touch divine,
Whate’er is mortal now in me
Shall be consumed for aye in Thee,
And deathless life be mine.

3 So glows Thy love within this frame,
That, touched with keenest fire,
My whole soul kindles in the flame
Of one intense desire,
To be in Thee, and Thou in me,
And e’en while yet on earth to be
Still pressing closer, nigher!

4 Oh that I soon might Thee behold!
I count the moments o’er;
Ah come, ere yet my heart grows cold
And cannot call Thee more!
Come in Thy glory, for Thy bride
Hath girt her for the holy-tide,
And waiteth at the door.

5 And since Thy Spirit sheds abroad
The oil of grace in me,
And Thou art inly near me, Lord,
And I am lost in Thee,
So shines in me the living Light,
And steadfast burns my lamp and bright,
To greet Thee joyously.

6 Come! is the voice, then, of Thy bride,
She loudly prays Thee come!
With faithful heart she long hath cried,
Come quickly, Jesus, come!
Come, O my Bridegroom, Lamb of God,
Thou knowest I am Thine, my Lord;
Come down and take me home.

7 Yet be the hour that none can tell
Left wholly to Thy choice,
Although I know Thou lov’st it well,
That I with heart and voice
Should bid Thee come, and from this day
Care but to meet Thee on Thy way,
And at Thy sight rejoice!

8 I joy that from Thy love divine
No power can part me now,
That I may dare to call Thee mine,
My friend, my Lord, avow,
That I, O Prince of Life, shall be
Made wholly one in Heav’n with Thee,
My portion, Lord, art Thou!

9 And therefore do my thanks o’erflow,
That one more year is gone,
And of this time, so poor, so slow,
Another step is won;
And, with a heart that may not wait,
Toward yonder distant golden gate
I journey gladly on.

10 And when the wearied hands grow weak,
And wearied knees give way,
To sinking faith, oh quickly speak,
And make Thine arm my stay;
That so my heart drink in new strength,
And I speed on, nor feel the length
Nor steepness of the way.

11 Then on, my soul, with fearless faith,
Let nought thy terror move;
Nor aught that earthly pleasure saith
E’er tempt thy steps to rove;
If slow thy course seem o’er the waste,
Mount upwards with the eagles’ haste,
On wings of tireless love.

12 O Jesus, all my soul hath flown
Already up to Thee,
For Thou, in whom is love alone,
Hast wholly conquered me.
Farewell ye phantoms, day and year,
Eternity is round me here,
Since, Lord, I live in Thee.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8976

Author: August Hermann Francke

Francke, August Hermann, son of Johann Francke, a lawyer in Lubeck, was born at Lubeck, March 22, 1663. He studied at the Universities of Erfurt, Kiel, and Leipzig, graduated M.A. at Leipzig, 1685, and thereafter lectured on Biblical subjects at Leipzig for some time. About Michaelmas, 1687, he went to Lüneburg to work under the pious superintendent C. H. Sandhagen; and there while composing his first sermon (on St. John xx. 31) he underwent that change which made him call Lüneburg his spiritual birthplace. After spending the greater part of 1688 at Hamburg, he stayed two months with P. J. Spener at Dresden, and then returned about Lent, 1689, to Leipzig, where he resumed his Biblical lectures until the old orthodox party procured an edic… Go to person page >

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 >

Text Information

First Line: Thank God that towards eternity
Title: Thank God That Towards Eternity
German Title: Gottlob, ein Schritt zur Ewigkeit
Author: August Hermann Francke
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #8976
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

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The Cyber Hymnal #8976

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