Thou weepest o'er Jerusalem,
Lord Jesus, bitter tears;
But deepest comfort lies in them
For us, whose sins have filled our soul with tears:
Since they that tell,
When sinners turn to Thee Thou lov'st it well,
And surely wilt efface, of Thy unbounded grace,
All the misdeeds that on our conscience dwell.
When God's just wrath and anger burn
Against me for my sin,
To these sad tears of Thine I turn,
And watching them fresh hope and courage win;
For God doth prize
These drops so greatly, that before His eyes
Who sprinkles o'er his soul with them is clean and whole,
And from his sorrows' depth new joy shall rise.
Earth is the home of tears and woe,
Where we must often weep,
Fighting the world our mighty foe,
Whose enmity to Thee doth never sleep;
My heart is torn
Afresh each day by her fierce rage and scorn,
But in my saddest hours, I think upon those showers
That tell how Thou hast all our sorrows borne.
Thou countest up my tears and sighs,
E'en were they numberless;
Not one is hidden from thy eyes,
Thou ne'er forgettest me in my distress,
But when they rain
Before Thee, Thou dost quickly turn again,
Hast pity on my woe, and makest me to know
What sweetest joy lies hid in sorest pain.
We sow in tears; but let us keep
Our faith in God, and trust Him still,
Yonder our harvest we shall reap,
Where gladness every heart and voice shall fill.
Such joy is there
No mortal tongue its glory can declare,
A joy that shall endure, unchanging deep and pure,
That shall be ours, if here the cross we bear.
O Christ, I thank Thee for Thy tears;
Those tears have won for me
That I shall wear, through endless years,
A crown of joy before my God and Thee.
All weeping o'er,
Up to Thy chosen saints I once shall soar,
And there Thy pity praise, in more befitting lays,
Thou glory of Thy Church, for evermore.
Johann Heermann's (b. Raudten, Silesia, Austria, 1585; d. Lissa, Posen [now Poland], 1647) own suffering and family tragedy led him to meditate on Christ's undeserved suffering. The only surviving child of a poor furrier and his wife, Heermann fulfilled his mother's vow at his birth that, if he lived, he would become a pastor. Initially a teacher, Heermann became a minister in the Lutheran Church in Koben in 1611 but had to stop preaching in 1634 due to a severe throat infection. He retired in 1638. Much of his ministry took place during the Thirty Years' War. At times he had to flee for his life and on several occasions lost all his possessions. Although Heermann wrote many of his hymns and poems during these devastating times, his persona… 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 >