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What Law, Beloved Jesu

Representative Text

1 What law, belovèd Jesu, hast Thou broken?
Why have Thy foes such cruel judgment spoken?
What is Thy crime? for what do they disdain Thee?
Why thus arraign Thee?

2 What laid on Thee the griefs Thy soul endurèd?
Ah! Lord, my guilt Thy stripes and wounds procurèd;
My sad desert, whose sins my God have grievèd,
Thou has receivèd.

3 How great, how wonderful is this correction,
The Shepherd’s death becomes His sheep’s protection!
The servant’s sin to Heav’n for vengeance crieth;
His good Lord dieth!

4 To reach Thy grace in vain all thought ascendeth;
Above my praise Thy mercy far exendeth!
Thy deeds of love surpass our utmost measure
Of work and treasure.


Source: The Cyber Hymnal #9664

Author: Johann Heerman

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: Arthur T. Russell

Arthur Tozer Russell was born at Northampton, March 20, 1806. He entered S. John's College, Cambridge, in 1824, took the Hulsean Prize in 1825, and was afterwards elected to a scholarship. He was ordained Deacon in 1829, Priest in 1830, and the same year was appointed Vicar of Caxton. In 1852, he was preferred to the vicarage of Whaddon. In 1863, he removed to S. Thomas', Toxteth Park, near Liverpool, and in 1867, to Holy Trinity, Wellington, Salop. He is the editor and author of numerous publications, among them several volumes of hymns. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, 1872.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: What law, beloved Jesu, hast Thou broken?
Title: What Law, Beloved Jesu
German Title: Herzliebster Jesu
Author: Johann Heerman
Translator: Arthur T. Russell
Meter: 11.11.11.5
Source: Devoti Musica Cordis, 1630
Language: English

Tune

HERZLIEBSTER JESU

Partially based on earlier melodies (including the Genevan tune for Psalm 23), HERZ LIEBSTER JESU was composed by Johann Crüger (PHH 42) and published in his Neues vollkömliches Gesangbuch (1640). Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used the tune in both his St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, and variou…

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Media

The Cyber Hymnal #9664
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #9664

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