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Of the Circumcision of Christ

Why should they such pain e'er give Thee

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

Why should they such pain e'er give Thee,
Why inflict such cruel smart?
Jesus, why should they so grieve Thee,
Who’re uncircumcis’d in heart,
By this rite? Though Thou art free
From the law’s yoke utterly,
Yet man’s nature art Thou wearing,
But no sin its beauty marring.

For Thyself Thou dost not bear it,
Of the Cov’nant Thou art Head;
’Tis our debts that make Thee share it,
That like grievous load of lead
Lie upon us, and Thy heart
Pierce e’en to the inmost part;
These Thou bearest to deliver
Us, who could have paid them never.

Let your hearts be glad, ye debtors!
Let the world rejoice to-day,
For the Son of God our fetters
Breaks, the price begins to pay.
This day is the Law fulfill’d,
This day is God’s anger still’d,
Whom to death law did deliver,
God’s Son makes God’s heirs for ever.

We this grace enough can never
Own, nor for it grateful be;
Heart and mouth, O Saviour! ever
Shall exalt and honour Thee!
We shall praise with all our pow’r
All Thy goodness, Thee adore,
While in weakness here we wander,
And Thy praise re-echo yonder!

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867

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 >

Translator: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Why should they such pain e'er give Thee
Title: Of the Circumcision of Christ
German Title: Warum machet solche Schmerzen
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Meter: 8.7.8.7.7.7.8.8
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.



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