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 (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which condemned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… 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 >