Why without, then, art Thou staying,
Blessed of the Lord from far?
Enter now, no more delaying,
Let it please Thee—Thou, my Star!
Thou, my Jesus, Friend indeed,
Helper in the hour of need!
Saviour! ease the wounds that pain me,
Let Thy comforts rich sustain me.
Lord, my wounds are pain and sorrow,
That the hammer of the law
With its terrors, night and morrow,
Causeth, filling me with awe.
Oh! the dreadful thunder peals
When His anger God reveals,
All my blood to tingle making,
And my heart’s foundation shaking!
Then with wiles the great deceiver
Would to me all grace deny,
Saying, in the hell for ever
That torments him, I must be.
But I suffer sorer pangs,
For with poison’d serpent fangs
Doth my conscience gnawing, tearing,
Stir remorse beyond all bearing.
Do I seek my woe to soften,
And to lessen pain desire,
With the world commingling often,
Sink I quite into the mire.
There is comfort that deceives,
Joy that by my mischance lives,
Helpers there who only grieve me,
Friends who only mock and leave me.
Nothing in the world endureth,
Or the soul’s thirst can allay;
Fleeting is the rank that lureth.
Have I riches? What are they
Better than small dust of earth?
Have I pleasure? What’s it worth?
What to-day my heart doth gladden,
That to-morrow doth not sadden?
Comfort, joy, in boundless measure,
Stor’d, Lord Jesus, are in Thee,
Pastures of unfading pleasure,
Where we roam and feast so free.
Light of joy! illumine me
Ere my heart quite broken be!
Jesus, let mine eyes behold Thee;
Lord, refresh me and uphold me!
Heart, rejoice, for He doth hear thee,
And He visits thee again;
Now thy Saviour draweth near thee,
Bid Him gladsome welcome then,
And prepare thee for thy guest,
Enter thou into His rest,
While with open heart receiving,
Tell Him all that is thee grieving.
Lo! the things that seem’d to hinder
How they all fall out for good.
Hark! how He in accents tender
Comforts thee in gracious mood.
Ceas’d the dragon has to roar,
Scheming, raging, now no more.
His advantages forsake him,
He must to th’ abyss betake him.
Now thy life is calm and even,
All thy heart’s desire is thine;
Christ Himself to thee hath given
All He hath—exhaustless mine!
His grace is thy fairest crown,
Thou His seat art and His throne;
With Himself as one He makes thee,
Freely to His bosom takes thee.
God His golden-curtain’d Heaven
Spreadeth to encompass thee!
Lest thou shouldst away be driven
By thy raging enemy.
Angel hosts keep watch and ward
At thy side and are thy guard;
Lest in journeys aught should hurt thee,
By the way their arms support thee.
All the ill thou hast done ever
It is now remitted quite;
God’s love thee doth now deliver
From sin’s tyrant pow’r and might.
Christ the Prince hath won the day,
Rise against thee what ill may,
He, to purest good converting,
Robbeth of the pow’r of hurting.
All for thine advantage proveth,
E’en what hurtful may appear.
Christ accepteth thee and loveth,
And His thoughts are all sincere.
Thou in turn but faithful be,
Then shall certainly by thee,
With the angel hosts in Heaven,
Thanks and praise for aye be given.
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 >