Wilt thou, sinner, be converted?
Christ the Lord of glory see
By His own denied, deserted,
Bleeding, bound, and scourged for thee.
Look again, O soul, behold Him
On the cross uplifted high;
See the precious life-blood flowing,
See the tears that dim His eye.
Love has pierced the heart that brake,
Loveless sinner, for thy sake.
Hearken till thy heart is broken
To His cry so sad and sweet,
Hearken to the hammer smiting
Nails that pierce His hands and feet.
See the side whence flows the fountain
Of His love and life divine,
Riven by a hand unthankful—
Lo! that hand is thine.
See the crown of thorns adorning
God’s belovèd, holy Son;
Then fall down in bitter mourning,
Weep for that which thou hast done.
Thank Him that His heart was willing
So to die for love of thee;
Thank Him for the joy that maketh
This world’s joy but gall to be.
And till thou in Heaven adore Him
Fight for Him in knightly guise,
Joy in shame and scorn and sorrow;
Glorious is the prize!
Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899
Mechthild of Helfta, or Mathilde in modern spelling, was a mystic author who lived in the Cisterian nunnery at Helfta near Eisleben, Germany. She is also known as Mechthild of Hackeborn, her parents' home. She was a younger sister of St. Gerturde of Hackeborn. She is mentioned in Bocaccio's Decameron, VII, 1, and in canto 28 of Dante's Purgatory. Cf. "Liber specialis gratiae" in Revelations Gertrudianae ac Mechtildianae (1877).
Her "Liber specialis gratiae" was popular in England and was translated into English in the fifteenth century. More recently it has been edited by Theresa A. Halligan as The Booke of Gostlye Grace of Mechtild of Hackeborn (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1979).
--Leonard Ellinwood, DNAH Arch… Go to person page >
Translator: Frances Bevan
Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856.
Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >