Christ, Thou Defender of Thy Congregation

Tune: Christe, du Beistand

A Sapphic Ode.

For spiritual and temporal peace.

  1. Christ, Thou Defender of Thy congregation,
    Haste Thee to help us, make known Thy salvation;
    Stay Thou our foes; the plans that our blood have sought
    Bring Thou unto naught. :|:

  2. Strive Thou for us, Thy children’s cause maintaining;
    Ward off the devil, all his might restraining;
    Be they, whoe’er against Thy members have striv’n,
    Unto ruin giv’n. :|:

  3. Peace be to Church and school, with Thy protection;
    Peace be to those to whom we owe subjection;
    Peace to the conscience, peace unto ev’ry heart
    Graciously impart. :|:

  4. Thus be on earth our hearts Thy goodness praising;
    Thus be in heav’n all hosts Thy praises raising;
    Thou Guardian of Thy flock, we declare Thy worth,
    God of heav’n and earth. :|:

Christe, du Beistand deiner Kreuzgemeine
Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern, 1644
Tr. composite

German Text


Tune: Christe, du Beistand

Sapphische Ode.

Um geistlichen und leiblichen Friede.

  1. Christe, du Beistand deiner Kreuzgemeine,
    Eile, mit Hilf und Rettung uns erscheine;
    Steure den Feinden, ihre Blutgerichte
    Machte zu nichte. :|:

  2. Streite doch selber für uns arme Kinder,
    Wehre dem Teufel, seine Macht verhinder;
    Alles, was kämpfet wider deine Glieder,
    Stürze danieder. :|:

  3. Friede bei Kirch und Schulen uns beschere,
    Friede zugleich der Polizei gewähre,
    Friede dem Herzen, Friede dem Gewissen
    Gib zu genießen. :|:

  4. Also wird zeitlich deine Güte erhoben,
    Also wird ewig und ohn Ende loben
    Dich, o du Wächter deiner armen Heerde,
    Himmel und Erde. :|:

Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern, 1644
Source: C.F.W. Walther’s Kirchen-Gesangbuch, No. 167


Author: Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern, 1644
Source: Symbola Oder Gedenck-Sprüche, Breslau, 1644

Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern wrote this text and composed its four-part setting, publishing both, under the heading, “A Sapphic Ode. For spiritual and temporal peace,” in his Symbola Oder Gedenck-Sprüche, Breslau, 1644, No. 17, a scan of which is available here [the PURL for the general work is here]. Though Löwenstern’s text appears as “Christ, Thou the Champion of the Band Who Own,” No. 279 in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1918, in Catherine Winkworth’s 1855 translation, it is known to English speakers primarily through Philip Pusey’s very loose 1840 translation, “Lord of Our Life and God of Our Salvation,” as found in The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, No. 258, and the Lutheran Service Book, 2006, No. 659. In fact, though a fine text in its own right, Pusey’s translation could much more properly be said to be inspired by the original text than translated from it. For the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book, a new composite translation has been prepared, incorporating elements of Winkworth’s translation, together with that of Arthur Tozer Russell, “Blest Aid of Thine Afflicted Congregation” (1848). The text here provided may be freely used and reproduced for any purpose whatever.

This text has been categorized as follows: The Word of God and the Christian Church (Walther’s Hymnal); Reformation (Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book; The Lutheran Hymnal); The Church Militant (Lutheran Service Book).