Upon the Cross Extended

Tune: O Welt, ich muss dich lassen

  1. Upon the cross extended,
    See, world, thy Lord suspended,
    Thy Savior yields His breath.
    The Prince of Life from heaven
    Himself hath freely given
    To shame and blows and bitter death.

  2. Come hither now and ponder,
    ’Twill fill thy soul with wonder,
    Blood streams from ev’ry pore.
    Through grief whose depth none knoweth,
    From His great heart there floweth
    Sigh after sigh of anguish o’er.

  3. Who is it that hath bruised Thee?
    Who hath so sore abused Thee
    And caused Thee all Thy woe?
    While we must make confession
    Of sin and dire transgression,
    Thou deeds of evil dost not know.

  4. I caused Thy grief and sighing
    By evils multiplying
    As countless as the sands.
    I caused Thy woes unnumbered
    With which Thy soul is cumbered,
    Thy sorrows raised by wicked hands.

  5. ’Tis I who should be smitten,
    My doom should here be written:
    Bound hand and foot in hell.
    The fetters and the scourging,
    The floods around Thee surging,
    ‘Tis I who have deserved them well.

  6. The load Thou takest on Thee,
    That pressed so sorely on me,
    It crushed me to the ground.
    The cross for me enduring,
    The crown for me securing,
    My healing in Thy wounds is found.

  7. A crown of thorns Thou wearest,
    My shame and scorn Thou bearest,
    That I might ransomed be.
    My Bondsman, ever willing,
    My place with patience filling,
    From sin and guilt hast made me free.

  8. Into death’s jaws Thou springest,
    Deliv’rance to me bringest
    From such a monster dire.
    My death away Thou takest,
    Thy grave its grave Thou makest;
    O love, O unexampled fire!

  9. Thy cords of love, my Savior,
    Bind me to Thee forever,
    I am no longer mine.
    To Thee I gladly tender
    All that my life can render
    And all I have to Thee resign.

  10. Not much can I be giving
    In this poor life I’m living,
    But one thing do I say:
    Thy death and sorrows ever,
    Till soul from body sever,
    My heart shall its remembrance pay.

  11. Thy cross I’ll place before me,
    Its saving pow’r be o’er me,
    Wherever I may be;
    Thine innocence revealing,
    Thy love and mercy sealing,
    The pledge of truth and constancy.

  12. How God at our transgression
    To anger gives expression,
    How loud His thunders roll,
    How fearfully He smiteth,
    How sorely He requiteth,—
    All this Thy suff’rings teach my soul.

  13. From them shall I be learning
    How I may be adorning
    My heart with quietness,
    And how I still should love them
    Whose malice e’er doth move them
    To grieve me by their wickedness.

  14. When evil men revile me,
    With wicked tongues defile me,
    I’ll curb my vengeful heart.
    The unjust wrong I’ll suffer,
    Unto my neighbor offer
    Forgiveness for each bitter smart.

  15. Upon the cross I’ll nail me
    With Thee; when sins assail me
    Thou shalt my Refuge be.
    Forsaking sins that grieve Thee,
    Lord, let me never leave Thee,
    And let me find my strength in Thee.

  16. Thy groaning and Thy sighing,
    Thy bitter tears and dying,
    With which Thou wast oppressed,—
    They shall, when life is ending,
    Be guiding and attending
    My way to Thine eternal rest.

O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben
Paul Gerhardt, 1653
Tr. John Kelly, 1867, alt.
Source: Sts. 1–7, 9, 11–12, 14, 16, The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, No. 171
Sts. 8, 10, 13, 15, Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1927, No. 205

German Text (coming soon)

Paul Gerhardt (portrait at Lübben)

Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676), portrait at the Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche in Lübben.

Author: Paul Gerhardt
Source: Johann Crüger, Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1653