Tune: O Welt, ich muss dich lassen
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.
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.
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.
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.
’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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Source: Johann Crüger, Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1653