Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook

— Hymn Texts and Tunes —



Give praise to God our King  58


Glorious things of thee are spoken  214

THIS hymn appeared in Newton’s Olney Hymns, First Book, 1779. It contained five stanzas and the following title attached, Zion, or the City of God. The hymn is based upon the 87th Psalm: “Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou city of God” (Psalm 87:3). In The Lutheran Hymnary the third stanza of the original is omitted. This hymn is considered one of the best in the English language. In many hymnals it has been abbreviated and revised in various ways. R. Bingham has translated it into Latin: “Dicta de te sunt miranda.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Glory be to God the Father  410

Horatius Bonar first published this hymn of praise in his Hymns of Faith and Hope, third series, 1866. It calls to mind the joyfui praise in Rev. 1: 5, 6: “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Glory be to Jesus  283

Viva! Viva! Gesù! che per mio bene

Tutto il sangue verso dalle sue vene.


Il sangue di Gesù fu la mia vita;

Benedetta la Sua bontà infinita.


Questo sangue in eterno sia lodato,

Che dall’ inferno il mondo ha riscattato.


D’Abele il sangue gridava venedetta.

Quel di Gesù per noi perdono aspetta.


Se di Gesù si esalta il divin sangue,

Tripudia il ciel, trema l’abisso e langue.


Diciamo dunque insiem con energia

Al sangue di Gesù gloria si dia. Amen.


The Italian author of this hymn is unknown, though it has been aseribed to St. Alfonso Liguori. It is first found in an Italian collection, Raccolta di Orazioni, etc., attributed to an Italian priest called Galli, who died in 1845; but as Pope Pius VII (1800–1823) already granted indulgences of 100 days “to all the faithful who say or sing” this hymn, its origin is commonly placed into the 18th century.

The translation is by Edward Caswall. It was publishod in his Hymns for the Use of the Birmingham Oratory, 1857, in nine stanzas. The stanzas omitted above are four, five, and seven. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Go to dark Gethsemane  284

OF this favorite Passion hymn Montgomery has provided two different redactions. The first was printed 1820 in Cotterill’s Selection, and bears the title: The Last Sufferings of Christ. The second appeared 1825 in the author’s Christian Psalmist, under the title: Christ, Our Example in Suffering. Both versions are extensively used, but the second, which appears in The Lutheran Hymnary, is found in almost twice as many hymn books as the first. The Norwegian translation, found in Landstad’s Hymn Book, was rendered by Grundtvig and appeared in his Sang-Værk til den danske Kirke, 1837. This is a free rendering of the first version of the original.

“A few years ago,” a traveler relates, “during a visit in Jerusalem, on Thursday evening of Holy Week, we went out to the Garden of Gethsemane upon the Mount of Olives, where our Lord and Savior during that night ‘trod the winepress alone’ (Is. 63:3). We proceeded up the Mount of Olives and seated ourselves upon a rock, from which point we gained a good view of the Garden. It was a clear, moonlit evening. The old olive trees cast their shadows upon the holy place. Deep silence reigned. By the moonlight we read various passages concerning: ‘the Lamb of God which beareth the sin of the world,’ and ‘the bloody sweat of Jesus.’ Finally, we sang the hymn: ‘Go to dark Gethsemane, Ye who feel the tempter’s power’” (James King in Anglican Hymnology). (For biography of Montgomery, see Vol. I, No. 65.) [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


God bless our native land  602

Dr. Julian, in his Dictionary of Hymnology, has a long discussion on the origin of this American hymn and its English counterpart, “God save the King.” Space will not permit us to enter upon a detailed discussion of it. May it suffice to mention that the American version seems to have its beginning with the hymn of Charles Timothy Brooks, who as student of divinity at Cambridge, in 1834, wrote:


God bless our native land!

Firm may she ever stand

Through storm and night!

When the wild tempests rave,

Ruler of wind and wave,

Father Eternal, save

Us by Thy might!


Lo, our hearts’ prayers arise

Into the upper skies,

Regions of light.

He who hath heard each sigh,

Watches each weeping eye:

He is forever nigh,

Venger of Right!


This was a rather free translation of the patriotic song for Saxony, written by the German song-writer Siegfried August Mahlmann (1771–1826), published in G. W. Fink’s Musikalischer Hausschatz, etc., 1842, reading:


God loved the world so that He gave  403

Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt,

Dass er uns seinen Sohn hergibt,

Dass, wer ihm traut und glaubt allein,

Kann und soll ewig selig sein.


Der Glaubenserund ist Jesus Christ,

Der für uns selbst Mensch worden ist.

Wer seinem Mittler fest vertraut,

Der bleibt auf diesen Grund gebaut.


Dein Gott will nicht des Sünders Tod,

Sein Sohn hilft uns aus aller Not,

Der Heil’ge Geist lehrt dich durchs Wort,

Dass du wirst selig hier und dort.


Drum sei getrost, weil Gottes Sohn

Die Sünd’ vergibt, der Gnadenthron;

Du bist gerecht durch Christi Blut,

Die Tau’ schenkt dir das höchste Gut.


Bist du krank, kommst du gar in Tod,

So merk dies wohl in aller Not;

Mein Jesus macht die Seel’ gesund,

Das ist der rechte Glaubensgrund.


Ehr’ sei dem Vater und dem Sohn

Samt Heil’gem Geist in einem Thron,

Welch’s ihm auch also sei bereit’t

Von nun an bis in Ewigkeit.


This hymn, by an unknown author, is from the Kirchengesangbuch für Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden, St. Louis, where the source is given as Bollhagen Gesangbuch, 1791. We have been unable to trace it further.

The translation is by August Crull, slightly altered, in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1912.


God loves me dearly  175


God moves in a mysterious way  434

JESUS answered and said unto him (Peter), What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter” (John 13:7). This hymn was composed in 1773 or in the beginning of 1774, while the poet suffered severely from an attack of melancholy brought on by brooding over religious matters. In 1773 Cowper passed through a period of insanity, during which he was beset by a strong desire to end his life by drowning in the river Ouse. Finally he made an attempt, but lost his way and did not find the place which he had selected for the suicidal act. It is commonly accepted that he wrote this famous hymn upon returning from this expedition, realizing how wondrously his plans had been forestalled by a merciful Providence. Later hymnologists have, however, doubted the truth of this story. Julian asserts that Cowper either wrote this hymn in 1773, when the dread disease began to darken his mind, or rather in April, 1774, as he was being restored to health. For according to Southey, it was at this time that he began to write “lines descriptive of his unhappy state.” The editors of the historical edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern also claim that there is no ground for the assertion that the hymn was written immediately after “attempted suicide,” but that it was composed while the author was suffering seriously from melancholy. This hymn was Cowper’s last contribution to The Olney Hymns, where it appeared in the part bearing the title Conflict, and the hymn has the superscription: Light shining out of Darkness. The hymn writer Montgomery treasured this hymn very highly, as may be seen from the following statement: “It is a lyric of high tone and character and rendered awfully interesting by the circumstances under which it was written—in the twilight of departing reason.” It has won great popularity throughout the English speaking world and has been rendered into many languages. There are two versions in Latin, one by R. gingham, 1871, “Secretis miranda viis opera numen,” and one by Macgill, 1876, “Deus mundum, en, molitur.” It has been rendered into Norwegian by Gustav Jensen in his Forslag til Salmebog for den Norske Kirke (No. 577). His translation is as follows:

Naar Gud vil gjøre underverk, ei støv hans vei forstaar; han rider frem paa storm, og sterk han gjennem havet gaar.

Fra dype grubers dunkle hjem, med visdom aldrig træt, sit lyse raad han virker frem, til det han vil er sket.

I bange barn, fat mot panny! Snart i en signings flod skal løses op den tordensky, som isner eders blod.

Døm ikke Gud med svake sans, men tro ham alting til! Bak mørkets slør med solens glans hans naade lyser mild.

Slet intet ser et vantro folk, og altid tar de fell; Gud er sin naades egen tolk, snart faar du se hans segl.

The fifth verse of the original has been omitted. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


God of mercy, God of grace  582

Godfrey Thring wrote this hyrnn in 1877 as an offertory hymn. It appeared in his Collection, 1880. It was included in his Church of England Hymn-Book 1882, headed Luke 10:36, 37: “Which, now, of these three was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?” [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


God of the prophets  501

This hymn was written by Denis Wortman in 1884, the year of the centennial of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, of which he was a graduate (1860). It was entitled “Prayer for Young Ministers.” According to Dr. W. C. Covert there were originally seven stanzas. We have been able to find only six. The omitted sixth stanza reads:


6. O mighty age of prophet-kings, return!

O truth, O faith, enrich our urgent time!

Lord Jesus Christ, again with us sojourn:

A weary world awaits Thy reign sublime.

[Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


God rest you merry, gentlemen  126


God the Father, be our stay  18

Gott der Vater wohn’ uns bei

Und lass’ uns nicht verderben,

Mach’ uns aller Sünden frei

Und helf’ uns selig sterben!

Vor dem Teufel uns bewahr’,

Halt uns bei festem Glauben

Und auf dich lass uns bauen,

Aus Herzensgrund vertrauen,

Dir uns lassen ganz und gar,

Mit allen rechten Christen

Entfliehen Teufels Listen,

Mit Waffen Gott’s uns fristen!

Amen, Amen, das sei wahr,

So singen wir: Halleluja!


Jesus Christus wohn’ uns bei usw.


Heilig Geist, der wohn’ uns bei usw.


This is a medieval litany, revised by Martin Luther. Its origin is fifteenth century or earlier. Wackernugel gives a version of 1422, in 15 lines, beginning “Sanctus Petrus won uns bey.” In some parts of Germany it was used “in time of Processions or St. Mark’s Day and in Rogation Week.” Luther recast portions of the earlier version, removed the invocations to Mary, the Angels, and the saints, and pubiished his version in Johann Walther’s Gegstliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524.

The translation is an altered form of that by Richard Massie in his Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, London, 1854. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


God’s own child, I gladly say it  246


God’s Word is our great heritage  583

Guds Ord det er vort Arvegods,

Det skal vort Afkoms være;

Gud giv os i vor Grav den Ros,

Vi holdt det høit i Ære!

Det er vor Hjælp i Nød,

Vor Trøst i Liv og Død;

O Gud, ihvor det gaar,

Lad dog, mens Verden staar,

Det i vor Æt nedarves!


This is the fifth stanza of Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig’s Danish version of Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress.” It was first published in Salmer ved Jubelfesten, 1817. Later it was given as a separate hymn in Danish and Norwegian hymnals. It is used on festival occasions and as a closing stanza.

The translation is by Ole G. Belsheim, 1909, and appeared in The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

IN the collection of hymns, Salmer ved Jubelfesten, 1817, Grundtvig also published his “free Danish version” of Luther’s “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A mighty fortress is our God), which contained four stanzas. Grundtvig added a fifth stanza of his own. This present stanza has, in later Norwegian and Danish hymnals, been given a place as a separate hymn. It is used as the closing hymn of the service and at church festivals. (For notes on Grundtvig see No. 49.) The English version in The Lutheran Hymnary is by O. G. Belsheim, 1909. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


God, my Lord, my Strength  204


God, we praise You  42


God, who madest earth and heaven  77

Gott des Himmels und der Erden,

Vater, Sohn und Heil’ger Geist,

Der es Tag und Nacht lässt werden,

Sonn’ und Mond uns scheinen heisst,

Dessen starke Hand die Welt

Und was drinnen ist, erhält,


Gott, ich danke dir von Herzen,

Dass du mich in dieser Nacht

Vor Gefahr, Angst, Not und Schmerzen

Hast behütet und bewacht,

Dass des bösen Feindes List

Mein nicht machtig worden ist.


Lass die Nacht auch meiner Sünden

Jetzt mit dieser Nacht vergehn!

O Herr Jesu, lass mich finden

Deine Wunden offen stehn,

Da alleine Hilf’ und Rat

Ist für meine Missetat!


Hilf, dass ich mit diesem Morgen

Geistlich auferstehen mag

Und für meine Seele sorgen,

Dass, wenn nun dein grosser Tag

Uns erscheint und dein Gericht,

Ich davor erschrecke nicht.


Führe mich, o Herr, und leite

Meinen Gang nach deinem Wort!

Sei und bleibe du auch heute

Mein Beschützer und mein Hort!

Nirgends als von dir allein

Kann ich recht bewahret sein.


Meinen Leib und meine Seele

Samt den Sinnen und Verstand,

Grosser Gott, ich dir befehle

Unter deine starke Hand.

Herr, mein Schild, mein’ Ehr’ und Ruhm,

Nimm mich auf, dein Eigentum!


THIS morning hymn was published in 1643 in the fifth part of Albert’s Arien etliche theils geistliche, theils weltliche zur Andacht, guten Sitten, keuscher Liebe und Ehrenlust dienende Lieder, which appeared in eight parts from 1638 to 1650, and later in one collection, Königsberg, 1652. Stanzas 3, 4, and 5 are used very extensively in Germany. This hymn has not been included in any of the ranking Norwegian hymn books. In the Evangelisk Christelige Salmebog it has been altered to the extent that the spirit of the hymn has been entirely changed. Six very good English versions are in use. The translation found in The Lutheran Hymnary was rendered by Miss Winkworth for her Lyra Germanica, 1855. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Gracious Savior, gentle Shepherd  367

This hymn has an unusual origin. Jane E. Leeson, in 1842, published the following three hymns in her Hymns and Scenes of Childhood: “Shepherd, in Thy Bosom Folded,” “Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep,” and “Infant Sorrow, Infant Weakness.” From these, with a few new lines, this hymn was constructed. It was published by John Whittemore in his Baptist Supplement to All Hymn-Books, 1850. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Grant peace, we pray, in mercy, Lord  584

Str.1 Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, Herr Gott, zu unsern Zeiten. Es ist doch ja kein andrer nicht, der für uns könnte streiten, denn du, unser Gott, alleine.


Great God, we praise Thy gracious care  600

The “graces” by J. Cennick have been much altered. W. T. Brooke in Julian: “The two Metrical Graces which have taken the greatest hold on the church throughout the English-speaking countries are those by John Cennick which appeared in his Sacred Hymns for the Children of God in the Days of Their Pilgrimage, London, 1741. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah  262

Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch

Fi bererin gwael ei wedd,

Nad oes ynof nerth na bywyd,

Fel yn gorwedd yn y bedd:


Ydyw’r un a’m cwyd i’r lan.


Agor y ffynnonau melus

Sydd yn tarddu o’r Graig i maes;

‘Rhyd yr anial mawr canlyned

Afon iachawdwriaeth grâs:

Rho imi hyny;

Dim i mi ond dy fwynhau.


Ymddiriedaf yn dy allu,

Mawr yw’r gwaith a wnest erioed:

Ti gest angau, ti gest uffern,

Ti gest Satan dan dy droed:

Pen Calfaria,

Nac aed hwnw byth o’m cof.


THIS hymn is one of the best by this poet, and appears in many of the leading English hymn books. It was originally written, 1745, in the Welsh language: “Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch.” The original has five stanzas. Peter Williams translated three of the stanzas into English in 1771. W. Williams incorporated the first stanza of this translation into his version and himself rendered three additional stanzas in translation. In 1773 W. Williams published his translation separately under the title: a favourite Hymn sung by Lady Huntingdon’s young Collegians. Printed by the desire of many Christian Friends. Lord, give it Thy blessing! —The hymn was given its present form by John Keble. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Hail the day so rich in cheer*  131

(See: Now hail the day so rich in cheer)


Hail the day that sees Him rise  388

Charles Wesley first published this hymn in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, in ten stanzas. The cento includes Stanzas 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 10. The omitted stanzas read:


3. Circles round with angel powers,

Their triumphant Lord and ours,

Conqueror over death and sin;

Take the King of Glory in!


7. Master (will we ever say),

Taken from our head today,

See Thy faithful servants, see,

Ever gazing up to Thee.


8. Grant, though parted from our sight

High above yon azure height,

Grant our hearts may thither rise,

Following Thee beyond the skies.


9. Ever upward let us move,

Wafted on the wings of love;

Looking when our Lord shall come,

Longing, gasping, after home.

[Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Hail thee, festival day  398

Salve festa dies


Hail to the Lord’s Anointed  103

THIS hymn was written in 1821 for a Christmas program and was sung as a part of a Christmas ode in the congregation of the Moravian Brethren in England. In the month of February, 1822, the hymn was sent in manuscript to George Bennett, who at that time made a missionary journey to the South Sea Islands. In April of the same year James Montgomery delivered a lecture in the Wesleyan chapel in Liverpool and closed his lecture by reciting this hymn. Dr. Adam Clarke, who was present on this occasion, was so impressed by this beautiful poem, that he asked for a copy and had it printed in his commentary upon the seventy-second Psalm. The hymn has found a place in all the leading hymnals of the English speaking world and has been rendered into many languages. This beautiful Messianic hymn is based upon Psalm 72 and is Montgomery’s best psalm-paraphrase. The original has eight stanzas. The Lutheran Hymnary has omitted stanzas 3 and 5. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Hail, Thou once despised Jesus!  270

THE oldest version of this hymn is found in Poetical Tracts, 1757-74, in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. In this collection there is a booklet containing 72 pages under the title: A Collection of Hymns addressed to the Holy, Holy, Holy, Triune God in the Person of Jesus, our Mediator and Advocate, London, 1757. In this booklet the hymn has only two stanzas. In M. Madan’s Collection of Psalms and Hymns, 1760, the hymn has been revised and expanded into four stanzas. It is now found in a large number of hymn books throughout the English-speaking world. But it occurs in many different forms, either abbreviated and with the first lines varying, especially for the second or the third stanza, or in the longer form of five stanzas. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Hallelujah (See: Alleluia)


Hark the glad sound!  109

HE hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives” (Luke 4:18; Is. 61:1).

“Hark, the glad sound! the Savior comes,” was written in 1735 and published for the first time in a Scotch hymnal, 1745. The original contains seven stanzas. In The Lutheran Hymnary stanzas 2, 4, and 6 are omitted. In the Scottish Church a revised edition of this hymn has been in extensive use for over one hundred years. Ten years after its publication in Scotland the hymn was published in England in Job Orton’s edition of Hymns of Doddridge, 1755, where the hymn is printed in its original form. Later it has been taken up into all the leading English hymnaries and has been translated into many languages. A Latin version has been rendered by R. Bingham. Lord Selborne says concerning this hymn: “In the whole treasury of church hymns we have none more beautiful, none more powerful and more perfect in form than the spiritual songs by Philip Doddridge.”

The following are the stanzas which have been omitted from The Lutheran Hymnary:

2. On Him the Spirit, largely poured, Exerts its sacred fire, Wisdom and might and zeal and love His holy breast inspire.

4. He comes from thickest films of vice To clear the mental ray, And on the eye-balls of the blind To pour celestial day.

6. His silver trumpets publish loud The jub’lee of the Lord, Our debts are all remitted now, Our heritage restored. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Hark the voice of Jesus crying  191

THIS missionary hymn was written by the Rev. Daniel March. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]

Stanzes 1, 2, and 4 of this hymn are by Daniel March. The third stanza, by an unknown author, was put in place of March’s second (March’s third is our second), which reads:


If you cannot cross the ocean

And the heathen lands explore,

You can find the heathen nearer,

You can help them at your door;

If you cannot give your thousands,

You can give the widow’s mite,

And the least you give for Jesus

Will be precious in His sight.


The reason for omitting this stanza is because of the questions raised as to the correctness of the last four lines. No doubt March had the right thought in mind, but his words can be construed to mean just the opposite. The committee received dozens of requests from our people to alter these lines, and many suggestions were sent to us. However, none of these proved satisfactory, and therefore it was decided to drop the stanza altogether.

March was a Congregational pastor in Philadelphia when he wrote this hymn in 1868. He had been asked to preach a sermon to the Philadelphia Christian Association, on October 18, on the text Is.6:8. At a late hour he learned that one of the hymns selected was not suitable. He wrote the hymn in “great haste,” and it was sung from the manuscript. The hymn was first published in The Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1878. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding  96

Vox clara ecce intonat,

Obscura quaeque increpat;

Bellantur eminus somnia,

Ab aether Christus promicat.


Mens iam resurgat torpida,

Quae sorde exstat saucia:

Sidus refulget iam novum,

Ut tollat omne noxium.


E sursum Agnus mittitur

Laxere gratis debitum;

Omnes pro indulgentia

Vocem demus cum lacrimis:


Secundo ut cum fulserit

Mundumque horror cinxerit,

Non pro reatu puniat,

Sea pius nos tunc protegat.


Laus, honor, virtus, gloria

Deo Patri cum Filio,

Sancto simul Paraclito

In sempiterna saecula.


The Latin original of this hymn is of unknown authorship, early tenth century. The translation by Edward Caswall appeared in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, the first line reading: [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

HARK! a thrilling voice in sounding,” is a very old hymn, possibly from the fifth century. It has been ascribed to Ambrose, but not, however, by the Benedictine writers. It is found in manuscripts from the eleventh century in the British Museum and in Cambridge. The hymnologist, G. M. Dreves, has printed one from the tenth century. This hymn is based upon Rom. 13:11 and Luke 21:25. The hymn has appeared in two versions. In the Roman Breviary of 1632 the original text is revised and begins: “En clara vox redarguit.” Our translation, by E. Caswall, in Lyra Catholica, 1849, is based upon this latter version. This translation is found in a large number of hymn books in England and America. There are twenty-four English translations in all. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Hark! the herald angels sing  125

ORIGINALLY this hymn consisted of ten four-lined stanzas and had a somewhat different beginning: “Hark! how all the welkin rings, Glory to the King of kings.” It was first published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, and again in a revised form in a new edition of the same work in 1743. In Whitefield’s Collection of 1753 the first line of this hymn has been changed to “Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.” Later on the first six stanzas were combined into three eight-lined stanzas, and the first two lines were added as a refrain. In this form it was taken up in the Book of Common Prayer. This form of the hymn, with a few changes in the text in some editions, has won such universal favor as no other hymn in the English language except “Rock of Ages.” Bingham’s translation into Latin begins with the line: “Audite! tollunt carmina.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


He is arisen! Glorious Word!  348

Han er opstanden! Store Bud!

Min Gud er en forsonet Gud,

Min Himmel er nu aaben!

Min Jesu seierrige Død

Fordømmelsernes Pile brød,

Og knuste Mørkets Vaaben.

Min Trøst!

Ved hans Seier,

Som jeg eier,

Helved bæver;

Han var død, men se, han lever!


This hymn of one stanza by Birgitte K. Boye first appeared in Guldherg’s Hymn Book, 1778. “It is to be sung before the reading of the Gospel from the pulpit, from Easter to Ascension” (Dahle.) The translation is by George T Rygh, 1909, and appeared in The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

To be sung before the reading of the Gospel from the pulpit, from Easter until Ascension Sunday. “Han er opstanden! Store Bud!” was first published in Guldberg’s Hymn Book of 1778. —The translation into English was rendered by G. T. Rygh, 1909. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


He that believes and is baptized  241

Enhver som tror og bliver døbt,

Han skal vist salig blive,

Thi han ved Jesu Blad er kjøbt,

Som vil sig ham indlive,

Og blandt Guds Børns det hellig’ Tal

Til Himmeriges Æres Val

Med Korsets Blod indskrive.


Vi sukke alle hiertelig,

Og udi Troen sige

Med Hjertens Bøn, enhver for sig:

O Jesu, lad os stige

Ved Daabens kraft i Dyder frem,

Og for os saa ved Troen hjem

Til Ærens evig’ Rige!


HE that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

“The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there” (Psalm 87:6).

These Scripture passages furnish the basis for this hymn. The hymn was first printed in Kingo’s Hymnal Outline, 1689, and was entered as a baptismal hymn in his official Church Hymnal of 1699. It was given a place in Guldberg’s Hymnary in 1778. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


He’s risen, He’s risen!  350

Erstanden, erstanden ist Jesus Christ,

Es freue sich, was auf Erden ist,

Es jauchze der Himmel mit seinem Heer;

O hüpfet, ihr Berge, und brause, du Meer!



Der Feind triumphierte auf Golgatha.

Die Hölle durchtönte Viktoria,

Denn endlich hatte der Finsternis Macht

Den Fürsten des Lebens ans Kreuz gebracht.



Doch Trotz dir, du Hölle, und Trotz dir, o Welt,

Der Herzog des Heiles behält das Feld.

Kaum waren vergangen der Tage drei,

So war dein Gefangener los und frei.



Wo ist nun dein Stachel, o Todesgestalt?

Wo ist nun dein Sieg, o Höllengewalt?

Wo ist nun, o Sünde, deine Kraft?

Wo sind nun, Gesetz, deine Flüche und Haft?



Der Herr ist erstanden, das Grab ist leer,

Entschlafen ist nun unsrer Sünden Heer;

Nun jauchze alles, was Sünder heisst.

Und preise den Vater, Sohn und Geist.



This cento is from the Easter hymn, in eleven stanzas, by Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther. It is found in the biography of C. F. W. Walther by Martin Günther, 1890, where it is given with the tune, which Walther also composed, and the heading “On the First Easter Day, April 8,1860, on the Ocean.” It was therefore composed on the journey Walther took that year to Germany for recuperation. Stanzas 5 to 9 of the original are omitted.

The rather free translation is by Anna M. Meyer and was first published in the Lutheran Witness, 1937. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Hear us now, our God and Father  188


Heaven is my home*  474

(See: I’m but a stranger here)


Holy Father, in Thy mercy  576

This hymn by Isabella S. Stephenson first appeared in the Supplement to the revised edition of Hymus Ancient and Modern, 1889. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Holy Ghost, dispel our sadness  20


THIS is a beautiful hymn of prayer concerning the gift of grace sent by the Holy Ghost. It first appeared in the third edition of Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, consisting of 10 eight-lined stanzas. Our version has employed stanzas 1, 3, 4, 9 and 10. Bible references: first stanza: Luke 11:13: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”; second stanza, Isaiah 44:3: “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground! I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon shine offspring”; third stanza, Psalm 51:13: “Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee”; fourth stanza, Ezekiel 36:26-27: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them”; fifth stanza, Psalm 71:1-9: “In Thee, O Jehovah, do I take refuge: Let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Thy righteousness, and rescue me: Bow down Thine ear unto me, and save me. Be Thou to me a rock of habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: Thou hast given commandment to save me; For Thou art my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For Thou art my hope, O Lord Jehovah: Thou art my trust from my youth. By Thee have I been holden up from the womb; Thou art He that took me out of my mother’s bowels: My praise shall be continually of Thee. I am as a wonder unto many; but Thou art my strong refuge. My mouth shall be filled with Thy praise, and with Thy honor all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”

The hymn was used very extensively in Germany. Through J. C. Jacobi’s translation, “O Thou sweetest source of gladness,” 1732, the hymn has become known in England and America, where many centos have been made from it. Our present translation is Toplady’s version following Jacobi’s translation. About 26 translations and centos have been made from this hymn. Dr. Götze, superintendent at Lübeck, has written a little book dealing with this beautiful hymn. A Catholic youth, twenty-one years of age, at his death told his pastor that the tenth stanza (our fifth stanza) had given him more comfort and joy than all the wisdom of the world. This stanza he had rewritten and read it repeatedly with tears in his eyes. The hymn has been translated also into French, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. Brorson rendered the Danish version of the whole hymn. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Holy Ghost, with light divine  402

Andrew Reed entitled this hymn “Prayer to the Spirit” and first published it in his Collection, 1817, in four eight-line stanzas. We have not found any modern hymn-book that has the complete hymn. Most of them use the four-line stanza form, and the stanzas range from four to six. One of the omitted parts, belonging after Stanza 5, reads:


Bid my sin and sorrow cease,

Fill me with Thy heavenly peace;

Joy divine I then shall prove,

Light of Truth—and Fire of Love. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Holy God, we praise Thy name  43

Grosser Gott, wir loben dich,

Herr, wir preisen deine Stärke,

Vor dir beugt die Erde sich

Und bewundert deine Werke.

Wie du warst vor aller Zeit,

So bleibst du in Ewigkeit.


Alles, was dich preisen kann,

Cherubim und Seraphinen,

Stimmen dir ein Loblied an.

Alle Engel, die dir dienen,

Rufen dir in sel’ger Ruh’:

Heilig, heilig, heilig! zu.


Der Apostel heli’ger Chor,

Der Propheten grosse Menge

Schickt zu deinem Thron empor

Neue Lob- und Dankgesänge.

Der Blutzeugen grosse Schar

Lobt und preist dich immerdar.


Sie verehrt den Heil’gen Geist,

Welcher uns mit seinen Lehren

Und mit Troste kräftig speist;

Der, o König aller Ehren,

Der mit dir, Herr Jesu Christ,

Und dem Vater ewig ist.

\\ more stanzas

Str.1 Großer Gott, wir loben dich; Herr, wir preisen deine Stärke. Vor dir neigt die Erde sich und bewundert deine Werke. Wie du warst vor aller Zeit, so bleibst du in Ewigkeit.

Str.2 Alles, was dich preisen kann, Cherubim und Seraphinen, stimmen dir ein Loblied an, alle Engel, die dir dienen, rufen dir stets ohne Ruh: "Heilig, heilig, heilig!" zu.

Str.3 Heilig, Herr Gott Zebaoth! Heilig, Herr der Himmelsheere! Starker Helfer in der Not! Himmel, Erde, Luft und Meere sind erfüllt von deinem Ruhm; alles ist dein Eigentum.

Str.4 Der Apostel heilger Chor, der Propheten hehre Menge schickt zu deinem Thron empor neue Lob- und Dankgesänge; der Blutzeugen lichte Schar lobt und preist dich immerdar.

Str.5 Dich, Gott Vater auf dem Thron, loben Große, loben Kleine. Deinem eingebornen Sohn singt die heilige Gemeinde, und sie ehrt den Heilgen Geist, der uns seinen Trost erweist.

Str.6 Du, des Vaters ewger Sohn, hast die Menschheit angenommen, bist vom hohen Himmelsthron zu uns auf die Welt gekommen, hast uns Gottes Gnad gebracht, von der Sünd uns frei gemacht.

Str.7 Durch dich steht das Himmelstor allen, welche glauben, offen; du stellst uns dem Vater vor, wenn wir kindlich auf dich hoffen; du wirst kommen zum Gericht, wenn der letzte Tag anbricht.

Str.8 Herr, steh deinen Dienern bei, welche dich in Demut bitten. Kauftest durch dein Blut uns frei, hast den Tod für uns gelitten; nimm uns nach vollbrachtem Lauf zu dir in den Himmel auf.

Str.9 Sieh dein Volk in Gnaden an. Hilf uns, segne, Herr, dein Erbe; leit es auf der rechten Bahn, daß der Feind es nicht verderbe. Führe es durch diese Zeit, nimm es auf in Ewigkeit.

Str.10 Alle Tage wollen wir dich und deinen Namen preisen und zu allen Zeiten dir Ehre, Lob und Dank erweisen. Rett aus Sünden, rett aus Tod, sei uns gnädig, Herre Gott!

Str.11 Herr, erbarm, erbarme dich. Laß uns deine Güte schauen; deine Treue zeige sich, wie wir fest auf dich vertrauen. Auf dich hoffen wir allein: laß uns nicht verloren sein.


This the very popular German Te Deum “Grosser Gott, wir loben dich,” appeared in eight stanzas in the Allgemeines Katholisches Gesangbuch, Vienna (undated), c. 1775, together with the tune. Both author and composer are unknown, although some have credited Peter Ritter (1760-1846) with the tune. This is hardly probable, as he was only a boy when it was first published.

The translation is by Clarence A. Walworth, slightly altered. It is dated 1853 in the Evangelical Hymnal, New York, 1880, where it seems to have first appeared. The translation is rather free, and Walworth. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


Holy, holy, holy  15

THIS is the best known and most popular of Heber’s hymns. It was first printed in Psalms and Hymns f or the Parish Church of Banbury, 1826, and the following year it was entered among the author’s hymns for Trinity Sunday. In some hymnals it is listed as a morning hymn. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


Hosanna, loud hosanna  279

This hymn by Jeannette Threlfall first appeared in 1873 in her volume of poems Sunshine and Shadow. It has become very popular as a hymn for Palm Sunday or the First Sunday in Advent. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


How beauteous are their feet  192

HOW beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice: with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:7-10).

These words of the prophet form the basis for this hymn. It was written in 1707 and printed first in Hymns and Spiritual Songs, with the title: The Blessedness of Gospel Times j or The Revelation of Christ to Jews and Gentiles. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How blessed is the little flock  585

THIS hymn appeared the first time in Harpen, a hymnal published in Christiania, 1829. Bible reference, 2nd stanza, Matthew 25:1-13; John 21:15-17. The English translation is by the Rev. Carl Døving, 1906. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How blest are they who hear God’s Word  586

O salig den, Guds Ord har hørt,

Bevaret og tir Nytte ført!

Han daglig Visdom lærte;

Fra Lys til Lys han vandre kan,

Og har i Livets Prøvestand

En Saive for sit Hjerte

Mod al sin Nød og Smerte.


Guds Ord det er min rige Skat,

Min Sol i Sorgens mørke Nat,

Mit Sverd i Troens Krige.

Guds Finger selv i Ordet skrev

Min Barne-Ret, mit Arve-Brev;

Den Skrift skal aldrig svige:

Kom, arv et evigt Rige!


Jeg gik som til et dækket Bord

Idag og huorte Herrens Ord

Og Sjælen sanked Føde.

Gid Troen derved vokse saa,

At Troens Frugt ei savnes maa,

Naar jeg for ham skal møde,

Som tor os alle døde!


This hymn was published by the Norwegian bishop Johan Nordahl Brun in his Evangeliske Sange (Evangelical Hymns) in 1786. Of his hymns the pious bishop stated: “Our divine worship is that garden from which I have gathered my flowers.” This is one of his better hymns and bears witness “to a life of faith, which has its fountain in God Himself and which is nourished by His Word.”

The translation is by Oluf H. Smeby and was published in The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

EVANGELISKE SANGE, published in 1787, contained this hymn written by Bishop Johan Nordahl Brun. It is based upon the last portion of the Gospel lesson for the third Sunday in Lent: “Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28). The English translation is by Rev. O. H. Smeby. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How can I thank You, Lord?  423

Was kann ich doch für Dank,

O Herr, dir dafür sagen,

Dass du mich mit Geduld

So lange Zeit getragen,

Da ich in mancher Sünd’

Und Übertretung lag

Und dich, du frommer Gott,

Erzürnte alle Tag’!


Dass ich nun bin bekehrt,

Hast du allein verrichtet;

Du hast des Satans Reich

Und Werk in mir vernichtet.

Herr, deine Güt’ und Treu’,

Die an die Wolken reicht,

Hat auch mein steinern Herz

Zerbrochen und erweicht.


Selbst konnt’ ich dich zu viel

Beleidigen mit Sünden,

Ich konnte aber nicht

Selbst Gnade wieder finden;

Selbst fallen konnte ich

Und ins Verderben gehn,

Doch konnt’ ich selber nicht

Von meinem Fall aufstehn.


Du hast mich aufgericht’t

Und mir den Weg geweiset,

Den ich nun wandeln soll;

Dafür, Herr, sei gepreiset!

Gott sei gelobt, dass ich

Die alte Sünd’ nun hass’

Und willig, ohne Furcht,

Die toten Werke lass’.


Damit ich aber nicht

Aufs neue wieder falle,

So gib mir deinen Geist,

Dieweil ich hier noch walle,

Der meine Schwachheit stärk’

Und in mir mächtig sei

Und mein Gemüte stets

Zu deinem Dienst erneu’.


Ach leit und führe mich,

Solang ich leb’ auf Erden;

Lass mich nicht ohne dich

Durch mich geführet werden!

Führ’ ich mich ohne dich,

So werd’ ich bald verführt;

Wenn du mich führest selbst,

Tu’ ich, was mir gebührt.


O Gott, du grosser Gott,

O Vater, hör mein Flehen!

O Jesu, Gottes Sohn,

Lass deine Kraft mich sehen!

O werter Heil’ger Geist,

Sei bei mir allezeit,

Dass ich dir diene hier

Und dort in Ewigeit!


This hymn is attributed to David Denicke, although Justus Gesenius is also mentioned. It first appeared, in eight stanzas, in the Hanoverian New Ordentlich Gesangbuch, Braunschweig, 1648, entitled “Thanksgiving and Prayer of a Convert.” Stanza 6 is an altered form of a stanza by Johann Heermann and first appeared as a short prayer in his Devoti Musica Cordis, 1630. The omitted second stanza reads in translation:


2. Lord, Thou hast shown to me

Divine commiseration:

I persevered in sin,

But Thou in great compassion;

I did resist Thee, Lord,

Deferring to repent;

Thou didst defer Thy wrath

And instant punishment.


The translation is an altered form of that by August Crull in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1912. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


How fair the Church of Christ  418


THE hymn is based upon the Epistle lesson for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity (1 Pet. 3:8-15) and appeared for the first time in En ny almindelig Kirkesalmebog, 1699: “…Be ye all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humble-minded: not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:8-9). This hymn was rendered into English by O. T. Sanden, 1908. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How firm a foundation  521

THIS hymn appeared in Rippon’s Selection, 1787, in seven stanzas entitled Exceeding Great and Precious Promises. The authorship of this hymn has been the subject of much enquiry. Rippon’s original signature was “K—.” This “K—” has in later hymn books been extended into “Kirkham,” “Keen,” and “George Keith.” In Fletcher’s Collection, 1822, the “K—” of Rippon is extended into “Kn,” and in the edition of 1835 it is still further extended to “Keen”; and so it remains. In the index of the Names of such Authors of the Hymns as are known, the name “Keen” with the abbreviation “Kn,” is also given. Taking all the facts into account, “we are justified in concluding that the ascription to this hymn must be that of an unknown person of the name of Keen” (J. Julian). [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How lovely shines the Morning Star  167

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern

Voll Gnad’ und Wahrheit von dem Herrn,

Die süsse Wurzel Jesse!

Du Sohn Davids aus Jakobs Stamm,

Mein König und mein Bräutigam,

Hast mir mein Herz besessen,

Lieblich, freundlich,

Schön und herrlich, gross und ehrlich,

Reich von Gaben,

Hoch und sehr prächtig erhaben!


Ei meine Perl’, du werte Kron’,

Wahr’r Gottes- und Mariensohn,

Ein hochgeborner König!

Mein Herz heisst dich ein Lilium,

Dein süsses Evangelium

Ist lauter Milch und Honig.

Ei mein Blümlein,

Hosianna, himmlisch Manna,

Das wir essen,

Deiner kann ich nicht vergessen!


Geuss sehr tief in mein Herz hinein,

Du heller Jaspis und Rubin,

Die Flamme deiner Liebe

Und erfreu’ mich, dass ich doch bleib’

An deinem auserwählten Leib

Ein’ lebendige Rippe!

Nach dir ist mir,

Gratiosa coeli rosa,

Krank und glimmet

Mein Herz, durch Liebe verwundet.


Von Gott kommt mir ein Freudenschein,

Wenn du mit deinen Äugelein

Mich freundlich tust anblicken.

O Herr Jesu mein trautes Gut,

Dein Wort, dein Geist, dein Leib und Blut

Mich innerlich erquicken!

Nimm mich freundlich

In dein’ Arme, dase ich warme

Werd’ von Gnaden!

Auf dein Wort komm’ ich geladen.


Herr Gott Vater, mein starker Held,

Du hast mich ewig vor der Welt

In deinem Sohn geliebet.

Dein Sohn hat mich ihm selbst vertraut,

Er iet mein Schatz, ich bin sein’ Braut,

Sehr hoch in ihm erfreuet.

Eia, eia,

Himmlisch Leben wird er geben

Mir dort oben!

Ewig soll mein Herz ihn loben.


Zwingt die Saiten in Zithara

Und lasst die süsse Musika

Ganz freudenreich erschallen,

Dass ich möge mit Jesulein,

Dem wunderschönen Bräut’gam mein,

In steter Liebe wallen!

Singet, springet,

Jubilieret, triumphieret,

Dankt dem Herren!

Gross ist der König der Ehren!


Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh,

Dass mein Schatz ist dae A und O.

Der Anfang und das Ende!

Er wird mich doch zu seinem Preis

Aufnehmen in das Paradeis,

Des klopf’ ich in die Hände.

Amen! Amen!

Komm, du schöne Freudenkrone,

Bleib nicht lange,

Deiner wart’ ich mit Verlangen!


Philipp Nicolai published this “Queen of Chorales” in the Appendix of his Frewden-Spiegel, etc., Frankfurt a. M., 1599; but it was very likely written in 1597 or earlier. It will be noted that the first letters of the German stanzas are W, E, G, U, H, Z, W, which form an acrostic, referring to Wihelm Ernst, Graf und Herr zu Waldeck, whose teacher Nicolai had been. The hymn is a great favorite and has a wide usage at festival occasions. The tune “Wie schön leuchtet” is also by Nicolai and appeared with the hymn in 1599.

The claim that this hymn is a spiritual recast of a somewhat popular love song of the time has been exploded by such eminent hymnologists as Wackernagel, and by Curtz. The latter is the author of a monograph on Nicolai. The love-song in question is instead a parody of this hymn and did not appear until the middle of the 17th century.

The translation is composite and was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


EIN Geistlich Braut-Lied der gläubigen Seelen, von Jesu Christo, ihrem himmlischen Brautigam, Gestellet uber den 45. Psalm des Propheten Davids (Spiritual Bridal Song of the Believing Soul concerning Jesus Christ, her Heavenly Bridegroom). This hymn, together with three others, was printed in 1599 as a supplement to a short treatise entitled: Freuden-Spiegel des ewigen Lebens. The author of this work, Philipp Nicolai, served as pastor of Unna while the pestilence raged there and throughout all Westphalia. In Unna alone, 1,400 persons died, among them many of Nicolai’s relatives. In this treatise he prays: “I have sought Thee, and I have found Thee, Thou most precious Lord Jesus, and I desire to love Thee. Increase in me an ardent longing after Thee, and do not withhold the object of my prayer. Even if Thou gavest me all that Thou hast brought forth, it could not satisfy me, unless Thou didst give me Thine own self. Behold, I love Thee fervently, but if I love Thee in too small a measure, help me to increase in my affection…” The following is of interest in connection with the origin of this hymn: At the time of the pestilence of 1597, Nicolai, downcast and weary, sat in his study one morning. Then he “lifted up his heart unto God,” unto his Savior and Redeemer, and from the depths of his soul sprang this grand hymn of the Savior’s love and the glories of heaven. He was filled with holy inspiration and forgot his cares, his surroundings, forgot even his meal, until the hymn was written down, three hours after dinner time. That he should inscribe the initials of Wilhelm Ernst Graf Und Herr Zu Waldeck would not prevent the hymn from being the product of holy fervor and ecstasy, when we consider the powerful influence which it has wielded throughout the Christian world for several centuries. Parallel passages to the hymn are found in Ephesians 5 and in the Song of Solomon. The assertion has been made, especially by Karl von Winterfeld, that it was built upon an old love-song: “Wie schön leuchten die Äugelein der Schönen und der Zarten mein,” with a few changes introduced by Nicolai. But Wackernagel has proved beyond a doubt that the above mentioned love-song is a frivolous and most awkward paraphrase based upon this very hymn.

A hymn like this, in which fervent love of the Savior has found true expression, a hymn whose every stanza is permeated with the spirit of this confession: “Thou art the most beautiful among the children of men, for grace is poured out upon Thy lips”—a hymn like this would be sure to find a response in the congregation, where Jesus has become the wisdom from God unto righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. And it certainly gained entrance into the hearts. It was used so extensively at weddings, that the idea really became common that if this hymn were not sung at the wedding, the persons were not properly married. Stanzas of the hymn were engraved upon bowls and kettles and vases. It was sung at Communion not only because of the bearing of the fourth stanza (L. H. 3rd St.), but in view of the plan of the whole hymn. It was used at the deathbed of Christians who had kept the pure faith in love for the Savior of their souls, and who were prepared to follow the invitation to the great supper of the Lamb, the wedding feast in the Kingdom of God. The pious theologian Johann Gerhard, died while singing the words of the seventh stanza (omitted in L. H.). Susanna Eleonora von Koseritz, during her last moments, asked that this bridal hymn be sung to her. When it was ended she said, “How glorious 1” and she repeated three times the words of this line: “Gross ist der König der Ehren,” (Praise the God of your salvation, L. H. 220, 5). The hymn has had a place in the hymnals of Sweden since 1610. It is used there as a hymn to be sung during the offertory, especially in the Christmas season. The first Danish translation is said to have been made by Hans Christensøn Sthen. This has been called in question, although the version of this hymn is found in a later edition of his hymnal, Vandrebog. The original edition is not extant. But both the hymn and its melody were well known by 1622. The English version of St. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, used in The Lutheran Hymnary is by E. J. Palmer and dates from ]892. There are at least 14 other English translations. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How precious is the Book Divine  232

John Fawcett first published this hymn in his Hymns, etc., 1782. It was based on Ps. 119:105.

This is a hymn worth singing often in our day. The Bible, in spite of all the opposition of unbelief, is more widely distributed than ever. It is the perennial best seller. It is translated into more than a thousand tongues. Bible societies are busier than ever in their efforts to spread it still more widely. Let us sing this hymn and study our Bibles the more diligently! [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


How rich, at Eastertide  349



How shall the young secure their hearts  176

WHEREWITH shall the young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word” (Ps. 119:9).

The hymn appeared first in Watts’ Psalms of David, 1719. The original contained 8 stanzas. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


How sweet the name of Jesus sounds  155

THIS hymn of seven stanzas, in the original, was published in The Olney Hymns, 1779, under the title, The name of Jesus. John Wesley caused the hymn to be printed in the Arminian Magazine, 1781, but it was not until 1875 that it was taken up in the Wesleyan Hymnal. In most of the versions the fourth stanza of the original is omitted. The hymn is considered one of the most beautiful in the English language. It has been compared with Newton’s masterpiece, “Glorious things of Thee are spoken”. The latter hymn expresses more direct joy, while “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds” reflects more of burning zeal and love. In the fifth stanza of the original (the fourth in our version), we find these words: “Jesus I My Shepherd, Husband, Friend.” In connection with this utterance it should be remembered that it is not the individual soul, but the whole Church, or the congregation collectively, which can be designated as the bride of Jesus. Hence, the Christian, individually, should not use the expression “My Husband,” in connection with Christ. That is the reason why this line has been changed in many hymn books. In The Lutheran Hymnary we have the hymn as it was printed in the Leeds Hymnary, 1853: “Jesus, my Shepherd, Guardian, Friend.” (In other hymnals: “Leader, Shepherd, Friend”; “Brother, Shepherd, Friend”; “Savior, Shepherd, Friend.” Instead of the word “sweet,” in the first line, many versions have “blessed.”) This hymn has been translated into many languages. There are two Latin versions, “Quam dulce, quam mellifluum,” by R. gingham; and “Jesus! o quam dulce nomen,” by Macgill. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


I am alone your God and Lord  488


I am baptized into Christ*  246

(See: God’s own child, I gladly say it)


I am Jesus’ little lamb  177

Weil ich Jesu Schäflein bin,

Freu’ ich mich nur immerhin

Über meinen guten Hirten,

Der mich wohl weiss zu bewirten,

Der mich liebet, der mich kennt

Und bei meinem Namen nennt.


Unter seinem sanften Stab

Geh’ ich aus und ein und hab’

Unaussprechlich süsse Weide,

Dass ich keinen Mangel leide;

Und sooft ich durstig bin,

Führt er mich zum Brunnquell hin.


Sollt’ ich denn nicht fröhlich sein,

Ich beglücktes Schäfelein?

Denn nach diesen schönen Tagen

Werd’ ich endlich hingetragen

In des Hirten Arm und Schoss:

Amen, Ja mein Glück ist gross!


This justly popular children’s song by Henrietta Luise von Hayn first appeared in the Moravian hymnal the Neuen Brüder Gesangbuch, 1778, where it was placed among the hymns for Holy Communion. It has been frequently translated into English. The translation is composite. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


I am so glad, when Christmas comes  127

Jeg er så glad hver julekveld, for da ble Jesus født,

da lyste stjernen som en sol, og engler sang så søtt.


Det lille barn i Betlehem han var en konge stor,

som kom fra himlens høye slott ned til vår arme jord.


Nå bor han høyt i himmerik - han er Guds egen sønn,

men husker alltid på de små og hører deres bønn.


Jeg er så glad hver julekveld, da synger vi hans pris;

da åpner han for alle små sitt søte paradis.


Da tenner moder alle lys, så ingen krok er mørk;

hun sier stjernen lyste så i hele verdens ørk.


Hun sier at den lyser enn og slokner aldri ut,

og hvis den skinner på min vei, da kommer jeg til Gud.


Hun sier at de engler små de synger og i dag,

om fred og fryd på jorderik og om Guds velbehag.


Å gid jeg kunne synge så, da ble visst Jesus glad;

for jeg jo også ble Guds barn engang i dåpens bad.


Jeg holder av vår julekveld og av den Herre Krist,

og at han elsker meg igjen, det vet jeg ganske visst.


I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus  206

Frances R. Havergal wrote this hymn of faith at Ormont Dessons, in September, 1874. It was first published in her Loyal Responses, 1878. The hymn was the author’s own favorite and was found in her pocket Bible after her death. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


I come to Thee, O blessed Lord  495

Jeg kommer her, o søde Gud,

Fordi at du har sendt mig Bud,

Til Høitid din og Nadverds Fest,

Hjælp, at Jeg er en værdig Gjæst!


Jeg kommer her med Hjerte-Graad,

Fordi jeg veed mig ingen Raad

Og Redning i min Syndenød:

Hjælp mig, O Jesu, for din Død!


Dersom du Ondskab regne vil,

At staa for dig hvo tror sig til?

Rens mig af mine lønlig’ Brøst,

Vær du den arme Synders Trøst!


O Jesu, du Guds Lam, som bar

Al Verdena Synd, og sonet har,

Hvor ilde jeg endog har gjort,

Kast mig ei fra dit Aasyn bort!


O Jesu, du Guds Lam, som bar

Al Verdens Synd, og sonet har,

Miskunde dig nu over mig,

Miskunde dig evindelig!


Magnus B. Landstad’s opening stanza of this hymn, dated 1863, is a translation of the following German stanza by an unknown author:


Ich stell’ mich ein, o frommer Gott,

Zu deinem himmlischen Gastgebot,

Dazu du mich geladen hast;

Hilf, dass ich sei ein würdiger Gast.


The remaining stanzas Landstad added. The hymn was included in his Salmebog.

The translation is by Carl Døving, 1910. It was included in The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

Ich stell mich ein, O frommer Gott, zu deinem himmlischen Gastgebot, dazu du mich geladen hast; hilf, dasz ich sei ein würrdiger Gast.

Unverfälschter Liedersegen, Vierte Aufl., 1863.

THIS stanza, whose author is unknown, was translated by Landstad, who also wrote the remaining stanzas of the hymn.

The third stanza is based on the third verse of the 130th Psalm: “If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Also upon Psalm 19:12: “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” The fourth stanza points to the “Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and cries out with the Psalmist: “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). (Notes on M. B. Landstad may be found under No. 97.) [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


I come, O Savior, to Thy table  313


Ich komm’ zu deinem Abendmahle,

Weil meine Seele hungrig ist,

Der du wohnst in dem Freudensaale

Und meiner Seele Speise bist;

Mein Jesu, lass dein Fleisch und Blut

Sein meiner Seele höchstes Gut!


Gib, dass ich würdiglich erscheine

Bei deiner Himmelstafel hier,

Dass meine Seele nur alleine

Mit ihrer Andacht sei bei dir!


Unwürdig bin ich zwar zu nennen,

Weil ich in Sünden mich verirrt;

Doch wirst du noch dein Schäflein kennen,

Du bist ja mein getreuer Hirt.


Gib, dass die Sünde ich verfluche

Als meiner Seele Tod und Gift,

Dass leb mein Leben untersuche,

Dass mich nicht dein Gerichte trifft!


Dein Herz ist stets voll von Verlangen

Und brennt von sehnlicher Begier,

Die armen Sünder zu umfangen,

Drum komm’ ich Sünder auch zu dir.


Mühselig bin ich und beladen

Mit einer schweren Sündenlast;

Doch nimm mich Sünder an zu Gnaden

Und speise mich als deinen Gast!


Du wirst ein solches Herze finden,

Das dir zu deinen Füssen fällt,

Das da beweinet seine Sünden,

Doch sich an dein Verdienst auch hält.


Ich kann dein Abendmahl wohl nennen

Nur deiner Liebe Testament;

Denn, ach, hier kann ich recht erkennen,

Wie sehr dein Herz vor Liebe brennt!


Es ist das Hauptgut aller Güter

Und unsers Glaubens Band und Grund,

Die grösste Stärke der Gemüter,

Die Hoffnung und der Gnadenbund.


Dies Mahl ist meiner Seele Weide,

Der Armen Schatz, der Schwachen Kraft,

Der Teufel Schreck, der Engel Freude,

Den Sterbenden ihr Lebenssaft.


Der Leib, den du für mich gegeben,

Das Blut, das du vergossen hast,

Gibt meiner Seele Kraft und Leben

Und meinem Herzen Ruh’ und Rast.


Ich bin mit dir nun ganz vereinet,

Du lebst in mir und ich in dir,

Drum meine Seele nicht mehr weinet,

Es lacht nun lauter Lust bei ihr.


Wer ist, der mich nun will verdammen?

Der mich gerecht macht, der ist hie.

Ich fürchte nicht der Hölle Flammen,

Mit Jesu ich in Himmel zieh’.


Kommt gleich der Tod auf mich gedrungen,

So bin ich dennoch wohl vergnügt,

Weil der, so längst den Tod verschlungen.

Mir mitten in dem Herzen liegt.


Nun ist mein Herz ein Wohnhaus worden

Der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit,

Nun steh’ ich in der Engel Orden

Und lebe ewiglich erfreut.


This cento is composed of Stanzas 1 to 10, 14 to 17, and 21 of the hymn in twenty-one stanzas by Friedrich C. Heyder (1677–1754). The German text is in Kirchengesangbuch fur Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden, St. Louis. Fischer states that Wetzel gives the hymn as originally in twenty-eight stanzas and that it first appeared in Blumberg’s Zwickau Gesangbuch, 1710.

The translation is composite and was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


I fall asleep in Jesus’ wounds  530

In Christi Wunden schlaf’ ich ein,

Die machen mich von Sünden rein;

Ja, Christi Blut und G’rechtigkeit,

Das ist mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid,

Damit will ich vor Gott bestehn,

Wenn ich zum Himmel werd’ eingehn.


Mit Fried’ und Freud’ ich fahr’ dahin,

Ein Gotteskind ich allzeit bin.

Dank hab’, mein Tod, du führest mich;

Ins ew’ge Leben wandre ich,

Mit Christi Blut gereinigt fein.

Herr Jesu, stärk den Glauben mein!


This hymn has been ascribed to Paul Eber, but his authorship, though probable, is not definitely established. It first appeared in Jeremias Weber’s Leipziger Gesangbuch, 1638, in three four-line stanzas, to be sung to the tune “Herr Jesu Christ, mein’s” (see Hymn No. 7). Later the stanzas were arranged as above, and the hymn is commonly sung to the tune “Vater unser.” For comments on the tune see Hymn No. 458.

This hymn is a favorite in German-speaking circles, and Lines 3—6 of Stanza 1 have been used as a daily prayer, especially at retiring, by millions. The translation is a slightly altered form of that by Catherine Winkworth in her Christian Singers of Germany, 1869. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


I know my faith is founded  494

Ich weiss, an wen ich gläube:

Mein Jesus ist des Glaubens Grund;

Bei dessen Wort ich bleibe,

Und das bekennet Herz und Mund.

Vernunft darf hier nichts sagen,

Sie sei auch noch so klug;

Wer Fleisch und Blut will fragen,

Der fällt in Selbstbetrug.

Ich folg’ in Glaubenslehren

Der Heil’gen Schrift allein;

Was diese mich lässt hören,

Muss unbeweglich sein.


Herr, stärke mir den Glauben;

Denn Satan trachtet Nacht und Tag.

Wie er dies Kleinod rauben

Und um mein Heil mich bringen mag.

Wenn deine Hand mich führet,

So werd’ ich sicher gehn;

Wenn mich dein Geist regieret,

Wird’s selig um mich stehn.

Ach segne mein Vertrauen

Und bleib mit mir vereint!

So lass’ ich mir nicht grauen

Und fürchte keinen Feind.


Lass mich im Glauben leben;

Soll auch Verfolgung, Angst und Pein

Mich auf der Welt umgeben,

So lass mich treu im Glauben sein!

Im Glauben lass mich sterben,

Wenn sich mein Lauf beschliesst,

Und mich das Leben erben,

Das mir verheissen ist!

Nimm mich in deine Hände

Bei Leb- und Sterbenszeit,

So ist des Glaubens Ende

Der Seelen Seligkeit.


Erdmann Neumeister first published this hymn in his Evangelischer Nachklang, etc., first part, Hamburg, 1718.

The translation is composite. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


I know of a sleep  525

Jeg ved mig en Sovn i Jesu Navn,

Den kvæger de trætte Lemmer,

Der redes en Seng I Jordens Favn,

Saa moderlig hun mig gjemmer,

Min Sjæl er hos Gud i Himmerig,

Og Sorgerne sine glemmer.


Jeg veed mig en Aften-Time god,

Og længes vel somme Tider,

Naar jeg er af Reisen træt og mod,

Og Dagen saa tungsom skrider:

Jeg vilde til Sengs saa gjerne gaa,

Og sovne ind sødt omsider.


Jeg veed mig en Morgen lys og skøn,

Der synges i Livsens Lunde,

Da kommer han Guds velsigned’ Søn

Med lystelig’ Ord i Munde,

Da vækker ham oa af Sovne op

Alt udi saa säle Stunde.


Jeg haver den Morgen mig saa kjär,

Og drager den tidt til Minde,

Da synge jeg maa, og se den nær,

Den Sol, som strør Guld paa Tinde,

Som Smaafugeln ud mod Morgenstund

Op under de høie Linde.


Da træder Guds Søn til Gravens Hus,

Hans Røst i al Verden høres,

Da brydes alt Stengsel ned i Grus,

Da dybe Havsgrunde røres,

Han raaber: Du Døde, kom herud!

Og frem vi forklaret føres.


O Jesu, træd du min Dødsseng til,

Rek Haanden med Miskund over,

Og sig: Denne Dreng, den Pigelil

Hun er ikke død, men sover!

Og slip mig ei før, at op jeg staar,

I Levendes Land dig over!


This hymn, by Magnus B. Landstad, first appeared in his Kirke-Salmebog, etc., 1861, in seven stanzas. It ranks high in the literature of Norway and is considered one of the author’s best hymns. The omitted stanza reads in translation:


7. Now opens the Father’s house above,

The names of the blest are given.

Lord, gather us there, let none we love

Be missed in the joys of heaven.

Oh, grant to us all a place with Thee;

We ask through our dear Redeemer.


It was dropped because of an unscriptural thought in Lines 3 and 4. Such a prayer presupposes the possibility of suffering in heaven. This is inconsistent with Rev. 21:4.

The translation is composite, prepared by K. A. Kasberg, O. H. Smeby, and C. Döving for The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913.

THIS hymn was first published in Landstads Kirke-Salmebog, et Udkast, 1861. It is not known at what time the hymn was written. Statements made concerning its date of composition are mere guesses. Several of the stanzas of this hymn are among the best in our hymn literature. Nordahl Rolfsen in Norske Digtere, 1886, says concerning Landstad’s hymn writing and especially of this hymn: “Landstad shows special power and originality as a writer of hymns. His spiritual poetry, as found in Hjertesuk, Psalmebog, and Sange og Digte are characterized in the first place by intense religious fervor, and at the same time they are marked by unusual simplicity and directness of expression, making them more singable than is often the case with many hymns. But aside from these characteristics, which, strictly speaking, do not come under purely esthetic considerations, Landstad’s hymns often attain poetical power which gives them high poetic rank. Among those hymns may especially be mentioned the two: ‘Her falder megen Trætte’ (Landst. No. 217), and ‘Jeg ved mig en Søvn i Jesu Navn,’ and particularly the latter will stand as the best example of Landstad’s true ability as a hymn poet. While it may be said of some of his hymns that the poetic intonation begins on a high plain, but gradually declines with the progress through the hymn, this hymn maintains throughout both the personal and poetic characteristics on a lofty level. But even here the first stanza really ranks highest in the wonderful simplicity of its word picture:

Jeg ved mig en Søvn i Jesu Nave, Den kvæger de trælte Lemmer; Der redes en Seng i Jordens Favn, Saa moderlig hun mig gjemmer; Min Sjæl er hos Gud i Himmerig, Og Sorgerne sine glemmer.

Jeg ved mig en Aftentime god, Og længes vel somme Tider, Naar jeg er av Reisen træt og mod, Og Dagen saa tungsom skrider; Jeg vilde tilsengs saa gjerne gaa, Og sovne ind sødt omsider.

Our hymn literature cannot show very many stanzas which are so distinctly national in spirit as these.”—NYHUS.

There are, however, phrases even in this hymn showing that Landstad was not able to completely liberate himself from Danish influence. There is, for instance, the fourth stanza of the original with thoughts and word pictures borrowed from Dag-visen, and phrases like, “denne Dreng,” “denne Pigelil.” In the sixth stanza is found an expression which rather should be eliminated, and the structure of the whole stanza is not up to standard:

Gud lade os alle mødes glad, Og ingen av vore savne. (Lord, gather us there; let none we love Be missed in the joys of heaven).

This is hardly Scriptural. This prayer presupposes the possibility of want, hence, the feeling of pain and suffering in heaven. In this connection, compare Revelation 21:4. This hymn has been a source of comfort to many in times of sorrow and tribulation, and in the distress of death.


I know that my Redeemer  373



I know that my Redeemer lives  351

This Easter hymn by Samuel Medley first appeared in G. Whitefield’s Psalms and Hymns, 21st edition, 1775, in nine stanzas.


I know Thee, Savior! God Thou art  307


I lay my sins on Jesus  239

UNDER the title, The Fullness of Jesus, this hymn appeared first in Bonar’s Songs of the Wilderness, 1843, next in The Bible Hymn Book, 1845, and finally in the first series of the Hymns of Faith and Hope under the title The Substitute. It also occurs with the first line, “I rest my soul on Jesus” (v. 3). The poet’s son, Rev. H. N. Bonar, relates that his father began writing hymns while serving in Leith (1834-37). It was especially his desire to furnish hymns that would interest the children in hymn singing at the services. He chose two melodies; for the one melody (Heber) he wrote the present hymn, and for the other he composed a morning hymn. These two hymns make up his first contribution to hymn literature. They were printed on leaflets and distributed in the schools. He soon became convinced that more hymns were necessary to enrich the services and to increase the interest in them. So he collected a number of hymns and he himself composed three new ones, among them “I was a wandering sheep,” which also was printed on a leaflet. “I lay my sins on Jesus” has become very popular, especially for use at evangelistic meetings. That the hymn is based upon a Latin original dating from the fourteenth century, “Jesu plena caritate,” may be only a conjecture. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


I pray Thee, dear Lord Jesus  178

O Jesu, gid du vilde

Mit Hjerte danne saa,

Det baade aarl’ og silde

Dit Tempel väre maa!

Du selv min Hjerne vende

Fra Verdens kloge Flok,

Og lär mig dig at kjende,

Saa har jeg Visdom nok!


This is the concluding stanza of Thomas Kingo’s hymn “Hvor storer dog den Gläde,” a hymn to the Child Jesus in the Temple. It first appeared in 1699. According to an ordinance of the Norwegian Church authorities, dated October 10, 1818, this stanza was to be sung at church dedication services. This custom, we are told, is still observed in our Norwegian churches. The translation is by Norman A. Madson and was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal in 1939. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


I see Thee standing  70



I sing the birth  130


I stand beside Thy manger here  129

Str.1 Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier, o Jesu, du mein Leben; ich komme, bring und schenke dir, was du mir hast gegeben. Nimm hin, es ist mein Geist und Sinn, Herz, Seel und Mut, nimm alles hin und laß dir's wohlgefallen.

Str.2 Da ich noch nicht geboren war, da bist du mir geboren und hast mich dir zu eigen gar, eh ich dich kannt, erkoren. Eh ich durch deine Hand gemacht, da hast du schon bei dir bedacht, wie du mein wolltest werden.

Str.3 Ich lag in tiefster Todesnacht, du warest meine Sonne, die Sonne, die mir zugebracht Licht, Leben, Freud und Wonne. O Sonne, die das werte Licht des Glaubens in mir zugericht', wie schön sind deine Strahlen!

Str.4 Ich sehe dich mit Freuden an und kann mich nicht satt sehen; und weil ich nun nichts weiter kann, bleib ich anbetend stehen. O daß mein Sinn ein Abgrund wär und meine Seel ein weites Meer, daß ich dich möchte fassen!

Str.5 Wann oft mein Herz im Leibe weint und keinen Trost kann finden, rufst du mir zu: "Ich bin dein Freund, ein Tilger deiner Sünden. Was trauerst du, o Bruder mein? Du sollst ja guter Dinge sein, ich zahle deine Schulden."

Str.6 O daß doch so ein lieber Stern soll in der Krippen liegen! Für edle Kinder großer Herrn gehören güldne Wiegen. Ach Heu und Stroh ist viel zu schlecht, Samt, Seide, Purpur wären recht, dies Kindlein drauf zu legen!

Str.7 Nehmt weg das Stroh, nehmt weg das Heu, ich will mir Blumen holen, daß meines Heilands Lager sei auf lieblichen Violen; mit Rosen, Nelken, Rosmarin aus schönen Gärten will ich ihn von oben her bestreuen.

Str.8 Du fragest nicht nach Lust der Welt noch nach des Leibes Freuden; du hast dich bei uns eingestellt, an unsrer Statt zu leiden, suchst meiner Seele Herrlichkeit durch Elend und Armseligkeit; das will ich dir nicht wehren.

Str.9 Eins aber, hoff ich, wirst du mir, mein Heiland, nicht versagen: daß ich dich möge für und für in, bei und an mir tragen. So laß mich doch dein Kripplein sein; komm, komm und lege bei mir ein dich und all deine Freuden.


I trust, O Christ, in You alone  415

Allein zu dir Herr Jesu Christ,

Mein’ Hoffnung steht auf Erden;

Ich weiss, dass du mein Tröster bist.

Kein Trost mag mir sonst werden.

Von Anbeginn ist nichts erkor’n,

Auf Erden ist kein Mensch gebor’n,

Der mir aus Nöten helfen kann;

Ich ruf’ dich an,

Zu dem ich mein Vertrauen han.


Mein’ Sünd’ sind schwer und übergross

Und reuen mich von Herzen,

Derselben mach mich quitt und loss

Durch deinen Tod und Schmerzen

Und zeig mich deinem Vater an,

Dass du hast g’nug für mich getan,

So werd’ ich quitt der Sündenlast.

Herr, halt mir fest,

Wes du dich mir versprochen hast!


Gib mir nach dein’r Barmherzigkeit

Den wahren Christenglauben,

Auf dass ich deine Süssigkeit

Möcht’ inniglich anschauen,

Vor allen Dingen lieben dich

Und meinen Nächsten gleich als mich.

Am letzten End’ dein’ Hilf’ mir send,

Dadurch behend

Des Teufels List sich von mir wend’.


Wilhelm Nelle calls this hymn “a presentation of the Christian life in a nutshell.”, The hymn first appeared in a hymn-book in the Low German Magdeburg Gesangbuch, 1542. An undated Nürnberg broadsheet, probably c. 1540, has it and ascribes it to Johann Schneesing. Mark Wagner, a pupil of Schneesing, definitely claims that Schneesing was the author. Konrad Hubert, to whom the hymn has also been attributed, probably had no more to do with it than to make a few changes in the text. Bunsen calls it “an immortal hymn of prayer of a confident faith.” Martin Luther included it in the Valentin Babst Gesang Buch, 1545. The omitted Stanza 4 is a doxology.

The translation is an altered form of that by Arthur T. Russell in his Psalms and Hymns, 1851. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

TRULY, my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation” (Psalm 62:1). The hymn was printed in excerpt about 1540. It is found in Low German in the Magdeburg Hymnal of 1542, “Alleyn tho dy,” and bears the superscription, A Penitential Hymn. The earliest issues of the hymn do not give the author’s name. One of Schneesing’s pupils, Marx Wagner, relates in his Einfältiger Bericht, etc., Erfurt, 1597, that Schneesing composed and wrote this hymn into the Kirchen Agende, prepared by him in 1542 for his church in Freimar. In several South German hymnals the hymn is ascribed to Conrad Huber (Huaber), born 1507, who was a theologian from the Basel University, and pastor of St. Thomas Church of Strassburg from 1531. He died in 1545. But it is commonly accepted that Huber only undertook certain revisions of the hymn. In the oldest Strassburg Hymnal, where the hymn is found, there is no mention of the author. Luther introduced the hymn in the Valten Babst Gesangbuch of 1545. Since that time it has generally been included in most of the Lutheran hymnals of Germany, Denmark, and Norway. The first Danish translation was made by Hans Thomissøn, 1569. There are 6 or 7 English translations. The first English version was made by J. C. Jacobi, 1725, “In Thee, Lord Christ, is fixed my hope.” The version adopted by The Lutheran Hymnary is that rendered by the Rev. A. T. Russell, 1851. (For notes on Russell’s work, see No. 26.)

“Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” is the only hymn which we have from Schneesing. But it is immortal. It is quite commonly used during the confessional service and is very fitting for the occasion. In Landstad’s Hymnal it is listed for use before the sermon at the morning service. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


I walk in danger all the way  252

Jeg gaar i Fare, hvor jeg gaar,

Min Sjæl skal altid tænke,

At Satan allevegne staar

I Veien med sin Lanke;

Hans skjulte Helved-Brand

Mig let forvilde kand,

Naar jeg ei paa min Skanse staar;

Jeg gaar i Fare, hvor jeg gaar.


Jeg gaar i Trængsel, hvor jeg gaar;

Mod Synden skal jeg stride,

Om Gud med Korsets Ris mig slaar,

Det skal jeg taalig lide,

Tidt ingen Vei jeg ser,

Hvor jeg kan vandre meer,

Naar modgangs Taage om mig staar;

Jeg gaar i Trängsel, hvor ieg gaar.


Jeg gaar til Døden, hvor jeg gaar,

Og veed mig ikke sikker,

Ei nogen Dag og Time, naar

Han har mig alt i Strikker.

Et lidet Aandefang

Kan ende al min Gang,

At jeg i Evigheden staar;

Jeg gaar til Døden, hvor jeg gaar.


Jeg gaar blandt Engle, hvor jeg gaar;

De skal mig vel bevare,

Slet intet Satans Magt formaar

I saadan Himmel-Skare.

Bort Verdens Suk og Sorg!

Jeg gaar i Engle-Borg,

Traads nogen rører mig et Haar!

Jeg gaar blandt Engle, hvor jeg gaar.


Jeg gaar med Jesu, hvor jeg gaar,

Han har mig ved sin Side,

Han skjuler mig med sine Saar,

Og hjælper mig at stride,

Hvor han sit Fodspor lod,

Der setter jeg min Fod;

Traads al den Deel, mig ilde spaar,

Jeg gaar med Jesu, hvor jeg gaar.


Jeg gaar til Himlen, hvor jeg gaar;

Frimodig da mit Hjerte!

Kun did, hvor du en Ende faar

Paa al din Synd og Smerte!

Bort Verdens Lyst og Pragt,

Til Himlen staar min Agt!

Al Verdens Eie jeg forsmaar,

Jeg gaar till Himlen, hvor jeg gaar.


THIS hymn appeared in Nogle Salmer om Troens Frugt, 1734. It was also printed in Troens rare Klenodie, among a few hymns under the title, Om Tillid til Gud. The poet here portrays in a forceful manner, upon a background of Christian tribulation in this world, his all-conquering trust: “Jeg gaar til Himlen, hvor jeg gaar” (My walk is heavenward all the way).

The hymn is based upon the following Scripture passages: First stanza, 1 Pet. 5:8: “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Second stanza, John 16:33: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The third stanza, Ps. 90:5-6: “Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: In the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.” The fourth stanza, Ps. 34:7: “The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” The fifth stanza, John 8:12: “Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The sixth stanza, Hebr. 13:14: “For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come”; and Phil. 3:20: “For our citizenship is in heaven, whence also we wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


I will sing my Maker’s praises  448

Sollt’ ich meinem Gott nicht singen?

Sollt’ ich ihm nicht fröhlich sein?

Denn ich seh’ in allen Dingen,

Wie so gut er’s mit mir mein’.

Ist doch nichts als lauter Lieben,

Das sein treues Herze regt,

Das ohn’ Ende hebt und trägt,

Die in seinem Dienst sich üben.

Alles Ding währt seine Zeit,

Gottes Lieb in Ewigkeit.


Sein Sohn ist ihm nicht zu teuer,

Nein, er gibt ihn für mich hin,

Dass er mich vom ew’gen Feuer

Durch sein teures Blut gewinn’.

O du unergründ’ter Brunnen,

Wie will doch mein schwacher Geist,

Ob er sich gleich hoch befleisst,

Deine Tief’ ergründen können?

Alles Ding währt seine Zeit,

Gottes Lieb’ in Ewigkeit.


Meiner Seele Wohlergehen

Hat er ja recht wohl bedacht.

Will dem Leibe Not zustehen,

Nimmt er’s gleichfalls wohl in acht.

Wenn mein Können, mein Vermögen

Nichts vermag, nichts helfen kann,

Kommt mein Gott und hebt mir an

Sein Vermögen beizulegen.

Alles Ding währt seine Zeit,

Gottes Lieb’ in Ewigkeit.


Wenn ich schlafe, wacht sein Sorgen

Und ermuntert mein Gemüt,

Dass ich alle lieben Morgen

Schaue neue Lieb’ und Güt’.

Wäre mein Gott nicht gewesen,

Hätte mich sein Angesicht

Nicht geleitet, wär’ ich nicht

Aus so mancher Angst genesen.

Alles Ding währt seine Zeit,

Gottes Lieb’ in Ewigkeit.


Wie ein Vater seinem Kinde

Sein Herz niemals ganz entzeucht,

Ob es gleich bisweilen Sünde

Tut und aus der Bahne weicht:

Also hält auch mein Verbrechen

Mir mein frommer Gott zugut,

Will mein Fehlen mit der Rut’

Und nicht mit dem Schwerte rächen.

Alles Ding währt seine Zeit,

Gottes Lieb’ in Ewigkeit.


Weil denn weder Ziel noch Ende

Sich in Gottes Liebe find’t,

Ei, so heb’ ich meine Hände

Zu dir, Vater, als dein Kind,

Bitte, woll’st mir Gnade geben,

Dich aus aller meiner Macht

Zu umfangen Tag und Nacht

Hier in meinem ganzen Leben,

Bis ich dich nach dieser Zeit

Lob’ und lieb’ in Ewigkeit.


THIS hymn of praise to God’s eternal love was first published in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1656. The original contained 12 ten-lined stanzas of which eleven have the refrain: “Alles währet seine Zeit, Gottes Lieb’ in Ewigkeit” (Things of earth do break or bend, God’s great love shall never end.) The English translation left out the refrain, and the hymn has been reduced to six stanzas—1, 3, 5, 9, 10, and 12 of the original. It was rendered into English by R. Massie in 1857. The Danish translation by Frederik Rostgaard, 1742, was revised and improved by Landstad, who omitted the eighth stanza. One writer says concerning this hymn: “Here we have an index of the bodily and spiritual blessings showered upon us by our heavenly Father, which should urge us every day, yea, every hour to meditate upon our creation and wonderful and gracious keeping, but especially upon our precious atonement through Christ and our sanctification through the Holy Spirit.” Another writes: “This is truly one of Gerhardt’s best hymns. Even in the midst of trial and tribulation this hymn will gladden the devoted soul, fill his heart with a consciousness of God’s blessing, but also remind him of the love which he in return is to bring to the Lord.”

During the rule of Duke Carl of Württemberg, one of his men was through court intrigues deposed from office and thus deprived of his means of sustenance. In order to support himself he served as a night watchman, and every hour of the night he sang the customary stanza, but also added the refrain from this hymn: “Things of earth do break or bend, God’s great love shall never end.” Many years passed. Then one of the duke’s men came to spend the night in the village where this man kept watch. He noticed the watchman’s song and the unique refrain, and upon inquiry he gained information concerning the person and the fate of the watchman. The case was brought to the knowledge of the duke, and the man was reinstated in his former office. But ever afterwards this man would daily sing at his morning devotion: “Things of earth do break or bend, God’s great love shall never end.”—A member of the parliament of Eidsvold, Ole T. Svanøen, a friend of Hans Nielsen Hauge, relates that when the word of God began to enter his heart, he once, under deep emotion, gave the promise to the Lord that he would always oppose sin; “but,” he added, “the lusts of this world were yet in my heart. I was invited to a wedding, and in this wedding all my good intentions were strangled. I took an active part with the other children of the world and behaved more recklessly than ever before, until I heard one of my companions in an adjoining room sing this hymn which he had memorized: ‘I will sing my Maker’s praises.’ I was so deeply impressed and so thoroughly ashamed of my conduct that I could no longer find peace in sin.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


I’m but a stranger here  474

THIS hymn was written during the author’s last illness, and published in his Memoirs and Select Remains by W. S. Matthews, 1836, under the title Heaven Is My Home’ and to the melody, “Robin Adair.” It is found in many English and American hymnals and is considered the most popular hymn written by this author. Some of the hymn books have this beginning: “We are but strangers here.” [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


If God had not been on our side  396

Wär’ Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit,

So soll Israel sagen,

Wär’ Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit,

Wir hätten musst verzagen,

Die so ein armes Häuflein sind,

Veracht’t von ao viel Menschenkind,

Die an uns setzen alle.


Auf uns ist so zornig ihr Sinn,

Wo Gott hätt’ das zugeben,

Verschlungen hatten sie uns hin

Mit ganzem Leib und Leben;

Wir wär’n, als die ein’ Flut ersäuft,

Und über die gross Wasser läuft

Und mit Gewalt verschwemmet.


Gott Lob und Dank, der nicht zugab,

Dass ihr Schlund uns möcht’ fangen!

Wie ein Vogel des Stricks kommt ab,

Ist unsre Seel’ entgangen,

Strick ist entzwei, und wir sind frei,

Des Herren Name steht uns bei,

Des Gott’s Himmels und Erden.


LUTHER’s rendering of the 124th Psalm, printed in 1524, is one of his first hymns. It pictures the dangers that beset the Christian Church and praises God who has delivered it. “Three enemies threaten us: the devil, the world, and our own flesh.” “Let us sing this hymn to the glory of Christ, who unceasingly defends us against such enemies.” This hymn proved of comfort to Luther many times. The words of the 124th Psalm are its Biblical basis:

If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side, Let Israel now say,

If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side, When men rose up against us;

Then they had swallowed us up alive,

When their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us,

The stream had gone over our soul;

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be Jehovah,

Who hath not given us a prey to their teeth.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:

The snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of Jehovah,

Who made heaven and earth.

… This hymn was translated into Danish in 1529. Later renderings were made by Grundtvig, Landstad, and others. Luther says: “This Psalm of David must also be sung by us, not only against our enemies, who openly hate us and persecute us, but also against spiritual wickedness—and our own flesh, which is always luring us into sin and causing us anxiety. Because the Christian Church is in such great danger, let us also sing this Psalm in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ, who without ceasing supports us and guards us against these enemies.”

When Elector Johann Friedrich I of Saxony was made a prisoner in the battle of Mühlberg, in 1547, the superintendent of Saalfeld comforted him with this hymn and assured him that he should be able to say: “The snare is broken and we are escaped.” When the elector in 1552 was released from his long imprisonment, he sang this hymn as a thankoffering to the Lord. In the ritual of Christian V this hymn is ordered to be sung at vespers before the sermon, on suitable occasions, such as festivals of thanksgiving and the like.

The translation is composite and was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal. There are four other English translations. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


If God Himself be for me  517

Ist Gott für mich, so trete

Gleich alles wider mich,

Sooft ich ruf’ und bete,

Weicht alles hinter sich.

Hab’ ich das Haupt zum Freunde

Und bin geliebt bei Gott,

Was kann mir tun der Feinde

Und Widersacher Rott’?


Nun weiss und glaub’ ich feste,

Ich rühm’s auch ohne Scheu,

Dass Gott der Höchst’ und Beste,

Mein Freund und Vater sei,

Und dass in allen Fällen

Er mir zur Rechten steh’

Und dämpfe Sturm und Wellen

Und was mir bringet Weh.


Der Grund, da ich mich gründe,

Ist Christus und sein Blut,

Das machet, dass ich finde

Das ew’ge wahre Gut.

An mir und meinem Leben

Ist nichts auf dieser Erd’;

Was Christus mir gegeben,

Das ist der Liebe wert.


Mein Jesus ist mein’ Ehre,

Mein Glanz und helles Licht.

Wenn der nicht in mir wäre,

So dürft’ und könnt’ ich nicht

Vor Gottes Augen stehen

Und vor dem strengen Sitz;

Ich müsste stracks vergehen

Wie Wachs in Feuershitz’.


Mein Jesus hat gelöschet,

Was mit sich führt den Tod;

Der ist’s, der mich rein wäschet,

Dqacht schneeweiss, was ist rot.

In ihm kann ich mich freuen,

Hab’ einen Heldenmut,

Darf kein Gerichte scheuen,

Wie sonst ein Sünder tut.


Nichts, nichts kann mich verdammen.

Nichts nimmet mir mein Herzt

Die Höll’ und ihre Flammen,

Die sind mir nur ein Scherz.

Kein Urteil mich erschrecket,

Kein Unheil mich betrübt,

Weil mich mit Flügein decket

Mein Heiland, der mich liebt.


Sein Geist wohnt mir im Herzen,

Regieret meinen Sinn,

Vertreibt mir Sorg’ und Schmerzen,

Nimmt allen Kummer hin,

Gibt Segen und Gedeihen

Dem, was er in mir schafft,

Hilft mir das Abba schreien

Aus aller meiner Kraft.


Und wenn an meinem Orte

Sich Furcht und Schwachheit find’t,

So seufzt und spricht er Worte,

Die unausprechlich sind

Mir zwar und meinem Munde,

Gott aber wohl bewusst,

Der an des Herzens Grunde

Ersiehet seine Lust.


Sein Geist spricht meinem Geiste

Manch süsses Trostwort zu,

Wie Gott dem Hilfe leiste,

Der bei ihm suchet Ruh’,

Und wie er hab’ erbauet

Ein’ edle, neue Stadt,

Da Aug’ und Herze schauet,

Was er geglaubet hat.


Da ist mein Teil, mein Erbe

Mir prächtig zugericht’t;

Wenn ich gleich fall’ und sterbe,

Fällt doch mein Himmel nicht,

Muss ich auch gleich hier feuchten

Mit Tränen meine Zeit,

Mein Jesus und sein Leuchten

Durchsüsset alles Leid.


Wer sich mit dem verbindet,

Den Satan fleucht und hasst,

Der wird verfolgt und findet

Ein’ harte, schwere Last

Zu leiden und zu tragen,

Gerät in Hohn und Spott,

Das Krenz und alle Plagen,

Die sind sein täglich Brot.


Das ist mir nicht verborgen,

Doch bin ich unverzagt,

Dich will ich lassen sorgen,

Dem ich mich zugesagt,

Es koste Leib und Leben

Und alles, was ich hab’;

An dir will ich fest kleben

Und nimmer lassen ab.


Die Welt, die mag zerbrechen,

Du stehst mir ewiglich,

Kein Brennen, Hauen, Stechen

Soll trennen mich und dich,

Kein Hungern und kein Dürsten,

Kein’ Armut, keine Pein,

Kein Zorn der grossen Fürsten

Soll mir ein’ Hindrung sein.


Kein Engel, keine Freuden,

Kein Thron, kein’ Herrlichkeit,

Kein Lieben und kein Leiden,

Kein’ Angst und Herzeleid,

Was man nur kann erdenken,

Es sei klein oder gross,

Der keines soll mich lenken

Aus deinem Arm und Schoss.


Mein Herze geht in Sprüngen

Und kann nicht traurig sein,

Ist voller Freud’ und Singen,

Sieht lauter Sonnenschein.

Die Sonne, die mir lachet,

Ist mein Herr Jesus Christ;

Das, was mich singen machet,

Ist, was im Himmel ist.


This heroic hymn of Paul Gerhardt’s, as one authority rightly says, is worthy to be placed side by side with Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress.” It first appeared in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, Frankfurt, 1656. It is based on Rom. 8:31-39. This hymn, like the author’s greatest hymn, “Commit Whatever Grieves Thee,” has been thought to have a connection with Gerhardt’s trouble in Berlin, with the Elector of Brandenburg, but as it was published at least six years before, that assumption is not tenable.

Lauxmann, in Koch, writes of this hymn:


The hymn bears the watchword of the Lutheran Church as Paul gives it, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” One thinks of Philip Melanchthon’s last words as he, worn out with the manifold conflicts after Luther’s death and with many bitter and grievous trials, lay a-dying on April 19, 1560, he once more raised himself in bed and cried, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” When one asked him if he wished anything, he replied: “Nothing save heaven!” and gave up his spirit. In the same spirit it has been entitled “A Christian Hymn of Consolation and of Joy” and has spoken to the hearts of many troubled ones and strengthened them with new courage for the fight of faith.


The last stanza has been a great favorite with many Christians. Unfortunately no translation of this stanza does justice to the original.

Lauxmann gives an interesting account of the comfort derived from this hymn by a well-known German theologian:


While still young, Professor Auberlen of Basel departed from this life in 1864. This highly gifted and highly cultured witness for the faith was by an early death compelled to give up his greatly blessed labors, many projects, and a happy family life. On the 2d of May, a few hours before his death, a friend said to him, “Christ’s disciples follow in His pathway, first death and the grave, then resurrection and ascension.” To this he replied, “Of the fear of death, thank God, I know nothing and can say with Paulus Gerhardt:


“Ist Gott für mich, so trete

Gleich alles wider mich.”


In the same night (his last upon earth) he repeated Stanza 15 of this hymn. Soon after, his light, as a taper, quietly went out.


The translation is based on that by Richard Massie, who published his version, omitting Stanzas 4, 5, 6, and 10, in 1857. The translator of these stanzas is unknown, but they bear a resemblance to those by John Kelly in his Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867.

An analysis of this hymn gives us the following:


      Our Declaration of Trust in God, Stanza 1


1. God has given His Son for us, Stanzas 2 and 3.

2. In Him God gives us:

      a. Access to the mercy-seat, Stanza 4.

      b. Freedom from sin, death, judgment, and hell, Stanzas 5 and 6.

      c. The gift of the Spirit, who gives us assurance of our sonship, pleads for us with sighing, and comforts us with our future inheritance, Stanzas 7—10.

3. Nothing can therefore separate us from the love of God, Stanzas 11—15.

[Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

THIS hymn was published in the Frankfurt edition, 1656, of Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, as 15 eight-lined stanzas. It is a beautiful hymn based upon Romans 8:31-39, and in Ebeling’s edition it has the title: Kristelig Trøste- og Glædesang af Rom. 8.—Langbecker says: “This heroic hymn of Gerhardt’s deserves to be ranked with Luther’s ‘A mighty fortress is our God.’ We find here expressed a strong faith which endures through trials and tribulations and still exhibits true Christian cheer.” Some have thought that Gerhardt in this hymn refers to the strife with the elector in the following expression: “Zorn des (der) grosser Fürsten.” But the hymn appeared already in 1656, and as yet there was no occasion for any “zorn” (wrath) on the part of the elector. And it would seem that Skaar’s judgment is correct when he says that such a personal reference would be unworthy of Gerhardt. “Principalities,” Rom. 8:38, refers to rulers and powers far more dangerous than the Elector of Brandenburg. “This hymn,” says Langbecker, “peals forth the battle-cry of the Lutheran Church, following the words of St. Paul, ‘If God is for us, who is against us?’” We are reminded of the last words of Philip Melanchthon. Tired and sick of the bitter controversy following Luther’s death and of the great adversities and afflictions which he had experienced, he lay on his deathbed April 19, 1560. Rising from his bed he said: “If God is for us, who is against us?” And when asked by some one if there was anything that he wished he answered: “Nothing but heaven,” and the next moment he drew his last breath.—The prominent young theologian, Professor Auberlen of Basel, was carried off by death in 1864, while yet in his best strength of years, engaged in most important work and enjoying a happy family life. In answer to words of comfort, addressed to him shortly before his death, he replied: “I thank the Lord that I have no fear of death, but exclaim with Paul Gerhardt: ‘If God Himself be for me, I may a host defy.’” He died peacefully after having recited the last stanza of this hymn:

My merry heart is springing,

And knows not how to pine;

‘Tis full of joy and singing,

And radiancy divine;

The sun whose smiles so cheer me

Is Jesus Christ alone:

To have Him always near me

Is heaven itself begun.

“This hymn has been a source of great comfort to souls in anguish: it has brought the wandering and forlorn back to the foundation for the hope of salvation: Christ and His death (third stanza); it has brought good cheer to the suffering, and victory and peace to the dying.”

The English translation was rendered by R. Massie, 1857. Stanzas 4, 5, 6, and 10 of the original have been omitted.—A Danish translation by H. A. Brorson was published in 1735 in Nogle Salmer om Troens Grund. An earlier translation by Jens Pedersen Bergendal: “Vii Herren med mig være,” Nye aandelige Psalmer, 1676; [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


If thou but trust in God to guide thee  205

Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten

Und hoffet auf ihn allezeit,

Den wird er wunderlich erhalten

In allem Kreuz und Traurigkeit.

Wer Gott, dem Allerhöchsten, traut,

Der hat auf keinen Sand gebaut.


Was helfen uns die schweren Sorgen?

Was hilft uns unser Weh und Ach?

Was hilft es, dass wir alle Morgen

Beseufzen unser Ungemach?

Wir machen unser Krenz und Leid

Nur grösser durch die Traurigkeit.


Man halte nur ein wenig stille

Und sei nur in sich selbst vergnügt,

Wie unsers Gottes Gnadenwille,

Wie sein’ Allwissenheit es fügt.

Gott, der uns sich hat auserwählt,

Der weiss auch gar wohl, was uns fehlt.


Er kennt die rechten Freudenstunden,

Er weiss wohl, wann es nützlich sei.

Wenn er uns nur hat treu erfunden

Und merket keine Heuchelei,

So kommt Gott, eh’ wir’s uns versehn,

Und lässet uns viel Gut’s geschehn.


Denk nicht in deiner Drangsalchitze,

Dass du von Gott verlassen sei’st,

Und dass der Gott im Schosse sitze,

Der sich mit stetem Glücke speist.

Die Folgezeit verändert viel

Und setzet jeglichem sein Ziel.


Es sind ja Gott sehr leichte Sachen

Und ist dem Höchsten alles gleich,

Den Reichen arm und klein zu machen,

Den Armen aber gross und reich.

Gott ist der rechte Wundermann,

Der bald erhöhn, bald stürzen kann.


Sing, bet und geh auf Gottes Wegen,

Verricht das Deine nur getreu

Und trau des Himmels reichem Segen.

So wird er bei dir werden neu;

Denn welcher seine Zuversicht

Auf Gott setzt, den verlässt er nicht.


NEUMARK’S Fortgepflanzter Musikalisch-poetischer Lustwald, published in Jena, 1657, contained this hymn of seven six-lined stanzas under the title: A Hymn of Comfort, that God Will in Due Time Care for His Children. It is based upon Ps. 55:22: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.” The hymn was written in Kiel, 1641, when he, after having applied in vain in several places, finally was appointed to a position as teacher with Stephan Henning. Concerning this event he says: “This unexpected and amazingly good fortune delighted me so intensely, that I set about the same day to give honor to my dear Lord by writing the hymn: ‘If thou but suffer God to guide thee.’” The hymn soon found a place in many German hymnals and became the great favorite hymn of comfort for many who were beset by pressing conditions of life. It was soon translated into Danish, Portuguese, French, English, Icelandic, and Latin. The Scripture references by stanzas are as follows: 1. Nahum 1:7; Matt. 7:24; 2. Matt. 6:27-31; Wisdom of Sirach 30:22, 25, 26; 3. Ps. 37:7; Matt. 6:32; 4. John 2:4; Job 13:16; Ps. 37:37; Is. 65:24; 5. Is. 49:14; Ps. 17:14; Jer. 12:1-2; Wisdom of Sirach 18:28; Ps. 37:35-36; 6. Luke 1:37; I Sam. 2:7-8; Wisdom of Sirach 11:27; Ps. 77:15; 75:8; Luke 1:51-52; 7. Jerem. 17:7; Ps. 25:3. (Ref. Skaar.)

There are fourteen English translations of this hymn. Miss Winkworth’s version contained in The Lutheran Hymnary has found a place in many hymnals. … The hymn was translated into Danish by Fr. Rostgaard. During his stay at Oxford, 1694, Rostgaard was taken sick, and when he recovered from his illness he translated Neumark’s hymn. This Danish version was included in the hymnals of Pontoppidan and Guldberg. Georg Neumark was born in Langensalza, Thüringen, March 16, 1621. He was educated in the gymnasiums of Schleusingen and of Gotha, completing his course at the latter place in 1641. In the fall of the same year he accompanied some merchants to an exposition in Leipzig. Here he joined a party headed for Lübeck, and it was his intention to go on to Königsberg to continue his studies at the university in that city. When they had passed through Magdeburg they were attacked by robbers. Neumark was stripped of all his possessions except a prayer book, and a small sum of money which was sewed up in his clothes. He returned to Magdeburg and tried to get employment, but was unsuccessful. He fared likewise in Lüneburg, Winsen, and Hamburg. Upon arriving in Kiel, he found a good friend in the resident pastor, Nicolaus Becker, who was also a native of Thüringen. But still the chances for employment seemed as remote as ever. Then it happened that the family tutor of the household of the judge, Stephan Henning, fell from grace and fled. Becker now recommended Neumark for the position and was successful in securing it for him. It was on the day of his appointment that he wrote the present hymn, filled with great joy and thankfulness for the gracious help of God. It is likely that he wrote the melody at the same time. Having earned some money he left, in 1643, for Königsberg, where he studied law and also poetry under the famous teacher, Simon Dach. He earned his livelihood by tutoring, but again he had the misfortune of losing all his worldly possessions this time through fire. After leaving Königsberg, he visited Warsaw, Dorn, Danzig, and Hamburg. During the latter part of 1651 he returned to Thüringen, where Duke Wilhelm II of Sachse-Weimar made his acquaintance. The duke was president of the most influential German literary society of the seventeenth century. He appointed Neumark poet and librarian of the court at Weimar, and later secretary of the archives. In 1653 he became a member of the Fruit-bearing Society and soon afterwards became secretary and historian of the society. He was elected member also of another order of poets and ranked high as a writer. In 1681 he was stricken with blindness, and died on the 18th of July of the same year. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


If Thy beloved Son, O God  374

Wenn dein herzliebster Sohn, o Gott,

Nicht wär’ auf Erden kommen

Und hätt’, da ich in Sünden tot,

Mein Fleisch nicht angenommen,

So müsst’ ich armes Würmelein

Zur Hölle wandern in die Pein

Um meiner Untat willen.


Jetzt aber hab’ ich Ruh’ und Rast,

Darf nimmermehr verzagen,

Weil er die schwere Sündenlast

Für mich hat selbst getragen.

Er hat mit dir versöhnet mlch,

Da er am Kreuz liess töten sich,

Auf dass ich selig würde.


Drum ist getrost mein Herz und Mut

Mit kindlichem Vertrauen.

Auf dies sein rosinfarbnes Blut

Will ich mein’ Hoffnung bauen,

Das er für mich vergossen hat,

Gewaschen ab die Missetat,

Dass ich schneeweiss bin worden.


Nichts hilft mir die Gerechtigkeit,

Die vom Gesetz herrühret;

Wer sich in eignem Werk erfreut,

Wird jämmerlich verführet.

Des Herren Jesu Werk allein,

Das macht’s, dass ich kann selig sein,

Weil ich fest an ihn glaube.


Gott Vater, der du alle Schuld

Aut deinen Sohn geleget;

Herr Jesu, dessen Lieb’ und Huld

All meine Sünden träget;

O Heil’ger Geist, des Gnad und Kraft

Allein das Gute in mir schafft:

Lass mich ans End’ beharren!


Johann Heermann first published this hymn in his Devoti Musica Cordis, etc, Breslau, 1630, in five stanzas, of which Stanzas 1 to 3 and 5 are the first four above. The last stanza, a doxology, is by an unknown hand and appeared in Braunschweig Gesangbuch 1661.

The translation is composite. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


In Adam we have all been one  431


In God, my faithful God  467

Auf meinen lieben Gott

Trau’ ich in Angst und Not,

Der kann mich allzeit retten

Aus Trübsal, Angst und Nöten,

Mein Unglück kann er wenden,

Steht all’s in seinen Händen.


Ob mich mein’ Sünd’ anficht,

Will ich verzagen nicht;

Auf Christum will ich bauen

Und ihm allein vertrauen;

Ihm tu’ ich mich ergeben

Im Tod und auch im Leben.


Ob mich der Tod nimmt hin,

Ist Sterben mein Gewinn,

Und Christus ist mein Leben,

Dem tu’ ich mich ergeben;

Ich sterb’ heut oder morgen,

Mein’ Seel’ wird er versorgen.


O mein Herr Jesu Christ,

Der du so g’duldig bist

Für mich am Kreuz gestorben,

Hast mir das Heil erworben,

Auch uns allen zugleiche

Das ew’ge Himmelreiche.


Amen, zu aller Stund’

Sprech’ ich aus Herzensgrund.

Du wollest uns tun leiten,

Herr Christ, zu allen Zeiten,

Auf dass wir deinen Namen

Ewiglich preisen. Amen.


This excellent hymn is ascribed to Sigismund Weingärtner, about whom no details of life or calling are known. It first appeared in Geistliche Psalmen, etc., Nürnberg, 1607, in the author’s index of which the name appears as ‘‘Sigismund Weingart.” He is thought to have been a clergyman; but this, too, is uncertain.

The translation is an altered form of Catherine Winkworth’s, Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


In heav’n is joy and gladness  482


BASED upon John 16:22. Published in Brun’s Evangeliske Sange, 1786. In the new hymn book for the Church of Norway the first stanza is written thus:

Hos Gud er idel glæde, Men før jeg kommer der, Jeg maa blandt torner træde Og bære byrder her. Her trykker mange plager, Her strider Kristi brud, Her blandes fryd med klager, Kun glæde er hos Gud.

Our English translation was rendered by Rev. O. H. Smeby, 1910. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In heaven above, in heaven above  542


IN the hymn book of Sweden the name of Laurentius Laurinus is attached to this hymn, which is one of the finest hymns in that book. “In heaven above, in heaven above,” the All Saints’ hymn, beams with super-natural beauty. The above mentioned author did not. however, give to it the masterly form and finish in which it appears in Wallin’s Hymnbook. But the old, halting stanzas of Laurinus furnish the keynote for the new setting; and his description of the joy and glory of the saints is increasingly effective, when we learn to know the personal motive for the writing of the hymn. It is an occasional poem written upon the death of his wife, and it was printed in 1622 as a supplement to a sermon delivered at her funeral by one of his colleagues. This version contained five stanzas. Through the shroud of mourning which encircles the corruptible world, the glorious radiance of the incorruptible shines down upon the poet:

I Himmelen, i Himmelen, Ther är Härlighet fijn, Så at den klareste Solen Aldrig har sa klart skijn Som then klarheten I Himmelen är Hos Herren Zebaoth.

SÖDERBERG: Den Kristna Psalmen.

An edition of this hymn containing eighteen stanzas dates from 1650. After undergoing various changes, this was included in Svedberg’s Hymnal of 1695. This version was translated into Norwegian by Landstad and shortened to eleven stanzas. For Wallin’s Hymn Book of 1819 a revision containing seven stanzas was prepared by Johann Åstrøm. This setting was translated into Norwegian by W. A. Wexels and used in Hauge’s Hymnal. The English translation of Åstrøm’s revision was made by William Maccall, 1868. This is followed in our edition with a few minor changes. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In house and home where man and wife  189

I Hus og Hjem, hvor Mand og Viv

Bo sammen et gudfrygtigt Liv

Med Børn i Tugt og ære,

Der leves mangen lyksom Dag,

Der vil hos dem med Velbehag

Den Herre Kristus väre.


Har du ham givet Själ og Sind,

Og er han kjärlig buden ind,

Og sat i høiest Sæde,

Da bliver Levestunden god,

Da raader han paa Vaande Bod,

Og vender Sorg til Glæde.


Og sidder du i merke Hus

Med tomme Fad og tørre Krus,

Og dine Smaa paa Skjødet,

Og ser med Graad den sidste Rest,

Naar Nød er størst, er Hjælpen næst,

Hvor han veisigner Brødet.


Vor Bøn idag til ham vi bær:

O Herre Jesu, kom og vær

Hos Ægtemand og Kvinde!

Hjælp deres Smaa i Verden frem,

Sign deres Bord og Hus og Hjem,

Og lys din Fred derinde!


Magnus B. Landstad included this hymn in his Kirkesalmebog, 1861. It is based on John 2:1-11, the Gospel for the Second Sunday after Epiphany. Its picture of a family united by the bond of common faith and looking to Christ as the true Head of every Christian home is beautifully presented. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

IT is not definitely known when this hymn was composed. It is based upon the Gospel lesson for the Second Sunday after Epiphany. The English translation was made by O. T. Sanden in 1908. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In Jesus I find rest and peace  437


THIS hymn is based upon Scripture passages by stanzas as follows:

First stanza: “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness, and confidence for ever. And my people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places” (Is. 32:17-18).

Second stanza: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

Fourth stanza: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).

Fifth stanza: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Sixth stanza: “The word of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God. But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:18, 24).

Seventh stanza: “And he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him to the ark; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: and he put forth his hand, and took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark” (Gen. 8:8-9).

The author of this hymn is unknown. M. B. Landstad is inclined to believe that this and two other hymns in Landstad’s Hymn Book (231 and 23 2) were composed by Dr. Erik Pontoppidan. Landstad says: “They seem to have a certain spiritual relationship with him.” Pontoppidan mentions in one place that he had composed “verses.” In his autobiography he relates that upon his arrival in Amsterdam (1720) he began a travel diary by writing a rime, “which just came to my mind, though I ordinarily have not occupied myself very much with writings of that kind.” Regarding this, Bishop Skaar says: “He would not have expressed himself in this manner if he had referred to the writing of two or more hymns.” And again: “The author of this hymn seems to have been more closely connected with Herrnhutism than Pontoppidan was.” It is our opinion that Pontoppidan would have expressed himself exactly in this manner if he had written two or three hymns, and there is no mention of any more. Possibly he did not ascribe to them any creaser importance. And that this hymn should be “more closely connected with Herrnhutism than Pontoppidan” is not very easily demonstrated. There is good reason for assuming that this hymn was written by the popular author of the “Forklaring” (Explanation of Luther’s Catechism). The English translation was rendered by the Rev. G. T. Rygh, 1908. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In Jesus’ name  4


THE author wrote this hymn for his own wedding, 1639, and “sang it accompanied upon the organ on his wedding day.” It was first published in Holst’s Hymn Book, 1645, and has ever since been included in all Danish and Norwegian hymnals. It has frequently been sung at weddings, church dedications, and similar occasions, and is very often used at the regular services. Our English translation is by G. T. Rygh, 1908. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In peace and joy I now depart  48

Mit Fried’ und Freud’ ich fahr’ dahin

In Gottes Willen;

Getrost ist mir mein Herz und Sinn,

Sanft und stille,

Wie Gott mir verheissen hat:

Der Tod ist mein Schlaf worden.


Das macht Christus, wahr’r Gottessohn,

Der treue Heiland,

Den du mich, Herr, hast sehen lan

Und g’macht bekannt,

Dass er sei das Leben mein

Und Heil in ‘Aot und Sterben.


Den hast du allen vorgestellt

Mit grossen Gnaden,

Zu seinem Reich die ganze Welt

Heissen laden

Durch dein teuer, heilsam Wort,

An allem Ort erschollen.


Er ist das Heil und selig Licht

Für all die Heiden,

Zu ‘rleuchten, die dich kennen nicht,

Und zu weiden.

Er ist dein’s Volks Israel

Der Preis, Ehr’, Freud’ und Wonne.


This hymn by Martin Luther first appeared in Gegstliches Gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524, with the heading “Simeon’s Song of Praise” and with the reference to Luke 2: 29-32.

The translation is an altered form of that by Leonard W. Bacon, published after his death, in 1884. Although Dr. Bacon based his translation on that by Catherine Winkworth in her Chorale Book for England, 1863, in which she departed from the original meter, there is so little of Miss Winkworth’s text in his version that it may well be considered his own. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


In the cross of Christ I glory  523

IN the cross of Christ I glory” appeared first in Bowring’s Hymns, 1825. It is based upon Gal. 6:14: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” This has long been considered as Bowring’s best hymn. The melody (Rathbun) was composed in 1847 (or 1851) by Ithamar Conkey (b. Mass., 1815; d. 1867). He was an eminent bass soloist in the oratorio concerts of New York. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In the midst of earthly life  527

Mitten wir im Leben sind

Mit dem Tod umfangen.

Wen such’n wir, der Hilfe tu’,

Dass wir Gnad’ erlangen?

Das bist du, Herr, alleine!

Uns reuet unsre Missetat,

Die dich, Herr, erzürnet hat.

Heiliger Herre Gott,

Heiliger starker Gott

Heiliger barmherziger Heiland,

Du ewiger Gott,

Lass uns nicht versinken

In des bittern Todes Not!



Mitten in dem Tod anficht

Uns der Hölle Rachen.

Wer will uns aus solcher Not

Frei und ledig machen?

Das tust du, Herr, alleine!

Es jammert dein’ Barmherzigkeit

Unsre Sünd’ und grosses Leid.

Heiliger Herre Gott,

Heiliger, starker Gott,

Heiliger, barmherziger Heiland,

Du ewiger Gott,

Lass uns nicht verzagen

Vor der tiefen Hölle Glut!



Mitten in der Hölle Angst

Unsre Sünd’n uns treiben.

Wo soll’n wir denn fliehen hin,

Da wir mögen bleiben?

Zu dir, Herr Christ, alleine!

Vergossen ist dein teures Blut,

Das g’nug für die Sünde tut.

Heiliger Herre Gott,

Heiliger starker Gott,

Heiliger barmherziger Heliand.

Du ewiger Gott,

Lass uns nicht entfallen

Von des rechkn Glaubens Trost!



This hymn is based on a medieval antiphon, beginning Media vita in morte sumus, which according to tradition was written by Notker Balbulus (d. 912). By the 15th century translations of it into German had come into use. One of these is given by Wackernagel, from a 15th-century Munich manuscript, thus:


Ein mitten in des lebens zeyt

sey wir mit tod umbfangen:

Wen such wir, der uns hilffe geit,

von dem wir huld erlangen,

Den dich, Herre, al ayne?

der du umb unser missetat

rechtlichen zurnen tuest.

Heyliger herre got,

heyliger astarcker got,

heyliger parmhercziger hailer, ewiger got,

lass uns nit gewalden des pittern todes not.


The powerful refrain “Holy and righteous God!” is based on the Trisagion of the Greek liturgy, c. 450.

Martin Luther took this stanza and, after altering it, added two stanzas. This hymn first appeared in the Erfurt Enchiridion, 1524. It has long been one of the foremost German hymns for the dying.

The composite translation was especially prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

Media vita in morte sumus Quem quaerimus adiutorem Nisi te, domine? Qui pro peccatis nostris luste irasceris. Sancte deus, sancte fortis, Sancte et misericors salvator: Amarae morti ne tradas nos. (Ps. 42:3; Is. 6:3.)

IN a Paris breviary this hymn is listed as an antiphon to the “Nunc dimittis” for fifteen days during the middle of Lent. The Episcopal Church of England has incorporated it into their burial ritual, to be said or sung at the grave, with the first line as follows: “In the midst of life we are in death.” According to tradition this antiphon was composed by Notker the Elder (also called Balbulus, the stammerer; d. 912), a Benedictine monk, while he was watching a crew of men engaged in erecting a bridge over a deep chasm at Martinstobel, near St. Gall. This legend, however, has been traced back only to the year 1613. The hymnologist Wackernagel is of the opinion that Notker is the author. But in an extended list of the “sequences” of Notker, there is no mention of “Media vita,” which is more famous than any of the others. This is not a sequence. It is found in several manuscripts of St. Gall from the fourteenth, fifteenth, and the beginning of the sixteenth century, but in none of these is Notker mentioned as the author.

The last three lines of the stanza were known early in the oldest litanies (in the service of the ancient Greek Church), and were taken from the above mentioned passages (Ps. 42:3 and Is. 6:3). Concerning this prayer there is told the following story: “During a terrible earthquake in Constantinople, 446, a youth was taken up to heaven and there he heard the angels praising God with these words, ‘Holy Lord! Holy, Mighty Lord! Holy, Immortal Lord, Have mercy upon us.’ When Bishop Proclus heard this, he had the congregation sing the words, and Emperor Theodosius later issued an order that they should be sung throughout all Christendom.” During the Middle Ages this antiphon was used as a cry of distress and prayer on all occasions of sorrow. It was regularly sung at nine o’clock, the hour of prayer, on Saturday night before the Fourth Sunday in Lent. It was sung by the ministers who accompanied the armies, both before and during the battles. Before the battle of Sempach, 1386, the Swiss army, kneeling and with hands lifted up towards heaven, sang this hymn. “Behold,” said one of the Austrians, “they are begging us for mercy.” “Yes,” answered another, “they are begging for mercy, not from us, however, but from the Lord.” It may be added that the Swiss army was victorious. On account of the magic power popularly ascribed to this antiphon, the Synod of Cologne, 1316 (or 1310), passed a resolution forbidding the singing of the same except upon permission from the bishop. “Media vita” was translated into German in the fifteenth century with the first line varied as follows: “En mitten in des lebens Zeyt,” “In mittel unsers lebens Zeyt,” and “Mitten wir im leben sind.” The version last mentioned was adopted by Luther, who added two stanzas and published all three stanzas under the title: Die Antiphona: Media vita in morte sumus, verdeutscht. This was published in Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein, Erfurt, 1524. Later it was included in the collection of funeral hymns which Luther published in 1542. It has been called An elegy against death, hell, and sin, and a hymn concerning Him in whom we shall and true comfort. The oldest Danish translation dates from 1514. Luther’s German version was translated into Danish in 1528 for Claus Mortensen’s Hymnal. An eleventh century manuscript containing the “Media vita” is kept in the British Museum (said to have been written in Schwaben). Of Luther’s rendering there are twelve English translations. The oldest is that made by Bishop Coverdale, 1539, “In the myddest of our lyvynge.” The version used in The Lutheran Hymnary is by R. Massie as found in his Luther’s Spiritual Songs, 1854. The melody in The Lutheran Hymnary has been associated with this hymn since the earliest German version. *** [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In Thee alone, O Christ, my Lord*  415

(See: I trust, O Christ, in You alone)


In Thee is gladness  149

Str.1 In dir ist Freude in allem Leide, o du süßer Jesu Christ! Durch dich wir haben himmlische Gaben, du der wahre Heiland bist; hilfest von Schanden, rettest von Banden. Wer dir vertrauet, hat wohl gebauet, wird ewig bleiben. Halleluja. Zu deiner Güte steht unser G'müte, an dir wir kleben im Tod und Leben; nichts kann uns scheiden. Halleluja.

Str.2 Wenn wir dich haben, kann uns nicht schaden Teufel, Welt, Sünd oder Tod; du hast's in Händen, kannst alles wenden, wie nur heißen mag die Not. Drum wir dich ehren, dein Lob vermehren mit hellem Schalle, freuen uns alle zu dieser Stunde. Halleluja. Wir jubilieren und triumphieren, lieben und loben dein Macht dort droben mit Herz und Munde. Halleluja.


In Thee, Lord, have I put my trust  524

In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr,

Hilf, dass ich nicht zuschanden werd’

Noch ewiglich zu Spotte!

Das bitt’ ich dich, erhalte mich

In deiner Treu’, mein Gotte!


Dein gnädig Ohr neig her zu mir,

Erhör mein’ Bitt’, tu dich herfür,

Eil bald, mich zu erretten!

In Angst und Weh ich lieg’ und steh’,

Hilf’ mir in meinen Nöten!


Mein Gott und Schirmer, steh mir bei,

Sei mir ein’ Burg, darin ich frei

Und ritterlich mög’ streiten

Wider mein’ Feind’, der gar viel seind

An mich auf beiden Seiten.


Du blat mein’ Stärk’, mein Fels, mein Hort

Mein Schild, mein’ Kraft (sagt mir dein Wort),

Mein’ Hilf’, mein Heil, mein Leben,

Mein starker Gott in aller Not;

Wer mag mir widerstreben?


Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht’t

Mit Lügen und mit falschem G’dicht

Viel’ Netz’ und heimlich’ Stricke;

Herr, nimm mein wahr in dieser G’fahr,

B’hüt’ mich vor falscher Tücke!


Herr, meinen Geist befehl’ ich dir;

Mein Gott, mein Gott, weich nicht von mir,

Nimm mich in deine Hände!

O wahrer Gott, aus aller Not

Hilf mir am letzten Ende!


Glori, Lob, Ehr’ und Herrlichkeit

Sei Gott Vater und Sohn bereit,

Dem Heil’gen Geist mit Namen.

Die göttlich’ Kraft mach’ uns sieghaft

Durch Jesum Christum! Amen.


This hymn by Adam Reusner (Reissner) was first published in the Form und Ordnung Gegstlicher Gesang und Psalmen, Augsburg, 1533. It is based on Ps.31: 1-5, with a doxology added. It is considered one of the best psalm versions of the Reformation period.

Our translation is a stightly altered form of Catherine Winkworth’s in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]


In this our happy Christmastide  150

I denne søde juletid

tør man sig ret fornøje

og bruge al sin kunst og flid,

Guds nåde at ophøje;

ved den, som er i krybben lagt,

vi vil af ganske sjælemagt

i ånden os forlyste;

din lov skal høres, frelsermand,

så vidt og bredt i verdens land',

at jorden den skal ryste.


En liden søn af Davids rod,

som er og Gud tillige,

for verdens synders skyld forlod

sit søde himmerige,

det var ham svart at tænke på,

at verden skulle undergå,

det skar ham i hans hjerte;

i sådan hjertens kærlighed

han kom til os på jorden ned

at lindre vores smerte.


Vor tak vi vil frembære da,

endskønt den er kun ringe,

hosianna og halleluja

skal alle vegne klinge;

Guds ark er kommen i vor lejr!

thi sjunge vi om fryd og sejr,

mens hjertet sig kan røre,

vi sjunge om den søde fred,

at helvede skal skælve ved

vor julesang at høre.


Gud er nu ikke længer vred,

det kan vi deraf vide,

at han har sendt sin søn herned,

for verdens synd at lide.

Det vorde vidt og bredt bekendt,

at Gud sin søn for os har sendt

til jammer, ve og våde,

hvo ville da ej være fro,

og lade al sin sorg bero

på Jesu søde nåde?


Som natten aldrig er så sort,

den jo for solen svinder,

så farer al min kummer bort,

når jeg mig ret besinder:

at Gud så hjertens inderlig

af evighed har elsket mig

og er min broder vorden,

jeg aldrig glemmer disse ord,

som klingede i engle-kor:

Nu er der fred på jorden!


Og blandes end min frydesang

med gråd og dybe sukke,

så skal dog korsets hårde tvang

mig aldrig munden lukke;

når hjertet sidder mest beklemt,

da bliver frydens harpe stemt,

at den kan bedre klinge,

og knuste hjerter føle bedst,

hvad denne store frydefest

for glæde har at bringe.


Halleluja, vor strid er endt,

hvo ville mere klage ?

Hvo ville mere gå bespændt

i disse fryde-dage?

Syng højt i sky, Guds kirkeflok:

Halleluja, nu har jeg nok,

den fryd har ingen lige,

halleluja, halleluja,

Guds søn er min, jeg vil herfra

med ham til himmerige.


GLORY to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). Under the following title the hymn appeared in 1732, as the last of A Few Christmas Hymns, etc. The seventh stanza was added in the edition of Troens rare Klenodie, 1739. The hymn was included in the hymnal of Pontoppidan, but not in the Evangelisk kristelige Psalmebog. Concerning this hymn Skaar says: “It may be regarded as the best of all hymns of Brorson. In times of great trial, when the songs of joy were blended with weeping and sighing, this hymn has given expression to the innermost feelings of the heart and it has likewise been sung as the hymn of triumph upon the deathbed.

A pious woman found in this hymn great comfort in the hour of death and passed through her last struggle with these words upon her lips: ‘Now Christ is mine, I can depart to be with Him for ever’” (seventh stanza). In his estimate of Brorson’s Christmas hymns, L. Maltesen says: “No one has before or since sung in such a manner concerning Christmas;” and the Swedish hymnologist Söderberg refers to it as follows: “Brorson excels especially as the Christmas psalmist, and some of his hymns to the nativity of Christ have virtually become folksongs.” Rudelbach expresses it in this manner: “Brorson’s Christmas hymns sound like heavenly music.” They are permeated with deep sincerity and holy zeal. (Notes on Brorson may be found under No. 179.) Our English translation is by Rev. Carl Døving, 1908. [Dahle, Library of Christians Hymns]


In vain would boasting reason find  254


Isaiah, mighty seer in days of old  40

Jesaia, dem Propheten, das geschah,

Dass er im Geist den Herren sitzen sah

Auf einem hohen Thron in hellem Glanz,

Seines Kleides Saum den Chor füllet’ ganz.

Es stunden zween Seraph bei ihm daran,

Sechs Flügel seh er einen Jeden han:

Mit zween verbargen sie ihr Antlitz klar,

Mit zween bedeckten sie die Füsse gar,

Und mit den andern zween sie flogen frei.

Genander riefen sie mit grossem G’schrei:

Heilig ist Gott, der Herre Zebaoth!

Heilig ist Gott, der Herre Zebaoth!

Heilig ist Gott, der Herre Zebaoth!

Sein’ Ehr’ die ganze Welt erfüllet hat.

Von dem G’schrei zittert, Schwell’ und Balken gar,

Das Haus auch ganz voll Rauchs und Nebels war.


(For the second stanza, see: Now let us to the Lord lift up our hearts))

This is Luther’s famous German Sanctus, based on Is. 6:1-4. It was first published in his Deutsche Messe, etc., 1526, together with its traditional melody.

According to the rubrics of Luther’s order of service for Holy Communion the bread was first consecrated and distributed, and then was sung either this Sanctus or Luther’s “Gott sei gelobet” or John Hus’ “Iesus Christus, nostra salus.” The wine was then consecrated and received.

The translation, a composite, was prepared for The Lutheran Hymnal. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]



Bethany Lutheran College, located in Mankato, Minnesota, provides Christian higher education in a challenging academic environment where personal mentoring guides students to pursue knowledge, truth, and discernment for productive and fulfilling lives.