(1) "Yea,as I live," Jehovah saith,
"I would not have the sinner's death,
But that he turn from error's ways,
Repent, and live through endless days."
(2) To us therefore Christ gave command:
"Go forth and preach in every land;
Bestow on all My pardoning grace
Who will repent and mend their ways."
(3) "All those whose sins ye thus remit
I truly pardon and acquit,
And those whose sins ye do retain
Condemned and guilty shall remain."
(4) "What ye shall bind, that bound shall be;
What ye shall loose, that shall be free;
Unto My Church the keys are given
To ope and close the gates of heaven."
(5) The words which absolution give
Are His who died that we might live;
The minister whom Christ has sent
Is but His humble instrument.
(6) When minister lay on their hands,
Absolved by Christ the sinner stands;
He who by grace the Word believes
The purchase of His blood receives."
Nicolaus Herman, 1560, "Yea, As I Live, Jehovah Saith," The Lutheran Hymnal, Trans. Matthias Loy, 1880, alt. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, Hymn #331. Ezekiel 33:11.