Monday, November 17, 2008

Gerhardt: If God Himself Be For Me




Lutheran Hymn "Ist Gott für mich, so tre­te" played in Reed Organ.
Tune: Ellacombe

Words: Paul Ger­hardt, in Prax­is Pi­e­ta­tis Mel­i­ca, by Jo­hann Crü­ger (Frank­furt, Ger­ma­ny: 1656) (Ist Gott für mich, so tre­te); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ri­chard Mas­sie in Church Psalt­er and Hymn Book (Ox­ford, Eng­land: 1856), by Wil­liam Mer­cer.

Lyrics:
If God Himself be for me, I may a host defy,
For when I pray, before me my foes confounded fly.
If Christ, the Head, befriend me, if God be my support,
The mischief they intend me shall quickly come to naught.

I build on this foundation, that Jesus and His blood
Alone are my salvation, the true eternal good;
Without Him, all that pleases is valueless on earth:
The gifts I owe to Jesus alone my love are worth.

His Holy Spirit dwelleth within my willing heart,
Tames it when it rebelleth, and soothes the keenest smart.
He crowns His work with blessing, and helpeth me to cry
"My Father!" without ceasing to Him Who reigns on high.

To mine His Spirit speaketh sweet words of soothing power,
How God to Him that seeketh for rest, hath rest in store;
How God Himself prepareth my heritage and lot,
And though my body weareth, my Heav'n shall fail me not.

---

"If God Himself Be for Me"
by Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676

1. If God Himself be for me,
I may a host defy;
For when I pray, before me
My foes, confounded, fly.
If Christ, my Head and Master,
Befriend me from above,
What foe or what disaster
Can drive me from His love?

2. This I believe, yea, rather,
Of this I make my boast,
That God is my dear Father,
The Friend who loves me most,
And that, whate'er betide me,
My Savior is at hand
Through stormy seas to guide me
And bring me safe to land.

3. I build on this foundation,
That Jesus and His blood
Alone are my salvation,
The true, eternal good.
Without Him all that pleases
Is valueless on earth;
The gifts I owe to Jesus
Alone my love are worth.

4. My Jesus is my Splendor,
My Sun, my Light, alone;
Were He not my Defender
Before God's awe-full throne,
I never should find favor
And mercy in His sight,
But be destroyed forever
As darkness by the light.

5. He canceled my offenses,
Delivered me from death;
He is the Lord who cleanses
My soul from sin through faith.
In Him I can be cheerful,
Bold, and undaunted aye;
In Him I am not fearful
Of God's great Judgment Day.

6. Naught, naught, can now condemn me
Nor set my hope aside;
Now hell no more can claim me,
Its fury I deride.
No sentence e'er reproves me,
No ill destroys my peace;
For Christ, my Savior, loves me
And shields me with His grace.

7. His Spirit in me dwelleth,
And o'er my mind He reigns.
All sorrow He dispelleth
And soothes away all pains.
He crowns His work with blessing
And helpeth me to cry,
"My Father!" without ceasing,
To Him who dwells on high.

8. And when my soul is lying
Weak, trembling, and opprest,
He pleads with groans and sighing
That cannot be exprest;
But God's quick eye discerns them,
Although they give no sound,
And into language turns them
E'en in the heart's deep ground.

9. To mine His Spirit speaketh
Sweet word of holy cheer,
How God to him that seeketh
For rest is always near
And how He hath erected
A city fair and new,
Where what our faith expected
We evermore shall view.

10. In yonder home doth flourish
My heritage, my lot;
Though here I die and perish,
My heaven shall fail me not.
Though care my life oft saddens
And causeth tears to flow,
The light of Jesus gladdens
And sweetens every woe.

11. Who clings with resolution
To Him whom Satan hates
Must look for persecution;
For him the burden waits
Of mockery, shame, and losses,
Heaped on his blameless head;
A thousand plagues and crosses
Will be his daily bread.

12. From me this is not hidden,
Yet I am not afraid;
I leave my cares, as bidden,
To whom my vows were paid.
Though life and limb it cost me
And everything I won,
Unshaken shall I trust Thee
And cleave to Thee alone.

13. Though earth be rent asunder,
Thou'rt mine eternally;
Not fire nor sword nor thunder
Shall sever me from Thee;
Not hunger, thirst, nor danger,
Not pain nor poverty
Nor mighty princes' anger
Shall ever hinder me.

14. No angel and no gladness,
No throne, no pomp, no show,
No love, no hate, no sadness,
No pain, no depth of woe,
No scheme of man's contrivance,
However small or great,
Shall draw me from Thy guidance
Nor from Thee separate.

15. My heart for joy is springing
And can no more be sad,
'Tis full of mirth and singing,
Sees naught but sunshine glad.
The Sun that cheers my spirit
Is Jesus Christ, my King;
That which I shall inherit
Makes me rejoice and sing.

Hymn #528
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Rom. 8:31-39
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translated by: based on Richard Massie, 1857
Titled: Ist Gott fuer mich, so trete
Composer: Melckior Teschner, 1613
Tune: Valet will ich dir geben

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