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Weg mein Herz mit dem Gedanken

Paul Gerhardt

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1869

Hence, my heart, with such a thought

As that thou art cast away!

Is not God's Word promise-fraught?

Heed not then what others say.

Art thou evil and unjust?

God is good, be He Thy trust.

Art thou death-struck, sin-defiled?

Faint not, God is reconciled.


Thou art sick, like other men,

Of that sore disease within,

That began with Adam, when

First he learned to yield to sin.

But despair not, God can cure,

Only make repentance sure;

Fear not that thy prayers and cries,

Even thine, He will despise.

His no bear's or lion's heart,

Only thirsting after blood;

His compassions swiftly start,

He but seeks thy highest good.

In thy Father's heart believe;

O'er our griefs He too doth grieve,

Is afflicted in our woe,

Sorrow for our death doth know.

"As I live," He surely saith,

"I would have the sinner turn,

Never do I will his death,

But that he should yield, and learn

'Tis my joy whene'er a child

Back is won from wanderings wild,

Of My flock I would not spare

E'en the least and lowest there."

Ah! no shepherd e'er, as He,

Watched for every sheep that errs!

If His heart thou couldst but see,

How with sorrowing love it stirs,

How it thirsts and aches and yearns

Over one who heedless turns,

And from God and good doth rove,--

Thou must weep for very love.


For God loves not only those

Who are safe within His fold;

Nay, He loves His very foes,

Whom that Enemy of old

Hath seduced with lies too well,

Till weak man hath dared rebel

Against Him, whose lightest word

Through the universe is heard.

Yet God seeks them by His care,

And through all the hosts of heaven

Joy grows brighter even there,

When the bonds of sin are riven;

Then God's pardon covers o'er

All the evil done before,

Every dark and sinful spot,

All is buried and forgot.

For no ocean's mighty force,

And no fathomless abyss,

And no stream's resistless course,

Match a love so vast as His;

Nought are they to what He pours

Daily through this life of ours,

That with sin we daily fill

Striving with His perfect will.

Rest, O heart, then, be content!

Why shouldst thou go mourning on?

Why thy strength in toil be spent?

More than thou canst need is won.

Though thy guilt may seem to thee

Deep and mighty as the sea,

'Tis to God and to His love

What a finger's strength might move.


Open, O my God, the gates

Whence such tender mercies flow;

Here my heart with longing waits,

Let me all Thy sweetness know,

Everywhere and every hour

Own Thy love's constraining power;

And this one thing I implore,

Never let me grieve Thee more!

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