Scripture Verse

The days of our years are threescore…and ten. Psalm 90:10

Introduction

Words: Jo­hann G. Al­bi­nus, 1652 (Alle Mensch­en müss­en sterb­en). Stan­zas 1–4, 6 & 7 trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­the­rine Wink­worth, 1863, alt. Trans­la­tor of stan­za 6 is un­known. Al­bi­nus wrote this hymn for the fu­ne­ral of Paul von Henss­berg, a Leip­zig mer­chant, and it was sung from broad­sheets, June 1, 1652.

Music: Al­le Mensch­en müss­en sterb­en from Prax­is Pi­eta­tis Me­li­ca, by Jo­hann Crü­ger (Ber­lin: 1678). At­trib­ut­ed to Jo­hann Ro­sen­mül­ler (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Catherine Winkworth (1827–1878)

Lyrics

illustration
Destiny
Jacek Malczewski (1854–1929)

All men liv­ing are but mor­tal,
Yea, all flesh must fade as grass;
Only through death’s gloomy por­tal
To eter­nal life we pass.
This frail bo­dy here must per­ish
Ere the heav’n­ly love joys it cher­ish,
Ere it gain the free re­ward
For the ran­somed of the Lord.

Therefore, when my God doth choose it,
Willingly I’ll yield my life
Nor will grieve that I should lose it,
For with sor­rows it was rife.
In my dear Re­deem­er’s mer­it
Peace hath found my trou­bled spir­it,
And in death my com­fort this:
Jesus’ death my source of bliss.

Jesus for my sake des­cend­ed
My sal­va­tion to ob­tain;
Death and hell for me are end­ed,
Peace and hope are now my gain;
Yea, with joy I leave earth’s sad­ness
For the home of heav’n­ly glad­ness,
Where I shall for­ev­er see
God, the Ho­ly Tri­ni­ty.

There is joy be­yond our tell­ing,
Where so ma­ny saints have gone;
Thousands, thou­sands, there are dwell­ing,
Worshiping be­fore the throne,
There the se­ra­phim are shin­ing,
Evermore in cho­rus join­ing:
Holy, ho­ly, ho­ly Lord!
Triune God, for aye adored!

Patriarchs of sac­red sto­ry
And the pro­phets there are found;
The apos­tles, too, in glo­ry
On twelve seats are there en­throned,
All the saints that have as­cend­ed
Age on age, through time ex­tend­ed,
There in bliss­ful con­cert sing
Hallelujahs to their king.

O Je­ru­sa­lem, how glo­ri­ous
Dost thou shine, thou ci­ty fair!
Lo, I hear the tone vic­to­ri­ous
Ever sweet­ly sound­ing there.
Oh, the bliss that there sur­pris­es!
Lo, the sun of morn now ris­es,
And the break­ing day I see
That shall ne­ver end for me.

Yea, I see what here was told me,
See that won­drous glo­ry shine,
Feel the spot­less robes en­fold me,
Know a gold­en crown is mine,
Thus be­fore the throne so glo­ri­ous
Now I stand a soul vic­to­ri­ous,
Gazing on that joy for aye
That shall ne­ver pass away.