Words: Katharina A. von Schlegel, in Neue Sammlung Geistlicher Lieder, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Jesus hilft sieen). Translated from German to English by Jane L. Borthwick in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1855.
If you have access to a good picture of von Schlegel or Borthwick (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you send us an e-mail?
This hymn was a favorite of Eric Liddell, the athlete who became famous in the 1924 Olympics for refusing to run on the Sabbath (see the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire).
Liddell later became a missionary in China, and was imprisoned during World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to others in the prison camp (where he eventually died of a brain tumor).
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the sun of life divine
Through passing clouds
Shall but more brightly shine.