[The hymn] dates from the early years of her married life. In the autumn of 1649 she lost her first child, the Crown Prince Wilhelm Heinrich, at Wesel, while on her journey [to Berlin], by which death for a long time the hope of succession in the Electoral House and in the Hohenzollern family line seemed to be lost.
At Tangermünde, in the Altmark [on the Elbe River], she had to spend some quiet winter months, and here probably the princess of twenty-two years poured out heart before the Lord in this hymn.
Quoted in Julian, p. 702
Jesus Christ, my sure defense
And my Savior, ever liveth;
Knowing this, my confidence
Rests upon the hope it giveth
Though the night of death be fraught
Still with many an anxious thought.
Jesus, my Redeemer, lives;
I, too, unto life shall waken.
Endless joy my Savior gives;
Shall my courage, then, be shaken?
Shall I fear, or could the Head
Rise and leave His members dead?
Nay, too closely I am bound
Unto Him by hope forever;
Faith’s strong hand the Rock hath found,
Grasped it, and will leave it never;
Even death now cannot part
From its Lord the trusting heart.
I am flesh and must return
Unto dust, whence I am taken;
But by faith I now discern
That from death I shall awaken
With my Savior to abide
In His glory, at His side.
Glorified, I shall anew
With this flesh then be enshrouded;
In this body I shall view
God, my Lord, with eyes unclouded;
In this flesh I then shall see
Jesus Christ eternally.
Then these eyes my Lord shall know,
My Redeemer and my brother;
In His love my soul shall glow—
I myself, and not another!
Then the weakness I feel here
Shall forever disappear.
They who sorrow here and moan
There in gladness shall be reigning;
Earthly here the seed is sown,
There immortal life attaining,
Here our sinful bodies die,
Glorified to dwell on high.
Then take comfort and rejoice,
For His members Christ will cherish.
Fear not, they will hear His voice;
Dying, they shall never perish;
For the very grave is stirred
When the trumpet’s blast is heard.
Laugh to scorn the gloomy grave
And at death no longer tremble;
He, the Lord, who came to save
Will at last His own assemble.
They will go their Lord to meet,
Treading death beneath their feet.
Oh, then draw away your hearts
Now from pleasures base and hollow.
There to share what He imparts,
Here His footsteps ye must follow.
Fix your hearts beyond the skies,
Whither ye yourselves would rise.