Scripture Verse

I came forth to meet Thee, diligently to seek Thy face. Proverbs 7:15


Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676)

Words: Paul Ger­hardt, in D. M. Lu­thers und an­der­er vor­neh­men geist­reich­en und ge­lehr­ten Män­ner geist­liche Lied­er und Psalm­en, by Chris­toph Runge (Ber­lin: 1653) (Wie soll ich dich emp­fang­en?). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by James W. Al­ex­an­der, The Break­ing Cru­ci­ble (New York: 1861), pag­es 11–14.

Music: Va­let will ich dir ge­ben Mel­chi­or Tesch­ner, 1613 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Tesch­ner (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

James W. Alexander (1804–1859)


Lord, how shall I be meet­ing
And how shall I em­brace
Thee, earth’s de­sire, when greet­ing
My soul’s adorn­ing grace?
O Je­sus, Je­sus, hold­ing
Thyself the flame in sight,
Show how, Thy beam be­hold­ing,
I may my Lord, de­light.

Fresh palms Thy Zi­on strew­eth
And branch­es ev­er green,
And psalms my voice re­new­eth,
To raise my joy se­rene.
Such bud­ding tri­bute pay­ing,
My heart shall hymn Thy praise,
Thy ho­ly name ob­ey­ing
With chief­est of my lays.

What hast Thou left un­grant­ed
To give me glad re­lief?
When soul and bo­dy pant­ed
In ut­most depth of grief,
In hour of de­gra­da­tion,
Thy peace and pi­ty smiled,
Then Thou, my soul’s sal­va­tion,
Didst hap­py make Thy child.

I lay in slav­ish mourn­ing,
Thou cam’st to set me free;
I sank in shame and scorn­ing,
Thou cam’st to com­fort me.
Thou raised’st me to glo­ry,
Bestowing high­est good,
Not frail and tran­si­to­ry,
Like wealth on earth pur­sued.

Naught, naught did send Thee speed­ing
From man­sions of the skies,
But love all love ex­cel­ling,
Love able to com­prise
A world in pangs des­pair­ing,
Weighed down with thou­sand woes
That tongue would fail de­clar­ing,
But love doth fast en­close.

Grave on your heart this writ­ing,
O band of mourn­ers poor!
With pains and sor­rows fight­ing,
That throng you more and more;
Dismiss the fear that sick­ens,
For lo! be­side you see
Him who your heart now quick­ens
And com­forts; here is He.

Why should you be de­tain­èd
In trou­ble day and night,
As though He must be gain­èd,
By arm of hu­man might?
He comes, He comes all will­ing,
All full of grace and love,
Those woes and trou­ble still­ing,
Well known to Him above.

Nor need ye trem­ble ov­er
The guilt that gives dis­tress.
No! Je­sus all will co­ver
With grace and right­eous­ness:
He comes, He comes, pro­cur­ing
The peace of sin for­giv­en,
To all God’s sons se­cur­ing
Their part and lot in Hea­ven.

Why heed ye then the cry­ing
Of craf­ty foe­men nigh?
Your Lord shall send them fly­ing
In twink­ling of an eye.
He comes, He comes, for­ev­er
A king; and earth’s fell band
Shall prove in their en­dea­vor
Too fee­ble to with­stand.

He comes to judge the na­tions,
Wroth if they wrath­ful prove,
With sweet il­lu­mi­na­tions
To those who seek and love.
Come, come, O Sun eter­nal,
And all our souls con­vey
To end­less bliss su­per­nal,
In yon­der court of day.