Scripture Verse

He was despised and rejected by men. Isaiah 53:3


Antony van Dyck

Words: Jo­hann Heer­mann, De­vo­ti Mu­si­ca Cor­dis 1630 (Herz­lieb­ster Je­su). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­the­rine Wink­worth, 1863, alt.

Music: Herz­lieb­ster Je­su Jo­hann Crü­ger, New­es voll­köm­lich­es Ge­sang­buch Augs­burg­isch­er Con­fes­sion (Ber­lin: 1640) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Johann Heermann


O dearest Jesus,
What law hast Thou broken
That such sharp sentence
Should on Thee be spoken?
Of what great crime hast
Thou to make confession—
What dark transgression?

They crown Thy head with
Thorns, they smite, they scourge Thee;
With cruel mockings
To the cross they urge Thee;
They give Thee gall to drink,
They still decry Thee;
They crucify Thee.

Whence come these sorrows,
Whence this mortal anguish?
It is my sins for
Which Thou, Lord, must languish;
Yea, all the wrath, the woe,
Thou dost inherit,
This I do merit.

What punishment so strange
Is suffered yonder!
The Shepherd dies for sheep
That loved to wander;
The Master pays the debt
His servants owe Him,
Who would not know Him.

The sinless Son of God
Must die in sadness;
The sinful child of man
May live in gladness;
Man forfeited his life
And is acquitted—
God is committed.

There was no spot in me
By sin untainted;
Sick with sin’s poison,
All my heart had fainted;
My heavy guilt to hell
Had well-nigh brought me,
Such woe it wrought me.

O wondrous love, whose
Depth no heart hath sounded,
That brought Thee here, by
Foes and thieves surrounded!
All worldly pleasures,
Heedless, I was trying
While Thou wert dying.

O mighty King, no time
Can dim Thy glory!
How shall I spread abroad
Thy wondrous story?
How shall I find some
Worthy gifts to proffer?
What dare I offer?

For vainly doth our human
Wisdom ponder—
Thy woes, Thy mercy, still
Transcend our wonder.
Oh, how should I do aught
That could delight Thee!
Can I requite Thee?

Yet unrequited, Lord,
I would not leave Thee;
I will renounce whate’er
Doth vex or grieve Thee
And quench with thoughts of Thee
And prayers most lowly
All fires unholy.

But since my strength will
Nevermore suffice me
To crucify desires
That still entice me,
To all good deeds, oh, let
Thy Spirit win me
And reign within me!

I’ll think upon Thy mercy
Without ceasing,
That earth’s vain joys to me
No more be pleasing;
To do Thy will shall be
My sole endeavor
Henceforth forever.

Whate’er of earthly good
This life may grant me,
I’ll risk for Thee; no shame,
No cross, shall daunt me;
I shall not fear what man
Can do to harm me
Nor death alarm me.

But worthless is my sacrifice,
II own it;
Yet, Lord, for love’s sake Thou
Wilt not disown it;
Thou wilt accept my gift
In Thy great meekness
Nor shame my weakness.

And when, dear Lord, before
Thy throne in Heaven
To me the crown of joy
At last is given,
Where sweetest hymns Thy saints
Forever raise Thee,
I, too, shall praise Thee.