Scripture Verse

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5


Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676)

Words: Paul Ger­hardt, in Prax­is Pi­eta­tis Me­li­ca, by Jo­hann Crü­ger, 1647 (O Welt, sieh hier dein Le­ben). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­the­rine Wink­worth, Ly­ra Ger­ma­ni­ca (Lon­don & New York: George Newnes & Charles Scrib­ner’s Sons, 1855), pag­es 222–25.

Music: Ei­sen­ach Jo­hann H. Schein, 1628. Har­mo­ny by Jo­hann S. Bach (1685–1750) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Johann S. Bach (1685–1750)


O world! be­hold up­on the tree
Thy Life is hang­ing now for thee,
Thy Sav­ior yields His dy­ing breath;
The migh­ty Prince of glo­ry now
For thee doth un­re­sist­ing bow
To cru­el stripes, to scorn and death.

Draw near, O world, and mark Him well;
Behold the drops of blood that tell
How sore His con­flict with the foe:
And hark! how from that no­ble heart,
Sigh af­ter sigh doth slow­ly start
From depths of yet un­fa­thomed woe.

Alas! my Sav­ior, who could dare
Bid Thee such bit­ter an­guish bear,
What ev­il heart en­treat Thee thus?
For Thou art good, hast wrong­èd none,
As we and ours too oft have done,
Thou hast not sinned, dear Lord, like us.

I and my sins, that num­ber more
Than yon­der sands up­on the shore,
Have brought to pass this ago­ny;
’Tis I have caused the floods of woe
That now Thy dy­ing soul o’er­flow,
And those sad hearts that watch by Thee.

’Tis I to whom these pains be­long,
’Tis I should suf­fer for my wrong,
Bound hand and foot in hea­vy chains;
Thy scourge, Thy fet­ters, what­so­e’er
Thou bear­est, ’tis my soul should bear,
For she hath well de­served such pains.

Yet Thou dost ev­en for my sake
On Thee in love the bur­dens take
That weighed my spir­it to the ground
Yes, Thou art made a curse for me,
That I might yet be blest through Thee;
My heal­ing in Thy wounds is found.

To save me from the mon­ster’s pow­er,
The Death that all things would de­vour,
Thyself in­to his jaws dost leap;
My death Thou tak­est thus away,
And bu­ri­est in Thy grave for aye,
O love most strange­ly true and deep!

From hence­forth there is naught of mine
But I would seek to make it Thine,
Since all my­self to Thee I owe.
Whate’er my ut­most powers can do,
To Thee to ren­der ser­vice true,
Here at Thy feet I lay it low.

Ah! lit­tle have I, Lord, to give,
So poor, so base the life I live,
But yet, till soul and bo­dy part,
This one thing I will do for Thee—
The woe, the death en­dured for me,
I’ll cher­ish in my in­most heart.

Thy cross shall be be­fore my sight,
My hope, my joy, by day and night,
Whate’er I do, where’er I rove;
And, gaz­ing, I will ga­ther thence
The form of spot­less in­no­cence,
The seal of fault­less truth and love.

And from Thy sor­rows will I learn
How fierce­ly doth God’s an­ger burn,
How ter­ri­bly His thun­ders roll,
How sore­ly this our lov­ing God
Can smite with His aveng­ing rod,
How deep His floods o’er­whelm the soul.

And I will stu­dy to adorn
My heart with mee­kness un­der scorn,
With gen­tle pa­tience in dis­tress,
With faith­ful love, that yearn­ing cleaves
To those o’er whom to death it grieves,
Whose sins its ve­ry soul op­press.

When ev­il ton­gues with sting­ing blame
Would cast dis­hon­or on my name,
I’ll curb the pass­ions that up­start;
And take in­jus­tice pa­tient­ly,
And pardon, as Thou par­don’st me,
With an un­grudg­ing ge­ner­ous heart.

And I will nail me to Thy cross,
And learn to count all things but dross
Wherein the flesh doth plea­sure take;
Whate’er is hate­ful in Thine eyes,
With all the strength that in me lies,
Will I cast from me and for­sake.

Thy hea­vy groans, Thy bit­ter sighs,
The tears that from Thy dy­ing eyes
Were shed when Thou wast sore op­pressed,
Shall be with me, when at the last
Myself on Thee I whol­ly cast,
And ent­er with Thee in­to rest.