Scripture Verse

He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you. Acts 3:20


Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676)

Words: Paul Ger­hardt, in D. M. Lu­ther’s und an­der­er vor­neh­men geist­reich­en und ge­lehr­ten Män­ner Geist­liche Lied­er und Psal­men, ed­it­ed by Chris­to­pher Runge (Ber­lin, 1653), num­ber 367 (Die Zeit ist nun­mehr nah). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by John Kel­ly, Paul Ger­hardt’s Spi­ri­tu­al Songs (Lon­don: Al­ex­an­der Stra­han, 1867), page 341.

Music: Auf mein­en lieb­en Gott Ge­rman tune. Ap­peared in Schöne Kurz­weil­ige Teutsche Lied­er, by Ja­cob Reg­nart, 1574 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


The time is ve­ry near
When, Lord, Thou wilt be here;
The signs where­of Thou’st spok­en
Thine ad­vent should be­tok­en,
We’ve seen them oft ful­fill­ing
In num­ber be­yond tell­ing.

What shall I do then, Lord?
But rest up­on Thy word,
The pro­mise Thou hast giv­en
That Thou wilt come from Hea­ven,
Me from the grave de­liv­er
And from all woe for ev­er.

Ah! Je­sus Christ, how fair
Wilt be my por­tion there!
The wel­come Thou’lt ad­dress me,
Thy glances, how they’ll bless me,
When I the earth for­sak­ing,
My flight to Thee am tak­ing.

Ah! what will be the word
Thou’lt speak, my Shep­herd Lord!
What will be then Thy greet­ing,
Me and my breth­ren meet­ing?
Thy mem­bers Thou wilt own us,
And near Thy­self en­throne us.

And in that bless­èd hour,
How shall I have the pow’r
Mine eye­lids dry of keep­ing,
How tears of joy from weep­ing
Refrain, that flow­ing ov­er
My cheeks, like floods would co­ver?

And what a beau­teous light
Will from Thy face so bright
Beam on me, then in Hea­ven,
When sight of Thee is giv­en,
Thy good­ness then me fill­ing,
Joy will my breast be swell­ing.

I’ll see then and adore
Thy body bruis­èd sore,
Whereon our faith is found­ed,
The prints of nails that wound­ed
Thy hands and feet be greet­ing,
Thy gaze with rap­ture meet­ing.

Thou, Lord, alone dost know
The joys so pure that flow
In life’s un­fail­ing ri­ver
In pa­ra­dise for ev­er,
Thou can’st por­tray, and show them:
By faith alone I know them.

What I’ve be­lieved stands sure,
Remaineth aye se­cure;
My part the wealth sur­pass­eth,
The rich­est here am­ass­eth;
All oth­er wealth de­cay­eth,
My por­tion ever stay­eth.

My God, my fair­est part!
How will my bound­ing heart
With joy be ov­er­flow­ing,
Praise ev­er­more re­new­ing,
When through the door of Hea­ven
By Thee is en­trance given?

Thou’lt say, Come, taste and see,
Oh! child, be­loved by Me;
Come, taste the gifts so pre­cious
I and my Fa­ther gracious
Have to be­stow—come hi­ther,
In plea­sure bask for ev­er.

Alas! thou world so poor!
Of wealth, what is thy store?
Mean is it to be hold­en,
Compared with all the gold­en
Crowns and thrones Je­sus plac­eth
For whom He loves and grac­eth.

Here is the an­gels’ home,
Blest spir­its hi­ther come;
Here naught is heard but sing­ing,
Naught seen but joy up-spring­ing,
No cross, no death, no sor­row,
No part­ing on the mor­row.

Hold! hold! my sense so weak!
What dost thou think and speak,
What’s fa­thom­less, art sound­ing?
What’s mea­sure­less, art bound­ing?
Here must man’s wit be bend­ing
The elo­quent be end­ing.

Lord! I de­light in Thee,
Thou ne’er shalt go from me,
Thy hand in boun­ty giv­eth
More than my heart con­ceiv­eth,
Or I can e’er be count­ing,
So high Thy mer­cy’s mount­ing.

How sad, O Lord, am I,
Until I from on high
See Thee in glo­ry hi­ther—
Come, Thine own to de­liv­er;
Wert Thou but now re­veal­ing
Thyself! my wish ful­fill­ing!

The time is known to Thee;
It best be­com­eth me
To be pre­pared for go­ing,
And all things so be do­ing,
That ev­ery moment ev­en
My heart may be in Hea­ven.

This grant, Lord, and me bless.
That so Thy truth and grace
May keep me ev­er wak­ing,
That Thy day not o’er­tak­ing
Me una­wares, af­fright me,
But may, O Lord! de­light me.