As I live, saith the Lord God,
I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.
Yea, as I live, Jehovah saith,
I would not have the sinner’s death,
But that he turn from error’s ways,
Repent, and live through endless days.
To us therefore Christ gave command:
“Go forth and preach in every land;
Bestow on all My pardoning grace
Who will repent and mend their ways.
“All those whose sins ye thus remit
I truly pardon and acquit;
And those whose sins ye do retain
Condemned and guilty shall remain.
What ye shall bind, that bound shall be;
What ye shall loose, that shall be free;
Unto My church the keys are giv’n
To ope and close the gates of Heav’n.
The words which absolution give
Are His who died that we might live;
The minister whom Christ has sent
Is but His humble instrument.
When ministers lay on their hands,
Absolved by Christ the sinner stands;
He who by grace the Word believes
The purchase of His blood receives.
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee
For absolution full and free,
In which Thou showest forth Thy grace;
From false indulgence guard our race.
Praise God the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
As ’twas, is now, and so shall be
World without end, eternity!