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Wie ist so grosz und schwer die Last



How heavy is the burden made

That Thou upon our backs hast laid,

O God! the Lord of Hosts,

O God, whose anger rises high

’Gainst workers of iniquity.

The burden is the cruel tide

Of war, that earth with blood has dyed,

And fill’d with bitter tears.

It is a fire that rages high

’Neath suns of almost every sky.

The burden’s great and hard to bear,

But Thy strong arm and Father’s care

Are not to us unknown.

Thou punishest, but ’mid the woe

Thou love and friendliness dost show.

But true to Thee must we abide,

For ne’er from us dost Thou quite hide

Thy saving health and light.

How many hast Thou given o’er,

We’ve oft been shielded by Thy pow’r.

In many a sad and weary hour,

When gath’ring clouds did o’er us low’r

Above our anxious heads,

Thou still’d’st the storm, whose mighty hand

Upholdeth sky and sea and land.

How often, Lord, by day and night,

Our enemies with craft and might

Have threaten’d us, Thy flock!

But, faithful Shepherd! Thou wast near,

Repell’dst the wolf and still’dst our fear.

Our brethren are compell’d to roam,

Are driven forth from house and home,

While we, Lord, still enjoy

Each one his seat beneath the shade

By his own vine and fig-tree made.

Behold! my heart, on every hand

The towns and fields of many a land

Are doom’d to ruin sure,

The homes of men are overthrown,

The houses of our God cast down.

But rest and order still remain

With us, and we can still maintain

The worship of our God.

God’s mind from out His holy word

’Mongst us is daily taught and heard.

Whoever this doth not perceive,

But to the winds such thoughts doth give,

Who in such blessèd light

No grace, no love, no goodness find,

How dark, thrice darken’d is their mind!

O gracious God! preserve us free

For aye from such stupidity;

Lord, give us gratitude,

That songs of praise in sweetest tone

We may present before Thy throne.

To nought we’ve done, or e’er can do,

To Thee—to Thee alone is due

The praise, O fount of love!

We’ve earned destruction from Thy face,

Thou deal’st with us in love and grace.

Oh! may we meditate Thy grace,

Till heart shall burn and tongue shall praise,

And give angelic zeal,

That every throbbing pulse may be

A note of praise, O Lord! to Thee.

But let the tide of woe recede,

Restore to us our joy, we plead,

May peace to us return.

How many in this vale of tears

Have never witness’d peaceful years!

Are we unworthy? then with Thee

We plead for helpless infancy,

Who wrong have never done.

Shall cradled infants feel the stroke,

Shall they endure the heavy yoke?

Have pity, Lord! oh, tender heart!

What heavy sighs, what bitter smart,

From our sad hearts are wrung!

No stone, our Saviour God art Thou,

How canst Thou so afflict us now?

How grievous are our wounds and sore,

They stink and fester more and more,

But Thou canst heal them all.

Pour in the oil of grace, that whole

Can make the body and the soul.

This wilt Thou do, we certainly

Believe, although we nowhere see

The means in all the world.

But Thou in our extremity

Dost find Thine opportunity.

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