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The New Year.

Composed on his journey to Gotha after his unjust expulsion from Erfurt; as we are told in the oration delivered at his grave, "in the full experience of the unspeakable consolations of the Holy Spirit."


Gottlob ein Schritt zur Ewigkeit

A. H. Francke. 1691

Thank God that towards eternity

Another step is won!

Oh longing turns my heart to Thee

As Time flows flowly on,

Thou Fountain whence my life is born,

Whence those rich streams of grace are drawn

That through my being run!

I count the hours, the days, the years,

That stretch in tedious line,

Until, O Life, that hour appears,

When, at Thy touch divine,

Whate'er is mortal now in me

Shall be consumed for aye in Thee,

And deathless life be mine.

So glows Thy love within this frame,

That, touch'd with keenest fire,

My whole soul kindles in the flame

Of one intense desire,

To be in Thee, and Thou in me,

And e'en while yet on earth to be

Still pressing closer, nigher!


Oh that I soon might Thee behold!

I count the moments o'er;

Ah come, ere yet my heart grows cold

And cannot call Thee more!

Come in Thy glory, for Thy Bride

Hath girt her for the holy-tide,

And waiteth at the door.

And since Thy Spirit sheds abroad

The oil of grace in me,

And Thou art inly near me, Lord,

And I am lost in Thee,

So shines in me the Living Light,

And steadfast burns my lamp and bright,

To greet Thee joyously.

Come! is the voice, then, of Thy Bride,

She loudly prays Thee come!

With faithful heart she long hath cried,

Come quickly, Jesus, come!

Come, O my Bridegroom, Lamb of God,

Thou knowest I am Thine, dear Lord;

Come down and take me home.

Yet be the hour that none can tell

Left wholly to Thy choice,

Although I know Thou lov'st it well,

That I with heart and voice

Should bid Thee come, and from this day

Care but to meet Thee on Thy way,

And at Thy sight rejoice!


I joy that from Thy love divine

No power can part me now,

That I may dare to call Thee mine,

My Friend, my Lord, avow,

That I, O Prince of Life, shall be

Made wholly one in heaven with Thee;

My portion, Lord, art Thou!

And therefore do my thanks o'erflow,

That one more year is gone,

And of this Time, so poor, so slow,

Another step is won;

And with a heart that may not wait,

Toward yonder distant golden gate

I journey gladly on.

And when the wearied hands grow weak,

And wearied knees give way,

To sinking faith, oh quickly speak,

And make Thine arm my stay;

That so my heart drink in new strength,

And I speed on, nor feel the length

Nor steepness of the way.

Then on, my soul, with fearless faith,

Let nought thy terror move;

Nor aught that earthly pleasure saith

E'er tempt thy steps to rove;

If slow thy course seem o'er the waste,

Mount upwards with the eagles' haste,

On wings of tireless love.


O Jesus, all my soul hath flown

Already up to Thee,

For Thou, in whom is love alone,

Hast wholly conquer'd me.

Farewell, ye phantoms, day and year,

Eternity is round me here,

Since, Lord, I live in Thee.

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