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Praise and Thanksgiving

IV.
The Faithfulness of God.

8,6,8,6,8,8,6

Ich der ich oft in grosser Noth

Paul Gerhardt. 1606-1676.

I who so oft in deep distress

And bitter grief must dwell,

Will now my God with gladness bless,

And all His mercies tell;

Oh hear me then, my God and King,

While of Thy Holy Name I sing,

Who doest all things well.

150

Our fathers who are now no more

Have praised Thee in their day,

They taught their children oft of yore

The wonders of Thy way;

Our children shall not rest, and still

They shall not all the measure fill,

Nor all exhaust the lay.

To Thee how many thankful songs

Have gone up ere my days,

And yet to me a part belongs

In that great hymn of praise;

I too must tell Thy wondrous might,

And praise Thy covenant just and right,

And Thine all-conquering grace.

And many a pious heart shall learn

The songs I make to Thee,

Far o'er the stars that yonder burn

Shall rise our harmony,

Thy Majesty, Thy mighty Hand

Shall be reveal'd to every land,

And all Thy goodness see!

For who is gracious, Lord, as Thou?

Who hath so much forgiven?

Who still to us would pitying bow

Who thus with grace have striven?

For lost in sins the whole world lies,

Her ceaseless crimes would scale the skies,

And cry aloud to heaven.

151

Yes, it must be a faithful heart

That thus can love us still,

Who oft reject the better part,

And thankless choose the ill;

But God can be nought else but good,

And therefore doth His mercies' flood

All things with blessing fill.

For this the works that Thou hast made

Do thank Thee and rejoice,

Thy saints shall bless Thee for Thine aid,

And make Thy ways their choice,

And tell abroad from hour to hour

Thy glorious rule, Thy kingdom's power,

With far-resounding voice.

Yes, they shall praise it, till its fame

Through all the world shall ring,

And all men learn to know Thy name

And gifts and service bring;

Eternal is Thy glorious throne,

Thy rule is like Thyself alone,

O just, Eternal King!

And yet in death or pain or loss,

The Lord is with us all,

Lightens the pressure of the cross,

Upholds us when we fall;

He stems the swelling tide of woes,

And when we sink beneath its blows

He comes, ere yet we call.

152

All eyes do wait on Thee, O Lord,

Who keepest us from dearth,

Who scatterest rich supplies abroad

For all the wants of earth;

Thou openest oft Thy bounteous hand,

And all in sea and air and land

Are fill'd with food and mirth.

Thy thoughts are good, and Thou art kind

E'en when we think it not;

How many an anxious faithless mind

Sits grieving o'er its lot,

And frets and pines by day and night,

As God had lost it out of sight,

And all its wants forgot!

Ah no! God ne'er forgets His own,

His heart is far too true,

He ever seeks their good alone,

His love is daily new;

And though thou deem that things go ill,

Yet He in all He doeth, still

Is holy, just and true.

The Lord to them is ever nigh

Who truly keep His word,

Whene'er in faith to Him they cry

Their prayer is surely heard;

He knoweth well who love Him well,

His love shall yet their clouds dispel,

And grant the hope deferr'd.

153

To those who love Him He denies

No good thing that they seek;

He sees their sorrow, counts their sighs,

And hearkens when they speak,

And surely frees them from their woes;

But those who hate them He o'erthrows,

And makes their boasting weak.

Yet this is but a little part

Of what I fain would sing;

But daily shall my voice and heart

New thanks and praises bring;

Oh help me all that live and move,

Help me to speak His faithful love,

And praise our glorious King.

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