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173
The Life of Faith

X.
Song of the Christian Pilgrim.

7,6,7,6,8,6,8,6

Ich bin ein Gast auf Erden

Paul Gerhardt. 1606-1676.

A pilgrim here I wander,

On earth have no abode,

My fatherland is yonder,

My home is with my God.

For here I journey to and fro,

There in eternal rest

Will God His gracious gift bestow

On all the toil-oppress'd.

For what hath life been giving,

From youth up till this day,

But constant toil and striving?

Far back as thought can stray,

How many a day of toil and care,

How many a night of tears,

Hath pass'd in grief that none could share,

In lonely anxious fears!

How many a storm hath lighten'd

And thunder'd round my path!

And winds and rains have frighten'd

My heart with fiercest wrath:

And cruel envy, hatred, scorn,

Have darken'd oft my lot,

And patiently reproach I've borne,

Though I deserved it not.

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Then through this life of dangers

I onward take my way;

But in this land of strangers

I do not think to stay,

Still forward on the road I fare

That leads me to my home,

My Father's comfort waits me there,

When I have overcome.

Ah yes, my home is yonder,

Where all the angelic bands

Praise Him with awe and wonder,

In whose Almighty hands

All things that are and shall be, lie,

By Him upholden still,

Who casteth down and lifts on high

At His most holy will.

That home have I desired,

'Tis there I would be gone

Till I am well-nigh tired,

O'er earth I've journey'd on;

The longer here I roam, I find

The less of real joy

That e'er could please or fill my mind,

For all hath some alloy.

The lodging is too cheerless,

The sorrow is too much;

Ah come, my heart is fearless,

Release it with Thy touch,

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When Thy heart wills, and make an end

Of all this pilgrimage,

And with Thine arm and strength defend,

When foes against me rage.

Where now my spirit stayeth

Is not her true abode,

This earthly house decayeth,

And she will drop its load,

When comes the hour to leave beneath

What now I use and have;

And when I've yielded up my breath

Earth gives me but a grave.

But Thou, my joy and gladness,

O Thou, my Life and Light,

Wilt raise me from this sadness,

This long tempestuous night,

Into the perfect gladsome day,

Where bathed in joy divine,

Among Thy saints, and bright as they,

I too shall ever shine.

There shall I dwell for ever,

Not as a guest alone,

With those who cease there never

To worship at Thy throne;

There in my heritage I rest,

From baser things set free,

And join the chorus of the blest

For ever, Lord, to Thee!

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