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185
Songs of the Cross

V.
The one True Friend.

8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8

Ach Gott wie manches Herzeleid

Conrad Hojer. 1584.

Ah God, my days are dark indeed,

How oft this aching heart must bleed,

The narrow way, how fill'd with pain

That I must pass ere heaven I gain!

How hard to teach this flesh and blood

To seek alone the Eternal Good!

Ah whither now for comfort turn?

For Thee, my Jesus, do I yearn,

In Thee have I, howe'er distrest,

Found ever counsel, aid, and rest;

I cannot all forsaken be

While still my heart can trust in Thee.

Jesus, my only God and Lord,

What sweetness in Thy name is stored!

So dark and hopeless is no grief

But Thy sweet Name can bring relief,

So keen no sorrows' rankling dart

But Thy sweet Name can heal my heart.

The world can show no truth like Thine,

And therefore will I not repine;

I know Thou wilt forsake me not,

Thy truth is fix'd, though dark my lot;

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Thou art my Shepherd, and Thy sheep

From every real harm Thou'lt keep.

Jesus, my boast, my light, my joy,

The treasure nought can e'er destroy,

No words, no song that I can frame

Speak half the sweetness of Thy name;

They only all its power shall prove

Whose hearts have learnt Thy faith and love.

How many a time I've sadly said,

Far better were it I were dead,

Far better ne'er the light to see,

If I had not this joy in Thee;

For he who hath not Thee in faith,

His very life is merely death.

Jesus, my Bridegroom, and my crown,

If Thou but smile, the world may frown,

In Thee lie depths of joy untold,

Far richer than her richest gold;

Whene'er I do but think of Thee,

Thy dews drop down and solace me;

Whene'er I hope in Thee, my Friend,

Thy comfort and Thy peace descend;

Whene'er in grief I pray and sing

I feel new courage in me spring;

Thy Spirit witnesses that this

Is foretaste of the eternal bliss.

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Then while I live this life of care

The cross for Thee I'll gladly bear;

Grant me a patient willing mood,

I know that it shall work my good;

Help me to do my talk aright,

That it may stand before Thy sight.

Let me this flesh and blood controul,

From sin and shame preserve my soul,

And keep me steadfast in the faith,

Then I am Thine in life and death;

Jesus, Consoler, bend to me,

Ah would I were e'en now with Thee!

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