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Or take the following hymn, which surely embodies a noble conception of the duty and the aspirations of a Christian sovereign, and was composed by the prince whose name it bears.1616In the original the verses form an acrostic on his name.

125

MARGRAVE GEORGE OF BRANDENBURG'S SONG.

Genad' mir Herr, Ewiger Gott

Grant me, Eternal God, such grace

That no distress

May cause me e'er to flee from Thee;

Let no false counsel me mislead,

The heavenly Bread,

My soul's true food, be ne'er withdrawn from me;

But late and early let me hear

Thy teachings clear,

From teachers taught by Thee the faith;

And yield me still up to Thy will,

Until I yield my soul to Thee in death.

Teach me to make true order, Lord,

That so Thy Word

The common man may understand;

Convert my subjects to obey

Thy gentle sway;

Increase the Christian host within my land.

But stirreth now full many a sect

That doth neglect

True Christian faith and foster strife,

Save us from such, nor let them touch

Thy Word, our guide alike in death and life.

So grant us peace in these our days,

Not strife that slays

The brother's love Thou dost commend;

Thou mak'st the welfare of my State,

Envy and hate

Keep far from me and all, till life shall end;

Grant me Thy Spirit like a lamb,

Thou know'st I am

But flesh and blood, and apt to take offence;

That mind of Thine be also mine,

For this I pray with all my diligence.

126

City and lands in every part,

With earnest heart

To Thee who gav'st them I commend;

They are a charge that I must bear

With faithful care;

Thou with good counsellors my throne befriend,

That all may see true justice done

Clear as the sun,

To rich and poor impartially;

Not fraud and might, reason and right

Rule here,--for this, for this, I cry to Thee!

And let the nobles of our land

Well understand

The faith, and find the one true Ground,

In all things earnest to fulfil

Thy holy will;

By all who seek Thee be Thou surely found;

So every class within the State,

Or small or great,

Or young or old, may praise Thy name most high,

Give honour due and try to do

What Thou wouldst have, nor ever from Thee fly.

Nor be my own needs, Lord, forgot,

Forsake me not,

But lead me ever in Thy way;

Wisdom and judgment breathe in me,

And ever be

Close at my side whate'er I do to-day;

In my affairs act Thou, nor let the foe,

Who well I know

With craft and wrath is working hour by hour,

Me e'er deceive, or e'er bereave

Of Thy dear Presence that benumbs his power.

127

For burnt not once that heart of Thine

With love divine

Thinking on all our pain and loss?

'Twas no light thing Thou didst for us,

Accepting thus

So willingly the anguish of the cross,

Bearing the woes of death and sin

For us to win

The life the Father had decreed

For sinful man, e'er time began:--

Ah! let me reap the fruit of Thy sweet deed!

Lord, I have chosen the true gate,

Narrow and strait,

And yet my footsteps often stray;

Bid me of Thy sore sorrow think,

Nor dare to shrink

Whate'er befall, but still press on Thy way.

Give me true faith to persevere

Through doubt and fear

Till soul and body part in death;

Then let the foe strike no last blow,

Grant me to yield to Thee in peace my breath.

O may a burgher's right in heaven

To us be given

Of Thy free grace, we cannot purchase it.

And listen yet to one more prayer,

Spare Thou, O spare

My brother's soul, which I to Thee commit;

Thou know'st 'tis not in man to save,

Wherefore I crave

Mercy and grace for all my brother men;

Thou, if Thou wilt, canst pardon guilt;

Pardon and peace grant Thou, dear Lord. Amen.


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