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Herr Jesu Christ, mein höchstes Gut


trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1869

Lord Jesu Christ, my Highest Good,

Thou Fountain of all grace,

Behold how heavy is my mood,

As I my past retrace,

How sore my conscience is beset

With keenest arrows of regret,

That never cease to pierce me.


Alas! when I remember all

The life I once held dear,

A stone upon my heart doth fall,

And I must quail for fear,

I know not where to take my flight;

Ah Lord! I must despair outright,

But for Thy word of mercy.

But when I hear it sweetly sing

Of peace for evermore,

My heart almost begins to spring,

And laughs in me once more,

To know how merciful Thou art

To all who, with a contrite heart,

Will come to Thee, O Jesus!

So I, too, dare to come to Thee,

And at Thy feet I lay

My burden, while with bended knee

And earnest heart I pray,

Forgive me, heal my conscience' strife,

For all the sins of all my life

Forgive, dear Lord, forgive me!

Yea, O my God, forgive me now

For Thy Name's blessed sake;

The heavy yoke 'neath which I bow

Do Thou in mercy break.

So shall my heart have peace at last,

And to Thy praise my years be passed

In childlike, glad obedience.


Thy joyful Spirit give me strength,

Thy wounds my healing be,

When my last hour must come at length,

Wash Thou my soul for me;

And take me when it seems Thee best,

In the true faith to heavenly rest

For ever, Lord, with Thee. Amen.

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