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As many hymns of Rist's are accessible to the English reader, we choose one that is less known, but that strongly illustrates his character.



Gott sei gelobet der allein

Johann von Rist

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1869

Now God be praised, and God alone!

The Source of joy Thou art;

Thy love no stint or bound hath known,

But loves a happy heart,

And sends full many a bright clear day

To cheer us on our mortal way,

Bids many a cloud depart.

Yea, Lord, I thank Thy gracious power

That hath bestowed on me

A mind that lives from hour to hour

From sad foreboding free;

A mouth that Thou hast made so glad,

It smiles when other lips are sad,

And fails the trembling knee.


But Thou so oft hast blessings shed,

So oft bade sorrow cease,

That I with joy can eat my bread,

And lay me down in peace;

In Thy hands only lies my health,

'Tis Thou my honour and my wealth

Canst lessen or increase.

And so with joy I drink my cup,

And all this heart of mine,

O faithful God, to Thee looks up,

And sings when Thou dost shine;

With joy its daily task doth greet,

And doth its utmost, as is meet--

But, Lord, success is Thine.

Then take not, Lord, this joy away,

But let me cleave to Thee

Let pining melancholy stay

For ever far from me,

Nor sadness make me slow to hear

When Thou, O Lord, art drawing near,

And my heart's guest wouldst be.

Thy strength and solace let me prove,

And bid my soul to know

Who loveth Thee with childlike love,

No trial, fear, or woe,

Nor Satan's self can harm, nor death;

A friend of God, a man of faith,

Can conquer every foe.


Mere earthly pleasure cannot please,

It were not to my mind

To live in proud, luxurious ease,

And leave much gold behind;

My highest aim, while here I dwell,

Is to live piously and well,

To Thy will all resigned.

And ever do I take delight,

My Maker, to behold

Thy flowery earth, Thy sun's dear light,

All things Thy hand doth mould,

All living creatures that by field,

Or flood, or air, Thy praises yield,

Who formed them from of old.

So grant me then in weal and woe

Joyful and true to be;

And when life's lamp is burning low

And death at hand I see,

Then let this joy pierce through its pain,

And turn my very death to gain

Of endless joys with Thee.

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