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Edele Lieb, wie bist du hier so gar verborgen

Generous Love! why art thou hidden so on earth

That scarce a heart now knows the truth of thy exalted birth?

In God Himself there lies thy spring,

Whence thou in grace dost flow,

To make all creatures, everything

Work man's true good below.


Loveliest Love! why art thou now so all-concealed,

We cannot taste thy sweetness, nor see thy power revealed?

Yet thou the bitter world canst fill

With honey sweet and pure,

The sorest pain thy touch can still,

The heaviest sorrow cure.

Heart-uniting Love! why art thou shut from us so close,

We fail to find thy constancy, we cannot bless our foes?

Yet thou in one canst all men bind

Now scattered far apart,

In thee may all their solace find,

And peace and joy of heart.

Constant, true Love! why art thou lost to us, alas!

That never doth thy steadfastness before our vision pass?

Thou dost all covenants uphold,

Thy promise all may trust,

For Love can nevermore grow old,

And Truth can never rust.

Candid, bright Love! why art thou now so covered o'er with lies,

That we thy light and righteousness can neither see nor prize?

Yet thou dost teach us what is true,

And dost command the right;

In honour giving earth its due,

While heavenward guides thy light.

Humble, sweet Love! ah why so far from thee we drift,

No more we seek or value thy fair and costly gift?

To seek our neighbour's welfare most

Thou teachest, as Christ says,

Nor sufferest us of aught to boast

Since all is Jesu's grace.

Glowing, warm Love! why do we scorn thee and disown,

Till o'er the land, in field or town, thy fervour is unknown?

Thou teachest us with all our powers

To hold the Gospel fast,

That so Christ's kingdom may be ours

In spite of fiercest blast.


Comforting Love! why art thou chased away so far,

Thy courage cannot strengthen us, who dwell in strife and war?

Thou takest from the cross its weight,

And from the cup its gall,

So Christian men can face their fate,

For they are brethren all.

Holiest Love! how we forget thy very name,

So that thy heavenly nature on earth wins only blame!

While lip-religion fills the land,

Nay, worldly talk is heard

Till Christian souls in peril stand

To lose the living Word.

God-fearing Love! why do thy foes, alas! prevail?

For many boast the Christian name, yet at thy service quail.

They bear nought, shun nought, love their pelf,

Fast not and run no race,

Nor pray, nor rest, nor die to self,

Yet trust they shall find grace.

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