Christ My Song - 133
O Lord, what sorrows past expression - The patience of the Lord
(Carl Johann Philipp Spitta/Richard Massie/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
The patience of the Lord.
1. O Lord, what sorrows past expression
thou hast for us already borne!
And still because of our transgression
how often hast thou cause to mourn!
What patience and what loving-kindness
dost thou to us poor sinners show,
who by our sins, neglect, and blindness,
continue still to try thee so!
2. O that we better could repay thee
the debt of gratitude we owe;
more truly love thee and obey thee,
the cross more gladly undergo!
O that our hearts were more decided
in choosing good and shunning ill,
our words and ways more strictly guided
by thine all-wise and holy will!
3. Lord, were thy faithfulness not surer
than ours, alas! hath been to thee,
thy love more true, more strong, and purer,
than ours was ever wont to be;
if thou hadst ill with ill requited,
had mercy not oft stayed the blow,
ere on our guilty heads it lighted,
we must have perished long ago.
4. But thou art gracious and forgiving,
though guilty and ungrateful we,
who have so long a time been living
in sloth and inactivity.
O wake us from our careless slumber
to active faith and lively zeal;
and let thy mercies without number
prompt us to act as well as feel.
5. O let our will to thine be moulded,
our hearts drawn up from earth to thee;
raise up the hands which now are folded,
and nerve with strength the feeble knee.
Let us, like eagles upward soaring,
our courage and our strength renew;
that all the world may see adoring
what thy strength can in weakness do.
6. Give ear, O Lord, to our petition,
both for thy truth and mercy's sake,
thy Father's Name, through our condition,
and thine own glory are at stake.
So shalt thou silence the blasphemer,
who speaks against thy holy Name;
and show that thou, our great Redeemer,
art now and evermore the same.
Richard Massie, Lyra Domestica II, 1864, 21-22.
Translated from the German Ach, welche Marter, welche Plagen - Die Geduld des Herrn
of Carl Johann Philipp Spitta.