The virgin's Lamp.

Brenne hell du Lampe meiner Seele


trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1869

Lamp within me! brightly burn and glow,

Draw thy flame from Jesu's heart,

Whence a living fire doth ever flow,

Clearer flaming 'mid the sorest smart;

I will guard thy flame in stillness meek,

Nought so eagerly shall bid me seek

Him who can my wants supply,

As the fear thy light should die.

He will quench it not, but haste to pour

Oil from His exhaustless cruse;

Then the soul is filled with light once more

And the twilight's terrors she doth lose;

Safe she walks on her illumined way

Through the midnight, till the Voice shall say,

"Lo! the Bridegroom and the feast are near;

Virgins, haste to meet Him, He is here."

Well for those who in His strength have lived,

Pure as He is pure within;

Who with deep abhorrence aye have grieved

O'er the slightest taint of sin,

Hearts that trembled at the smallest spot,

And till cleansed and pardoned, rested not;

Theirs the light that hath no shade,

Theirs the wreath that cannot fade.

Pietism in its original shape had done its work. Its defects had become much more apparent in the second and third generation than they were at first; its tendency to fix the attention of the Christian within, on his own states of feeling and chances of salvation, produced in some cases, when Pietism had become fashionable and profitable, a hypocritical simulation of such feelings; in others a timid anxious tone of mind, inclined to morbid self-scrutiny and religious melancholy. Its discouragement of many legitimate forms of occupation as well as of recreation, which it stigmatized as worldly, incapacitated it from keeping abreast of the new tide of intellectual activity which rolled through Germany towards the end of the eighteenth century; it had no place in its scheme of life for the new learning, and art, and science. And for a time it seemed swept aside, but it had in it a germ of true and deep spiritual life, and this never died out; it was handed down through a Lavater, a [331]Claudius, a Jung Stilling, an [332]Arndt, a Falk, till in our own days it is blossoming again in vast works of Christian charity, which can spring only from a life rooted through Christ in God.

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