Songs of the Cross under a Heavy Private Cross or Bereavement.
Under a Heavy Private Cross or Bereavement.


Ach treuer Gott, barmherzigs Herz

[354]Paul Gerhardt.1606-1676.

O Faithful God! O, pitying Heart,

Whose goodness hath no end;

I know this cross with all its smart

Thy hand alone doth send!

Yes, Lord, I know it is Thy love,

Not wrath or hatred bids me prove

The load 'neath which I bend.

'Twas ever wont with Thee, my God,

To chasten oft a son;

He whom Thou lovest feels Thy rod,

Tears flow ere joy is won;

Thou leadest us through darkest pain

Back to the joyous light again

Thus ever hast Thou done.

For e'en the Son Thou most dost love

Here trod the path of woe;

Ere He might reach His throne above

He bore the cross below;

Through anguish, scorn, and poverty,

Through bitterest death He pass'd, that we

The bliss of heaven might know.

And if the pure and sinless One

Could thus to sorrow bow,

Shall I who so much ill have done

Resist the cross? O Thou

In whom doth perfect patience shine,

Whoe'er would fain be counted Thine

Must wear Thy likeness now.

Yet, Father, each fresh aching heart

Will question in its woe,

If Thou canst send such bitter smart

And yet no anger know?

How long the hours beneath the cross!

How hard to learn that love and loss

From one sole Fountain flow!

But what I cannot, Thou true Good,

Oh work Thyself in me;

Nor ever let my trials' flood

O'erwhelm my faith in Thee;

Keep me from every murmur, Lord,

And make me steadfast in Thy word,

My tower of refuge be!

If I am weak, Thy tender care

Shall bid me fear no ill;

With ceaseless cries and tears and prayer

The long sad hours I'll fill;

The heart that yet can hope and trust,

And cry to Thee, though from the dust,

Is all unconquer'd still!

O Thou who diedst to give us life,

Full well to Thee is known

The cross, and all the inner strife

Of those who weep alone,

And 'neath their burden well-nigh faint;

The aching heart's unspoken plaint

Finds echo in Thine own.

Ah Christ, do Thou within me speak,

For Thou canst comfort best;

The tower and stronghold of the weak,

The weary wanderer's rest,

Our shadow in the noon-day hours,

And when the tempest round us lowers,

Our shelter safe and blest!

O Holy Spirit, sent of God,

In whom all gladness lies,

Refresh my soul, lift off her load,

From Thee all sadness flies;

Thou know'st the glories yet to come,

The joy, the solace, of that home,

Where we shall one day rise.

There in Thy presence we shall see

Glories beyond our ken;

The cross known here to none but Thee

Shall turn to gladness then;

There smiles for all our tears are given,

And for our woes the joys of heaven

Lord, I believe! Amen!

songs of the cross the
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