For this month’s hymn I’m going outside of the Lutheran Service Book to the first hymnal of the LCMS: Kirchengesangbuch fur Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden ungeanderter Augsburgischer Confession (Church Hymnbook for Evangelical Lutheran Congregations of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.) C.F.W. Walther, the first president of the LCMS assembled this hymnal and had it published in 1847. This book served the Missouri Synod until the first English language hymnal was published in 1913. Concordia Publishing House published an English version of the hymnal, translated and edited by Matthew Carver, in 2012.
The text and tune of this hymn were both written by Adam Drese (1620-1701), who was born in Thuringia and served as court musician and Kapellmeister in various places in the region. I was first introduced to this hymn while visiting with a member who grew up singing it at Trinity, Monitor. This hymn has 15 stanzas and I will be presenting all of them without comment, as they speak for themselves. If you want to sing the hymn, the tune is found in Lutheran Service Book at hymn 718 “Jesus, Lead Thou On.”
Bridegroom, Thou art mine, Jesus Lamb divine; Saved from sin, to Thee I render Thanks for love so pure and tender, That has made me Thine, Jesus Lamb divine.
Thy love’s ardent flame Heals my mortal frame; As Thy kindly eye beholds me, As Thy gentle hand enfolds me; I with joy proclaim Thy love’s ardent flame.
Very man and God, Comfort ‘neath the rod: Thou was born in woe to languish, Saving souls from endless anguish By Thy crimson blood Very man and God.
Let my faith’s pure light Evermore be bright; Strengthen me each day and hour, By Thy Spirit’s quick’ning power; Keep my soul aright In faith’s holy light.
So shall I in Thee Bide eternally, For Thy love with praise supply Thee, And within Thee, magnify Thee, As eternally I shall bide in Thee.
David’s Son and Heir, Let Thy love so fair Ever nourish and defend me, For the world doth harm intend me, From their anger spare, David’s Son and Heir.
Prince of Peace once curst, Heavy was Thy thirst To save man from his affliction, When amidst Thy crucifixion, Thou didst cry: “I thirst!” Prince of Peace once curst.
Grant Thy peace, O Lord, Of Thy love outpoured Unto us of Thy confession, Who by name are Thy possession; To Thine own adored, Grant Thy peace, O Lord.
They who bear their cross, Fighting for the cause Of the faith that’s true and living, Shall not perish in their striving, Counting all as loss, As we bear our cross.
I will cling to Thee Who fulfillest me; Grant me nevermore to leave Thee, As in faith I did receive Thee; And thus trustingly I will cling to Thee.
When my tears must flow, Give me Thine to know, That with balm they may provide me And unto Thy wounds may guide me, That my tears must go And forbear to flow.
When I shall again Times of joy obtain, Thou wilt share my jubilation, Till I join Thy heav’nly nation And in Thy sweet reign Endless joy obtain.
Here through scorn and frown, There the glorious crown; Here in hoping and believing, There in having and perceiving; For the glorious crown Follows scorn and frown.
Jesus, dearest Friend, Help me to contend Make me o’er all foes victorious; Through Thy victory so glorious May I comprehend How Thou dost contend.
Thou my Joy replete, Sharon’s Rose so sweet; My desire and praise and Treasure, Naught shall move me but Thy pleasure; Sharon’s Rose so sweet, Thou my Joy replete!