BWV 102 Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben! 

Tenth Sunday after Trinity. 

Poet unknown (Christoph Helm?)(1); PT (Rudolstadt, 1726).

1. Jer. 5:3; 4. Rom. 2:4-5; 7. Johann Heermann, verses 6 and 7 of "So wahr ich lebe, spricht dein Gott," 1630 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #318).

25 August 1726, Leipzig; Parody:1 ---> Mass in G Minor, BWV 235/1; 3 and 5 ---> Mass in F Major, BWV 233/4 and 5. 

BG 23; NBA I/19. 



Part One

1. Chorus [Dictum] (S, A, T, B)

Lord, thine eyes look after true believing! Thou smitest them, but they feel not the blow; thou vexest them, but they reform themselves not. Their countenance is more obstinant than a rock and they would not be converted.

2. Recit. (B)

Where is the image true which God hath stamped within us,
If our perverted will hath set itself against it?
Where is the power of his word,
If all amelioration doth the heart desert?
The Highest doth in truth with mildness seek to tame us,
So that the errant soul wish yet to be obedient;
But if it doth maintain its stubborn will,
He yieldeth it unto the heart's conceit.

3. Aria (A)

Woe that spirit which its mischief
No more knows,
 And, inviting its own judgment,
 Pell-mell runs,
 Yea, from its God's very mercy stands apart. 

4. Arioso [Dictum] (B)

Despisest thou the richness of his mercy, his patience and forbearance? Knowest thou not that God's kindness thee to repentance calleth? But thou dost, because of thy stubbornness and impenitent spirit, store for thyself great wrath on the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

Part Two

5. Aria (T)

Be frightened yet,
Thou all too trusting spirit!
Think what it shall once cost thee,
This sinful yoke.
For God's forbearance walketh
with a foot of lead,
So that his wrath at last o'er thee much graver fall.

6. Recit. (A)

In waiting danger lurks;
Wouldst thou this chance then forfeit?
The God who e'er was merciful
With ease can lead thee to his seat of judgment.
Where is thy penitence? A twinkle of an eye
Eternity and time, the flesh and soul divideth;
O blinded sense, ah, turn thyself around,
Lest thee this very hour discover unprepared.

7. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Alive today, today repent,
Ere morning comes, the times can change;
Today who's fresh and safe and sound
Tomorrow's sick or even dead.
If thou now diest uncontrite,
Thy soul and body there (2) must burn.

Help, O Lord Jesus, help thou me,
That I e'en this day come to thee,
Contrition in that moment make
Before me sudden death should take,
That I today and evermore
For my home-coming be prepared.


1. W. Blankenburg, BJ (1977), reports the discovery of the PT for BWV 17, 39, 43, 45, 88, 102, and 187. He suggests Christoph Helm as the possible author, pp. 22-25.

2. I.e., in hell.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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