BWV 126 Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort

Sexagesima Sunday.

Poet unknown.

1. Martin Luther, verse 1 of the hymn, 1542 (Wackernagel, III, #44ff.); 2. based on verse 2; 3. verse 3 with interpolated recitative; 4-5. based on two supplemental verses to Luther's hymn by Justus Jonas (1493-1555), "Ihr Anschläg, Herr" and "So werden sie"; 6. Martin Luther, German version of "Da pacem Domine," 1529 (Wackernagel, III, #35ff.), with its traditional supplementary verse by Johann Walter, 1566 (after 1 Tim. 2:2).

4 February 1725, Leipzig.

BG 26; NBA I/7, 157.


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

Maintain us, Lord, within thy word,
And fend off murd'rous Pope and Turk,
Who Jesus Christ, thy very Son,
Strive to bring down from his throne.

2. Aria (T)

Send down thy great strength from heaven,
Prince of princes, mighty God,

    This thy church to fill with gladness
    And the foe's most bitter scorn
    In an instant far to scatter!

3. Recit. and Chorale [Verse 3] (A, T)

(A)
All human will and might will little help us,
If thou wouldst not protect thy wretched people,

(Both)
God, Holy Ghost, dear comforter;

(T)
Thou see'st that this tormented city of God
The worst of foes but in itself doth have
Through the great danger posed by untrue brothers.

(Both)
Thy people make of one mind on earth,

(A)
That we, the members of Christ's body,
In faith agree, in life united be.

(Both)
Stand by us in extremity!

(T)
Although e'en now the final foe break in
And seek thy comfort from our hearts to sever,
Yet in that moment show thyself our helper.

(Both)
Lead us to life and free from death!

4. Aria (B)

Crash down in ruin, arrogant bombast!
Hurl to destruction what it conceives!

    Let the abyss now quickly devour them,
    Fend off the raging of the foe's might,
    Let their desires ne'er find satisfaction.

5. Recit. (T)

Thus will thy word and truth be manifest
And set themselves in highest glory forth,
Since thou dost for thy church keep watch,
Since thou thy holy Gospel's teachings
To prosp'rous fruit dost bring;
And if thou dost as helper seek our presence,
To us will then in peacetime
Abundant blessing be apportioned.

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

Grant to us peace most graciously,
Lord God, in our own season;
For there is surely no one else
Who for us could do battle
Than thou who our God art only.

Give to our lords and all authority
Peace and good governance,
So that we beneath them
A most calm and quiet life may lead forever
In godliest devotion and honesty.
Amen.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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