BWV 163 Nur jedem das Seine!

Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity.

Salomo Franck, Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer ... in geistlichen Cantaten (Weimar, 1715); Facs: Neumann T, p. 287.

5. Instrumental citation of "Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht" (cf. BWV 157/5); 6. Johann Heermann, final verse of "Wo soll ich fliehen hin," 1630 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #322).

24 November 1715, Weimar.

BG 33; NBA I/26.



1. Aria (T)

To each but what's due him!

    If rulers must gather
    Toll, taxes, and tribute,
    Let no one refuse
    The debt that he owes!
    Yet bound is the heart but to God the Almighty.

2. Recit. (B)

Thou art, my God, of ev'ry gift the giver;
We have all that we have now
Alone from thine own hand.
Thou, thou hast to us given
Soul, spirit, life and body
And wealth and goods and rank and class!
What ought we then
To thee
In gratitude for these deposit,
When all of our possessions
Just thee and not to us belong?
But there's one thing, which thee, O God, doth please:
The heart shall all alone,
Lord, thy true tribute money be.
Ah! Oh alas! Is that not worthless coin?
For Satan hath thy form on it disfigured,
This counterfeit has lost all value.

3. Aria (B)

Let my heart the coinage be
Which I thee, my Jesus, pay now!
If it be not fully pure,
Ah, then come forth and renew it,
Lord, the lovely shine in it!
Come and work it, melt and stamp it,
That thine image then in me
Fully new may be reflected.(1)

4. Arioso (S, A)

I would to thee,
O God, my heart have gladly given;
The will indeed I have,
But flesh and blood would ever strive against me;
And now the world
This heart doth captive hold
And will not let the spoils be taken from her.
In truth I must despise her,
If I am thee to love.
So make then now my heart with all thy blessings full;
Remove from it all worldly longings
And make of me thereby a proper Christian.

5. Aria (S, A) with instr. chorale

From me take me, make me thine!
From me take me and my purpose,
That thy purpose be accomplished;
Make thee mine of thy dear kindness,
That my heart and this my spirit
In thee bide for evermore;
From me take me, make me thine!(2)

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

Lead both my heart and mind
Through thine own Spirit hence,
That I may all things shun now
Which me from thee could sever,
And I within thy body
A member bide forever.


1. The coinage metaphor in this text springs not only from the Gospel lection in which the Pharisees test Jesus with a coin bearing Caesar's likeness; it reflects Salomo Franck's own interest in numismatics. The concept of the coin's image as an object of imitation is not found in the Gospel reading, but it does occur in a poem Franck wrote on the coin collection of Duke Wilhelm Ernst.

2. The text of this aria is a bold experiment in jingle. The sound "i" is used in 28 words. One may compare BWV 12/6 for this Franckian characteristic.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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