BWV 18 Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt

Sexagesima Sunday.

Erdmann Neumeister, Geistliches Singen und Spielen (Gotha, 1711); Facs: Neumann T, p. 294.

2. Is. 55:10-11; 3. Martin Luther, portions of the Litany, 1528/29, with interpolated recitative; 5. Lazarus Spengler, verse 8 of "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt," 1524 (Wackernagel, III, #71).

1713 to 24 February 1715 (latest possible date according to Dürr, pp. 209-210), Weimar; revised in A Minor in Leipzig.

BG 2; NBA I/7.


1. Sinfonia

2. Recit. [Dictum] (B)

Just as the showers and snow from heaven fall and return again not thither, rather give the earth moisture and make it fertile and fruitful, so it gives seed for the sowing and bread for eating: Just so shall the word which from mine own mouth proceedeth, be too; it shall not come again to me empty, but shall do what I have purposed and shall that accomplish for which I send it.

3. Recit. (T, B) and Litany (S, A, T, B)

(T)
My God, here shall my heart abide:
I open it to thee in Jesus' name now(1);
So scatter wide thy seed then
As if on fertile land in me.
My God, here shall my heart abide:
Let it bring forth in hundredfold its harvest.
O Lord, Lord, help! O Lord, O let it prosper!(2)

(S, A, T, B)
That thou might to the word thy Spirit add, and power,
O hear us, O good Lord, our God!

(B)
But keep us, faithful Father, keep us,
Both me and any Christian soul,
From Satan's lies attending.
His mind has only one intent,
Of this thy word to rob us
With all our happiness.

(S, A, T, B)
That Satan underneath our feet be trodden,
O hear us, O good Lord, our God!

(T)
Ah! Many, word and faith renouncing,
Do fall away like rotting fruit,
When persecution they must suffer.
Thus they are plunged in everlasting grief
For having passing woe avoided.

(S, A, T, B)
And from all the Turk's and all the Pope's
Most cruel murder and oppression,
Anger and fury, fatherlike protect us.
O hear us, O good Lord, our God!

(B)
One man may but for belly care,
And meanwhile is his soul left quite forgotten;
And Mammon, too,
Hath many hearts' allegiance,
And then the word is left without its power.
How many are the souls
Of pleasure not the captive?
So well seduceth them the world,
The world which must by them instead of heav'n be honored,
So that they then from heaven stray and wander.

(S, A, T, B)
All those now who are gone and led astray recover.
O hear us, O good Lord, our God!

4. Aria (S)

My soul's true treasure is God's word;
Otherwise are all those treasures
Mere devices
By the world and Satan woven,
Scornful spirits for beguiling.
Take them all now, take them hence!
My soul's true treasure is God's word.

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

I pray, O Lord, with inmost heart,
May thou not take it from me,
Thy holy word not from my mouth;
For thus shall not confound me
My sin and shame, for in thy care
I put all mine assurance:
Who shall steadfast on this rely
Shall surely death not witness.


1. Literally, "I open it to thee in the name of my Jesus."

2. Ps. 118:25.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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