BWV 24 Ein ungefärbt Gemüte


Fourth Sunday after Trinity.

Erdmann Neumeister, Geistliche Poesien (Eisenach, 1714); Facs: Neumann T, p. 297.

3. Mt. 7:12; 6. Johann Heermann, verse 1 of the hymn, 1630 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #355).

20 June 1723, Leipzig.

BG 5, 1; NBA I/17.


1. Aria (A)

An undisguised intention
Of native(1) faith and kindness
Doth us 'fore God and man make fair.

    For Christians' work and commerce
    Throughout their whole life's compass
    Should on this kind of footing stand.

2. Recit.

Sincerity
Is one of God's most gracious blessings.
The fact that in our time
There are but few who have it
Comes from not asking God for it.
For of itself proceeds our heart's contrivance
In nought but evil ways;
If it would set its course on something worthy,
Then must it be by God's own Spirit governed
And in the path of virtue guided.
If God as friend thou seekest,
Thou must thyself no foe be to thy neighbor
Through cunning, ruse and craft!
A Christian(2)
Should strive the way of doves to copy
And live without deceit and malice.
Upon thyself impress the form
Which thou wouldst have thy neighbor own.

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

All things now that ye wish to be done by people unto you, that do ye to them.

4. Recit. (B)

Hypocrisy
Is of the brood which Belial(3) concocteth.
Who self behind its mask concealeth
Doth wear the devil's livery.
What? Do, then, even Christians
Such things as these now covet?
O God, forfend! Sincerity is precious.
And many fiendish monsters
Appear in angel's guise.
We bring the wolf within,
Sheep's clothing don without.
What could be worse than this?
For slander, spite and judgment,
Damnation and destruction
Are ev'rywhere now found.
It is the same, both there and here.
May God above protect me now from this.

5. Aria (T)

Trust and truth should be the base
Of thy every purpose;
As thine outward word and speech,
Be the heart within thee.
Being kind and virtuous
Makes us God and angels like.

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

O God, thou righteous God,
Thou fountain of all blessings,
Without whom nought exists,
From whom is all our treasure,
My body grant good health,
And let within my flesh
An uncorrupted soul
And conscience pure e'er dwell.


1. Literally, "Of German faith and kindness." Deutsch has a sense similar to that in the idiom mit jemandem deutsch reden 'to speak frankly.' Indeed, 'frankly' is a parallel concept in its ethnic connotation.

2. This translation adds one syllable to the line. One may prefer to translate "A man / Of Christ should strive the doves to copy..."

3. Belial Hebr. 'without use or profit' is identified with Satan in the New Testament.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose



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