BWV 33 Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown.

1. Konrad Hubert, verse 1 of the hymn, 1540 ; 2-3. based loosely on verse 2; 4-5. based loosely on verse 3; 6. verse 4 of the hymn.

3 September 1724, Leipzig.

BG 7; NBA I/21.



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

Alone to thee, Lord Jesus Christ,
My hope on earth regardeth;
I know thou art my comforter,
I have no other comfort.
Since time began, was nought ordained,
On earth there came no man to birth,
Who from my woe could help me flee.
I call to thee,
In whom I have placed all my trust.

2. Recit. (B)

My God and judge thou, by the law if thou wert me to question,
I could no way,
For that my conscience would forbid,
Once in a thousand answer.(1)
In strength of spirit poor am I, of love left bare,
And all my sin is grave and very great,
But since for them my heart repenteth,
Thou wilt, my God and shield,
Through a forgiving word
Again to me bring gladness.

3. Aria (A)

How fearful wavered then my paces,
But Jesus heareth my petition
And doth me to his Father show.

    Though grievous weight of sin depressed me,
    Again hath Jesus' word assured me
    That he for me enough hath done.

4. Recit. (T)

My God, reject me not,
Although against thy law I daily have offended,
From this thy countenance!(2)
The smallest law for me to keep is much too hard;
But, if I for no more
Than Jesus' comfort pray now,
There shall no war of conscience rise
Of confidence to rob me;
Give me but of thy mercy's store
A faith both true and Christian!(3)
And it shall come with rich rewards to me
And then through love its work achieve.(4)

5. Aria (T, B)

God, thou who art love now called,
Ah, enkindle this my soul,
Let for thee before all matters
This my love be strongly yearning!
Grant that I with pure devotion
As myself my neighbor cherish;
Should the foe disturb my rest,
Then to me assistance send!

6. Chorale [Verse 4] (S, A, T, B)

Now praise God on the highest throne,
The Father of all goodness,
And Jesus Christ, his dearest Son,
Who us alway protecteth,
And God the Holy Spirit, too,
Who us his help alway doth give,(5)
That we may ever him obey,
Here within this time
And then in all eternity.


1. Cf. Job 9:3.

2. Cf. Ps. 51:13.

3. This and the preceding line are almost verbatim from the hymn.

4. Cf. Gal. 5:6.

5. The meter of this and the preceding line is heterodyne.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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