BWV 45 Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist

Eighth Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown (Christoph Helm?);(1) PT (Rudolstadt, 1726).

1. Mic. 6:8; 4. Mt. 7:22-23; 7. Johann Heermann, verse 2 of "O Gott, du frommer Gott," 1630 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #355).

11 August 1726, Leipzig.

BG 10; NBA I/18.



First Part

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

It hath thee been told, Man, what is good and what the Lord of thee asketh, namely: God's word to hold fast and love to practise, to be humble before this thy God.

2. Recit. (T)

The Highest lets me know his will and purpose
And what him pleaseth well;
His word he gave to be a guide for life,
By which my foot shall be most careful
At all times to proceed
With fear, with rev'rence and with love now
As tests of the obedience which I practise,
That I his servant true in days to come be proved.

3. Aria (T)

I know God's true justice,
What it is which me can help
When from me as his own servant
He demands strict reckoning.
Spirit, ponder thy salvation,
To obedience comes reward;
Pain and scorn
Threaten thee in thy transgression!

Second Part

4. Arioso [Dictum] (B)(2)

There will be many who will say unto me on that day: Lord, Lord, have we then not in thine own name been prophesying, have we then not in thine own name been exorcising devils, have we then not in thine own name performed many labors?
Then unto them all shall I say this: I recognize not one of you, get ye all hence from me, ye evildoers.

5. Aria (A)

Who God doth own
With honest heart's intent
Will he in turn acknowledge.(3)

    For he shall burn forever
    Who merely with the mouth
    Doth call him Lord.

6. Recit. (A)

Thus will the heart and mouth themselves my judges be,
And God will the reward which I have sought allot me:
Should now my conduct his commandments not fulfill,
Who would thereafter heal my soul's misfortune?
Why do I make mine own impediment?
The Lord's desire must be fulfilled,
But his support is also sure,
That he his work through me might see in full accomplished.

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

Grant that I do with care
What I to do am given,
To that which thy command
Me in my station leadeth!
Grant that I do it quick,
Just at the time I ought;
And when I do, then grant
That it may prosper well!


1. Helm is suggested by W. Blankenburg, BJ (1977).

2. Representing the vox Christi.

3. Cf. Mt. 10:32.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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