BWV 5 Wo soll ich fliehen hin

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown.

1. Johann Heermann, verse 1 of the hymn, 1630 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #322); 2-6. based loosely on the inner verses; 7. verse 11 of the hymn.

15 October 1724, Leipzig.

BG 1; NBA I/24.



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

Where shall I refuge find,
For I am burdened low
By sins both great and many?
Where shall I find salvation?
Were all the world here gathered,
My fear it would not vanquish.

2. Recit. (B)

Chaotic sin hath me not merely stained,
It hath, much worse, my soul completely veiled.
God surely would have banished me as sullied;
But since a drop of holy blood
Such mighty wonders doth,
I can still unrejected bide here.
Those wounds are now an open sea,
Wherein I may sink my transgressions,
And when I steer my course into these waters,
Then doth he me of all my stains make free.

3. Aria (T)

Pour forth thine abundance, thou fountain immortal,
Ah, well up with blood-streaming rivers o'er me!

    My heart doth perceive here its moment of comfort,
    Now sink all my burdensome sins to the bottom,
    It purgeth the sin-ridden stains from itself.

4. Recit. (A) with Instrum. Chorale

My faithful Savior comforts me,
Let now within the tomb be buried
All wrongs I have committed;(1)
Though my transgressions be so great,
He makes me free and safe.
When faithful people refuge find beside him,
Shall fear and grief
No longer danger bring
And in a trice shall vanish.
Their spirit's store, their highest wealth
Is Jesus' very priceless blood;
It is their shield gainst devil, death and error;
In it shall they have vict'ry.

5. Aria (B)

Grow silent, host of hell,
Thou mak'st me not afraid!

    If I this blood now show thee,
    Thou must at once be silent,
    For this in God I dare.

6. Recit. (S)

I am, indeed, the world's mere smallest part,
And since that blood's rare liquid hath
Its boundless mighty pow'r
Preserved intact,
So that each drop, however small it be,
Can all the world make clean
Of its transgressions,
Then let thy blood
Upon me bring no ruin,
And me so benefit,
That I, then, heaven may inherit.

7. Chorale [Verse 11] (S, A, T, B)

Lead e'en my heart and will
Through thine own Spirit hence,
That I may shun all perils
Which me from thee could sever,
And I of thine own body
A member bide forever.


1. This line is verbatim from the hymn.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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