BWV 63 Christen, ätzet diesen Tag
Possibly Johann Michael Heineccius (see Dürr, p. 108); PT (Halle,
1717); Facs: Neumann T, p. 303.
Between 1713 and 1716, Halle; again 25 December 1723, Leipzig. BG 16;
1. Chorus (S, A, T, B)
Christians, etch ye now this day
Both in bronze and stones of marble!
Come, quick, join me at the manger
And display with lips of gladness
your thanks and all you owe;
For the light which here breaks forth
to you a sign of blessing.
2. Recit. (A)
O blessed day! O day exceeding rare, this,
On which the world's true
The Shiloh(1), whom God in the Paradise(2)
To mankind's race already pledged,
From this time forth was perfectly revealed
And seeketh Israel now from
the prison and the chains of slav'ry Of Satan to deliver.
God, what are we wretches then?
A people fallen low which thee forsaketh;
And even still thou wouldst not hate us;
For ere we should according to
our merits lie in ruin,
Ere that, must deity be willing,
The nature of
mankind himself assuming,
Upon earth dwelling,
In shepherd's stall to be
a child incarnate.
O inconceivable, yet blessed dispensation!
3. Aria (S, B)
God, thou hast all well accomplished
Which to us now comes to pass.
Let us then forever trust him
And rely upon his favor,
For he hath on us
What shall ever be our pleasure.
4. Recit. (T)
Transformed be now today
The anxious pain
Which Israel hath troubled
long and sorely burdened
To perfect health and blessing.
Of David's stem
the lion now appeareth,
His bow already bent, his sword already honed,
With which he us to former freedom brings.
5. Aria (A, T)
Call and cry to heaven now,
Come, ye Christians, come in order,
be in this rejoicing
Which God hath today achieved!
For us now his grace
And with such salvation sealeth,
More than we could thank him
6. Recit. (B)
Redouble then your strength, ye ardent flames of worship,
And come in
humble fervor all together!
Rise gladly heavenward
And thank your God for
all this he hath done!
7. Chorus (S, A, T, B)
Highest, look with mercy now
At the warmth of rev'rent spirits!
the thanks we bring before thee
To thine ears resound with pleasure.
us e'er in blessing walk,
But yet / Let it / never come to pass
Satan's torments suffer.
1. Cf. Gen. 49:10. Luther translates Shiloh with Held 'hero.' English versions
include champion and strong man. Cf. BWV 62/3.
2. The Paradise (Persian for 'garden') is the Garden of Eden.
© Copyright Z.
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