BWV 96 Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn

Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown.

1. Elisabeth Kreuziger, verse 1 of the hymn, 1524 (Wackernagel, I, #236); 2. based freely on verse 2; 3. based freely on verse 3; 4 and 5. based freely on verse 4; 6. verse 5 of the hymn.

8 October 1724, Leipzig; again 1744/1748 (Dürr), 1734 and 1745 (Neumann Hb).

BG 22; NBA I/24.


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

Lord Christ, the only Son of God,
Father's, eternally,
From his own heart /bosom/ descended,
Just as the scripture saith;
He is the star of morning,
Whose light he spreads so broadly,
Beyond all stars, more bright.

2. Recit. (A)

O love of wondrous power,
When God for his own creatures careth,
When now his majesty
Until the end of time(1)
To earth is bending;
O inconceivable, mysterious might!
A chosen body now doth bear
The mighty Son of God,
Whom David's heart
Already as his Lord did honor,
While this, a woman favored well,
In chastity unsullied bideth.
O gen'rous saving pow'r! which is on us o'erflowing,
For he hath opened heav'n, and hell he hath shut tightly.

3. Aria (T)

Ah, draw close my spirit with bonds of affection,

    O Jesus, show thyself strongly in it!
    Illumine it that it in faith thee acknowledge,
    Grant that it with holiest passion grow ardent,
    Ah, make it in faith ever thirst to find thee!

4. Recit. (S)

Ah, lead thou me, O God, to righteous pathways,
Me, for I am in darkness now
And, seeking what my flesh desires,
So oft in error wander;
But yet, if thou but walk beside me,
If thou wouldst only with thine eyes now guide me,
Then surely will my course
Secure to heaven lead.

5. Aria (B)

To the right side, to the left side,
Wend their way my wayward steps.
Walk with me, my Savior, still,
Let me not in peril falter,
Make me, yea, of thy wise guidance
Until heaven's portals conscious!

6. Chorale [Verse 5] (S, A, T, B)

O'erwhelm us with thy kindness,
Arouse us with thy grace;
The ancient man now weaken,
So that the new may live
And, here on earth now dwelling,
His mind and ev'ry yearning
And thought may raise to thee.


1. Verbatim from verse 2 of the hymn.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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