BWV 111 Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit

Third Sunday after Epiphany.

Poet unknown.

1. Margrave Albrecht von Brandenburg, verse 1 of the hymn, 1547 (Wackernagel, III, #1240f.); 2-5. based freely on verses 2 and 3; 6. verse 4 of the hymn.

21 January 1725, Leipzig

BG 24; NBA I/6.

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

What my God will, be done alway,
His will, it is the best will;
To help all those he is prepared
Whose faith in him is steadfast.
He frees from want, this righteous God,
And punisheth with measure:
Who trusts in God, on him relies,
Him will he not abandon.

2. Aria (B)

Be frightened, O my bosom, not,
God is thy strength and confidence(1)
And to thy soul life bringeth.
Yea, what his wisdom doth decide,
Can by the world and human might
In no way be resisted.

3. Recit. (A)

O foolish one, who doth from God withdraw
And, like a Jonas once,
Before the face of God doth flee!(2)
Our very thoughts to him are manifest,
And of our head's own hairs
He hath the number.
Blest he who this protection chooseth
In faithfulness and trusting:
To look to his command
With patience and with expectation.

4. Aria (A, T)

I'll walk, then, with emboldened paces,
E'en when me God to grave shall lead.
As God my days hath set in writing,
So shall, when me his hand hath touched,
The bitterness of death be banished.(3)

5. Recit. (S)

So when by death at last my soul
Is with great force hence from its body torn,
Receive it, God, in faithful hands paternal!
When devil, death and sin on me make war,
And my own deathbed's pillow
Must be a field of battle,
Bring help, so that in thee my faith triumph!

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

Just this, Lord, will I ask of thee,
Thou wilt me not deny it:
When me the evil spirit tries,
Let me still not be anxious.
Help, guide, defend, ah God, my Lord,
To thy name's fame and honor.
Who this doth seek, him is it giv'n;
And I say gladly: Amen.

1. This line is verbatim from the hymn.

2. Cf. Jon. 1:3.

3. Cf. 1 Sam. 15:32.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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