BWV 165 O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad
Salomo Franck, Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer ... in geistlichen Cantaten (Weimar, 1715); Facs: Neumann T, p. 279.
6. Ludwig Helmbold, verse 5 of "Nun laßt uns Gott, dem Herren," 1575 (Wackernagel, IV, #932).
16 June 1715, Weimar; again 4 June 1724?, Leipzig.
BG 33; NBA I/15.
1. Aria (S)
O Holy Spirit's water bath,(1)
2. Recit. (B)
The sin-begotten birth of Adam's curséd offspring
Jesus, who for love most mighty
In baptism hath assured me
Life, salvation, blessedness,
Help me for this to be joyful
And renew this bond of mercy
In the whole of my life’s span.
4. Recit. (B)
I have, in truth, O bridegroom of my soul,
For thou new birth didst give me,
To thee sworn ever to be faithful,
O holy lamb of God;
Yet I’ve, alas, baptism’s bond oft broken
And not fulfilled what I did promise;
Have mercy, Jesus, thou,
Be gracious unto me!
Forgive me all the sins committed,
Thou know’st, my God, how painfully I suffer
The ancient serpent’s sting,
Whose sinful bane corrupts my soul and body;
Help that I, faithful ever, choose thee,
O blood-red serpent’s form,
Now on the cross exalted,
Which every pain doth still
And me restore when all my strength hath vanished.
5. Aria (T)
Jesus, of my death the death,
Let this through my lifetime
And in my last hour’s need
‘For mine eyes to hover:
Thou my healing serpent art
For the sinful poison.
Jesus, heal my soul and spirit,
Let me life discover!
6. Chorale (S,A,T,B)
His word, baptism, supper
Help counter every mishap;
In faith the Holy Spirit
In this to trust doth teach us.
1. The sense of this line is that the sacred bath consists of Spirit and of water. It is most awkward to translate within its metrical limitations.
© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose