BWV 167 Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe

St. John the Baptist.

Poet unknown.

5. Johann Gramann, verse 5 of "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren," Königsberg, 1548 (Wackernagel, I, #455).

24 June 1723, Leipzig.

BG 33; NBA I/29.

1. Aria (T)

Ye mortals, praise ye God's devotion
And glorify his graciousness!

    Praise him with purest heart's emotion,
    That he to us within our time
    The horn that saves, and life's true pathway(1)
    In Jesus, his own Son, hath given.

2. Recit. (A)

Now blessed be the Lord God of Israel,(2)
Who doth in his mercy come unto us
And his own Son
From heaven’s lofty throne.
As world-redeemer senteth. 
First at that time did John appear
And must the way and path
Make ready for the Savior;
And then did Jesus come himself,
That wretched mankind’s children
And all the fallen sinners
With grace and love might be made glad
And unto heaven's realm in true repentance guided.

3. Aria (S, A)

God's true word deceiveth not;
All comes true as he doth pledge.

    What he in that paradise(3)
    Many hundred years ago now
    Our forefathers hath assured
    Have we here, praise God, seen happen.

4. Recit. (T)

The woman's seed did come
When once the time was ready;
The blessing which God Abraham,
The faith's great man, had promised
Is like a beam of sunlight on us broken,
And all our sorrow is grown silent.
A dumb man, Zacharias, cries
Aloud his praise to God for this his wondrous deed,
Which he the folk(4) made manifest.
And think, ye Christians, too, what God for you hath done,
And raise to him a song of praise!

5. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Now laud and praise with honor
God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
May he in us add measure
To what he us in mercy pledged,
That we may firmly trust him,
Entirely rest on him;
Sincere on him depending
May our heart, mind and will
Steadfast to him be cleaving;
To this now let us sing:
Amen, we shall achieve it,
This is our heart’s firm faith.

1. Cf. Lk. 1:69.

2. Cf. Lk. 1:68.

3. I.e., in the Garden of Eden.

4. I.e., the Jews.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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