BWV 170 Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust

Sixth Sunday after Trinity.

Georg Christian Lehms, Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer (Darmstadt, 1711); Facs: Neumann T, p. 260.

28 July 1726, Leipzig.

BG 33; NBA I/17.

1. Aria (A)

Contented rest, belove'd inner joy,

    We cannot find thee midst hell's mischief,
    But rather in the heavenly concord;
    Thou only mak'st the weak breast strong.
    Thus I'll let only virtue's talents
    Within my heart maintain their dwelling.

2. Recit. (A)

The world, that house of sin,
Brings nought but hellish lyrics forth
And seeks through hate and spite
The devil's image e'er to cherish.
Her mouth is filled with viper's bane,
Which oft the guiltless strikes with death,
And would alone her "Raca!"(1) utter.
O righteous God, how far
In truth is man from thee divided;
Thou lov'st, but yet his mouth
Cries curse and hate abroad
And would his neighbor under foot e'er trample.
Ah, this great sin defies propitiation!

3. Aria (A)

What sorrow fills me for these hearts so wayward,
Who have, my God, so much offended thee;
I tremble, yea, and feel a thousand torments,
When they in nought but harm and hate find joy.
O righteous God, what may’st thou then consider,
When they who deal alone with Satan’s schemers
Thy judgment’s stern command so bold do flout.
Ah, I’ve no doubt but that thou then hast thought:
What sorrow fills me for these hearts so wayward!

4. Recit. (A)

Who should therefore, desire
To live in this existence,
When we just hate and misery
Before his love observe?
But, since I, too, my foe
As were he my best friend
By God’s commandment am to love,
Thus flees
My heart all wrath and hate
And seeks alone with God its dwelling,
Who is himself called love.
Alas, O peaceful soul,
When will he thee indeed bring to his heav’nly Zion?

5. Aria (A)

I'm sick and tired of living,
So take me, Jesus, hence!

    I fear for mine offenses,
    Let me find there that dwelling
    Wherein I may have rest.

1. Hebrew Raca 'thou fool!' Cf. Mt. 5:22.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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