BWV 30 Freue dich, erlöste Schar

St. John the Baptist.

Poet unknown, probably Picander.

6. Johann Olearius, verse 3 of "Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben," 1671 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #42).

24 June 1738 or in one of the following years, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 ← BWV 30a.

BG 5, 1; NBA I/29.

First Part

1. Aria (S, A, T, B)

Joyful be, O ransomed throng,
Joyful be in Zion's dwellings.

    Thy well-being hath henceforth
    Found a sure and solid means
    Thee with bliss and health to shower.

2. Recit. (B)

We have our rest,
The burden of the law
Has been removed.
Nought shall from this repose distract us,
Which our belovéd fathers oft
Had sought with yearning and with hope.
Come forth,
Be joyful all, whoever can,
And raise to pay their God due honor
A song of praise,
And all the heav'nly choir,
Yea, sing in glad accord!

3. Aria (B)

All praise be to God, all praise for his name's sake,
Who faithfully keepeth his promise and vow!

    His faithful servant hath been born now,
    Who long had for this been elected,
    That he the Lord his way prepare.

4. Recit. (A)

The herald comes and sounds the king's approach,
He calls; so tarry not
And get ye up,
And with a lively pace
Rush to this voice's call!
It shows the way, it shows the light
By which we on those blessed pastures
At last may surely gaze with wonder.

5. Aria (A)

Come, ye sorely tempted sinners,
Haste and run, O Adam's children,
This your Savior calls and cries!

    Come forth, ye like sheep that wander,
    Rise ye up from sin-filled slumber,
    For now is the hour of grace!

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

There a voice of one is crying
In the desert far and wide,
Leading mankind to conversion:
For the Lord the way prepare,
Make for God a level path,
All the world should henceforth rise,
Every valley shall be lifted,
That the mountains may be humbled.

Second Part

7. Recit. (B)

If thou dost then, my hope, intend
That law which thou didst make
With our forefathers to maintain
And in thy gracious might o'er us to reign,
Then will I set with utmost care
On this my purpose:
Thee, faithful God, at thy command
In holiness and godly fear to live.

8. Aria (B)

I will detest now
And all avoid
Which thee, my God, doth cause offense.

    I will thee not cause sadness,
    Instead sincerely love thee,
    For thou to me so gracious art.

9. Recit. (S)

And even though the fickle heart
In human weakness is innate,
Yet here and now let this be said:
So oft the rosy morning dawns,
So long one day the next one lets ensue,
So long will I both strong and firm
Through thine own Spirit live,
My God, entirely for thine honor.
And now shall both my heart and voice
According to thy covenant
With well deservéd praise extol thee.

10. Aria (S)

Haste, ye hours, come to me,
Bring me soon into those pastures!

    I would with the holy throng
    To my God an altar raise,
    In the tents of Kedar offered,(1)
    Where I'll give eternal thanks.

11. Recit. (T)

Forbear, the loveliest of days
Can no more far and distant be,
When thou from every toil
Of imperfection’s earthly burdens,
Which thee, my heart, doth now enthrall,
Wilt come to have thy perfect freedom.
Thy hope will come at last,
When thou with all the ransomed spirits,
In that perfected state,
From death here of the body wilt be freed,
And there thee no more woe will torment.

12. Aria (S, A, T, B)

Joyful be, O hallowed throng,
Joyful be in Zion's pastures!

    Of thy joyful majesty,
    Of thy full contentment's bliss
    Shall all time no end e'er witness.

1. Cf. Ps. 120:5.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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