BWV 38 Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir

Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown.

1. Martin Luther, verse 1 of the hymn, 1524 (Wackernagel, I, #188), after Ps. 130; 2-3. based freely on verses 2-3; 4. based loosely on verse 3 and 4 and Jn. 4:47-54, with the chorale melody; 5. based freely on verse 4; 6. verse 5 of the hymn.

29 October 1724, Leipzig.

BG 7; NBA I/25.

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

In deep distress I cry to thee,
Lord God, hear thou my calling;
Thy gracious ears bend here to me
And to my plea them open!
For if thou wilt observance make
Of sin and deed unjustly done,
Who can, Lord, stand before thee?

2. Recit. (A)

In Jesus' mercy will alone
Our comfort be and our forgiveness rest,
Because through Satan's craft and guile
Is mankind's whole existence
'Fore God a sinful outrage found.
What could then now
Bring peace and joy of mind to us in our petitions
If Jesus' Spirit's word did not new wonders do?

3. Aria (T)

I hear amidst my very suff'ring
This comfort which my Jesus speaks.

    Thus, O most anguished heart and spirit,
    Put trust in this thy God's dear kindness,
    His word shall stand and never fail,
    His comfort never thee abandon!

4. Recit. (S) with instr. chorale

That my faith is still so frail,
And that all my reliance
On soggy ground I must establish!
How often must there be new portents
My heart to soften!
What? Dost thou know thy helper not,
Who speaks but one consoling word,
And then appears,
Before thy weakness doth perceive,
Salvation's hour.
Just trust in his almighty hand and in his truthful mouth!

5. Aria (S, A, B)

When my despair as though with fetters
One sorrow to the next doth bind,
Yet shall no less my Savior free me,
And all shall sudden from me fall.
How soon appears the hopeful morning
Upon the night of woe and sorrow!

6. Chorale [Verse 5] (S, A, T, B)

Though with us many sins abound,
With God is much more mercy;
His hand's assistance hath no end,
Though great may be our losses.
He is alone our good shepherd,
Who Israel shall yet set free
Of all his sinful doings.

Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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