BWV 9 Es ist das Heil uns kommen her

Sixth Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown.

1. Paul Speratus, verse 1 of the hymn, 1524 (Wackernagel, III, #55); 2. based freely on verses 2, 3, and the beginning of 4; 4. based freely on verses 5-7; 5. based freely on verse 8; 6. based freely on verses 9 and 11; 7. verse 12 of the hymn.

1732-1735, Leipzig.

BG 1; NBA I/17.

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

Now is to us salvation come
By grace and purest favor.
Our works, they help us not at all,
They offer no protection.
But faith shall Jesus Christ behold,
Who hath enough done for us all;
He is our intercessor.(1)

2. Recit. (B)

God gave to us a law, but we were far too weak
That we could ever hope to keep it.
We followed but the call of sin,
No man could be called godly;
The soul remained to flesh adherent
And ventured not to stand against it.
We were within the law to walk
And there as if within a mirror see
How yet our nature was undisciplined;
And just the same we clung to it.
Of his own strength none had the power
His sinful rudeness to abandon,
E'en though he all his strength might strive to gather.

3. Aria (T)

We were ere then too deeply fallen,
The chasm sucked us fully down,

    The deep then threatened us with death,
    And even still in such distress
    There was no hand to lend us help.

4. Recit. (B)

But somehow was the law to have fulfillment;
And for this came to earth salvation,
The Most High's Son hath it himself fulfilled
And his own Father's wrath made still.
Through his own guiltless dying
He let us win salvation.
Who now in him doth trust
And on his passion build,
He walketh not in peril.
And heaven is for him appointed
Who with true faith himself shall bring
And firmly Jesus' arms embrace.

5. Aria (S, A)

Lord, thou look'st past our good labors
To the heart's believing power,
Nought but faith dost thou accept.

    Nought but faith shall justify,
    Every labor seems too slight
    E'er to bring us any help.

6. Recit. (B)

When we our sin within the law acknowledge,
Our conscience is most sorely stricken;
Yet can we reckon to our comfort
That we within the Gospel's word
Shall soon again
Be glad and joyful:
This gives to our belief new power.
We therefore wait the day
Which God's own graciousness
To us hath firmly pledged,
E'en though, in truth, with purpose wise,
The hour is not told us.
But still we wait with full assurance,
He knoweth when our time is come
And worketh no deceit
On us; we may depend upon him,
And him alone be trusting.

7. Choral [Verse 12] (S, A, T, B)

Though it should seem he were opposed,
Be thou by this not frightened;
For where he is at best with thee,
His wont is not to show it.
His word take thou more certain still,
And though thy heart say only "No,"
Yet let thyself not shudder.

1. This translation works only in the cantus firmus. In some parts "our inter-, our intercessor" is required.

Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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