BWV 92 Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn

Septuagesima Sunday.

Poet unknown.

1. Paul Gerhardt, verse 1 of the hymn, 1647 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #393); 2. verse 2 of the hymn with interpolated recitative; 3. loosely related to verse 4; 4. verse 5;
5. loosely related to verses 6 and 8; 6. loosely related to verse 9; 7. verse 10 with interpolated recitative; 8. loosely related to verse 11; 9. verse 12 of the hymn.

28 January 1725, Leipzig.

BG 22; NBA I/7.

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

I have to God's own heart and mind
My heart and mind surrendered;
What seemeth ill is for my gain,
E'en death itself, my living.
I am a son of him who laid
The throne of heaven open;
Though he both strike and cross impose,
His heart keeps yet its favor.

2. Chorale [Verse 2] and Recit. (B)

    It cannot fail me anytime!
Needs be ere that,
As e'en our truthful witness saith,
With cracking and with awesome thunder
The mountains and the hills have fallen:(1)
My Savior, though, betrayeth not,
    My Father surely loves me.
Through Jesus' crimson blood am I into his hand committed;
He guards me well!
    Though he should cast me in the sea,
The Lord doth live on mighty waters, too,
He did to me himself my life allot,
The waters therefore shall not drown me.
Although the waves already grasp me
And in their wrath should rush me to the depths,
    Yet would he only test me,
If I of Jonah shall be mindful,
Or I my mind with Peter towards him be directing.
He would me strong in faith establish,
He would for my soul's sake be watchful
    And this my heart,
Which ever faints and yields,
                                        in his dear care,
Which in steadfastness nought can match,
    Accustom to stand firmly.
My foot shall firm
Until the end of all the days
Be here upon this rock established.
    If I stand sure,
And gird myself in faith as firm as craggy mountains,
                                his hand will know,
Which he did me from heaven extend,
The proper time
    For me to be exalted.

3. Aria (T)

Mark, mark! it snaps, it breaks, it falls,
What God's own mighty arm holds not.
Mark, though, the firm and unremitting glory
Of all our hero with his might surroundeth.
Leave Satan furious, raving, raging,
Our mighty God will us unconquered ever render.

4. Chorale [Verse 5] (A)

And too are wisdom and judgment
With him beyond all measure;
Time, place, and hour him are known
For action and inaction.
He knows when joy, he knows when grief,
Would us his children profit,
And what he doth is always good,
However sad it seemeth.

5. Recit. (T)

We want henceforth no longer falter
And us with flesh and blood,
While God doth us protect,
So sorely as before be bothered.
I think on this,
How Jesus had no fear of all his myriad sorrows;
He looked to them
As but a source of endless pleasure.
My Christian, thee
Shall thine own fear and grief, thy bitter cross and pain
For Jesus' sake thy health and sweetness be.
So trust the grace of God
And mark henceforth what thou must do:
Forbear! Forbear!

6. Aria (B)

The raging /storming/ of the winds so cruel
Lets us the richest harvest gather.(2)

    The cross's turbulence doth yield the Christians fruit,
    So let us, ev'ryone, our living
    To our wise ruler fully offer.
    Kiss ye his own Son's hand, revere his faithful care.(3)

7. Chorale [Verse 10] (S, A, T, B) and Recit. (B, T, A, S)

(S, A, T, B)
Ah now, my God, thus do I fall
Assured into thy bosom.

Thus speaks the soul which trusts in God
When he the Savior's brotherhood
And God's good faith with doth praise.
    Take me and work thy will with me
    Until my life is finished.

I know for sure
That I unfailing blest shall be
If to my need, and to my grief and woe,
By thee will thus an end be granted:
    For thou dost know that to my soul
    Thereby its help ariseth,

That in my earthly lifetime,
To Satan's discontent,
Thy heav'nly realm in me be manifest
    And thine own honor more and more
    Be of itself exalted.

Thus may my heart as thou doth wish it
Find, O my Jesus, blessed stillness,
And I may to these muted lyres
The Prince of peace a new refrain now offer.(4)

8. Aria (S)

To my shepherd I'll be true.
Though he fill my cross's chalice,
I'll rest fully in his pleasure,
He stands in my sorrow near.
One day, surely, done my weeping,
Jesus' sun again will brighten.
To my shepherd I'll be true.
Live in Jesus, who will rule me;
Heart, be glad, though thou must perish,
Jesus hath enough achieved.
Amen: Father, take me now!

9. Chorale [Verse 12] (S, A, T, B)

If I then, too, the way of death
And its dark journey travel,
Lead on! I'll walk the road and path
Which thine own eyes have shown me.
Thou art my shepherd, who all things
Will bring to such conclusion,
That I one day within thy courts
Thee ever more may honor.

1. Cf. Is. 54:10.

2. For the ameliorative metamorphosis of showers to flowers, cf. BWV 12/6.

3. Treue Zucht has a double sense here: 'stock bred true to kind' (sustaining the plant-imagery of the aria) and 'honest discipline' (sustaining the theme of fruitful hardship).

4. Neumann T notes the pizzicato accompaniment of the strings appropriate to this text.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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