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Christian Singers Of Germany by Catherine Winkworth

IN THE HOLY LAND.

Nu alrest leb ich mir werde.

Now at last is life worth living,

Since my sinful eyes behold

This pure land, where One forgiving

Wrought such mighty deeds of old!

What I prayed for now I have,

I behold the soil, the grave,

Where God dwelt as Man, to save.

Lovely Land, so rich in story,

Far above all I have seen

Dost thou bear the palm of glory;

Ah what wonders here have been!

That a Virgin bare a Child

Lord of angels, yet so mild,

Sounds it not a wonder wild?

Here baptized was He most holy,

Purity for us to win,

Stooped to bondage sore and lowly,

To set free the slaves of sin.

But for Him were we forlorn,

His sharp spear and crown of thorn;

Heathen, dare ye Him to scorn?

Ah how far His pity stretches,

Tasting death in very deed,

He the rich for us poor wretches,

But to save us in our need!

That He shrank not from such woe,

Willingly could bend so low,

Greater wonder could one know?

Here the Son to hell descended

From the grave wherein He lay,

By the Father still attended

And the Spirit, whom none may

Sever from Him. They are One,

Sole and glorious as the sun;

So it was ere time begun.

There He hath the devil vanquished,

Whom no Kaiser e'er could quell,

Freed those who in prison languished;

Then sore griefs the Jews befell,

He whom they had wrought such woes

Broke their strictest watch, and rose

Living Conqu'ror o'er His foes.

Forty days this land beholds Him,

Forty days, and then He went

Where the Father's light enfolds Him,

Whence His Spirit He hath sent, --

May He keep us in His grace!

Holy is this land and place

That hath seen God face to face!

Here He told of that expected

Day of terrors, long deferred,

When the prayers, by men rejected,

Of the widow shall be heard,

And the oppressed shall find a friend,

And the wise no arts defend;

Chasten now, ere comes that end!

Then that judge's righteous sentence

No lament hath power to stay;

Here, O here may be repentance,

Wait not for the final day;

Pledge nor hostage then avail,

Thou must answer without fail,

And thyself meet bliss or bale.

But if what I now have spoken

Seemeth not to you too long,

List one moment yet, ere broken

Fails the current of my song.

All God's mightiest works for man

Here in this fair land began,

Here too ends the wondrous plan.

Christians, Heathens, Jews assever

Each that it is theirs of right;

God alone, the bless'd for ever,

Must decide it with His might.

All the world is fighting here,

Ours the rightful cause, no fear

God will make its justice clear!

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