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HYMN 148 Evening and Morning

German: Die G ü ldne Sonne Text: Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676). Johann Georg Ebeling (1620-1676) 1. The golden morning,
Joy her adorning,
On us is gleaming,
Rays brightly beaming,
With her beloved heart-quickening light.
My head and members
Lay deep in their slumbers,
But now awaking,
All sleep from me shaking,
Gazing on heav’n, I rejoice at the sight.

2. Mine eye’s beholding
God’s work unfolding,
Made for His glory,
Telling the story
Of all His power so mighty and great
And where the Father
His faithful shall gather
In peace, whenever
Earth’s ties they shall sever,
Leaving this mortal and perishing state.

3. Come ye with singing,
Our Maker bringing
Each good and blessing
We are possessing:
All be to God as an offering brought,
The best oblation
Our heart’s adoration.
Songs meet and thankful
Are incense and cattle
With which His pleasure most fitly is sought.

4. Evening and morning,
Sunset and dawning,
Wealth, peace, and gladness,
Comfort in sadness:
These are Thy works; all the glory be Thine!
Times without number,
Awake or in slumber,
Thine eye observes us,
From danger preserves us,
Causing Thy mercy upon us to shine.

5. I have upraisèd
To Thee, high praisèd,
All my intentions:
Let all my actions,
With no offenses, in blessedness fare.
Pitfalls, disgraces,
And Lucifer’s vices,
All that would bind me
Drive Thou far behind me:
Let me in all Thy Commandments endure.

6. Let me rejoicing,
No envy voicing,
See ev’ry blessing
Thou may be setting
In my dear brother’s and neighbor’s fair house.
Covetous burning
And unchristian yearning
For gains ill-gotten:
Do Thou swiftly blot them
From this my heart, and then cast them all out.

7. This human nature,
Poor, lowly creature,
In but an hour,
Shorn of its power
Falters as death breathes upon it again.
All that we cherish
Must soon break and perish:
Earth and all heavens
Reduced to that substance
Which they before their creation had been.

8. Though all decayeth,
God ever stayeth,
Nor doth He waver,
He changeth never,
His Word and will have immutable ground.
His grace and favor
Are steadfast forever,
In our hearts healing
Death’s pangs that we’re feeling,
Keeping us now and eternally sound.

9. Father, O hear me,
Pardon and spare me;
Calm all my terrors,
Blot out mine errors
That by Thine eyes they may no more be scanned.
Order my goings,
Direct all my doings;
As it may please Thee,
Retain or release me;
All I commit to Thy fatherly hand.

10. Wilt Thou be giving
All that for living
For me is needful?
May I be heedful
E’er in my heart of the Word come from Thee:
God is the greatest,
The fairest, the sweetest,
God is the purest,
The truest, the surest:
Of all our treasures, the noblest is He.

11. Wilt Thou then grieve me,
Gall for drink give me,
Griefs to distress me,
Burdens to press me?
Yea, do whatever is pleasing to Thee.
The good and healthful,
The harmful, unhelpful,
Thou my Physician,
Who know’st my condition,
Hast ne’er more chastened than any should be.

12. Griefs, though heart-rending,
All have their ending;
Though seas be roaring
And winds outpouring,
Thereafter shines the dear sun’s blessèd face.
Fullness of pleasure
And glorious leisure
Then will be given
To me there in heaven,
Where all my thoughts are directing their gaze.
Tr. Composite, Free Lutheran MEDITATION
Paul Gerhardt's hymns are central to the children's novel Heidi by Johanna Spyri (1827-1901). When Heidi comes back to her grandfather in the mountains of Switzerland from Frankfurt, where she has learned to read, she goes to visit the blind grandmother who lives nearby. Before she had asked Heidi to read to her but she could not. Now she can. Heidi asks which hymn to read. The grandmother says, "You choose." She finds this one and begins reading it. As she reads, she sees the old woman listening with indescribable joy. After she has reread the hymn she looks back at grandmother’s face. “It had no longer the old troubled expression, but was alight with peace and joy as if she were already looking with clear new eyes into the garden of Paradise.” That she could give the old woman such joy makes Heidi happy Few scenes in literature demonstrate the peace and joy the reading of an old hymn can give another. (The Shirley Temple movie and many translations do not use the hymns or Bible stories in the original, so be careful if you order it that you get the unrevised version.) The hymn follows the typical form of a morning hymn. It starts with the rising sun, the reason for praising God, then for help keeping the commandments through the day, a prayer for forgiveness and then that God will "direct all my doings" during the day and finally looking toward heaven. A bit long for singing today, or for morning prayer, but read it through or listen to it and rejoice in the great gifts Paul Gerhardt has given us in his wonderful hymns. They help us live a good life together with our Lord where we will have "fullness of pleasure/and glorious leisure." HYMN INFO
This hymn was written toward the end of Gerhardt’s life. Crüger, his co-worker, was no longer alive. Ebeling succeeded Crüger at the Nikolai church in Berlin and worked with Gerhardt. In 1667 he published a book with 120 of Gerhardt's hymns. This is Ebeling's most beloved tune and fits very well with the text. Ebeling came from Lüneberg, in far eastern Germany at the time. In English the hymn translated by Richard Massie has tended to use only Stanza 4 and 9 which makes it suitable for both morning and evening devotions. But it leaves out a lot. I wanted you to see the whole thing in a singable form. LINKS
Concordia Publishing House Wetzlarer Evangeliumschor
Bach’s arrangement BWV 451 Jazz version

HYMN 148 Evening and Morning
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