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We Love Him for He First Loved Us

Gerhard Tersteegen
translated by
Catherine Winkworth

Thou fairest Child Divine,
In yonder manger laid,
In whom is God Himself well pleased,
By whom were all things made,
On me art Thou bestow’d;
How can such wonders be!
The dearest that the Father hath
He gives me here in Thee!

I was a foe to God,
I fought in Satan’s host,
I trifled all His grace away;
Alas! my soul was lost.
Yet God forgets my sin,
His heart, with pity moved,
He gives me, Heavenly Child, in Thee;
Lo! thus our God hath loved!

Once blind with sin and self,
Along the treacherous way
That ends in ruin at the last,
I hasten’d far astray;
Then God sent down His Son;
For with a love most deep,
Most undeserved, His heart still yearn’d
O’er me, poor wandering sheep!

God with His life of love
To me was far and strange,
My heart clung only to the world
Of fight and sense and change;
In Thee, Immanuel,
Are God and man made one;
In Thee my heart hath peace with God,
And union in the Son.

Oh ponder this, my soul,
Our God hath loved us thus,
That even His only dearest Son
He freely giveth us.
Thou precious gift of God,
The pledge and bond of love,
With thankful heart I kneel to take
This treasure from above.

I kneel beside Thy couch,
I press Thee to my heart,
For Thee I gladly all forsake
And from the creature part:
Thou priceless Pearl! lo, he
By whom Thou’rt loved and known,
Will give himself and all he hath
To win Thee for his own.

Oh come, Thou Blessèd Child,
Thou Savior of my soul,
Forever bound to Thee, my name
Among Thy host enroll.
O deign to take my heart,
And let Thy heart be mine,
That all my love flow out to Thee
And lose itself in Thine.

[from Winkworth’s Lyra Germanica]


Wreath and bell image, used under license from www.123rf.com (profile_katisa/123RF Stock Photo)

To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.

Image credit: Copyright: profile_katisa/123RF Stock Photo
Used under license
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