“Lord, Thee I love with all my heart;
I pray Thee, ne’er from me depart;
With tender mercy cheer me.
Earth has no pleasure I would share,
Yea, Heav’n itself were void and bare
If Thou, Lord, wert not near me.
And should my heart for sorrow break,
My trust in Thee can nothing shake.
Thou art the portion I have sought;
Thy precious blood my soul has bought.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
Forsake me not! I trust Thy Word.
Yea, Lord, ’twas Thy rich bounty gave My body, soul, and all I have In this poor life of labor. Lord, grant that I in every place May glorify Thy lavish grace And serve and help my neighbor. Let no false doctrine me beguile, Let Satan not my soul defile. Give strength and patience unto me To bear my cross and follow Thee. Lord Jesus Christ, My God and Lord, my God and Lord, In death Thy comfort still afford.
Lord, let at last Thine angels come, To Abram’s bosom bear me home, That I may die unfearing; And in its narrow chamber keep My body safe in peaceful sleep Until Thy reappearing. And then from death awaken me, That these mine eyes with joy may see, O Son of God, Thy glorious face, My Savior and my fount of grace. Lord Jesus Christ, My prayer attend, my prayer attend, And I will praise Thee without end!”
This Hymn was composed by a Lutheran pastor named Martin Schalling in 1567, fifty years after the start of the protestant reformation. Martin had been born into a Protestant family in 1532, and his father was a pastor or a Lutheran church. Martin went to college at the University of Wittenberg, the University that Martin Luther himself had taught at, before he passed away. Martin went into ministry after college, and dealt with many issues. During his lifetime there was a lot of fighting between the various protestant churches, and Martin was multiple times banished from the town in which he was serving.
In this Hymn, Martin Schalling bursts out with his love for God. He states that earth and even heaven would contain nothing that is pleasing if God is not there. He tells God that nothing can shake his love for Him, because Christ has died on his behalf. The second verse Martin makes supplications, or prayer request, about this present life. He asks that he may love and serve others. He asks to be free from false thinking, and from the craftiness of Satan, and that he would be given strength to follow Jesus. The last verse he makes supplications toward God concerning the afterlife. He asks that he may be faithful until the day of his death. He looks forward to the resurrection of the dead, when all the saints will rise and with joy look upon the glorious face of Jesus Christ.
Contributed by Jared McNabb