The author of the hymn, Erhart Hegenwalt , appears to have been a student and graduate of Wittenberg and a contemporary of Martin Luther and J. Walter there. Bach uses it in the Organ movement infra and there is a four-part setting of it among the Choralgesange, No. Psalm LI. First published on a broadsheet dated "Wittenberg freytag nach Epiphanie im Jar.
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With hyssop, Lord, asperge my flesh, If washed by Thee, then I am pure, More white than snow, more glad and fresh, My bones rejoice to find their cure. O Lord, view not my sin obscene; Remove all my unrighteousness, And make my heart within me clean, A spirit new within me dress. Thy justice let my tongue make known, Unlock my lips to worship Thee.
Thou wouldst no fleshly gift from me Else had I quickly given it: So take this spirit crushed to Thee, This sad and contrite heart admit. Verwirf mich nicht von deim Angsicht, dein Heilig Geist wend nicht von mir; die Freud deins Heils, Herr, zu mir richt, der willig Geist enthalt mich dir. Have mercy, Lord, my sin forgive; For Thy long-suffering is great! O cleanse and make me fit to live, My sore offence do thou abate With shame do I my fault confess, Gainst Thee alone, Lord, have I sinned.
Thou art the source of righteousness, And I the sinner just condemned. Beholde, I was all borne in synne, My mother conceaved me therin: But Thou lovest treuth, and haste shewed me Thy wysdome hyd so secretly. With fayre ysope, Lorde, sprenkle Thou me; Washe Thou me clean; so shall I be Whyter than snowe: cause me reioyse, Make my bones mery, whom Thou madest lowse.
Lorde, turne Thy face from my wickednesse; Clense me from all unryghteousnesse: A pure harte, Lorde, make Thou in me, Renewe a ryght spirite in my body: Cast me not out away from The, Nor take Thy Holy Goost from me; Make me reioyse in Thy savynge health, Thy myghty Spirite strength me for my wealth. Thy waye shall I shewe to men full of vyce, And enstructe them well in Thy service; That wicked men and ungodly May be converted unto The.
Thou wylt have no bodely offrynge; I thought them els to The to brynge. With Sion, O God, deale gently, That Hierusalem walles may buylded be: Then shalt Thou delyte in the ryght offrynge, Which men shall with theyr calves brynge. Posted by.
Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)