God is a stronghold and a tower

Full Text

1. God is a Stronghold and a Tower,
A Help that never faileth,
A covering Shield, a Sword of power,
When Satan’s host assaileth.
In vain our crafty foe
Still strives to work us woe,
Still lurks and lies in wait
With more than earthly hate;
We will not faint, nor tremble.

2. Frail sinners are we: naught remains
For hope or consolation,
Save in His strength whom God ordains
Our Captain of salvation.
Yes, Jesus Christ alone
The Lord of hosts we own,
God ere the world began,
The Word-made-flesh for man,
Still conquering, and to conquer.

3. Though fiercely strive the hosts of ill
Within us, and around us,
With fiendish strength, and fiendish skill,
Yet ne’er may they confound us.
Man’s night of dark despair,
When storm clouds fill the air,
In God’s triumphal hour,
The noonday of His power,
One word, and He prevaileth.

4. Our Father’s truth abideth sure;
Christ, our Redeemer, liveth;
For us He pleads His offering pure,
To us His Spirit giveth.
Though dear ones pass away,
Though strength and life decay,
Yet loss shall be our gain,
For God doth still remain
Our All-in-all forever.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #1790

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Translator: Dame Elizabeth Wordsworth

Wordsworth, Elizabeth, daughter of Bp. C. Wordsworth, of Lincoln, was b. at Harrow in 1840, and is now (1907) the Head of the Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. The following of her hymns are in common use:— 1. God is our Stronghold and our Stay. [Ps. xlvi.] This is a metrical rendering of the Book of Common Prayer version of the forty-sixth Psalm in the Metre of "Ein' feste Burg." It was written for and first published in Church Hymns, 1903. Miss Wordsworth's translation direct from the German of "Ein' feste Burg," is given under that hymn. 2. Great Ruler of the Nations. [For Peace.] Written during the South African war, and included in Church Hymns, 1903. 3. O Lord our Banner, God of Might. [In Time of War.] Miss… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: God is a stronghold and a tower
Author: Martin Luther
Translator: Dame Elizabeth Wordsworth



The original rhythms of EIN FESTE BURG (see 469) had already reached their familiar isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) shape by the time of Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) in the eighteenth century. The harmonization is taken from his Cantata 80. Many organ and choral works are based on this chorale, including…

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The Cyber Hymnal #1790
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