I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of God

Full Text

1. I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in Thy cleansing blood,
To dwell within Thy wounds; then pain
Is sweet, and life or death is gain.

2. Take this poor heart, and let it be
For ever closed to all but Thee!
Seal Thou my breast, and let me wear
That pledge of love for ever there.

3. How blest are they who still abide,
Close sheltered in Thy bleeding side;
Who life and strength from thence derive,
And by Thee move, and in Thee live.

4. What are our works, but sin and death,
Till Thou Thy quickening Spirit breathe?
Thou giv’st the power Thy grace to move;
O wondrous grace! O boundless love!

5. How can it be, Thou heavenly King,
That Thou shouldst us to glory bring;
Make slaves the partners of Thy throne,
Decked with a never-failing crown?

6. Hence our hearts melt, our eyes o’erflow,
Our words are lost; nor will we know,
Nor will we think of aught beside,
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

7. Ah! Lord, enlarge our scanty thought,
To know the wonders Thou hast wrought;
Unloose our stammering tongues to tell
Thy love immense, unsearchable.

8. First-born of many brethren, Thou!
To Thee, lo! all our souls we bow,
To Thee our hearts and hands we give,
Thine may we die, Thine may we live!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #3128

Author: Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von Zinzendorf

Zinzendorf, Count Nicolaus Ludwig, the founder of the religious community of Herrnhut and the apostle of the United Brethren, was born at Dresden May 26, 1700. It is not often that noble blood and worldly wealth are allied with true piety and missionary zeal. Such, however, was the case with Count Zinzendorf. Spener, the father of Pietism, was his godfather; and Franke, the founder of the famous Orphan House, in Halle, was for several years his tutor. In 1731 Zinzendorf resigned all public duties and devoted himself to missionary work. He traveled extensively on the Continent, in Great Britain, and in America, preaching "Christ, and him crucified," and organizing societies of Moravian brethren. John Wesley is said to have been under obligat… Go to person page >

Translator: John Wesley

John Wesley, the son of Samuel, and brother of Charles Wesley, was born at Epworth, June 17, 1703. He was educated at the Charterhouse, London, and at Christ Church, Oxford. He became a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and graduated M.A. in 1726. At Oxford, he was one of the small band consisting of George Whitefield, Hames Hervey, Charles Wesley, and a few others, who were even then known for their piety; they were deridingly called "Methodists." After his ordination he went, in 1735, on a mission to Georgia. The mission was not successful, and he returned to England in 1738. From that time, his life was one of great labour, preaching the Gospel, and publishing his commentaries and other theological works. He died in London, in 17… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of God
German Title: Ach mein verwundter Fürst
Translator: John Wesley (1740)
Author: Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von Zinzendorf
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God. [Union with Christ.] This hymn, by John Wesley, first appeared in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1740 (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 265), thus—

1. "I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in thy cleansing Blood,
To dwell within thy Wounds; then
Pain Is sweet, and Life or Death is Gain.

2. "Take this poor Heart, and let it be
For ever clos'd to all but Thee!
Seal Thou my Breast, and let me wear
That Pledge of Love for ever there.

3. “How blest are they who still abide,
Close shelter'd in thy bleeding Side!
Who Life and Strength from thence derive,
And by Thee move, and in Thee live.

4. "What are our Works, but Sin and Death,
'Till Thou thy quick'ning Spirit breathe?
Thou giv'st the Power thy Grace to move;
0 wondrous Grace! 0 boundless Love!

5. "How can it be, Thou heavenly King,
That Thou should'st us to Glory bring;
Make Slaves the Partners of thy Throne,
Deck'd with a never-fading Crown?

6. "Hence our Hearts melt, our Eyes o'erflow,
Our Words are lost; nor will we know!
Nor will we think of ought beside
My Lord, my Love is crucify'd!

7. "Ah ! Lord, enlarge our scanty Thought,
To know the Wonders Thou hast wrought;
Unloose our stammering Tongues, to tell
Thy Love immense, unsearchable.

8. "First-born of many Brethren, Thou!
To Thee, lo! all our Souls we bow,
To Thee our Hearts and Hands we give,
Thine may we die, Thine may we live! "

This hymn is made up from four German hymns, all of which appeared in Appendix vii. to the Herrnhut Gesang-Buch, 1735. Of Wesley's hymn stanzas i., ii., are based on stanzas i., iii. of N. L. von Zinzendorf's;
Stanzas iii.-vi. are based on J. Nitschmann's;
Stanza vii. is based on stanzas i., ii. of Zinzendorf’s;
Stanza viii. is based on stanza xiv. of a hymn, by Anna Nitschmann, which begins "Mein Konig deine Liebe."
Wesley's translation was first adopted for congregational use as No. 61 inMoravian Hymn Book, 1742, in full and unaltered. In the 1789 and later editions it is abridged and begins "We pray Thee, wounded Lamb of God." In 1753 Wesley's full text was given in his Hymns & Spiritual Songs, No. 14, and repeated in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780. It is also in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, People's Hymnal, 1867, and others. It is found in the following abridged or altered forms:—
1. Jesu, Thou wounded Lamb of God (i. alt.). The Hymnal Companion and others.
2. 0 come, Thou wounded Lamb of God (i. alt.). Whitefield's Hymns, &c, 1753; Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760, and others.
3. 0 come, Thou stricken Lamb of God (i. alt.). Walker's Psalms & Hymns, 1855, &c.
4. Jesus, Thou holy Lamb of God (i. alt.). Rugby Church Hymn Book, 1839.
5. We pray Thee, wounded Lamb of God (i. alt.), in Robinson's Songs for the Sanctuary, N.Y., 1865, &c.
6. Take my poor heart, and let it be (ii. alt.), in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872.
7. Lord J take my heart, and let it be (ii. alt.). American Presbyterian Hymnal 1874, &c.
8. How can it be, Thou heavenly King (v.). American Methodist Episcopal South Collection, 1847, &c. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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