Out of the Depths

Full Text

1 Out of the depths to thee I raise
the voice of lamentation;
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me,
and hear my supplication;
if thou shouldst be extreme to mark
each secret sin and misdeed dark,
O who could stand before Thee?

2 To wash away the crimson stain
grace, grace alone prevaileth;
our works, alas! are all in vain;
in much the best life faileth:
for none can glory in thy sight,
all must alike confess thy might
and live alone by mercy.

3 Therefore my trust is in the Lord,
and not in mine own merit;
on him my soul shall rest: his word
upholds my fainting spirit;
him promised mercy is my fort,
my comfort, and my strong support;
I wait for it with patience.

4 What though I wait the live-long night,
and till the dawn appeareth,
my heart still trusteth in his might;
it doubteth not nor feareth:
so let the Israelite in heart,
born of the Spirit, do his part,
and wait till God appeareth.

Rejoice in the Lord, 1985

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: Richard Massie

Massie, Richard, eldest son of the Rev. R. Massie, of Goddington, Cheshire, and Rector of Eccleston, was born at Chester, June 18, 1800, and resides at Pulford Hall, Coddington. Mr. Massie published a translation of Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, London, 1854. His Lyra Domestica, 1st series, London, 1860, contains translations of the 1st Series of Spitta's Psalter und Harfe. In 1864 he published vol. ii., containing translations of Spitta's 2nd Series, together with an Appendix of translations of German hymns by various authors. He also contributed many translations of German hymns to Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book; to Reid's British Herald; to the Day of Rest, &c. He died Mar. 11,1887. -- John Julian, Di… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Out of the depths I cry to Thee, Lord mark my lamentation
Title: Out of the Depths
Author: Martin Luther
Translator: Richard Massie
Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.8.7
Language: English
Publication Date: 1990
Copyright: This text may still be under copyright because it was published in 1990.

Notes

Aus tiefer Woth schrei ich zu dir. Martin Luther. [Ps. cxxx.] This beautiful, though free, version of Ps. cxxx. was written in 1523. Ps. cxxx. was a great favourite with Luther, one of those he called Pauline Psalms —the others being Ps. xxxii., li., and cxliii. With its versification he took special pains, and the final result ranks with the finest of German Psalm versions. It first appeared in 4 stanzas of 7 lines in Etlich cristlich lider, Wittenberg, 1524, and in Eyn Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524. The form now in use considerably altered, and with stanza ii. rewritten as ii., iii., appeared in the Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524, in 5 stanzas was included as No. 1 in Luther's Christliche Geseng zum Begrebnis, Wittenberg, 1542, and since in almost all German hymn-books, as recently in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 362. Both forms are included in Wackernagel’s D. Kirchenlied, iii. pp. 7-8, and in Schircks's ed. of Luther's Geistliche Lieder, 1854, pp. 66-68.
The fine melody (in the Irish Church Hymnal called De profundis; elsewhere, Luther's 130th, &c.) is possibly by Luther, and first appeared, with the 5 stanza form, in 1524.
The hymn was sung, May 9, 1525, at the funeral of the Elector Friedrich the Wise in the Court church at Wittenberg; by the weeping multitude at Halle when, on Feb. 20, 1546, Luther's body was being taken to its last resting-place at Wittenberg; and again as the last hymn in the Cathedral at Strasburg before the city was captured by the French in 1681. Stanza v. comforted the last hours of Christian, Elector of Saxony, 1591, of Johann Georg L, Elector of Saxony, 1656, and of King Friedrich I. of Prussia, 1723 (Koch, viii. 211-216).
Translations in common use:—

5. From depths of woe I raise to Thee. Good and full by R. Massie in his M. Luther's Spiritual Songs, 1854, p. 73. Thence unaltered as No. 64 in the 1857 edition of Mercer's Church Psalm & Hymn Book (Ox. ed., 1864, No. 150), and since in the Scottish Hymnal, 1870, the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal, 1876 (omitting stanza iv,), and the Canadian Presbyterian Hymn Book, 1880. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

AUS TIEFER NOT (Luther)


HERR, WIE DU WILLST


ALLEIN GOTT IN DER HÖH

The tune name ALLEIN GOTT derives from the opening words of Decius's rhymed text in High German. The tune was first published in Schumann's Geistliche Lieder. Decius adapted the tune from a tenth-century Easter chant for the Gloria text, beginning at the part accompanying the words "et in terra pax.…

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Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 3 of 3)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #240TextPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #134TextPage Scan
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #554TextPage Scan
Include 5 pre-1979 instances



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