Oh well for him who all things braves,
A soldier of the Lord to be,
Whom vice counts not among her slaves,
From envy, pride, and passion free;
Who wars against the world of sin
Without him, and self-will within.
Who follows Christ whate'er betide,
Is worthy of a soldier's name;
Is He thy Way, thy Light, thy Guide,
'Tis meet thou also bear His shame;
Who shrinks from dark Gethsemane,
Shall Tabor's glories never see.
What profits it that Christ hath deigned
To wear our mortal nature thus,
If we ourselves have ne'er attained
That God reveal Himself in us?
The pure and virgin soul alone
He chooseth for His earthly throne.
What profits it that Christ is born,
And bringeth childhood back to men,
Unless our long-lost right we mourn,
And win through penitence again,
And lead a God-like life on earth,
As children of the second birth?
What profits all that Christ hath taught,
If man is slave to reason still,
And worldly wisdom, honour, thought,
Rule all his acts, and move his will?
He follows what his Lord doth teach
Who true denial of self would reach.
What profit us His deeds and life,
His meekness, love so quick to bless,
If we give place to pride and strife,
Dishonouring thus His holiness?
What profits it, if for reward,
And not in faith, we call Him Lord?
What profits us His agony,
If we endure not pain and scorn?
'Tis combat brings forth victory,
Of sorrow sweetest joys are born;
And ne'er to him Christ's crown is given,
Who hath not here with Adam striven.
What profit ye His death and cross,
Unless to self ye also die?
Ye love your life to find it loss,
Afraid the flesh to crucify.
Wouldst live to this world still? Then know,
His death to thee is barren show.
What profit that He loosed and broke
All bonds, if ye in league remain
With earth? Who weareth Satan's yoke
Shall call Him Master but in vain.
Count ye the soul for reconciled,
Yet slave to earth, by sin defiled?
What profits it that He is risen,
If dead in sins thou yet dost lie?
If yet thou cleavest to thy prison,
What profit that He dwells on high?
His triumph will avail thee nought
If thou hast ne'er the battle fought.
Then live and suffer, do and bear,
As Christ thy pattern here hath done,
And seek His innocence to wear,
That he may count thee of His own.
Who loveth Christ cares but to win
New triumphs o'er the world of sin.
Wolff, Jakob Gabriel, LL.D., son of Jakob Wolff, sometime conrector at Greifswald, was born at Greifswald in 1684. He matriculated, in 1702, at the University of Greifswald, as a student of law. In 1705 went to Halle, where he graduated LL.D. In 1716 he was appointed extraordinary, and in 1724, ordinary professor of law at Halle, and afterwards received the title of Hofrath. He resigned his professorship in 1744, and died at Halle, Aug. 6, 1754 (Koch, iv. 375; Bode, p. 174; the Grischow-Kirchner Kurzgefasste Nachrichte, Halle, 1771, p. 54, &c).
Wolff's hymns were mostly written early in life, principally during his student years at Halle. He was in thorough sympathy with the characteristic teachings of the Halle Pietists, and his hymns sh… Go to person page >
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >