Paul Gerhardt was a faithful German Lutheran pastor of the 17th century. Throughout his ministry, he used hymns as a means of pastoral care and discipleship.
While best known for “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” , there are other gems among his hymns, like this one. It was written in 1656, the same year his first child, a son, died in infancy.
If God Himself be for me, I may a host defy,
For when I pray, before me my foes confounded fly.
If Christ, the Head, befriend me, if God be my support,
The mischief they intend me shall quickly come to naught.
I build on this fouundation, that Jesus and His blood
Alone are my salvation, the true eternal good;
Without Him, all that pleases is valueless on earth,
The gifts I owe to Jesus alone my love are worth.
His Holy Spirit dwelleth within my willing heart,
Tames it when it rebelleth, and soothes the keenest smart.
He crowns His work with blessing, and helpeth me to cry
‘My Father!” without ceasing to Him who reigns on high.
To mine His spirit speaketh sweet words of soothing power
How God to him who seeketh for rest, hath rest in store;
How God Himself prepareth my heritage and lot,
And though my body weareth, my Heav’n shall fail me not.