Martin Luther: “…and live alone by mercy…”

From the depths of woe I raise to Thee the voice of lamentation;
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me and hear my supplication;
If Thou iniquities dost mark, our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
O who shall stand before Thee; O who shall stand before Thee?

To wash away the crimson stain, grace, grace alone avails;
Our works, alas! Are all in vain; in much the best life fails;
No man can glory in Thy sight, all must alike confess Thy might,
And live alone by mercy; and live alone by mercy.

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;
His promised mercy is my fort, my comfort and my sweet support;
I wait for it with patience; I wait for it with patience.

What though I wait the live-long night, and ’til the dawn appears,
My heart still trusts in His might; it doubts not nor fears;
Do thus, O ye of Israel’s seed, ye of the Spirit born indeed;
And wait ’til God appears; and wait ’til God appears.

Though great our sins and sore our woes His grace much more abounds;
His helping love no limit knows, our upmost need it sounds.
Our Shepherd good and true is He, Who will at last His Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow; from all their sin and sorrow.


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