Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Worshiping in Sickness

Huldrich Zwingli's response to his sickness during the plague in Zurich is a great example of faith clinging to God. Here are Philip Schaff's renditions of the poems Zwingli wrote at the beginning, middle, and end of his illness.

I. In the beginning of his sickness

Help me, O Lord,
My strength and rock;
Lo, at the door
I hear death's knock.

Uplift thine arm,
Once pierced for me,
That conquered death,
And set me free.

Yet, if thy voice,
In life's mid-day,
Recalls my soul,
Then I obey.

In faith and hope
Earth I resign,
Secure of heaven,
For I am Thine.

II. In the midst of his sickness

My pains increase;
Haste to console;
For fear and woe
Seize body and soul.

Death is at hand,
My senses fail,
My tongue is dumb;
Now, Christ, prevail.

Lo! Satan strains
To snatch his prey;
I feel his grasp;
Must I give way?

He harms me not,
I fear no loss,
For here I lie,
Beneath thy cross.

III. On recovering from his sickness

My God! my Lord!
Healed by thy hand,
Upon the earth
Once more I stand.

Let sin no more
Rule over me;
My mouth shall sing
Alone of thee.

Though now delayed,
My hour will come,
Involved, perchance,
In deeper gloom.

But, let it come;
With joy I'll rise,
And bear my yoke
Straight to the skies.

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