My Soul's Best Friend, What Joy and Blessing

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Melody - "Wie wohl ist mir", from the Geistreiches Gesangbuch, Halle, 1704; Seq. by Richard Jordan
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Wolfgang C. Dessler, 1692; German text

My soul's best Friend, what joy and blessing
My spirit ever finds in Thee!
From gloomy depths of doubt distressing
Into Thine arms for rest I flee.
Then will the night of sorrow vanish
When from my heart Thy love doth banish
All anguish and all pain and fear.
Yea, here on earth begins my heaven;
Who would not joyful be when given
A loving Savior always near!

2. For though the evil world revile me
And prove herself my bitter foe
Or by her smile seek to beguile me,
I trust her not; her wiles I know.
In Thee alone my soul rejoices,
Thy praise alone it gladly voices,
For Thou art true when friendships flee.
The world may hate but cannot fell me;
Would mighty waves of trial quell me,
I anchor in Thy loyalty.

3. The Law may threaten endless death
From awful Sinai's burning hill,
Straightway from its consuming breath
My soul through faith mounts higher still;
She throws herself at Jesus' feet
And finds with Him a safe retreat
Where curse and death can never come.
Though all things threaten condemnation,
Yet, Jesus, Thou art my Salvation,
For in Thy love I find my home.

4. Through deserts of the cross Thou leadest;
I follow, leaning on Thy hand.
From out the cloud Thy child Thou feedest
And givest water from the sand.
I trust Thy ways, howe'er distressing;
I know my path will end in blessing;
Enough that Thou wilt be my Stay.
For whom to honor Thou intendest
Oft into sorrow's vale Thou sendest;
The night must e'er precede the day.

5. To others death seems dark and grim,
But not, Thou Life of life, to me.
I know Thou ne'er forsakest him
Whose heart and spirit rest in Thee.
Oh! who would fear his journey's close
If from dark woods and lurking foes
He then find safety and release?
Nay, rather, with a joyful heart
From this dark region I depart
To Thy eternal light and peace.

6. My soul's best Friend, how well contented
Am I, reposing on Thy breast;
By sin no more am I tormented
Since Thou dost grant me peace and rest.
Oh, may the grace that Thou hast given
For me a foretaste be of heaven,
When I shall bask in joys divine!
Away, vain world, with fleeting pleasures;
In Christ I have abiding treasures.
Oh, comfort sweet, my Friend is mine!

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