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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Fick 15: Epilogue–“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”, Last Poem of Missouri's “Hans Sachs” (Easter 2018)

      This concludes from Part 14 (Table of Contents in Part 1), publishing an English translation of C.F.W. Walther's biography of Pastor C.J. Hermann Fick. —
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      I did not plan the timing of this epilogue for Walther's biography of "Our Unforgettable Fick" to fall on the Easter festival... it just came out that way.  But I believe the Lord had a hand in this timing for the most beautiful confession of Job in Job 19:25,
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth”, 
as it comes to life today, Easter, in the year of our Lord (Anno Domini) 2018.  The following poem was composed by Pastor C. J. Hermann Fick days before he passed away, and went home  It was published in Der Lutheraner, vol. 41 (1885), April 15, 1885, p. 57.  It was reported in Walther's biography of Fick in Der Lutheraner, vol. 42, Sept. 15, 1886 p. 139.
      Because this blog is viewed also in Germany, I am publishing this poem in both the original German, where the rhyming works, and in my English translation, with my very poor attempts to make the rhymes work.  Would to God that Pastor Joel Baseley or Matthew Carver would translate “Fick’s last poem” better than I!  May the Lord Jesus, the destroyer over the last enemy, death, be glorified! (1 Cor. 15:26)
Easter 2018
Soli Deo Gloria!

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt,
Drum darf mein Herz nun nicht verzagen.
Wenn gleich es vor dem Tode bebt
Und mächt'ge Sünden mich verklagen:
So weiß ich doch, daß JEsus Christ,
Mein HErr, unendlich mächt'ger ist.

Ich weiß, daß ein Erlöser kam,
Der alle Sünden weggenommen.
Der aller Welt Schuld auf sich nahm,
Ist für mich Aermsten auch gekommen.
Ich weiß, er hat auch mich erlöst
Und will, daß ich mich seiner tröst'.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt;
Ich laß mir diesen Trost nicht rauben.
Obgleich die Welt ihm widerstrebt
Und alle haßt, die an ihn glauben,
So weiß ich doch, daß Er mich liebt
Und alle Sünden mir vergibt.

Ich weiß, daß dieser Trost nicht trügt,
Daß ein Erlöser kam auf Erden.
Unmöglich ist es, daß Gott lügt;
Kann auch die Schrift gebrochen werden?
Wie Gott, so steht sie ewig fest:
Wohl dem, der sich auf sie verläßt.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt,
Er lebt auch in der Gläub'gen Herzen.
Wenn sich des Kreuzes Sturm erhebt,
Erquickt er sie in ihren Schmerzen,
Bis sich der Sturm geleget hat
Und endlich die Erlösung naht.

Ich weiß, wenn ich im dunklen Tal
Nun mit dem letzten Feinde ringe,
Daß ich trotz aller Not und Qual
Doch siegreich in den Himmel dringe,
Da mein Erlöser mir verheißt,
Daß nichts mich seiner Hand entreißt.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt:
Nun darf der finstre Tod nicht schrecken
Noch auch das Grab, das man mir gräbt,
Denn mein Erlöser will mich wecken,
Wenn die Posaune Gottes schallt,
Die einst durch alle Gräber hallt.

Ich weiß, ich werde auferstehn.
Mag auch mein Leib in Staub zerfallen,
Doch werd ich aus dem Grabe gehn,
Und schön verklärt gen Himmel wallen,
Und leuchten in des Vaters Reich,
Dem Glanz der hellen Sonne gleich.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt.
Wie wird es mich dereinst entzücken,
Wenn nun mein Geist zu Gott entschwebt,
Und meine Augen ihn erblicken,
Und ich mit der Erlösten Schaar
Ihn fröhlich preise immerdar!     H. Fick.
I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
Therefore my heart must not now despair.
If it quakes before death
And powerful sins for me sue:
So I know that Jesus Christ,
My Lord, is infinitely more powerful.

I know that a Redeemer came,
Who took away all sins.
Of all the world's debt took,
For me the poorest one also came.
I know he has redeemed me too
And wants me to have his consolation.

I know that my Redeemer liveth;
I do not let this comfort be robbed from me.
Although the world is against Him
And hates all who believe in Him,
So I know that He loves me
And forgives me all my sins.

I know that this consolation does not deceive,
That a Redeemer came to earth.
It is impossible for God to lie;
Can the Scripture also be broken? [John 10:35]
As God, so they stand fast eternally:
Blessed is he who relies on them.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
He also lives in the believer's heart.
When the cross rises in a storm,
He refreshes her in her pain,
Until the storm has set
And finally salvation is approaching.

I know when I'm in the dark valley
Now rings with the last enemy,
That I, in spite of all need and torment
But victorious into the sky,
Since my Redeemer promises me,
That nothing snatches me from his hand.

I know that my Redeemer liveth:
Now, the dark death must not frighten
Even the grave that is dug for me,
Because my Redeemer wants to wake me,
When the trumpet of God sounds,
That once echoed through all the graves.

I know I will again be raised.
May my body also fall into dust,
But shall I go out of the grave,
And beautifully transfigured to heaven float,
And shine in the Father's realm,
Like the brightness of the bright sun.

I know that my Redeemer liveth.
As it will delight me,
If now my spirit escapes to God,
And my eyes behold Him,
And I with the flock of the Redeemer
Cheerfully praising Him forever!    H. Fick.

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Hans Sachs,  Germany's Reformation poet 
C. J. Hermann Fick, America's Reformation poet

      The high esteem that Hermann Fick held as the master Lutheran poet of America reflects the same esteem that the greatest poet of the Reformation, Hans Sachs, held in Germany during the times of the Reformation.  More can be learned about Fick's partially completed epic “Luther Song” here and in Part 11. To further honor Fick's work, I would append to this post a “Read more »” section below republishing Pastor Joel Baseley's English translation of another great poem of Hermann Fick: “I Am A Lutheran” (ref. Part 7):

[The following is republished from Pastor Joel Baseley's / Mark V Publications' work.  Taken from Der Lutheraner, vol. 3, March 23, 1847, p. 79:]

Hans Sachs,
Germany's Reformation poet

C.J. Hermann Fick,
America's Reformation poet
                   (Submitted by H. Fick)
                 I am a Lutheran
    (translation by Pastor Joel Baseley, Mark V Publications)

   I'm glad I am a Luth’ran, of God’s true Church a part,
Who ‘neath Christ’s cross does struggle to heaven with all my heart
Sure there are foes assembled all gathered on the plain
Unfrightened, why you ask me? With JESUS I remain.

   Immanuel, my sov’reign, you strong victorious LORD!
You o'ercame devil, sin, death; disarmed and beat the world.
You have shed your precious blood, redeemed me in your grace
By your Spirit baptized me, your Word taught me your face.

   You’ve founded now a Kingdom of those who know your Name,
Made by your means so gracious, preserv-ed by the same.
That is your church, most holy, built on the solid ground
In hearts and hands and voices your praises here resound.

   Belonging to this kingdom is every Christian true,
In all the holy Bible they find you through and through,
Though trap’d against their wishes in errors of a sect,
Or lonely left to languish, far distant, they’re elect.

   This is the true Communion that bears our Luther’s name
Not because we set our faith, on any mere man’s fame.
But freed by God through Luther, from papal tyranny,
To be our LORD’S church ancient, that stands eternally.

   So long as our Sun's streaming across the firmament,
So long as our moon’s shining, the starlight not yet spent,
Yes e’en as heaven’s fading and earth in orbit move,
Here rises that lone pillar, the church of God’s own love.

   She’s set on prophet’s sayings and apostolic Word,
Her cornerstone is JESUS, whose Word grace does afford:
From this profound foundation, is raised the house of God,
Where Jesus and his blessings goes in and then outward.

   His folks are stones, who living, glad by his Spirit reigned,
All robed in priestly garments of freedom that’s not feigned,
Jerusalem, God’s city, you bride of JESUS Christ,
Holy mother of us all, to see you is our prize.

   How blessed are the faithful who have your doctrine pure,
Whose heart mids’t persecution is set to yet endure;
Ho! As on wings of eagles, he soars in strength of flight
When open hearts and hearing are filled with God’s own might.

   I thank you gracious Father! That you have so loved me
That this church of your dear Son, is mine eternally.
O arm me with true faith, LORD, give me the Spirit’s Sword,
The helmet of salvation, protection shall afford.

   Grant me a free confession, to all humanity,
So they too all shall fathom where your true church shall be;
Then faithfully I'll battle, LORD Christ, your honor raise,
Until I'm summoned to you, to your eternal praise.
                                  H. Fick.

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