Author: Friedrich Gottlieb Klopfstock (1724-1803) Composer: Johannes Schmidlin (1722-1772)
1. Mortal shell, so now thou art In thy cool grave calmly sleeping; From earth did thy soul depart To take comfort in Christ’s keeping. Thou wilt break thy grave’s dark walls And arise when Jesus calls.
2. Therefore rest thou calmly here; Rest serenely in the gloaming, Till the time for us draws near, When our feet are tired of roaming, And we in the grave abide, Where all cares are laid aside.
3. ’Tis His will that we have life Still in bodies mortal flowing; All who won the crown through strife, Once beneath this yoke were groaning. Death takes us to God at last, As it did those of the past.
4. Christ Himself lived here below; In a pilgrim’s hut He tarried. Greater far than ours, we know, Were the burdens that He carried. Firm in conflict let us be With our eye fixed, God, on Thee.
5. What is life passed in this frame, This short space with gloom o’erclouded, Toward life with immortal fame? Yet on this short hour enshrouded Hangs, Thou God of mystery, Either death or life with Thee.
6. Thou on whom our all we stake! Ours will be eternal pleasure, When earth ties in death we break, Thou wilt give us then this treasure. Son of Man and God, our Friend, Thou on us Thy peace didst send.
7. Lord, to Thee, not to the world, We belong --Thou shalt awake us. This pow’r of the better world Let us taste when death does take us. May we here in faith abide And in death with thee reside.
Special thanks to the Apostolic Christians who diligently labored to keep their rich musical heritage alive when most other denominations forsook it in the challenging battle of changing cultures. Thanks be to those souls who labored to write and compose this treasure of praise, many now only known to GOD!