Author: Laurentius Laurenti (1660-1722) Composer: Severus Gastorius, 1675 (1646-1682) arr. by Carl Ferdinand Becker (1804-1877)
1. Consider, man, that heart of thine, Thy life and deeds beholding. Do thorns there grow, or fruits divine? Are weeds therein residing? The fruits will truly manifest What seeds have in thy heart been cast, If God’s or the destroyer’s.
2. Is now thy heart an open way Of wide and broad dimensions From which those evil birds of prey Can rob all good intentions? O, be sincere! It is no jest; If thorns and weeds thy heart infest, Then sad is thy condition!
3. No life and grace canst thou obtain Thy soul to feed and nourish, If thus o’er-trodden and destroyed This precious seed shall perish. Or if that seed but reach the ear And not thy heart, there is great fear This seed shall be unfruitful.
4. And though thy heart is dull and cold From sinfulness so hardened, Wherein that seed cannot take hold, And cannot thus be strengthened. ’Tis true upon a stony heart That seed cannot take root and start, And therefore it must perish.
5. Until thy heart is broken down And through God’s word made tender, The seed, which thereupon is sown, Can find no place to enter. Oh, lose no time, but now repent! Have faith that God His grace will lend, And thou wilt surely conquer!
6. Or is it only thoughts of greed, Of wealth and earthly splendor That fill thy heart so that this seed Can find no place to enter? Oh, man, take heed! If that be so, Then in thy heart no fruits will grow That lead to life eternal.
7. A heart that’s always on the chase For wealth and riches striving, Will have no welcome and no space For this good seed reviving, Or lovest thou but vain display, Which soon will fade and pass away, And leave thy soul no shelter?
8. But still they’re some found here below Whose hearts like fields are fruitful, Wherein that seed will start and grow In hearts upright and truthful. The seeds which in these hearts are sown Will thrive until good fruit is grown; They are the true believers.
9. He who has ears, oh, let him hear And give it due reflection, For while this day of grace is near Seek for thy soul protection! O, pray that while this day does last Good seeds into thy heart be cast And that they grow and prosper!
10. Oh, my Lord Jesus, Thee I pray, My heart for Thee make useful; And for Thy seed prepare the way. Grant that it may be fruitful! Yea, fruits of virtue, grace and love, That follow me to heaven above-- For this, O Lord, I pray Thee!
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!