Sunday, April 26, 2009

All Mankind Fell in Adam's Fall

Lazarus Spengler originally wrote "Durch Adams Fall ganz verderbt Menschlich Natur und Wesen" as a nine stanza text of eight lines.  Matthias Loy freely translated Spengler's text into Long Meter.  Spengler's hymn first appeared in Walter's Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn (Wittenberg, 1524), Johann Walter's choir book.  This text was held in high regard at the time of the Reformation, but during the eras of Pietism and the Enlightenment, it fell into disuse.  Matthias Loy's free translation appeared in The Lutheran Hymnal (1880) of the Ohio Synod and in The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), Lutheran Worship (1982) and now in Lutheran Service Book (2006).

1.  All mankind fell in Adam's fall;
     One common sin infects us all.
          From one to all the curse descends,
          And over all God's wrath impends.

2.  Through all our pow'rs corruption creeps
     And us in dreadful bondage keeps;
          In guilt we draw our infant breath
          And reap its fruits of woe and death.

3.  From hearts depraved, to evil prone,
     Flow thoughts and deeds of sin alone;
          God's image lost, the darkened soul
          Seeks not nor finds its heav'nly goal.

4.  But Christ, the second Adam, came
     To bear our sin and woe and shame,
          To be our life, our light, our way,
          Our only hope, our only stay.'

5.  As by one man all mankind fell
     And, born in sin, was doomed to hell,
         So by one Man, who took our place,
        We all are justified by grace.

6.  We thank You, Christ; new life is ours,
     New light, new hope, new strength, new pow'rs.
          This grace our ev'ry way attend
          Until we reach our journey's end.

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