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Cantata 115: Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit BWV 115

Cantata 115: Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit

Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit,
Wache, fleh und bete,
Dass dich nicht die böse Zeit
Unverhofft betrete;
Denn es ist
Satans List
Über viele Frommen
Zur Versuchung kommen.
Aria (Alto)
Ach schläfrige Seele, wie? ruhest du noch?
Ermuntre dich doch!
Es möchte die Strafe dich plötzlich erwecken
Und, wo du nicht wachest,
Im Schlafe des ewigen Todes bedecken.
Recitativo (Bass)
Gott, so vor deine Seele wacht,
Hat Abscheu an der Sünden Nacht;
Er sendet dir sein Gnadenlicht
Und will vor diese Gaben,
Die er so reichlich dir verspricht,
Nur offne Geistesaugen haben.
Des Satans List ist ohne Grund,
Die Sünder zu bestricken;
Brichst du nun selbst den Gnadenbund,
Wirst du die Hilfe nie erblicken.
Die ganze Welt und ihre Glieder
Sind nichts als falsche Brüder;
Doch macht dein Fleisch und Blut hiebei
Sich lauter Schmeichelei.
Aria (Soprano)
Bete aber auch dabei
Mitten in dem Wachen!
Bitte bei der großen Schuld
Deinen Richter um Geduld,
Soll er dich von Sünden frei
Und gereinigt machen!
Recitativo (Tenor)
Er sehnet sich nach unserm Schreien,
Er neigt sein gnädig Ohr hierauf;
Wenn Feinde sich auf unsern Schaden freuen,
So siegen wir in seiner Kraft:
Indem sein Sohn, in dem wir beten,
Uns Mut und Kräfte schafft
Und will als Helfer zu uns treten.
Drum so lasst uns immerdar
Wachen, flehen, beten,
Weil die Angst, Not und Gefahr
Immer näher treten;
Denn die Zeit
Ist nicht weit,
Da uns Gott wird richten
Und die Welt vernichten.

Get thyself, my soul, prepared

Get thyself, my soul, prepared,
Watching, begging, praying,
Lest thou let the evil day
Unforeseen o’ertake thee.
For in truth
Satan’s guile
Often to the righteous
With temptation cometh.
Aria (Alto)
Ah slumbering spirit, what? Still at thy rest?
Arouse thyself now!
For well may damnation thee sudden awaken
And, if thou not watchest,
In slumber of lasting perdition obscure thee.
Recitative (Bass)
God, who for this thy soul doth watch,
Hath loathing for the night of sin;
He sendeth thee his gracious light
And wants for all these blessings,
Which he so richly thee assures,
Alone the open eyes of spirit.
In Satan’s craft there is no end
Of charm to snare the sinner;
If thou dost break the bond of grace,
Thou shalt salvation ne’er discover.
The whole wide world and all its members
Are nought but untrue brothers;
Yet doth thy flesh and blood from them
Seek nought but flattery.
Aria (Soprano)
Pray though even now as well,
Even in thy waking!
Beg now in thy grievous guilt
That thy Judge with thee forbear,
That he thee from sin set free
And unspotted render.
Recitative (Tenor)
He yearneth after all our crying
He bends his gracious ear to us;
When foes respond to all our woe with gladness,
We shall triumph within his might:
For this his Son, in whom we ask it,
Us strength and courage sends
And will advance to be our Helper.
Therefore let us ever be
Watching, begging, praying,
Since our fear, need, and great dread
Press on ever nearer;
For the day
Is not far
When our God will judge us
And the world demolish.
Translations by Z. Philip Ambrose are published in J.S. Bach: The Extant Texts of the Vocal Works in English Translations with Commentary Volume 1: BWV 1-200; Volume 2: BWV 201- (Philadelphia: XLibris, 2005) and also online at

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Johann Sebasian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Boroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg concertos, th Goldburg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

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