1 My God, I love thee, not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
nor yet because, if I love not,
I must forever die.
2 Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me
upon the cross embrace;
for me didst bear the nails and spear
and manifold disgrace.
3 Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
should I not love thee well?
Not for the sake of winning heaven,
nor of escaping hell.
4 Not with the hope of gaining aught,
not seeking a reward,
but as thyself hast loved me,
O everlasting Lord.
5 So would I love thee, dearest Lord,
and in thy praise will sing;
because thou art my loving God
and my eternal King.