G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!

Text on one page: Few Medium Many
Produced by Stephen Hutcheson, based on page images provided
by Google Books, with rough OCR by the Internet Archive)








Preface vii
Biographical Sketch xi
Index of First Lines xliii
Of the Holy Trinity 1
Advent 5
Birth of Christ--Christmas 14
Circumcision of Christ--New Year 43
The Sufferings of Christ--Good Friday 49
Resurrection of Christ--Easter 71
Whitsuntide 78
Repentance 83
Prayer and the Christian Life 97
Songs of the Cross and Consolation 143
Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving 238
Morning and Evening Songs 270
Miscellaneous 289
Of Death, the Last Day, and Eternal Life 312


This volume contains a large selection from Paul Gerhardt's "Spiritual
Songs." Every piece included is given in full, and is rendered into the
metre of the original. A few of the following translations have appeared
at various times during the last three years in different periodicals.
They have been revised for this volume. Several of the hymns have been
beautifully translated by others; and had the Translator been compiling a
volume composed of selections from various authors, this might have
formed a strong reason for not doing them again, but to have omitted them
from a volume like the present would have been to give a selection from
Gerhardt without some of his most celebrated productions; besides, in the
other collections where they appear they are not all given in full, nor
are they always rendered into the metre of the original, save in those
published with the music attached. As far as the Translator is aware, the
greater number of the following songs have never appeared in an English
dress before.

Every one who has reflected on the subject, or attempted metrical
translation, knows that literality is rarely attainable, that a certain
measure of freedom must be used. The Translator has, however, striven to
maintain fidelity to the sense of the original, and has occasionally
somewhat sacrificed euphony to fidelity.

It is not to be expected that the people's poet of one nation and of a
former age will become, through translation, the people's poet of another
nation in a later generation. Individual translations may win for
themselves a place side by side with the favourite songs of native
growth. Instances of this will occur to every one familiar with our
hymnology; but this can hardly happen in many cases. The translations on
the principle of this volume may neither be uninteresting nor unedifying
on that account, and it may be permitted to the Translator to trust that
Paul Gerhardt in his present dress may be found stimulating and
refreshing to many. Gerhardt was peculiarly a son of consolation. The
Translator has found him so in the hour of trial, and he will feel repaid
if he should become the cup-bearer of the rich wine of consolation
contained in the hymns of the staunch old German Lutheran to any English
Christian readers "who may be in any wise afflicted."

The work of translation has been a labour of love. It has been the
recreation of leisure hours from graver duties, and occasionally the
occupation of days of unwilling, but unavoidable, total or partial
freedom from professional engagements.

The edition used in this translation was Wackernagel's "Paulus Gerhardt's
Geistliche Lieder getreu nach der bei seinen Lebzeiten erschienenen
Ausgabe wiederabgedrückt. Neue Auflage, in Taschenformat."--Stuttgart,
Verlag von Samuel Gottlieb Liesching, 1855. This edition has been
followed in the classification and titles both of the sections and hymns.

The principal sources whence the materials for the biographical sketch
have been drawn are "Paul Gerhardt's Geistliche Andachten, &c., mit
Anmerkungen, einer Geschichtlichen Einleitung und Urkunden herausgegaben,
von Otto Schultze."--Berlin, 1842. "Paul Gerhardt, nach seinem Leben und
Wirken, aus zum Theile ungedrückten Nachrichten dargestellt," von E. G.
Roth, Pastor Primarius zu Luebben in der Niederlausitz.--Leipzig, 1829.

Feustking, Langbecker, Herzog, and others were also read, or more or less


Paul Gerhardt was born in Graefenhainichen in Electoral Saxony, where his
father, Christian Gerhardt, was Burgomaster. There is some doubt as to
the precise year of his birth, owing to the destruction of the church
books when the place was burnt by the Swedes on the 16th of April, 1637.
According to some, the event took place in the year 1606; according to
others, in 1607. The probability is in favour of the former date, for
General Superintendent Goltlob Stolze, of Lübben,[1] says that he died,
in the 70th year of his age, in the year 1676.

There is no information concerning his youth and education. He was still
very young when the Thirty Years' War broke out, and his preparation for
his profession and entrance on it took place in those troublous times,
which may account for his late settlement in a ministerial sphere. In the
year 1651, when in his forty-fifth year, we find him still only a
candidate[2] of theology, and resident as a tutor in the family of
Andreas Bertholdt, Chancery Advocate in Berlin, whose daughter he
subsequently married. In that year a vacancy occurred in the ministry at
Mittenwald, by the death of Probst Caspar Göde. The magistracy of that
place applied to the clergy of Berlin to recommend a suitable man to them
for the office. Paul Gerhardt was their unanimous choice. They
recommended him as an honourable, estimable, and learned man, whose
diligence and erudition were known, of good parts and incorrupt doctrine,
of a peace-loving disposition and blameless Christian life, which
qualities had procured for him the love of all classes, high and low, in
Berlin. They furthermore added that he had frequently, at their friendly
invitation, exercised the excellent gifts with which God had endowed him
for the edification of the church, and had thereby deserved well of the
people, and endeared himself to them. The clergy met together for
consultation, and sent this recommendation to Mittenwald without the
knowledge of Gerhardt; no higher testimony, therefore, could have been
given to his character, learning, and abilities. He was accordingly
appointed and set apart to his office in St. Nicholas' Church, Berlin, on
the 18th of November, 1651, and entered before the close of the year on
his duties. The church book which he kept from Jan. 1, 1652, till Dec.
31, 1656, bears testimony to his fidelity and conscientiousness in the
discharge of this part of the duties of his office.

On February 11th, 1655, he was married to Anna Maria, daughter of the
Chancery Advocate Bertholdt, in whose family he had been tutor. Before he
left Mittenwald, his first child, a daughter, was born and died. There is
a slab to her memory still standing in the church. Several circumstances
in his position at Mittenwald conspired to make Gerhardt desire a change,
and welcome a translation to Berlin when an opportunity offered. The
relation between his colleague, Deacon Allborn, and himself was not
friendly: Allborn had been passed over by the magistrates in favour of
Gerhardt. The want of cordiality which prevailed in consequence must have
been very trying to a man of Gerhardt's disposition. The income of the
office was also small, and his circumstances consequently straitened. His
ties and associations in Berlin would also be strong inducements of
themselves to the acceptance of an appointment there.

The welcome relief came when the magistrates appointed him to the third
Diaconate of St. Nicholas' Church, vacant by the death of Probst Peter
Vher, and the consequent promotion of the other ministers. The spirit in
which he received and accepted the invitation is shown in his letter to
the magistrates on accepting their offer. He humbly and gratefully
recognized the hand of God in the matter; and, owning his own weakness,
earnestly solicited the prayers of the faithful. His letter is dated June
4, 1657, and in the register of St. Nicholas there is an entry of a
baptism made by him on the 22nd of July. Consequently he must have
entered on his duties soon after. Gerhardt, doubtless, joyfully returned
to Berlin, anticipating a happy ministry there; but it was there his
greatest trials awaited him. These trials arose out of the measures taken
by Frederick William,[3] at that time Elector of Brandenburg, to allay
the animosity prevailing between the adherents of the Lutheran and
Reformed Confessions respectively. The feud was of long standing, and the
efforts made to heal it had been hitherto in vain.

With the laudable desire of pacifying party strife, the Elector appointed
a conference to be held between the Lutheran and Reformed clergy of
Berlin and Cöln-on-the-Spree, under the direction of the Lord President,
Baron Otto von Schwerin, on the Reformed side, and Chancellor Lorenz
Christian von Somnitz, of Pomerania, and others, on the Lutheran side.
The Lutheran clergy of the three chief churches in Berlin and Cöln, and
the Reformed court preachers, Bartholomew Stosch and Johann Kunschius,
the rector of the Joachimsthal Gymnasium, and the philologue Joh.
Vorstius, constituted the membership of the conference.

Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | Next |

U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.