Gerhardt Paul

Gerhardt Paul, the "prince of Germans hymnists," was born at Grafenhainichen, in the electorate of Saxony, in 1606 or 1607. He received his first appointment in 1651 as minister at Mittenwalde. In 1657 he was called the church of St. Nicholas, in Berlin. In 1668 he became archdeacon at Lubben, in Saxsony, where he died is 1676. As a theologian, he is noted particularly in the controversies between the Lutherans and the Reformed. As a poet, his hymns are remarkable for depth of Christian feeling and suggestive thought. They are the expression of his own feelings and experience, and characterized generally by their subjective tone. Among his 120 hymns there are no less than 16 commencing with "I," and 60 others referring exclusively to God and the individual heart; yet their popular element distinguishes his productions from the poets of the Reformation and those of the later rationalistic period. "His hymns happily combine simplicity with depth and force. They are the heart-utterances of one who had a simple but sublime faith in, God, and who recognized his fatherly presence in the operations of nature, the superintendence of Providence, and the daily bestoewment of the surpassing gifts of redemption." He never published a complete edition of his hymns, but after 1649 they found their way into Protestant hym books. J.E. Ebeling, music director in Gerhardt's church, had them published in 1667, With music of his own composition. there have been many editions since; among the latest are those of Wackernagel (Stuttg. 1843; new edit. 1849), Schultz (Berlin, 1842), Becker (Lpz. 1851), and Langbecker, Leben und Lieder Gerharstis (Berl. 1841). Many of his hymns have been translated into English; the fullest collection is Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, translated by John Kelly (Laond. 1867), well- meant but unsuccessful effort. His noble hymn, O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (based on Bernard's Salve caput cruentatum), has been repeatedly rendered; the best version is that of Dr. J.W. Alexander (O sacred Head now wounded), given in Schaff's Christ in Song, page 178. His Befiehl du deine Wege is admirably translated byJohn Wesley in the hymns, Commit thou all thy griefs (779 of Methodist Episcopal Hymn-book), and Give to the winds thy fears (780 of the same collection). His O Jesu Christ mein schones Lust is also translated by John Wesley (Jesus, thy boundless love to me, Hymn 833, Methodist Hymnbook). Dr. Schaff also gives versions of his Wir singen dir, Immanuel, We sing to thee, Immanuel (Christ in Song, page 58); Frohlich soll mein Herze springen, All my heart this night- rejoices (Christ in Song, page 58, C. Winkworth's version); O Welt, sieh

lier dein Leben, O world, behold upon the tree (Christ in Song, page 174, C. Winkworth's version). Some of these, and also versions of other of Gerhardt's hymns, are given by Cox, Hymns from the German (Lond. 1865); and by C. Winkworth, Lyra Germanica (London; reprinted in New York). See, besides the works already cited, Herzog, Real Encyclopadie, 5:45; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Gener. 20:214; Miller, Our Hymns, their Authors and Origin (Lond. 1866, 12mo); Wimmer, Leben G.'s (Altenburg, 1723); Roth, G. nach seinem Leben u. Wirken (Leipz. 1829); Schulz, Paul G. u. der grosse Kurfurst (Berl. 1840); Wildenhahn, Paul G., ein kirchen- gesch. Lebensbild (Leips. 1845; 2d edit. 1850).

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