Volume 54. 1908. (p. 448ff., 500ff.)
II. Index of Authors.
Regarding the information under the hymns in our hymnal, no certain method has been used. Either the hymn text is followed by the supposed year of composition, or the year of the author’s death, or the year when the hymn first appeared in print. A fourth system has even been adopted by many hymnals, which is namely to identify the respective hymnwriter’s biographical dates, the year of his birth and death. This system, however, is not to be recommended for the simple fact (as already noted in the first publication of the Hymnal Commission in the August edition of this monthly journal) that the biographical dates of a Luther, Gerhardt, Rist, Heerman, etc., would be so often repeated , that one would be forced to ask what the purpose was. No more to be recommended is the system observed in our hymnal whereby many hymns are followed by the year of their composition, since by only a slight few of the hymns can the time of creation be determined with any mathematical certainty. Even the hymns of Luther cannot all be dated. The best system is the one that we find in the older hymnals. The hymn is followed only by the name of the author, but in the the appendix to the hymnal there is an index of authors in which everything interesting or edifying that is known about an author is detailed in a brief, compact manner—not only the essential personal details, his calling, title, and alias, but also his importance to the church or Christian life, an excellent book of edification that he wrote, the circle in which he moved, etc.
This commission recommends that our hymnal be supplemented with such an index. Many congregants would be surprised to learn from this index that those who wrote our hymns came from all different walks of life. Of course the majority of them were theologians, but scattered among these are also many pious laymen, persons of high station as well as common folk, tutors of princes and teachers of peasants, mayors and statesmen, soldiers and poets of worldly renown, musicians, doctors and lawyers, as well as ladies of the nobility.Among these poets are men who exercised a far-reaching influence on the development of the Kingdom of God, and also those who, unheeded by the world, served their God in silence, and of whom we might well have known nothing, had they not left us one or more hymns. How useful such an index would be for school also! Of course, this index can, by nature of the case, only be limited to the simplest information. But precisely because of its simplicity, it might easily be resorted to briefly on many occasions in school, and no doubt help to affix the live words of the teacher and assist in remembering them. A sketch of the sort of hymnwriter index that the commission has in mind is presented here following. That the commission has taken every precaution for the reliability of the information cannot be especially authenticated; much of the more or less unfamiliar information rests nevertheless on solid sources.
Index of the Authors of our Hymns.
Let us now praise famous men,
and our fathers that begat us…
Such as found out musical tunes,
and recited verses in writing.
—Sirach 44:1, 5.
Agricola, M. Johann (Schnitter), born 1492 in Eisenach, died 1566 as court preacher in Berlin, sometime docent in Wittenberg, later came into conflict with Luther. His hymn, #273, is a proper supplication for a Christian life.
Alber, Dr. Erasmus (Alberus), born ca. 1500 in Wetterau, student and friend of Luther, died 1553 as superintendent in Mecklenburg, led a passionate life and was full of zeal for the Lutehran church. His hymns, #122, #310 (?), #312, #442, were probably composed by him in low German.
Albin, Johann Georg (Albinus), born 1624 in Unterneißa near Weißenfels, died 1679 as pastor in Naumburg. #397.
Ämilie Juliane, duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, born 1637, wife of the duke Albert Anton, died 1706, wrote 587 hymns, among them a morning hymn before Communion, #196, a hymn for the end of the week, #322, a hymn of praise, #336, a hymn for inclement weather #392, and a hymn for dying #429.
Anark, lord of Wildenfels, died 1539 in Altenburg. #161 (?).
Arends, Wilhelm Erasmus, born 1672, died 1721 as pastor in Halberstadt. His mighty battle hymn for spiritual warfare and victory is hymn #282.
Arnschwanger, M. Johann Christoph, born 1625 in Nürnberg, died 1696 as senior and archdeacon in his native city. #164.
Assig, Hans von, born 1650 in Breslau, died 1694 as palace captain and chamberlain in Schwiebus. For the consecration of the church in Schwiebus he wrote hymn #168.
Bapzien, Michael, born 1628, was cantor in Hayn in the principality of Liegnitz and Königsberg, 1669 in Thorn, where he died 1693. # 80.
Becker, Dr. Kornelius, born in Leipzig 1561, died there 1604 as professor of theology and pastor at St. Nicolai, put the entire Psalter into verse. His 100th psalm we possess in the Hannover version; it is hymn #10, with beautiful refrain: “Gott loben, das ist unser Amt.” #365 (st. 7), #414.
Behm, Martin (Behem, Behemb, Bohemus), born 1557 in Labau, died there 1622 as senior pastor. Three of his hymns are in our hymnal: the Epiphany hymn #59, the dying hymn #85, and the morning hymn #303.
Bienemann, Dr. Kaspar (Melissander), born in Nürnberg 1540, tutor of the prince at the court of Weimar, died 1591 as general superintendent in Altenburg. Hymn #270, a heartfelt prayer to be sustained in the true faith and for a blessed end, he composed in 1573 when he was chased out of his office in Weimar by the Calvinists.
Birken, Sigismund von (Betulius), native of Wildensten, Bohemia (near Eger) in 1626, tutor at vareious courts, fled Bohemia with his parents because of the faith, died as private schoilar in Nürnberg 1681. His hymns have found a home in our hymnal as #76 and #278.
Blaurer, Thomas, studied in Wittenberg ca. 1520, later converted to the Reformed church, was mayor and imperial judge. #189.
Burmeister, Franz Joachim, born 1633 in Lüneburg, where he became pastor 1670 and died 1672. #403.
Clausnitzer, M. Tobias, born 1618 in Thurn, Saxony, died 1684 as palatinate consistoriate in Weiden, Upper Palatinate, wrote hymns #8 (sts. 1–3) and #184. Hymn #74 is a reworking of one of his hymns.
Crasselius, Bartholomäus, born 1667 in Glauchau, Saxony, where he died 1724; was a student of A.H. Francke and pastor in Düsseldorf. From him we have the invocation of the Spirit and truth, hymn #265.
Creutziger, Elisabeth (Cruciger), died 1535, wife of the professor of theology Caspar Creutziger in Wittenberg, a friend of Luther’s. It is from this lover of spiritual hymnody that the first Jesus hymn of the Lutheran church, #24, derives.
Dach, M. Simon, born 1605 in Memel, died 1659 as professor of poetry at the university of Königsberg, was the chief of that city’s circle of poets. Three burial hymns by him survive till today: #410, #424, #437. He wrote the justification hymn #239 upon the departure of Duke Achatius von Dohna.
Decius, Nikolaus, is supposed to have written hymns #1 and #86. But according to more recent research the author was probably either Nikolaus von Hof or Joachim Slüter, the publisher of the earliest Low German hymnal of 1525, in which both hymns first appeared.
Denicke, David, born 1603, native of Zittau, Upper Lusatia, consistory advisor in Hannover, from 1646 on published an influential Hannoverian hymnal with Justus Gesenius, in which for the first time older hymns appeared principally and methodically reworked according to newer taste; died 1680 in Hannover. Since Gesenius and Denicke did not distinguish their own hymns in their Hannover hymnal, the hymns of these men appeared almost entirely as anonymoous in the 17th century. #10, 70, 160, 178, 182, 191, 244, 277, 287, 396.
Derschau, Dr. Bernhard von (Derschow), born 1591 in Königsberg, where he died 1639 as professor of theology, consistory advisor, and head pastor. #199.
Deßler, Wolfgang Christoph, born 1660 in Nürnberg, died 1722 as assistant pastor there, wrote hymn #262 [My Soul’s Best Friend], which has rendered him unable to be forgotten.
Dilherr, M. Johann Michael, born 1604 in Themar in Hennebergisch, professor at Jena, then college director at Nürnberg and finally pastor and librarian there, collaborator on the Weimar Bible project, died 1669. #296.
Drese, Adam, born 1620 in Thuringia, died 1701 as the princely Schwarzburg music director at Arnstadt in Thuringia. From him we get hymn #260 along with its melody which helped quickly to spread the hymn.
Eber, Dr. Paul, born 1511 in Kitzingen, lower Franconia, friend of Luther and Melanchthon, died 1569 as professor of theology, general superintendent and city rector of Wittenberg. As among the hymns of dying the hymn #407 claims a high place, so does #387 among the hymns of consolation. Besides these hymns #50 and 156 are from him. The former contains in its first letters of the stanzas the name of his daughter Helena (acrostic).
Fischer, Christoph (Vischer), born in Joachimsthal, Bohemia, died 1600 as court pastor and general superintendent in Celle. His hymn #95 is inserted [eingefügt] as his “exposition of the Passion.”
Fleming, Dr. Paul, born 1609 in Hartenstein, Saxony; in 1633 took part in a six year ambassadorship to Russia and Persia, during the beginning of which he composed hymn #329, and as a doctor in Hamburg, died 1640 as a result of the exertions of this journey.
Flitner, Johann (Flittner), born 1618 in Suhl, was deacon in Greifswald, died 1678 as emigrant in Stralsund. #252.
Franck, Johann, born 1618, died 1677 as national elder of Lower Lusatia and mayor of his native city Guben; after Paul Gerhardt was the most important hymnwriter of his time; a student of Simon Dach. #64, 210, 251.
Franck, Michael, born 1609 in Schleusingen, was forced to end his studies and became a baker, later teacher in the city school of Koburg, where he died in 1667. #284.
Franck, Salomo, born 1659 in Weimar, died there in 1725 as head consistorial secretary, w
Freundt, Kornelius, born in Plauen in the Voigtland ca. 1530; was cantor in Borna near Leipzig,1565 in Zwickau, where he died in 1591. #19.
Freystein, Dr. Johann Burkhard, born 1671 in Weißenfels, died 1718 as court counselor and justicial advisor in Dresden. #279.
Fritsch, Dr. Ahasverus, born 1629 in Mücheln in the province of Saxony, chancellor and consistory president in Rudolstadt, where he encouraged both countesses Ludmilla and Emily Juliane of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in the composition of spiritual poetry; died in that place in 1701.
Fröhlich, Bartholomäus, pastor of Perleberg, Priegnitz 1580–1590. #402.
Füger, Kaspar, the “court preacher of the old wife of duke Henry,” died in Dresden toward the end of the 16th century. Among his spiritual hymns the Christmas hymn #45 is the most famous.
Funcke, Friederich, born in 1642 in Nossen in the Ore Mountains, cantor in Perleberg and Lüneburg, 1694 pastor in Römstedt near Lüneburg where he died in 1699, was musical artist and singer, as well as writer of 15 hymns. #124.
Gedicke, Lampertus, born 1683 in Gardelegen in the Old March, died 1735 as the resolute soldier-pastor of Friedrich Wilhelm I at the garrison church of Berlin. #383.
Gerhardt, Paul, after Luther the greatest of the hymnwriters of the Lutheran church, born on March 12, 1607 in Gräfenhainichen near Wittenberg, studied Wittenberg, was active from 1643 to 1651 as candidate in Berlin, 1651–1657 provost in Mittenwald, 1657 deacon at St. Nicolai in Berlin, was ejected from his office in 1667 because of his Lutheran confession, from 1669 archdeacon in Lübben on the Spree, where he died June 7, 1676. #20, 93, 40, 44, 46, 54, 56, 73, 84, 89, 91, 97, 113, 130, 141, 150, 187, 200, 248, 256, 274, 290, 291, 304, 319, 338, 339, 340, 347, 351, 355, 366, 370, 375, 379, 401, 409, 419, 432.
Gesenius, Justus, born 1601 in Esbeck in Hannover, died 1673 as general superintendent and head court preacher in Hannover. (See notes on Denicke.) #37, 77, 94, 112, 140, 149, 157, 188, 246 (st. 6), 360.
Gotter, Ludwig Andreas, born 1661, died 1735 as court counselor in his native city Gotha. His hymn #269 is fervent prayer for the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Gramann, Dr. Johann (Graumann, Poliander), born 1487 in Neustadt, Bavaria, Eck’s secretary at the Leipzig Disputations with Luther in 1519; then an adherent of Luther, and, recommended by the latter to Königsberg, died there as pastor in 1541. His famous reworking of Psalm 103, #348 (1–4) is the earliest hymn of praise of the Lutheran church.
Groß, Dr. Johann (Major), born 1564 in Reinstädt near Orlamünde, 1592 deacon in Weimar, 1605 pastor and superintendent in Jena, 1611 at the same time professor of theology, collaborator on the Weimar Bible work, died there in 1654. #212 (?).
Greif, Andreas (Gryphius), born 1616 in Groß-Glogau, died there in 1664 as agent [Syndikus] of the local estates. While chiefly a worldly poet, he also authored excellent spiritual hymns. #169.
Hagen, Peter (Hagius), born 1569 in Heiligenbeil, East Prussia, died 1620 as headmaster of the cathedral school in Königsberg. #61, 66.
Heermann, Johann, born 1585 in Raubten, Silesia; from 1611 pastor in Köben near Glogau, suffered much cross with his congregation and at home during the tribulations of the Thirty Years’ War, died 1647 in Lissa, Poland. He is the most important hymn-writer of the period between Luther and Gerhardt. #47, 75. 105, 152, 163, 175. 176, 198, 206, 219, 223, 223, 229, 230, 246, 257, 272, 281, 237 (st. 7), 238, 308, 318, 373, 378, 334, 385, 390, 405, 413, 421; #77 and 277 are reworkings of his hymns.
Heider, Friedrich Christian, born 1677 in Merseburg, died 1754 as pastor in Zörbig bei Halle. # 202.
Held, Heinrich, born 1620 in Guhrau, Silesia, solicitor in Fraustadt and Stettin, died 1659 as city secretary of Altdamm, Stettin. Both hymns # 23 and 135 assure him steadfast remembrance.
Helder, Bartholomäus, born in Gotha, from 1607 to 1616 teacher in Freimar near Gotha, died 1635 as pastor in Remstädt near Gotha; also a composer. # 102, 139 (?), 153.
Helmbold, N. Ludwig, born 1532 in Mühlhausen, Thuringia; died 1593 als superintendent and pastor in that place. His hymn of comfort # 374, written during the plague in Erfurt, established his name no less than did his hymn of praise # 309 and his catechetical hymn # 179.
Herberger, Valerius, born 1562, died 1627 as pastor in his native Fraustadt, Posen; as his pupil, Johann Heermann, a bearer of the cross in the troubles of the Thirty Years’ War, wrote innumerable works of edification. The glorious hymn # 426, into which wove his baptismal name in the beginning letters of the individual stanzas, he wrote in 1613 while the plague was dominating Fraustadt.
Herbert, Petrus, died 1571 as assisting elder [Konsenior] of the Unity of Bohemian-Moravian Brethren in Eibenschütz. # 314.
Hermann, Nikolaus, cantor in Joachimstal, Bohemia; friend of his pastor, Johann Mathesius, died 1561 at a ripe old age. # 30, 103, 192, 294. 317. 330. 423. 431.
Hermann, N. Zacharias, born 1643 in Namslau, Silesia, died 1716 as pastor and inspector in Lissa, Poland. Losing several children one after another was no doubt the inspiration for his hymn # 430.
Herrnschmidt, S. Johann Daniel, born 1675 in Bopsingen, Württemberg, died 1723 in Halle as professor of theology and codirector of the Franconian foundations. A highly poetic outpouring of every verse of Psalm 146 is his hymn # 441.
Herzog, Johann Friedrich, born 1647 in Dresden, died 1699 as solicitor in that place. as student in Wittenberg he wrote the hymn # 320.
Heune, Johann (Gigas), born 1514 in Nordhausen, pupil and friend of Justus Jonas, died 1581 as pastor in Schweidnitz, Silesia. # 353.
Hippen, Johann Heinrich von, born in Wohlau, Silesia. 1676 Limburg counselor and court martial, wrote the morning hymn # 326.
Hodenberg, Bodo von, born 1604, died 1650 as Landdrost in Osterode am Harz. # 315 (?).
Homburg, Ernst Christoph, born 1605 in Mühla near Eisenach, died 1631 as solicitor in Naumburg. # 79, 116.
Hubert, Konrad, born 1507 in Bergzabern, died 1577 as deacon at St. Thomas in Straßburg, personal secretary of reformed theologian Bucer. # 213 (1—3).
Job, Johann, born 1664 in Frankfurt a. M., died 1736 as councilman and builder in Leipzig. # 90.
Jonas, Justus, born 1493 in Nordhausen, as Professor in Wittenberg one of the most diligent collaborators with Luthers, first evangelical superintendent in Halle, 1546 banished as a result of the Schmalkaldic War, died 1555 as superintendent in Eisfeld, Thuringia. # 159 (st. 4–5), 438.
Keimann, Christian, born 1607 in Pankraz, Bohemia, died 1662 as headmaster of the college in Zittau. # 13. 255.
Kinner, Dr. Samuel, born 1603 in Breslau, doctor in Brieg, died 1668. His Supper hymn # 197 is a glorious confession of the biblical doctrine of the Supper over against the Zwinglian enthusiasts.
Kolrose, Johann, German language teacher in Basel, wo he is supposed to have died ca. 1560. # 300.
Kramer, Moritz, born 1646 in Ammerswort in Holstein, died 1702 as pastor in Marne in Süderitmarschen, was a decided opponent of Pietism. # 129.
Lackmann, Peter, born 1659 (?) in Lübeck, pupil A. H. Francke’s, died 1713 as head pastor in Oldenburg, Holstein. # 264 (?).
Laurenti, Laurentius (Lorenz Lorenzen), born 1660 in Husum, Schleswig; died 1722 as music director and cantor at the cathedral in Bremen. # 224.
Lehr, Leopold Franz Friedrich, born 1709 in Kronberg near Frankfurt a. M., died 1744 in Magdeburg as deacon in the Lutheran church in Köthen. His most beautiful hymn, which has been translated into many languages, is the justification hymn # 242.
Linzner, Georg, born in Kamenz in Upper Lusatia, was ca. 1630 personal tutor in Breslau. # 264 (?).
Liscow, Salomo, born 1640 in Niemitzsch, Lower Lusatia, died 1689 as deacon in Würzen, Saxony. # 53, 203. 259. 393.
Lochner, Karl Friedrich, born 1634 in Nürnberg, died 1697 as pastor in Fürth. # 286 (?).
Löscher. Dr. Valentin Ernst, born 1673 in Sondershausen, died 1749 as chief consistory advisor and superintendent in Dresden, a man both resolute and gentle of manner, of a well-rounded education, who labored and contended a great deal for the things of the Lord. st. 17 of # 434.
Löwenstern, Matthäus Apelles von, born 1594 in Neustadt, Upper Silesia; of a middle-class family by the name of Löwe, granted a title of nobility by Emperor Ferdinand II., died 1648 in Breslau as imperial advisor and state counselor of the Duke of Münsterberg and Öls. His hymn # 167 is a prayer for bodily and spiritual peace.
The Commission on the Hymnal: A. Crull.
(To be continued.)