30 October 2012

Walther's Hymnal Excerpt #2: "By Adam's Fall Man's Frame Entire"

Continuing my series on Walther's Hymnal and excerpts of important hymns not translated by myself (mostly), here is an excerpt of my correction and alteration of J.C. Jacobi's (1725) full translation of KELG #236, "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt" (L. Spengler, 1524), a hymn famous among Lutherans as quoted in their Confessions (Ep I 8) as being sung by the church, and yet not being sung by them in the church—well, almost, since a paraphrase of the first part of the hymn is found in Lutheran Service Book as "All Mankind Fell in Adam's Fall." There is also a very good full translation of a modern style by Mark DeGarmeaux in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary which has enjoyed usage in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod for several years already.

The text is especially appropriate for Quinquagesima / Esto mihi (the Sunday before Lent in the Historic Lectionary), as well as for Sexagesima, Good Friday, and the Sixth Sunday after Trinity.

The author, Lazarus Spengler (1479–1534), was city clerk of the important Reformation city Nürnberg, and is known, among other things, for designing Luther's seal after his specifications in a letter.

 Its fine melody took its sacred form in Wittenberg, 1529, when it appeared it Joseph Klug's Geistliche Lieder. Our earliest extant example is from 1533. Below is the slightly simplified form which was used in the Missouri Synod during

BY ADAM’S fall man’s frame entire
And nature was infected;
The source, whence came the poison dire,
Was not to be corrected.
The lust accursed, / Indulged at first,
Brought death as its production;
But God’s free grace / Hath saved our race
From mis’ry and destruction.

2. Since Eve by Satan was enticed
And, yielding to temptation,
God’s Word rejected and despised,
And ruined was creation:
Naught could be done, / But God His Son
Must send in our own nature
That through His death, / We all by faith
Might be a newborn creature!

3. By one man’s guilt all men, enslaved,
Were subjects of the devil;
But by another’s grace is saved
Mankind from every evil:
And as we all / By Adam’s fall
Were sentenced to damnation,
So too hath God / By Christ’s own blood
Regained our lost salvation.

 . . . (stanzas 4–6 are included in the published version)

7. But who makes God his hope and trust
Shall never be confounded:
No house built on this Rock is lost,
Though everywhere surrounded
By daring foes / And trying woes;
His faith yet stands unshaken.
Who loves the Lord / Shall by no sword
Nor woe be overtaken.

. . . (stanza 8 is included in the published version)

9. Thy Word’s a lamp unto my feet,
A lantern burning brightly;
My surest guide and path to meet
The Way to heaven rightly.
This Star, where’er / It doth appear,
Reveals those heav’nly graces,
Which are laid up / For all that hope
To taste the Lord’s embraces.


singlutheranchorales said...

Hi Matt,

Do you still have your own translation of this chorale?


Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Hi Jonathan. I don't recall having done my own new translation for this chorale. I did a "downdate" of Mark DeGarmeaux's translation "By Adam's Fall Was All Forlorn" for my own amusement, but that excellent modern language translation is available in the ELH, and with this one available, I must have gotten rid of the downdated version. Does that answer your question satisfactorily?

singlutheranchorales said...

I recall that it wasn't entirely original, but that you had a nice version of your own posted on Hymnoglypt. But I didn't save it either - bummer! I was looking for it, because I thought it was more singable than either the ELH version, which gets a little clumsy and forced at times (for instance,"Which Satan's lust on Eve did thrust" st. 1,and "foemen" st. 4) or the Jacobi version,which has a rather wooden and vague stanza 1, compared to his other stanzas.


Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

You're in luck. I found it as a draft. http://matthaeusglyptes.blogspot.com/2010/07/durch-adams-fall-new-translation.html