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Title: Hymnological Studies
Author: Lundquist, Matthew N.
Language: English
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                          Hymnological Studies

                          MATTHEW N. LUNDQUIST
                            A.M., Mus. Doc.

                      _WARTBURG PUBLISHING HOUSE_


This humble little work is the outcome of personal interest and some
lecture work in the field of Hymnology. I trust that this little volume
will be of some value, especially to fellow Lutheran organists and choir
directors. For further study the student is referred to John Julian’s
great “Dictionary of Hymnology” and Benson’s “The English Hymn,” as well
as works by Duffield, Breed, Ninde, and others. Every organist and choir
director ought to read “The Hymn as Literature” by Jeremiah Bascom

                                                    MATTHEW N. LUNDQUIST

  January, 1926
  Wartburg College
  Clinton, Iowa


  I. THE HYMNODY OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH                                 1
      Religious Character (Biblical and Congregational)                 1
      Poetical Quality (Lyrical Beauty)                                 8
  II. THE LUTHERAN HYMN BOOK                                           15
      Arrangements of Hymns in the Hymnal                              15
      Dogmatic Method of Arrangement                                   15
      Liturgical Method of Arrangement                                 15
  III. EARLY CHRISTIAN HYMNODY                                         19
      Early Greek Hymns                                                20
      Early Latin Hymns                                                22
  IV. MEDIAEVAL CHRISTIAN HYMNODY                                      27
      Mediaeval Latin Hymns                                            28
      Mediaeval German Hymns                                           32
      Mediaeval Scandinavian Hymnody                                   34
      The Sequences                                                    35
      St. Gall                                                         36
  V. LUTHERAN HYMNOLOGY                                                39
      Martin Luther                                                    41
      German Lutheran Hymnody                                          44
      Scandinavian Lutheran Hymnody                                    50
      American Lutheran Hymnody                                        54
      Conclusion                                                       61

      Reformed Church Song                                             69
      A List of Hymnists                                               71

                               SECTION I

The hymnody of the Lutheran Church is the body of sacred songs sung by
the Church. These songs may be studied in their twofold aspect; as to
their religious and as to their poetical character; they are _church
hymns_ and also _sacred poems_.

(The Lutheran church hymns have been called psalms. According to old
linguistic usage, psalm is the same thing as sacred or religious song,
not song in general. In secular Greek the word psalm does not mean song,
but it refers more particularly to the ability or technique in playing
upon stringed instruments—the Greek word “psalmos” means to play a
stringed instrument. By psalm we mean a sacred song or lyric, as of the
Old Testament Book of Psalms; a hymn.)

                        THE RELIGIOUS CHARACTER

With respect to the religious character of the Lutheran church hymns, it
must be quite clear that if these hymns have grown up out of the soil of
the Church, if they are expressions of the spirit of the Church, then
they ought to reflect quite faithfully the nature and peculiarities of
the Church. The Church, the Communion of Saints, where the Gospel is
preached in its purity and where the Sacraments are administered
according to the teachings of the Gospel, may be considered partly with
regard to the unique _religious life-content_, which is communicated to
the faithful through the Word and the Sacraments and which not only
unites them to Christ, the Head of the Church, but also unites them with
one another; partly with regard to her nature as a _congregation_, a
communion or community in external form with characteristic expressions
and order of life. The same twofold point of view arises in our study of
the church hymns. The religious character of the church hymn may,
therefore, be determined partly from the point of view of religious
life, having its source and standard in Holy Writ, and partly from the
point of view of the church communion or the congregation, of whose
common life the church hymn is an expression and reflection, and whose
common purpose it seeks to promote. The religious character of the
church hymn thus centers in the fact that both as to content and form it
must be Biblical and congregational.

1. The Biblical character of the church hymn:

First of all, the church hymn must be thoroughly Biblical. It cannot
move only in the realm of general religious truth, not only sing the
praise of certain abstract ideas about God’s being, about the
immortality of the soul, about virtue, etc. Not even such subjects as
God’s attributes, the providence of God, Creation, “man’s physical and
spiritual attributes, reason, will, conscience, nature and purpose,”
have any place in the hymns of the Church, when these subjects are
treated in an abstract way, isolated from God’s revelation through Jesus
Christ and detached from human life. The subject of the church hymn,
provided it possesses sound religious character, is, briefly stated,
_Christ for us and Christ in us_; on the one hand the objective saving
grace through Jesus Christ, and on the other hand the subjective
appropriation of faith, with love and submission and devotion to God.
The sphere of the church hymn will not thereby be restricted to an
incessant reiteration of the name of Jesus, his wounds and blood, his
love, etc. The church hymn sings the praise of God’s entire means of
salvation: God’s thoughts and works of love through Christ for humanity;
His sure and saving institutions of grace upon earth; the work of the
Holy Spirit in the hearts of men unto repentance, faith and
sanctification; the benefits, struggles and victories of His kingdom of
grace; the glory of the heavenly bridegroom; death and judgment; the
world to come and eternal life. All these subjects become the object of
the hymns of the Church. The faithful express through the church hymn
their ardent desire for these things; they meditate upon these things,
they rejoice in their possession, they describe them and they extol
them; they adore, thank, and laud their Saviour, and they give
themselves up to God. Since the content of positive Christian faith, or
God’s revelation of salvation through Jesus Christ, is the principal
subject of the church hymn, it is clear that the church hymn must be in
perfect harmony with the Word of God, the Bible, the very source of the
revelation of salvation. But this does not mean that the Church should
use exclusively the hymns of the Bible, as, for example, the Psalms of
David. It is perfectly well to use other hymns, provided they are
permeated by the Holy Spirit and constitute a vital reproduction of
Biblical truths, grown up out of the soul-experiences of the Church in
perfect harmony with Holy Writ. Then the liturgical principles of truth
and freedom will come into proper use in congregational hymn singing.

With this character of religious truth in the objective sense, or the
conformity of the church hymn to Holy Writ, goes also the matter of
religious truth in the subjective or psychological sense. This means
that the religious experience, expressed in the church hymn, is not
merely a product of human imagination, more or less foreign to those who
gather their spiritual life and their soul experiences from the fountain
of Holy Writ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but it is far more
an experience gained from the reality of true spiritual life, and
thoroughly accordant therewith, something to which, therefore, every
true Christian can easily agree.

Finally, the Biblical character of the true church hymn reveals itself
also in the style of language, which follows very closely Biblical
expression, idiom and form. The language of the church hymn harmonizes
very well with that type of religious language which has attained a deep
appreciation among Christians; the language of the popular old religious
books of the Church; Biblical language. This old hymnic language
possesses very decidedly a character of immortality, depending upon the
character of the content, whose linguistic garb it is, and with which it
has become so closely united. As the content is rooted in eternity and
fundamentally consists of God’s incorruptible thoughts and works, so the
hymnic language, which is the vessel for these realities of the eternal
world, in a way also attains a character of eternity. The history of the
church hymns also shows very clearly that whenever this peculiar
character of hymnic language has been disregarded, whenever there have
been vigorous attempts at modernization of the good old church hymns,
when new and modern hymns have been sought, to satisfy some modern
aesthetic or aristocratic need, then the true church hymn has suffered
very greatly and lost much of its original soundness and genuineness.
Indeed, the hymn writer, like any other poet, is influenced more or less
by his age; his hymns may show more or less the influence of the
peculiar turn of mind, the stage of development and the demands of the
age in which he lives; personal ability as a poet and personal life
experiences may be distinctly reflected in his hymns. But it should also
be true, that if the poet is a sincere student and lover of the Bible
and delights in singing its praises, then his hymns ought to possess
Biblical tone and content, since there is a very close union between
content and form in every human religious product. A church hymn
possessing Biblical tone and language ought to be understood and
appreciated by the present age. Biblical language is antique but it will
never be antiquated; it is old but eternally new and youthful. In all
ages and in all churches the thoroughly Biblical church hymn holds the
prize for youthful health and beauty.

2. The congregational character of the church hymn:

In the second place, the church hymn should be suitable for use in the
congregation, it should possess a congregational character. This quality
of the church hymn implies, of course, that it must not contain anything
which is at variance with the confession or the doctrines of the Church.
The Lutheran Church may use hymns that have been written by non-Lutheran
hymn writers, provided these hymns contain nothing offensive to sound
Lutheran doctrine. So Lutheran hymnals may contain hymns taken from the
Reformed Churches, and Reformed church hymnals may contain many Lutheran

The congregational element in the Lutheran church hymn further means
that it must be free from all unsound and unjustifiable subjectivity.
The church hymn is the work of a poet who is vitally united with the
religious organism—he is a member of the Church—and from this
consciousness of perfect communion his hymns emerge. Writes Dr. Martin
Luther: “Church hymns are so called, because the Church has accepted
them and uses them as if produced by the Church and as her own hymns. We
do not say: thus sings Ambrose, Gregory the Great, Prudentius, Sedulius;
but we say: thus sings the Christian Church. It is the songs of the
Church that Ambrose, Prudentius and others sing with the Church and the
Church with them; when they are dead and gone, the Church remains, and
continues to sing their songs.” Personal poetic gifts and temporal
conditions and circumstances influence the church hymns. The true church
hymn does not lack individuality; but it is free from individualism. The
experiences which the church hymn expresses, the soul states which it
describes, should not be of an extreme, a singular or an abnormal
character, but they should be normal and common to the Church. Not that
the church hymn must restrict itself to what every member, in whatsoever
condition of spiritual life, would readily subscribe to. Such a
requirement would be unreasonable, because the participants in divine
worship have reached different stages of spiritual development; in fact,
this would restrict the subject matter of the church hymn to only
certain general facts and abstract ideas. But it must be required of
every church hymn that it express only such religious experiences as are
_in the main_ common to the whole communion of the faithful, only such
soul states and spiritual stages of development as are _essentially_
experienced by every true Christian.

If the requirement of community in the church hymnody permits dealing
with special situations and experiences in the realm of spiritual life,
then it ought to follow that this character of community will not be
violated if the content of the church hymn bears upon certain external
conditions and circumstances in which the entire congregation never can
find itself at any one time. Since there are liturgical acts which
directly affect only certain individuals in the congregation, not the
congregation as a whole, there may be church hymns for certain
individuals and special occasions. There are church hymns for marriage,
confirmation, ordination, etc. It is also perfectly well to have church
hymns for the aged, for the sick, for the dying, for prisoners, in time
of war, etc. Since the church members should be kindly and lovingly
interested in each other, the congregation may well give expression to
certain sympathetic feelings in the church hymns. But such conditions
and circumstances in the life of an individual as are quite exceptional
and of special interest only to him, not to the congregation as such,
are unsuitable as subjects for church hymns, since they may quite easily
form a disturbing digression from that character of community which
should distinguish the church hymns as such. Hymns “for a father or a
mother at New Year, for a poor young man, for a young lady, for a blind
man,” and the like, really have no place in the hymnal.

The congregational character of the church hymn also finds expression in
the language and style of presentation. This must be plain and clear, so
that the hymn may be easily understood and appreciated by all who
possess a reasonable religious training, young or old. The mode of
expression is original, naive, true-hearted and graphic. The true church
hymn avoids startling phrases, prettiness, and mere rhetoric.

                          THE POETICAL QUALITY

The other point of view from which the church hymn may be considered is
the poetical; the church hymn is a _song_ thus a product of poetical
art. Before attempting to analyze the poetical quality of the church
hymn, it may be well to consider what kinds of poetry are used in the
hymnody of the Church.

The three main kinds of poetry are the epic, the drama, and the lyric.
Epic and drama are not extensively used in the Lutheran Church. Works
exist which show that the graphic and plastic style of epic poetry has
been employed in the Christian Church when stories from sacred history
were paraphrased in metrical form. The Gospel lessons have often been
read or chanted in metrical form, as hymns. This poetical work may be
classified as didactic hymnody with an epic touch. The epic, strictly
speaking, requires an imaginative adornment of the historical material
to be treated, and this cannot very well be applied to Biblical history
without a certain amount of injury. Besides, it would be difficult to
excel the beauty of the Biblical presentation, with its pre-eminent epic
vividness and simplicity. The mediaeval Church employed the dramatic
form in the mysteries and miracles, religious plays, which were used
especially at great festival occasions to present to the laity in a
dramatic and effective way the historical facts pertaining to the
festival. More closely related to the Christian cultus was the Passion
play, performed by the clergy in the churches during Lent. The Passion
play, and a number of dramatic-liturgical ceremonies, especially at
Christmas and Easter, were quite freely employed in the early Lutheran
Church. But this dramatic activity did not remain permanently in the
Lutheran Church. Perhaps the Church felt that the dramatic reproduction
of Biblical history did not harmonize very well with that element of
personal truth which must exist throughout the cultus and which may
suffer injury as the dramatic illusion becomes greater.

While epic and dramatic poetry have little or no place in the
Evangelical Lutheran cultus, and so can not very well be employed in the
hymnody of the Church, the third kind of poetry, the lyric, is very
extensively used. A noteworthy characteristic of lyrical poetry is that
the object of the song is most closely united with the singing subject;
they are as one; the object lives within the subject and is the real
content of the subject. If the cultus is a meeting between God and the
Church, in which God imparts his gifts to the congregation and the
latter faithfully receives, enjoys, and acknowledges the divine gifts of
grace; a meeting, in other words, in which the divine objects join the
worshipping subject, in which the latter is permeated by the former,
then it seems only very natural that religious lyrical poetry should
here find its proper use; when the worshipping congregation gives
expression to its life of faith and love through sacred song, through
the hymns of the Church, these hymns are lyrical poetry.

Although the fusion of the object and the subject is a characteristic
feature of all religious lyrics, it is to be noted that these two
elements, the objective and the subjective, are never present in equal
degree in the church hymns, but that the one or the other element
predominates, wherefore it becomes necessary to classify the church
hymns into the _relatively objective_ hymns and the _relatively
subjective_ hymns. To the former class belong the hymn proper and the
didactic or doctrinal hymns; the latter class, the lyrical hymns in a
narrower sense, consists of what may be called hymns of experience and
sacrifice. The hymn proper sings the praises of God’s majesty and
highness, God’s glorious works and attributes, not as something wholly
outside of the subject, yet something which is looked up to with
worshipful joy and admiration. “A mighty Fortress is our God” is a good
example of this class of church hymns. The didactic or doctrinal hymn
presents for quiet and instructive contemplation either certain facts
from sacred history or certain parts of the Lutheran doctrine. Examples
of this kind are “Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein” and “Es ist
das Heil uns kommen her.” In these relatively objective hymns, true
church hymns, the objective element is more or less permeated by the
life, emotion, and sympathy of the subject. In the hymn proper the
subject sings its own joy and its jubilation in the great God and His
glorious works. The didactic or doctrinal hymn is not merely rhymed
history or rhymed dogmatics, but in it the divine events and truths are
celebrated as treasures of faith, sources of spiritual life; by means of
it the congregation embraces, acknowledges and utters its confident Yea
and Amen to the divine revelation of salvation. The relatively
subjective church hymns, the lyrical church hymns in a restricted sense,
may be characterized as hymns of experience, because they describe and
express religious life in its inner experience, emotions, conditions and
manifestations, or because they include meditations which a Christian
engages in because of his inner and outer condition; to this class of
church hymns belong also the so-called hymns of sacrifice, which are
more directly an expression of individual devotion to Jesus Christ.
Since the chiefly subjective hymns, because of their nature, are subject
to the danger of losing themselves in the individual and the incidental,
it is very important that they be supported and permeated by a sound
religious philosophy. God’s revelation of salvation, especially Jesus
Christ, who in His person and work is at once the vital cause, the life,
and the living standard of all the various phenomena and forms in the
world of divine grace and truth, must form the background which
everywhere gleams forth in the hymnody of the Church, the sun that gives
light and warmth to the content, the perfect law which restricts the
description and keeps the subjectivity within proper bounds.

Since the church hymn is lyrical poetry, it should be beautiful. But the
beauty of the church hymn consists in what? It must be emphasized that
this beauty is not something applied to the church hymn from without,
but this beauty grows up naturally and spontaneously out of the subject
which is to be celebrated in song. This beauty is nothing else than the
faithful reflection, the telling concrete revelation of its inner
harmony, nobility and sublimity. The communion of the congregation with
God through Jesus Christ, which seeks concrete expression in the church
hymn, is in itself the highest, the most noble, and the most harmonious
of all the realities of human life. When this divine communion seeks
expression in the church hymn, then the poetical art to be employed must
be such as will adequately express and convey the emotions and
experiences peculiar to this communion. The inner harmony of the matter
should reveal itself in the poetical form of presentation as outer
harmony, as beauty. The entire tone of the church hymn will then become,
by an inner necessity, graceful, elevated, sublime. It is to be noted
that this hymnic beauty is modified according to the specific character
of the hymn. In the church hymn proper, like “Ein’ feste Burg,” this
hymnic beauty is more elevated, majestic, sublime. In the didactic or
doctrinal hymn, it is characterized by the purity, positiveness, and
sonorousness of the faithful testimony of truth. In the lyrical church
hymn in a restricted sense, it is more colored by subjective qualities
such as fervor, sincerity, and affection. The lyrical beauty of the
church hymn is free from ostentation; it is distinguished by simplicity
and naturalness. This simplicity of expression is a poetical as well as
a congregational requirement. Also, the entire presentation of the
subject must bear the impress of spontaneity, of freshness. The church
hymn should not present abstract ideas, reflective thought, conceptions,
and definitions; but, instead, it should present to the eyes of the
heart living pictures, concrete realities; just as the Biblical
presentation, which the church hymn must follow, and Christianity
itself, which the church hymn must reflect, pre-eminently possess this
character of concrete and vital reality.

The beauty of the church hymn implies further that its line of thought
and disposition be clear and well arranged, that each stanza express a
complete thought, and that there be not too many stanzas—the church hymn
must not be too long. The phraseology, syntax and metrical form must be
free from such defects as mar and desecrate the sublime content of the
hymn or make it offensive, unclear, or even incomprehensible to the
congregation. This does not mean to commend that vandalism whereby
modernists have sought to remove from the old church hymns every
obsolete word and construction as well as everything which seemed to be
at variance with the rules of secular poetry—a process whereby many
excellent old church hymns have been deprived of their original power
and simplicity. Most certainly, revision and purification of the outer
form of the old church hymns is sometimes necessary, in order to make
them popularly intelligible and usable. But such revision and
purification should be undertaken only by Christians of poetic mind and
sound authority.

                               SECTION II

Two different hymnological methods of disposition have arisen
historically within the Church, namely, the _dogmatic_ or the
_dogmatic-ethical_ method, and the _liturgical_ method. The former
method came into existence in the eighteenth century. By this method the
hymns in the hymnal are arranged according to the usual order of
dogmatics. For an illustration of this method of arranging the hymns,
look into almost any good hymnal of the Reformed Church; The Methodist
Hymnal, for example. The liturgical method is the original, the
standard, and the correct method of disposition. In support of this
assertion, it may be well to observe that since the Lutheran hymnal is a
liturgical book, a book intended for the needs of the worshipping
congregation, the succession of the hymns as well as their content and
character should reflect the spirit of the Church, as it finds immediate
expression in the cultus and its various acts, and as it seeks
indirectly to exert a hallowing influence on social life in larger or
smaller circles.

It may be well to take a general view of the main factors or stages of
this liturgical work of the Church, so as to see more clearly what
subjects may be considered in the hymn book and in what order the
various subjects or rubrics may follow each other.

The reason and the vital basis for the existence of the Church is God’s
revelation of salvation through Jesus Christ, i. e., the incarnation and
the work of redemption of the Son of God and the sending of the Holy
Spirit; and these divine works of salvation are the great objectives of
the three great church festivals, Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost,
around which the cycles and days of the church year are grouped. The
Church is the result of this revelation. Therefore our attention turns
towards the Church, her nature, her establishment, and her extension in
this world through missionary activity; further, toward her inner
growth, by which she gives expression to her religious and harmonious
life as a communion in solemn divine worship, and through her sacred
acts and order consecrates human life unto a vessel for divine life. But
this self-edification is brought about in the Church only through the
Holy Spirit who dwells and lives within the Church and in and through
the Church and her institutions of grace produces in the hearts of the
redeemed personal conversion, sanctification, and salvation. Thus the
Church grows both outwardly and inwardly and proceeds towards her
eternal perfection. But the Church has to do not only with purely
spiritual conditions, things divine and eternal. By her life she seeks
to permeate, sanctify, and glorify all conditions, even the temporal.
The Church seeks to penetrate, in a highly beneficial way, the civic
community, to ennoble its affairs and impart support and exhortation
both to the governing and the governed, in times of prosperity and in
times of trouble. The Church is deeply interested in her educational
institutions, these nurseries of time and eternity; the Christian school
is not only a creation of the Church, but it needs the whole-hearted
support of the Church. The Church is also deeply interested in the
welfare of domestic life—she seeks to make the home a happy Christian
home. The Church also desires to support and accompany the individual
member throughout his course of life, especially in its more difficult
stages, so that this temporal life may lead to eternal life.

If these are the most important factors in ecclesiastical-liturgical
activity, and if the church hymnal is to be in perfect harmony with the
life of the Church, then the hymns in the hymnal may be arranged as
follows: 1. _Festival Hymns_, arranged according to the festivals,
cycles and holy-days of the church year—Advent, Christmas, New Year,
Epiphany, etc. 2. _Hymns about the Church and ecclesiastical acts_: the
Word, the Church, Missions, ecclesiastical acts (worship, Holy Baptism,
Holy Communion, confirmation, ordination and installation, dedication of
churches, etc., also marriage and burial). 3. _Hymns about the Christian
life_: repentance, faith, justification and state of grace,
sanctification (the fruits of regeneration, prayer, cross and
consolation), the completion (the resurrection, judgment, eternity). 4.
_Hymns for certain people, times and circumstances_: the Christian
community (fatherland, the authorities and the subjects, judges and
those suing for justice, temporal necessities, war and peace, plagues
and calamities, etc.), the Christian school or Christian education, the
Christian home (husband and wife, parents and children, master and
servant, morning and evening hymns, etc.), conditions in the life of an
individual (health, sickness, death, etc.).


                              SECTION III
                        EARLY CHRISTIAN HYMNODY
                           To About 600 A. D.

The Christians of the first century sang hymns, both in private and in
public worship. The writings of the New Testament testify to this fact,
as for example 1 Cor., chapter 14, also the well known places Eph. 5:19
and Col. 3:16. To begin with the Christians sang the hymns of the Old
Testament, especially the Psalms of David. Among early Christian songs,
we note the following: the Gloria in excelsis Deo (the angelic hymn),
the Gloria Patri, the Ter Sanctus (Isaiah 6:3), the Hallelujah, the
Benedicite, the Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2:29), the Magnificat (Luke 1:46),
the Benedictus (Luke 1:68), and the Te Deum Laudamus.

From Paul’s references to sacred song in his epistles we learn that the
early Christians possessed hymns of their own composition, besides the
Bible songs. But we know very little about these very early hymns of the
Apostolic Age; we know of no great hymn writer of that age. One of the
earliest hymn writers that we know of is Clement of Alexandria, who
lived about 200 A. D. To him is attributed the Greek hymn, “Shepherd of
tender youth,” which has been regarded as the first Christian hymn. It
is found in most of our standard American hymnals—number 282 in Common
Service Book. In 1846 this hymn was freely translated into English by
Rev. Dr. Henry Martyn Dexter, editor of The Congregationalist, Boston.

                           EARLY GREEK HYMNS

Looking at the Christian ancestry of our church hymnody, in a narrower
way, it may be said that its history goes back to the hymn writing of
christianized Greece—1500 years back—1500 years of Christian hymn
writing and hymn singing. The church hymnody of the different countries
varies, of course, in time and duration. A German, for example, finds
about seven hundred years of German hymn writing in his hymn book. We
have inherited and appropriated this common legacy.

In Syria there arose in the second century several prolific hymn
writers. They were Gnostics, who sought to propagate their heretical
teachings through sacred song. Bardesanes and his son Harmonius were the
leaders of this Gnostic hymnody in the Syriac Church. This heretical
hymnody was the negative cause of the great hymn writing of Ephrem
Syrus, who was born at Nisibis in Northern Mesopotamia, 307 A. D., and
died at Edessa, 373. He is regarded as the foremost representative of
the orthodox hymnody of the old Syriac Church. In order to counteract
the dangerous influences of Gnosticism, Ephrem Syrus produced a large
number of fine hymns, which became very popular throughout the Eastern
Church. Thus a new era in Christian hymnody was introduced. See pages
63-68 in “The Hymn as Literature,” by J. B. Reeves.

Like the Gnostics of Syria in the second century, so also the Arians of
Constantinople in the fourth century sought to propagate their heretical
doctrines through sacred song. Again great champions of orthodoxy arose,
men like Ephrem Syrus, who produced fine hymns, mainly in defense of the
doctrines of the Trinity and Christ’s divine nature. Among early well
known Greek hymn writers we note the following: Gregory of Nazianzus
(died 389), Anatolius (seventh or eighth century), St. Andrew of
Jerusalem (660-732), St. Cosmas, the Melodist (died about 760), St. John
of Damascus (died about 780), St. Stephen of St. Sabas (died 794), and
St. Joseph the Hymnographer (died about 840). As examples of their hymns
we have “O Thou the One supreme o’er all” by Gregory, “The day is past
and over” by Anatolius, “The day of resurrection” by St. John of
Damascus, and “Art thou weary, art thou languid” by St. Stephen. Rev.
Dr. John Mason Neale (1818-1866) of East Grimstead, England, has
produced many excellent translations of the old Greek hymns, which are
found in nearly all modern hymnals.

In the Eastern Church, as early as the third century, the custom of
singing had become so general as to be recognized as one of the Church’s
predominating features. In the Eastern Church, at Antioch, antiphonal
congregational hymn singing had its origin, and from thence spread in
all directions in the fourth century. An interesting fact comes to light
in connection with the use the Eastern Church made of its hymns.
Theodoret, in his historical writings, tells us that “while Chrysostom
(347-407) was bishop of Constantinople, at the opening of the fifth
century, the orthodox Christians were in the habit of assembling
themselves in the public squares, then marching in midnight processions,
through the city, singing sacred songs, in order to combat those who
were enemies of Christ’s divinity.” This is a testimony concerning the
anti-Arian hymnody.

The early hymnody of the Eastern Church possesses a great deal of poetic
beauty and fine rhetorical style. But many of these old Greek hymns
indulge in a certain amount of tedious broadness and dogmatic prosiness.
They are often vague and fantastic. Fine language seems often to be of
greater importance than spiritual content. In the Eastern Church sacred
song never received the development and the place in the life and the
cultus of the congregation as in the Western Church. During the last
half of the third century the Eastern Church advocated the use of the
Psalms of David only in divine service. It must also be borne in mind
that attempts were made in the Eastern Church about the middle of the
fourth century to suppress congregational singing. The character of the
hymns that were produced in the Eastern Church, their bombastic and
often turgid style, their complicated rhythmical structure, and their
unpractical Christianity, prevented them from becoming a property of the
common people.

                           EARLY LATIN HYMNS

Early sacred song in the Western Church is characterized by noble
simplicity and clearness in form, as well as by a more practical
Christianity; fine qualities which go to make the old Latin hymns more
accessible and serviceable to us than the old Greek hymns.

The fourth century witnessed a remarkable activity in Latin hymnody. The
Western Church was far more active in the hymnological field than the
Eastern Church. One of the founders of Latin hymnody was St. Hilary, the
good bishop of Poitiers, great scholar, and great defender of the
Christian faith. During his exile (356-360) in Phrygia, St. Hilary came
in touch with Arian hymn singing. When he was permitted to return to
Gaul, he brought with him a great enthusiasm for hymn singing. He edited
the first hymn book of the Western Church, and introduced singing of
orthodox hymns among his people. He died in 368 A. D.

But the great author and leader of Latin hymnody is, undoubtedly, St.
Ambrose, the admirable and amiable bishop of Milan. He was born in 340
and died on Good Friday, 397. St. Ambrose has been called the father of
Latin church song, because of his great work in hymnody and church
music. The first stanza of one of his beautiful hymns is here quoted.

  O Jesus, Lord of heavenly grace,
  Thou Brightness of Thy Father’s face,
  Thou Fountain of eternal light,
  Whose beams disperse the shades of night.

Prudentius (Aurelius Prudentius Clemens) is a prominent Latin hymn
writer of this period. He was born in Spain, 348 A. D. Prudentius has
been called “the first great Christian poet.” With him the Latin, the
language of a stern and hard people, is, as it were, tempered by faith.
He, like most of the early Latin hymnists, sings the praises of the
faith, hope and love of the Christian Church. The subjective, with its
“I,” “me” and “mine,” so characteristic of modern hymnody, had no place
in the hymns of Prudentius. He received high honors from the Roman
emperor, but in old age he preferred to devote himself quietly to
religious literary work. He died about 410 A. D. We quote the first
stanza of a beautiful Christmas hymn, Corde natus ex Parentis, from
Prudentius, the translation by Neale.

  Of the Father’s love begotten,
  Ere the worlds began to be,
  He is Alpha and Omega,
  He the source, the ending He,
  Of the things that are, that have been,
  And that future years shall see,
  Evermore and evermore.

St. Patrick (fifth century), called the Apostle of Ireland, wrote
several hymns for his people. Coelius Sedulius, of the fifth century,
wrote several great Latin hymns, among which we refer to one that has
been sung quite extensively, namely, A solis ortus cardine—From lands
that see the sun arise.

Gregory the Great (545-604) and Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) mark a
period of transition in the hymn singing of the Western Church. It was
at this time, about 600 A. D., that the Ambrosian church song was
superseded by the Gregorian. Here it was that congregational song in the
Western Church was abandoned and that part of public worship given over
to the priests and the monks. The only part the congregation took was in
a few responses. Gregory the Great was a man of unusual ability. He was
pope from 590 until his death in 604. He was a zealous missionary to
Britain, great as a champion against the heretics, and great as a
preacher, but his best service to the Church is undoubtedly his
liturgical and musical contribution. He strove to make public worship
worthy of Him to whom it was rendered. It must be borne in mind that
good congregational singing was something which presented great and
perplexing problems in those days. The Gregorian chants, still in use,
after a lapse of more than a dozen centuries, show the Gregorian style
and indicate how Gregory changed the melodious and flowing hymns of St.
Ambrose into the more severe and solemn style of the new period. But we
have several hymns from Gregory’s pen which indicate that he was not
without the Ambrosian spirit. Take, for example, his beautiful hymn,

  O Christ, our King, Creator, Lord,
  Saviour of all who trust Thy word,
  To them who seek Thee ever near,
  Now to our praises bend Thine ear.

Venantius Fortunatus, the troubadour, holds a very important place in
early Latin hymnody. He wrote one of the greatest hymns of the Western
Church, namely, Vexilla Regis—The royal banners forward go, the Cross
shines forth in mystic glow. We quote the first stanza of another great
hymn by Fortunatus, a grand Easter hymn.

  Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say;
  Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today.
  Lo! the Dead is living, God for evermore!
  Him their true Creator, all His works adore.
  Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say.

Simplicity, depth, fervor, divine sentiment, full-hearted confession,
are some of the outstanding characteristics of the early Latin hymns.
They are, on the whole, Scriptural, pure, and devotional. The key-note
in these venerable old hymns consists of the main points of
Christianity, the protection and care of the Father, the redemption of
Christ, the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, strains of thanksgiving
and praise, invocation of God’s support against the devil, the flesh and
the world.

                               SECTION IV
                             A. D. 600-1520

When the Western Church passed into the mediaeval era of its history,
about 600 A. D., we find church song in a new and different situation.
During the ancient era of the Christian Church, it may be said that
church song was, for the most part, a song of the people of God, a
congregational song. Attempts had been made before this time, it is
true, to suppress congregational song, but they had proven more or less
unsuccessful. During the Middle Ages, however, the Church was successful
in definitely transferring church song from the people to the clergy and
a well trained clerical choir. Latin was the liturgical language of the
entire Western Church, wherefore the mediaeval church hymns were written
in that language. The Carolingian age, productive in so many respects,
also produced a number of very beautiful hymns, resembling the best
productions of the Ambrosian era of hymnody. Charlemagne was not only a
zealous promoter but also a practiser of sacred poesy. In the ninth
century Notker Balbulus of St. Gall monastery produced hymns called
Sequences, which differed in their metrical structure from the older
hymns. These Sequences had three or six lines in each verse, while the
verses of the older hymns had four lines each. In a subsequent chapter
we shall speak more fully of the Sequences and their remarkable

Passing over into the mediaeval Church, we find that our church hymnody
had three different sources in the time before the Reformation. One
source was the Latin church hymnody. The second source consisted of the
German songs, called Leisen. The third source was the religious
folk-song of the common people.

                         MEDIAEVAL LATIN HYMNS

During the second half of the Middle Ages, beginning with the eleventh
century, a number of great hymn writers arose. King Robert of France,
who died 1031 A. D., probably wrote one of the greatest hymns of the
Latin Church, namely, Veni Sancte Spiritus. Dr. S. W. Duffield claims
that this great Sequence was written by Hermannus Contractus, the
crippled monk of Reichenau, in the eleventh century.

Bernard of Cluny and Bernard of Clairvaux are two Latin hymn writers who
hold a very important place in Christian hymnody. From Bernard of Cluny
(twelfth century) comes the well known hymn, “Jerusalem the golden, with
milk and honey blest.” This hymn comes from his famous and only poem
Laus Patriae Celestis which consists of some three thousand lines of
dactylic hexameter. We quote the first stanza of another well known hymn
that comes from the same poem.

  Brief life is here our portion;
    Brief sorrow, short-lived care;
  The life that knows no ending,
    The tearless life, is there.

  Oh, happy retribution!
    Short toil, eternal rest;
  For mortals, and for sinners,
    A mansion with the blest.

From St. Bernard of Clairvaux we have such great hymns as “Light of the
anxious heart,” “Wide open are Thy hands,” “O Jesus, King most
wonderful,” “Jesus, the very thought of Thee,” “Jesus, Thou Joy of
loving hearts,” and “O Sacred Head, now wounded.” St. Bernard was born
in Fountaines, Burgundy, 1091. History speaks of him as highly
imaginative, great champion of the faith, great orator, great teacher,
founder and abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux, and leader
in mediaeval mysticism. He died in 1153. Luther called him “the best
monk that ever lived.” Hymns from the two Bernards can be found in any
standard modern hymn book and they are worth careful study.

Adam of St. Victor (twelfth century) is another important Latin hymnist.
He was choirmaster at the great St. Victor monastery at Paris. Trench
speaks of him as “the foremost among the sacred Latin poets of the
Middle Ages.”

Thomas of Celano, whose birthplace is unknown, was one of the first
members of the Franciscan order. In 1221 he went to Germany and remained
there for nine years; then he returned to Italy, where he died in 1255.
Thomas of Celano wrote the greatest hymn of the Latin Church—Dies Irae.
There are nineteen verses to this great Sequence, of which we quote the
first two. The translation is by Wm. J. Irons.

  Day of wrath, that Day of mourning,
  See fulfilled the prophet’s warning,
  Heaven and earth in ashes burning.

  O what fear man’s bosom rendeth,
  When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
  On whose sentence all dependeth.

Thomas Aquinas was born in a Neapolitan castle, Italy, about 1225. He
was a Dominican and the strongest of the scholastics, theological
professor at several universities, Doctor of Theology from Paris, also
called Doctor Angelicus. He was a prolific writer; his Summa Theologiae
is a great dogmatic work. He died in a prominent monastery at Naples in
1274. Thomas Aquinas produced a number of excellent hymns. His “Lauda,
Sion, salvatorem” is generally regarded as one of the greatest hymns of
Latin hymnody. It can be found in almost any standard hymnal, beginning
“Sion, to thy Saviour singing.”

Jacoponus (died 1306) wrote one of the greatest hymns of the Roman
Church, namely, Stabat Mater Dolorosa. This hymn is found in many
Protestant hymnals, beginning “At the Cross her station keeping.” Thomas
a Kempis (1380-1471) of Holland and John Huss (1369-1415) of Bohemia,
made valuable contributions to mediaeval hymnody.

These Latin hymn writers have produced hymns which are characterized by
deep ardor, great love of Christ, and soul-stirring earnestness. The
Latin church hymnody is very wealthy indeed; more than 20,000 Latin
church hymns have been discovered. Of these Latin hymns we have
appropriated a large number of beautiful festival church hymns. Their
form is very plain. Without any comment the festival subject is
presented in a very plain and simple statement of the event in question.
The singer loses himself in his subject; there is nothing here of
self-assertion. Note such hymns as “A great and mighty wonder,” “All
praise to Thee, Eternal Lord,” “The strife is o’er, the battle done,”
“Christ, the Lord, is ris’n today,” “Jesus Christ is risen today,
Alleluia,” etc.

Mightily through the ages sound the hymns of penance and judgment;
perhaps too strong at times. Note that mighty and most powerful hymn,
Dies irae, dies illa. But the mediaeval hymnody is not without the
evangelical spirit; this is clearly seen in our hymn books, especially
in the Communion hymns. In spite of magic and abuse, it was nevertheless
in the Holy Communion that the true Christian of the Middle Ages came
closest to Christ. Note two mediaeval Communion hymns:

  Lord Jesus Christ! To Thee we pray,
  From us God’s wrath Thou turn’st away,
  Thine agony and bitter death
  Redeem us from eternal wrath.

This hymn comes from John Huss and was translated by Martin Luther. The
other Communion hymn is “Jesu dulcis memoria,” probably by St. Bernard
of Clairvaux:

  Jesus, the very thought of Thee
  With sweetness fills the breast;
  But sweeter far Thy face to see,
  And in Thy presence rest.

It is a very difficult task to translate these old Latin hymns; much is
lost by the translation. It is not an easy matter to construct a bridge
between the great glow of St. Bernard’s mysticism and the powerful, yet
cold faith of the seventeenth century. If “Jesu dulcis memoria” was not
written by St. Bernard, it must have been written by one of his devout
pupils. We are here at the very fountain-head of Christian poetry, so
closely related to the Song of Solomon, i. e., it presents the relation
of the faithful to Christ—the love of the bride to the bridegroom. From
this circle came the great hymn “O Sacred Head, now wounded,” translated
and perfected by Paul Gerhardt.

No wonder that the schools and cathedrals clung so tenaciously to the
old Latin hymnody. It exerted great influence. Too bad, indeed, that we
have permitted this Latin song to become extinct. Perhaps our taste in
things religious would not have declined so low, and religious song
would not have come to be despised so generally, had our good leaders
realized that there are better things than American jazz.

                         MEDIAEVAL GERMAN HYMNS

Along with this Latin-clerical church song there existed in the Germanic
mediaeval Church a religious popular poetry or congregational song.
Under the hierarchic autocracy of the Gregorian song it had gone so far
that the active participation of the congregation in public worship was
reduced to a joining only in the response Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy
upon us), repeated one hundred or more times at any one church service.
But in the sad tones of this Kyrie Eleison, this cry for compassion from
a people spiritually oppressed and enslaved, there emerged in the
Germanic mediaeval Church the first attempts at congregational song in
the vernacular. At the close of the ninth century they began to supply
the tune of the mechanically repeated Kyrie Eleison with religious
verses in the language of the people. Every verse of these songs ended
with the refrain Kyrie Eleison. Thus arose the first German church hymns
called Kirleison or Leisen, as they had grown out of and ended with the
Kyrie Eleison.

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when significant religious
awakenings and the Crusades (1096-1273) stirred up great enthusiasm
among the people, these German hymns took on new life and gained great
favor among the people. These religious songs of the people were used
more and more freely both in public worship and at other religious and
secular festive occasions. Some of these mediaeval German hymns or
Leisen are: Also heilig ist der Tag; Mitten wir im Leben sind; Christ
ist erstanden; Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist. One of the best of
these Leisen is,

  Christ ist erstanden
  Von der Marter Banden,
  Des sollen wir alle froh sein,
  Christ will unser Trost sein,
      Kyrie Eleison.

But even though the people sang these hymns in the church services, such
singing was merely tolerated and had no set place. These German hymns of
the people were different from the Latin hymns of the cloisters. They
possess a more simple, popular and hearty key-note, though their form
may be poor and their style rugged. But these hymns, with their singable
tunes, were greatly loved by the people, and so they lived and thrived
in the hearts of the common people during the deplorable times and
conditions of the mediaeval Church. The secular Minnesingers (thirteenth
century) and the Meistersingers (fourteenth century) exerted
considerable influence upon German hymnody, especially with respect to
poetic form and music. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the
“Brethren of the Common Life” (Netherlands) and the significant
religious movements associated with John Wycliffe and John Huss gave to
hymnody in the vernacular a powerful revival and a purer evangelical
content. Desirable Latin hymns were translated and new hymns in the
vernacular were written. The Germans and the Bohemians possessed, before
1500, about five hundred church hymns in the vernacular. In the
fifteenth century the Bohemians sang these hymns in the regular church


Because of the close connection which existed in mediaeval times between
Germanic countries and peoples,—a natural outcome of their racial
affinity,—it was quite natural that the movements of mediaeval hymnody
in Germany would become known among the people of the North. The Swedish
mediaeval Church possessed a hymnody both in Latin and in Swedish. Only
a very few of the Swedish mediaeval religious songs remain to-day. These
popular religious songs, like secular folk songs and ballads, were
transmitted not in writing but as a living tradition on the lips of the
people from generation to generation. Thus only very few of these old
Swedish religious songs have survived the century of the Reformation. By
way of example we may note the old mediaeval song, “The blessed day
which we behold”—this is found in all Swedish Lutheran hymn books. It
existed in the fourteenth century. In its present form it has been
greatly improved by the greatest of Swedish hymnologists, J. O. Wallin.
Ericus Olai is the only known Swedish hymn writer of mediaeval times.
One of his hymns, “The Rich Man,” a metrical paraphrase of the Gospel
lesson which deals with the rich man and Lazarus, Olaus Petri, the great
Swedish reformer, included in the first Swedish Lutheran hymn book. It
was also included in the Swedish Lutheran hymn book of 1695. An
interesting and valuable testimony concerning the fact that also in the
Swedish mediaeval Church the people were allowed to sing in public
worship, is found in the answer that King Gustavus I gave to the
complaint of the Dalecarlians, in 1527. Among other things, the king
says that “it is an old custom in our country, in our churches, to sing
in Swedish and praise God, and it is well that this is done in our own
language, which we understand, and not in Latin, which we do not

                             THE SEQUENCES

The Sequences were religious liturgical songs, which developed from the
florid vocalizations upon the last syllable of the Hallelujah. At first
only a melody or tune with words, but later on it became an art form
both in music and in sacred poetry. Musically often of finer quality
than the hymn. The Sequences usually consisted of two verses, three
lines to each verse, with the same melody for each of the two verses.
The form seems to have originated at the convent of St. Gall in
Switzerland, about 875 A. D. During the later part of the mediaeval era
the Sequences became very popular, and the number of Sequences that were
sung in the Catholic Church reached nearly one thousand. The church
music decisions of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) operated very
strongly against the Sequences, and so they practically disappeared
about 1570. Only five Sequences were retained, namely, Victime paschali
laudes, Veni Sancte Spiritus, Lauda Sion salvatorem, Stabat Mater
dolorosa, and Dies Irae.

                                ST. GALL

We close our study of mediaeval hymnody with a story about St. Gall. St.
Gall is a very remarkable old monastery. Men of quite different minds
and dispositions got along very amicably under the Benedictine rule at
St. Gall. Among its one hundred monks there were in the ninth century
four monks whose names were well known throughout the Western Church,
namely, the learned Ratpert, the enthusiastic Notker, the highly gifted
and greatly admired artist Tutilo, and the unrivalled hand-printer of
books, Sintram, whose very beautiful handwriting was greatly admired
throughout Europe. Ratpert, a stern educator, never sparing the rod, and
not deeply interested in his devotional exercises—a great scholar.
Notker Balbulus (stammerer), the saint-like, ascetic tune-writer and
plant specialist, who had strange visions and lived in another world—a
dreamer. Then there was also the ingenious, humorous Tutilo. These three
monks were as different as three highly gifted persons could be, and yet
they were always as one soul. Ratpert respected Tutilo’s fine
scholarship; at night they were often found with Notker Balbulus in the
writing-room, comparing and improving the works that Sintram was about
to copy. Notker who wrote many fine hymn tunes, wanted them sung by
Tutilo who was a good singer and clever performer upon several musical
instruments. Tutilo wrote several excellent hymn tunes, and he also
produced several noble hymns of which the most popular are Hodie
cantandus, Viri Galilei, and Gaudete et cantate.

Notker’s genuine affection for Tutilo was not disturbed by Tutilo’s
good-natured submission to unreasonable monastic regulations, which
Notker regarded as symbolically significant. The Benedictine regulations
were meant for the monasteries of southern Italy, and did not suit the
convent of St. Gall very well. A midday nap was one of the Benedictine
regulations, and so the monks of St. Gall had to retire and sleep two or
three hours at midday every day. The Benedictine rule prescribed a diet
of fish, fruit and vegetables—the usual diet of southern Italy. But fish
and fruit were difficult to secure at St. Gall; meat, which was
plentiful, was forbidden. And so the diet of St. Gall consisted mainly
of pulse and pap. Notker who was the guardian of the discipline of the
monastery, never had an occasion to bring up any reproach against
Tutilo. Tutilo observed the midday nap, and flavoured with merriment the
monotonous diet which maintained his splendid mortal clay.

                               SECTION  V
                           LUTHERAN HYMNOLOGY

The Reformation of the sixteenth century put life into congregational
hymn singing. Before this time it had been heard only in strains,
broken, timid, and vague. The Reformation endowed congregational hymn
singing with a sonorousness and power, as never before in the history of
the Church. One of the main principles of the Reformation was that all
Christians, as a spiritual priesthood (Rev. 1:6 and 1 Pet. 2:5), are
privileged and obliged to approach God and bring Him their offering,
without human mediators and deputies, only because of the merits of
Christ, the one true mediator; and this not only individually in private
life but also in public worship. The Reformation brought into play all
serviceable forces and means to promote and make possible the
realization of this principle in the cultus. The reformers sought to
make the liturgy intelligible and accessible to the common people—for
the Latin they substituted the language of the people, and the
congregation was given an opportunity to take an active part in public
worship. It was perfectly natural that church song could not remain in
its mediaeval form, an exclusive privilege of the clergy, but be
transferred to the people. And so popular church hymns were produced.
Luther became the leader also in this great work. What kind of hymns he
wanted, is quite clearly seen in one of his letters to the electoral
court chaplain, Spalatin, whom he called upon to assist in this
hymnological work: “I am willing to make German psalms for the people,
after the example of the prophets and the ancient fathers; that is,
spiritual hymns whereby the Word of God, through singing, may conserve
itself among the people.” Later on in the same letter, he makes the
following suggestion: “I desire, however, that new-fangled words, and
courtly expressions, be omitted, in order that the language may be the
simplest and most familiar to the people, and yet, at the same time,
pure, and well suited to the clear sense of the psalm.” Such church
hymns, thoroughly Biblical and at the same time popular, the great
reformer wanted for the people. And Luther produced several church
hymns, which have never been surpassed and rarely equaled. He translated
and versified Davidic Psalms; he translated and revised old Latin hymns;
he revised several old religious folk songs; and he wrote several
original hymns. He was not alone in this hymnological work; many able
assistants came forward. Thus the great Lutheran hymnody began.[1]

The outstanding merit of these church hymns is that they proclaim and
extol God’s great works of love, in words and strains that burst forth
from the very soul of the people—immediately they became the property of
the people. As silent and yet as most eloquent witnesses of evangelical
truth, these hymns made their way even to distant lands and awakened the
languishing hearts of the people to new life, to joy and praise. The
annals of the Reformation are rich in the most remarkable testimonies
concerning these things, how the Lutheran hymns powerfully conquered the
love of the people and how the people heartily sang them in the churches
and in the homes, in weal and woe. And this great legacy from the
Reformation era, the Lutheran Church has preserved, used well, and
richly increased. The church hymn is the special glory of the Lutheran
Church. No church communion can be compared to the Lutheran Church in
this respect. Not without reason has the Lutheran Church been called the
singing church.

                             MARTIN LUTHER

When we think of the Lutheran hymnody from the historical point of view,
we must dwell, if but briefly, on its classical formation in the
motherland of the Lutheran Church, Germany. Something permanent and
peculiarly typical is present in the hymnody of the Reformation days.

With respect to Luther himself, his best hymns are our most precious
possession. “Ein’ feste Burg” is known the world over. Christians
everywhere are familiar with it.

At first Luther did not seem to be aware of his poetical gifts. It was
not until in July, 1523, when two Belgian martyrs of the Lutheran Church
had been burnt at the stake, that Luther’s first poetical product came
into existence—in the folk song style. This song, “Ein neues Lied wir
heben an,” spread very rapidly throughout Germany. Soon thereafter came
two hymns, one about penance, and one about faith: “Out of the depths I
cry to Thee” and “Dear Christians one and all rejoice.” They were
supplied with tunes and spread very rapidly throughout the land.

1524 was the hymn-year of the Reformation. 24 of Luther’s 37 hymns
appeared in various publications. “Ein’ feste Burg” seems to belong to
the year 1527. Luther’s musical assistants were Conrad Rupf and Johann
Walther. It is said that while these two musicians sat at the table,
busy with the writing of the music, Luther walked about the large room
and tried the tunes, singing them, or playing them on his flute. When we
stop to consider what was then formed and created, we see clearly that
this is a historical situation of epoch-making significance. Luther at
the church door in Wittenberg, Luther at Worms, at Wartburg, in his
home; so also Luther with his musical friends, creating or remodelling
poetry and music for the new Church—a central figure in the history of
the Church.

To characterize Luther’s hymns is no easy task, because of their
richness. Luther’s soul possessed an enormous span of faith and
spiritual life. It experienced the mediaeval thunder-tones of judgment
as well as the brightness of the Gospel. Compare, for example, the two
hymns, “Though in midst of life we be” and “Dear Christians one and all
rejoice.” Compare the following stanza from “Ein feste Burg,”

  The Word they still shall let remain,
    Nor any thanks have for it;
  He’s by our side upon the plain
    With His good gifts and Spirit.
      Take they then our life,
      Goods, fame, child, and wife,
      When their worst is done,
      They yet have nothing won:
    The Kingdom ours remaineth.

with one of the stanzas from “Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her”,

  Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
  Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
  Here in my poor heart’s inmost shrine,
  That I may evermore be Thine.

It is obvious that in “Dear Christians one and all rejoice”—Nun freut
euch, lieben Christen g’mein—we have the outline of Luther’s entire
experience of faith, from the moment he felt himself condemned by God
till he could triumph in songs of praise. This hymn forms a very clear
parallel to his exposition of the Second Article.

Most of Luther’s hymns ought to be found in our English Lutheran hymn
books. They are noble church hymns—all Lutherans should know them. The
Church Militant is one of Luther’s chief subjects. Note his great heroic
hymn “Ein feste Burg.” Note also one of his last hymns:

  Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort
  Und steure deiner Feinde Mord,
  (Original: und steur des Pabsts und Tuerken Mord).
  Die Jesum Christum, deinen Sohn,
  Stuerzen wollen von deinem Thron.

  Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
  Curb those who fain by craft or sword
  Would wrest the kingdom from Thy Son,
  And set at naught all He hath done.

Powerful and courageous Lutheran hymns! Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh
darein—Look down, O Lord, from heaven behold—seems to be as valid
against the disintegrating subjectivism and super-culture of our time as
against the age in which it was born, which dissolved God’s kingdom and
divine will at pleasure and put uncontrolled human will in their place.
Whether this refers to clericalism and papism or modern culture and mass
dominion, makes little or no difference; the result in both cases is

Nearly all of Luther’s hymns close with words of praise—note this
consciousness of communion with Christ. Take for example the last stanza
of “Christ lag in Todesbanden”:

  Then let us feast this Easter day
  On the true Bread of heaven;
  The Word of grace hath purged away
  The old and wicked leaven:
  Christ alone our souls will feed;
  He is our meat and drink indeed;
  Faith lives upon no other!

We recommend a careful study of “Luther’s Hymns” by James F. Lambert.

                             GERMAN HYMNODY

The history of German hymnody after 1500 may be divided into five
periods: 1) the foundation period, including the time of the Reformation
and down to the close of the sixteenth century; 2) the period of
prosperity, from about 1600 to about 1700; 3) the period of
subjectivism, embracing the time from 1700 to 1750; 4) the period of
decline, from 1750 to about 1820; 5) a time of renovation and general
development, from about 1820 to about 1900.

To present a clear, yet reasonably complete, survey of the history of
the church hymn in Germany during the century of the Reformation, is not
an easy task. The period is rich in victories and reverses. It embraces
not only the first victories of the new Church but also the
Counter-Reformation with its regaining of lost ground. It includes the
sad story of the internal struggles of the early Lutheran Church, which
resulted in dissension and weakness, bitterness and discouragement. All
this is reflected in the hymnody of the Church. The sixteenth century
produced many great hymnists, to whom we are greatly indebted. Luther’s
hymns alone would form a valuable little hymn book. But it would be
still more valuable, if we included in it the best Lutheran church hymns
of the entire century. A hymn book containing all the great Lutheran
church hymns of the sixteenth century—a remarkable Lutheran hymn book.

The Reformation hymnody possesses a preponderatingly objective
character. Definite and true evangelical faith is its keynote. Christ’s
redemption and the sinner’s justification by faith are the outstanding
expressions in this hymnody. The human and the individual, the
subjective, receives a secondary place. In fact there is hardly any
indication in this hymnody of a proper coalescence of the subjective and
the objective. A great many of the hymns are translations of old Greek
and Latin hymns. But the thoughts are hearty, vigorous, powerful, and
serious. The outward form is simple, even faulty at times. Yet it is the
song of earnest and sincere Christians.

The foremost hymnist of this period is, of course, Martin Luther. Other
great hymnists of this period are Justus Jonas, Paul Eber, Paul
Speratus, Nikolaus Decius, Lazarus Spengler, Nikolaus Hermann, Barthol.
Ringwaldt, and Nikolaus Selnecker. Michael Weiss of Bohemia belongs to
this period, because he produced a number of excellent German
translations of church hymns which had been in use among the followers
of John Huss.

The second period of German hymnody, the seventeenth century, may be
regarded as one of great prosperity. In it the objective and the
subjective seem to attain a fine balance. The church hymn now comes more
directly from the soul of the communion of the faithful. In form and
expression there is healthy progress. A very fine type of lyrical poetry
develops. During the first years of this period we note such excellent
hymnists as L. Helmbold, Martin Schalling, Valerius Herberger, and
Philipp Nicolai. Among hymn writers during the hard times of the Thirty
Years War, who produced excellent hymns of consolation, powerful hymns,
we note especially John Heermann, Paul Fleming, J. M. Meyfart, Martin
Rinkart, John Rist, and Simon Dach. The objective-subjective hymnody of
the seventeenth century, in its purest and noblest form, is to be found
in the hymns of Paul Gerhardt, writer of more than one hundred hymns, in
which the ardor and fervor of Christian subjectivity attained a most
happy union with the firm evangelical faith and the noble popular
elements of the Reformation period. He is one of the greatest German
hymn writers, if not the greatest. With him we note Georg Neumark, J.
Franck, and M. Schirmer.

The third period, from the end of the seventeenth century to about 1750,
may be called the age of subjective hymnody. To this period belong such
great hymn writers as Johann Scheffler (Angelus Silesius) and Countess
Ludemilia Elisabeth of Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt. Both of these hymn
writers are quite strongly inclined towards sound Mysticism. At the
opening of the eighteenth century, Pietism brought about a great
awakening in hymn writing. Several of the followers of Spener and
Francke produced a large number of devotional hymns which are full of
sound and sincere piety in simple and noble form. To this group of hymn
writers belong Samuel Rodigast, Gottfried Arnold, Johann Freylinghausen,
Herrnschmidt, Richter, Countess Emilie Juliane of Schwartzburg, J. J.
Rambach, and Woltersdorf. In this connection we must also mention
Gerhard Tersteegen, a preacher without a church, and a leader among
“awakened souls.” The followers of J. A. Bengel, or the so-called Bible
Theologians, produced a number of fine devotional hymns. Leading hymn
writers in this group are Johann Mentzer and Phillip Friedrich Hiller.
Count Zinzendorf, the great leader among the Herrnhuters, or Moravian
Brethren, wrote a number of excellent hymns. Besides these hymnological
fruits of Pietism, the orthodox tendency did not remain unproductive.
Pietism exerted considerable influence upon the orthodox hymnody. To
this group of orthodox hymn writers belong Erdmann Neumeister, Benjamin
Schmolck, and Salomo Franck. Towards the middle of the eighteenth
century a dull and degraded Pietism began to react upon sacred poetry. A
sound and vigorous tone was superseded by the subjective and lyrical
effusions of the individual. The hymns began to treat more and more of
personal feelings and soul experiences, of events and situations in
private life. A number of poor hymn books appeared. Public taste for the
right kind of church song was spoiled. This paved the way for a
hymnological revolution, brought about mainly by Rationalism, during the
last half of the eighteenth century.

The fourth period, the era of decline, includes the last half of the
eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth. This is the
time of the destructive influences of Neologism or Rationalism in
Germany. German hymnody suffered. Rationalism is a denial of positive
Christian life, and lacks sympathy for the primitive, the simple, and
the popular. It cannot attend to the needs of the common people. It
possesses a character of superficial and heartless intellectualism.
Reason was made the highest authority in all religious matters. Genuine
hymn writing could not grow up in a soil which was destitute both of
poetry and of true Christianity. The dominion of rationalism in German
hymnody began about the middle of the eighteenth century with a revision
of the old church hymns in accordance with the new ideas of the age, an
age of enlightenment and illumination. To begin with this hymnological
revision was mainly in the interest of form. Severity, irregularity and
archaism in expression and style, in rhyme and meter, etc., had to be
eliminated from the church hymns. Up-to-date language had to be used.
The revision of form was soon followed by a revision of content. Old
ideas in the hymns had to be removed. The church hymns had to be in
harmony with the new ethical ideas of the age. A great work in
hymnological vandalism was in progress. It was not sufficient to merely
improve the old hymns. Most of the grand old church hymns were dropped
and new ones produced—new hymns which were in perfect harmony with the
new ideas of the age. The new hymn book was to be a kind of textbook in
moral philosophy. The new hymn book should instruct the people in many
useful things. Hymns were written on such subjects as profitable
economy, extravagance, superstition, scepticism, quiet and peaceful
life, contentedness, integrity, the right use of pleasure, commerce,
agriculture, vaccination, sleep, etc. The direction was not heavenward
so much as worldward.

The leading hymnological revisor or editor was Friedrich Gottlieb
Klopstock (1724-1803). He also wrote a few original hymns. One of the
best hymn writers of this hymnological era was Christian Fuerchtegott
Gellert (1715-1769). He wrote a number of excellent hymns. Johann Casper
Lavater (1741-1801) was perhaps the greatest hymn writer of this period.

The fifth period of German hymnody, an era of renovation, from about
1825 to about 1910, is known not so much for original hymn writing as
for its general return to the best of old German hymnody. The neological
hymn books of the preceding period were condemned and rejected. New hymn
books were published, which contained the best church hymns of all
times. Outstanding hymnological compilers and editors are Dr. Hermann
Adalbert Daniel, Dr. Carl Eduard Philipp Wackernagel, and Stip. Albert
Knapp and Dr. Carl Johann Spitta are important German hymnists of this
period. Important English translators are Miss Catherine Winkworth, Miss
Frances Elizabeth Cox, Miss Jane Borthwick and her sister—Mrs.
Findlater, Rev. Richard Massie, and Rev. A. Tozar Russell.


The Reformation era, the sixteenth century.—The hymnody of the
Scandinavian Church during this period was, for the most part, an echo
of that of the German mother Church. Among important hymnists of this
period we note Hans Taussen, Hans Tomissön, Cl. Töndebinder and Nils
Jespersen of the Danish Church. In the Swedish Church we note especially
the two brothers, Olaus and Laurentius Petri, the two great Swedish
reformers, students under Dr. Martin Luther at the University of
Wittenberg. The first Swedish Lutheran hymn book was issued by Olaus
Petri, 1526, called “Swedish Songs” (about ten hymns). Revised and
enlarged editions of this hymn book appeared in 1530 and 1536. In this
first Swedish Lutheran hymn book we find hymns by the Swedish poet Olaf
Swensson, who distinguished himself as a zealous polemic against the
Roman Catholic Church and “Antichrist” (the pope). In 1567 appeared
another Swedish Lutheran hymn book, containing 99 hymns, which has been
called “the hymn book of Laurentius Petri,” because it contained many
translations and several original hymns by him. A revised and enlarged
edition of this hymn book appeared in 1572. In this hymnal appeared the
popular and beautiful Swedish Lutheran hymn, “A sinful man, who lay in
trance of sin, he heard a voice from heaven: Awake, awake, list to the
Word that comfort gives.” It has been claimed by several authorities
that this hymn is the foremost hymn in the Swedish literature of the
sixteenth century, and also one of the greatest of Swedish Lutheran
hymns. It is probably the work of Laurentius Petri Gothus.

Scandinavian Lutheran hymnody may be divided into five hymnological
periods, similar to the five periods of German Lutheran hymnody. The
hymnological periods of German and Scandinavian hymnody are parallel.

The second period, the seventeenth century.—The seventeenth century is
said to be the days of glory in the history of Scandinavian Lutheran
hymnody—its foremost period. While the Danish hymnists Hans Sthen, A.
Arreboe, and especially T. Kingo wrote their hymns, the hymnody of the
Swedish Church developed somewhat independently, with Swedish fervor and
virility in connection with Biblical and practical simplicity in the
best sense. The advance of this period on the Reformation era was much
greater in the Swedish Church than in the German Church. It is also to
be noted that the highest point in Swedish Lutheran hymn writing was
reached in the later part of the seventeenth century, somewhat later
than in Germany. Important Swedish hymnists of this period are Samuel
Columbus, Erik Lindsköld, Petrus Brask, Gustaf Ollon, Israel Kolmodin,
Jacob Boethius, Jakob Arrhenius, and especially the two bishops, Haquin
Spegel and Jesper Swedberg. The Swedish Lutheran hymnal of 1695 was a

The third period, from 1700 to 1750.—The Scandinavian Church was not
subject to the hymnological fluctuations that the German Church
experienced in this period, because the excellent Swedish hymnal of 1695
remained throughout the 18th century as the only official and popular
hymn book. Efforts were made to produce new hymnals. About 1765 appeared
an orthodox hymnal, “sound in doctrine and unpoetical”—called the Celsic
hymnal, because O. Celsius had a great deal to do with its compilation.
Pietistic and Moravianistic hymnals appeared. As an example of the
Pietistic hymnals we note “The Songs of Moses and the Lamb,” by
Lybecker, 1717. “The Songs of Zion” was a Moravianistic product,
published about 1745. The Danes and the Norwegians were fortunate in
having as their foremost hymnist the great H. A. Brorson, a most noble
Pietistic hymn writer.

The fourth period.—This period includes the last half of the eighteenth
century and the first fifteen years of the nineteenth. The neological
spirit did not get into the church life of Sweden as thoroughly as in
Germany. This fortunate condition is plainly seen in the hymnody of the
Swedish Church. The hymnal that was published in 1793, the year of the
200th anniversary of the important Church Council at Upsala (1593),
contained very few new hymns, and the old hymns retained were only
slightly revised. But this hymnal was not accepted by the Swedish
Church. About twenty years later, in 1814, appeared a new project in the
matter of a revised and improved hymnal, the result of neological
efforts to produce new church hymns. Many very able hymnists united in
this great hymnological project, to show what genius and good taste can
accomplish. It was a great work, but, on the whole, unsuccessful—too
fine, perhaps.

The fifth period, the nineteenth century.—The hymnological situation in
Sweden in the nineteenth century was somewhat similar to that in
Germany. But it is hardly a question of returning to the old, because
neological activities were not able to deprive the Swedish Church of her
old hymnody. Efforts to give to the Church a large number of the best of
the old church hymns (Greek, Latin, German and Scandinavian), carefully
edited, and some new Swedish church hymns, resulted in the important
Swedish Hymnal of 1819. It has remained to this day (1925) the official
and popular Hymnal of the Swedish Church. It is the Swedish hymn book of
the Augustana Synod. With respect to the old church hymns in the hymnal,
it may be said that much was gained by this work of revision. Most of
the new hymns are excellent. A few of the hymns betray neological
influences. On the whole, however, the Hymnal of 1819 is a very fine
Lutheran hymn book. It contains 500 hymns. Revision is undoubtedly
needed, and such work has been going on for some time.

Among Swedish hymn writers who contributed to the Hymnal of 1819 we note
especially Bishop J. O. Wallin (died 1839) and Bishop F. M. Franzen
(died 1847). Wallin produced 128 original hymns and revised or
translated very many old and new hymns. The Hymnal of 1819 has often
been called Wallin’s Hymnal. Most of his hymns are immortal
masterpieces. Franzen produced 22 original hymns. As a hymnist Franzen
possessed less rhetorical elevation and force than Wallin, but he is
fully equal to Wallin not only in the Biblical-evangelical quality of
the content but also in the lyrical heartiness of the tone as well as in
the transparency and simplicity of the language. Other important Swedish
hymn writers of this period are Samuel J. Hedborn (died 1849) and Erik
Gustaf Geijer (died 1847). Johan Henrik Thomander and Per Wieselgren are
the editors of the Swedish Hymnal (1819) that is used in the Swedish
Lutheran Augustana Synod, U. S. A.

In the Danish Church the well known N. F. S. Grundtvig (died 1872) has
rendered great service as a reviser of old church hymns and writer of
several excellent original hymns. The Norwegian Lutheran hymn book by
Rev. M. B. Landstad (died 1881) is a very important hymnological work.
It is a popular hymnal in the Norwegian Church. An important Swedish
hymn book was published in Finland in 1880, which contained many
excellent old church hymns from Swedish and German sources, but also
several new hymns by such well known Finnish scholars as Johan Ludvig
Runeberg (died 1877), Zacharias Topelius (died 1898), and others.

Bishop J. O. Wallin brought about a very high hymnic standard in the
Swedish Church—perhaps the highest hymnic standard in the entire
Lutheran world. When we examine what Grundtvig and Landstad gave the
Danish and Norwegian churches, we find a great deal of the folk song
element in that hymnody—not an unwholesome attribute. Wallin’s work
belongs rather to the sphere of the solemn and sublime church hymn. The
hymnody of the Swedish Lutheran Church is among the finest in the whole
field of Lutheran hymnology, a church hymnody born in the days of the
Reformation, four hundred years ago.

                       AMERICAN LUTHERAN HYMNODY

The early Lutherans in America came from lands where church song had
attained high position and where a large number of noble church hymns
had been produced. The early German Lutherans sang from a great variety
of hymn books which they had brought with them from the homeland. Dr.
Henry Eyster Jacobs makes the following statement in “A History of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States”: “Muhlenberg had
complained greatly of the variety of hymn books in use in the
congregations, and generally within the same congregation. Of these, the
Marburg hymn book gained precedence, and an American edition was
published by Christopher Saur, Germantown, in 1762.” This hymn book
contained over six hundred hymns.

About the same thing may be said of the earlier Lutheran immigrants, the
Dutch and the Swedes. About 1675 the Swedes appealed to the King of
Sweden for 12 Bibles, 100 hymn books, etc. In 1696 a ship carrying
missionaries and a large supply of books left Sweden for America.

The work of organizing the early Lutheran Church in America fell to Rev.
Dr. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, often called the Patriarch of the
American Lutheran Church. He came to Philadelphia in 1742. The first
Evangelical Lutheran Synod in America was organized by Muhlenberg at
Philadelphia in 1748. This body is known as the Evangelical Lutheran
Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States. In 1782 this synod
resolved to have a new hymn book printed for the united congregations. A
hymn book committee was appointed and given the following instructions:
“As far as possible to follow the arrangement of the Halle hymn book,
and not to omit any of the old standard hymns, especially of Luther and
Paul Gerhardt.” This German hymn book appeared in 1786, having been
prepared by Muhlenberg, Kunze, and Helmuth. Poor health prevented
Muhlenberg from taking a more active part in the compilation of this
hymn book. While it was used extensively, it seems that the book did not
fully meet the wishes of the synod. Apparently the active editors,
especially Dr. Helmuth, had not been successful in the selection and
revision of the hymns. The inter-denominational (Lutheran and Reformed)
hymn book of 1817, the “Gemeinschaftliches Gesangbuch,” was an inferior
hymnological work. It was meant to take the place of the Pennsylvania
hymn book of 1786. In 1849 the Ministerium of Pennsylvania published a
new hymn book, prepared chiefly by Dr. C. R. Demme. The Synods of New
York and West Pennsylvania co-operated in this issue. Although popular,
this Pennsylvania hymn book did not measure up to that of 1786. About
the middle of the nineteenth century, several German Lutheran hymn books
were published by different synods. The Kirchenbuch of the General
Council, published in 1877, is a hymnological work of high merit.

The first English Lutheran hymn book used in America was the “Psalmodia
Germanica” of 1725, 1732, and 1756. It came to America from London,
England. It contained 122 hymns, several by Luther and Paul Gerhardt. In
1795 Dr. John C. Kunze of New York published “A Hymn and Prayer Book,
for the use of such Lutheran Churches as use the English language.” Its
240 hymns were gathered from German Lutheran, Moravian, English and
American sources. In 1797 Rev. George Strebeck issued “A Collection of
Evangelical Hymns, made from Different Authors and Collections, for the
English Lutheran Church in New York.” This was a rather un-Lutheran hymn
book. Rev. Strebeck and his New York congregation went over to the
Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1806 Rev. Ralph Williston published “A
Choice Selection of Evangelical Hymns from Various Authors, for the Use
of the English Lutheran Church in New York.” While this hymn book met
with popularity within the New York Ministerium, it was not a Lutheran
hymn book. Most of its hymns were taken from Watts and Charles Wesley.
Rev. Williston and his New York congregation also went over to the
Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1815 appeared “A Collection of Hymns and
a Liturgy for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Churches.” Published by
order of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the State of New York. The
editors were Drs. Quitman and Wackerhagen. This book contained 520
carefully selected hymns.

A number of English hymn books were published before 1850, but they were
found more or less unsatisfactory. Some of them were quite un-Lutheran.
In 1863 the Ministerium of Pennsylvania decided to issue a new English
hymn book. A hymn book committee was appointed, which did very thorough
work. This resulted in the publication of the Church Book by the General
Council in 1868. This is undoubtedly one of the best English Lutheran
hymn books of the American Lutheran Church. It has been highly praised
by prominent hymnologists of Europe, and it has remained a very popular
English hymn book throughout the American Lutheran Church for over fifty
years. It has passed through several editions.

Rev. Justus Falckner (1672-1723) wrote what may be called the first
American Lutheran hymn. He is said to be the first German Lutheran
pastor in America and was ordained by the Swedish Lutheran pastors in
Gloria Dei Church at Wicaco in 1703. This was the first Lutheran
ordination in America. We quote here the first two stanzas of Rev.
Justus Falckner’s beautiful hymn. The hymn was originally written in
German—“Auf, ihr Christen, Christi Glieder.”

  Rise, ye children of salvation,
    All who cleave to Christ the Head!
  Wake, arise, O mighty nation,
    Ere the foe on Zion tread:
  He draws nigh, and would defy
  All the hosts of God Most High.

  Saints and heroes, long before us,
    Firmly on this ground have stood;
  See their banner waving o’er us,
    Conquerors through the Saviour’s Blood!
  Ground we hold, whereon of old
  Fought the faithful and the bold.

The American Lutheran Church cannot as yet point to an American Lutheran
hymnist like Paul Gerhardt or John Olof Wallin. The English Lutheran
hymn books in America contain translations of German, Scandinavian, old
Greek, and old Latin hymns, also a large number of carefully selected
English (Reformed) hymns. The matter of translating great German and
Scandinavian Lutheran hymns into English is a very difficult task. But
there are Lutherans in America who write hymns worthy of more general
acceptance. They would find it if it were, first of all, accorded to
them by their fellow-Lutherans of other synods. So long as the hymn
writers of another synod are largely ignored in American Lutheran
synodical hymnals, it is not to be expected that what they write will
find its way into the hymnals of other denominations. Among the most
successful translators and hymn writers within the American Lutheran
Church the following may be mentioned: Rev. H. Brueckner, Rev. Dr.
Matthias Loy, Rev. Dr. Charles Poterfield Krauth, Rev. John Casper
Mattes, Rev. Dr. Alfred Ramsey, Rev. Dr. Charles William Schaeffer, Rev.
Dr. Joseph Augustus Seiss, Mrs. Harriett Reynolds Spaeth, Rev. Dr. C. H.
L. Schuette, Miss Anna Hoppe, and Rev. Dr. Paul E. Kretzmann. Miss
Catherine Winkworth, Anglican, has produced a large number of excellent
translations of German Lutheran hymns.

Several excellent English Lutheran hymn books have been published within
the American Lutheran Church. Perhaps the foremost work is the Common
Service Book, authorized by the General Synod, the General Council, and
the United Synod in the South. The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal,
published by order of the First English District of the Joint Synod of
Ohio and Other States, is a worthy American Lutheran hymn book. The
Wartburg Hymnal, edited by Professor O. Hardwig and published by
Wartburg Publishing House, is noteworthy. The Scandinavian Lutherans
have also published commendable hymn books. The new Hymnal of the
Augustana Synod (1925) is excellent. Hymn book committees are at work on
the compilation of better and more serviceable English Lutheran hymnals.

The history of hymnody in the American Lutheran Church is in many
respects discouraging. A prominent American Lutheran theologian recently
made the following statement: “Few of our ministers have ever had an
appreciation of the treasures of Lutheran church song” The training of
the clergy in hymnology and church music is not what it ought to be. The
education of the church organist and choir director is woefully
deficient. More serious study in liturgics, hymnology and church music
is needed. Yet some very good work has been done by American Lutheran
hymnists, hymnologists and church musicians. The Memoirs of the Lutheran
Liturgical Association contain much valuable information concerning
American Lutheran church song; so also the Essays on Church Music,
volumes which contain papers read at Lutheran church music conventions
held chiefly in Pennsylvania. Other sources of information are: “The
English Hymn” by Dr. Louis F. Benson, pages 410-420 and 560-563. “The
Lutheran Cyclopedia” by Jacobs and Haas, pages 235-238 and 96-97. “A
History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States” by
Henry Eyster Jacobs, the references to hymn books and hymns. History of
the Liturgical Development of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, vol.
XVII, page 93, Lutheran Church Review. The Common Service Book and
Hymnal, vol. XXXVII, page 289, Lutheran Church Review.


How old is Lutheran church song? Four hundred years—the historical age
of the most vigorous production in the realm of sacred song. We must not
forget that one thousand popular evangelical Lutheran church hymns are a
selection from perhaps one hundred thousand church hymns. What a great
vital power! Is there any reason to believe that this vitality is about
to cease? Is Lutheran hymn writing a thing of the past? The power to
create is not yet extinct. The hymnody of the Church is steadily
conquering new ground. In the Episcopal Church the church hymn has taken
on greater and greater significance. Wherever evangelical missionary
work is gaining ground, the church hymns find favor. So long as the
Lutheran Church lives, Lutheran church song will flourish.

Even from the literary point of view, this Lutheran hymnic vitality
ought to be appreciated. Is it not strange that poets whose work will be
forgotten after a few decades, are treated at length in our histories of
literature, while this body of song, which has stood the test of
centuries, scarcely receives mention? Yet our Lutheran church hymn has
perhaps very few literary competitors. As a representation of life, does
it not fitly take its place beside the many legends that have delighted
the children of old India, or Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, or the metrical
romances of the Middle Ages, or Dante’s Divine Comedy, or a great
Shakespearean drama, or the songs of the Israelites?

But it is not because the Lutheran church hymn is great poetry that it
lives. It is because of the life of the Church, the life of souls, the
life of the Christian faith, that the church hymn lives. From this it
draws its life and becomes an ever fresh source of spiritual life.

Looking at the church hymn from this point of view, looking at the
content of the church hymn, the outlook widens and goes far beyond the
time of four hundred years.

If the history of our evangelical church hymn has reference more
particularly to the historical evolution of the content and the making
of the form, then this history embraces several thousand years of the
religious development of our race. This holds good also from the
literary point of view. It is obvious that our popular Lutheran church
hymns contain material from all classical ages revealed by history, from
the first literary days of old Israel down to the present time, and this
very often in the most intimate fusion.

Take for example one of F. M. Franzen’s greatest hymns, the first stanza
of which follows:

  Prepare the way, O Zion!
  Ye awful deeps, rise high,
  Sink low, ye towering mountains;
  The Lord is drawing nigh:
  The righteous King of glory,
  Foretold in sacred story.
  Oh, blest is He that came
  In God the Father’s Name!

How much there is in that stanza! And it is only the first stanza of a
truly great Lutheran church hymn. In all this, which may seem quite
commonplace, there really is something truly wonderful; an old, old
story about the life of faith and its expression in song and worship—an
exceedingly beautiful testimony about the fulness of God’s work in the
history of spiritual life on earth.

Our hymnological annotations must draw to a close. They may be regarded
as observations and reflections during the study of a great subject: Our
Lutheran church song. Perhaps they will be of some value to those who
have much to do with Lutheran hymn singing as well as to those who teach
and instruct our young people in this branch of our ecclesiastical

Much must be done before we can really claim that the American Lutheran
Church has fully taken over this rich legacy.

A church hymn sung by a Lutheran congregation as it should be sung—that
may at first thought seem to be a very simple and insignificant matter.
But taken in its historical and religious connections, the matter is far
from simple or insignificant. And taken as a problem—it is not easily
solved. Its relations to the facts and conditions of spiritual life
extend far and wide. Hymnological study gives us an idea of these
things. Our Lutheran hymnody is four hundred years old—many of our best
Lutheran hymns are four hundred years old—four hundred years, think of
it, full of ups and downs, ecclesiastically and politically—four hundred
years of sacred song through all kinds of significant life experiences.
Four hundred years—turn to mediaeval and modern history.

Looking at the history of the church hymn, we may lay down as a
fundamental principle that the church hymn cannot live without
connection with the life that has passed through the ages, from the
prophets of old, Christ, the Reformation, and down to the present. Only
in this connection does the church hymn possess a positive significance
or the significance of a life-promoting factor.

The correctness of this principle may be confirmed from actual
experience. In the history of languishing and dying church song, we can
read about languishing and dying Christian nations—nations in deplorable
condition both ecclesiastically and nationally—nations of emigration,
non-patriotism, and of little or no sense of duty—nations of imported
religious thinking and poorly translated songs.

The question has often been raised: Does the American Lutheran Church
really sing? Yes and No—for the most part No. Most of our American
Lutheran country congregations do not sing. How about the city churches?
A sad affair! In most cases the situation is far from ideal. A church
hymn, _a Lutheran church hymn_, cannot be sung properly by those who
forget God, Bible, history, etc., in order to practise a little general
culture and enjoy a little tasty personal aesthetics. If a noble
Lutheran church hymn is sung, it is usually sung by the choir, perhaps
as a concert number, disconnected from its vital connection. And
detached from its connection, the noble Lutheran church hymn becomes,
like everything else that has vital significance, nothing. That which
does not really hang together, becomes patchwork, bandages, finery,
rags—we may praise it enthusiastically. Very much like American
culture—sorry to say. Uniting, cementing, productive LIFE is lacking.

Many American Lutheran churches do not sing Lutheran church hymns at
all. How deplorable! We often attend Lutheran church services where not
a single Lutheran church hymn or Lutheran chorale is sung. Here is a
serious flaw in American Lutheran education and leadership. How about
the hymn singing in our American Lutheran Sunday schools? Would it not
be well to sing at least one Lutheran church hymn each Sunday? Or shall
we permit Lutheran hymnody to die? Is great Lutheran hymnody a thing of
the past?

But what is the most serious thing that our American Lutheran
congregational hymn singing lacks? One thing—LIFE. That is our great
problem—life in our church song—new life—LIFE. With this go all the
difficulties of the problem of life.

Since it is the business of the Church to sing the church hymn, the
question becomes very complicated. So many factors must co-operate in
this matter, if we are to get anywhere—to sing a Lutheran church hymn as
it should be sung. Our American Lutheran colleges and theological
seminaries will have to undertake more serious educational work in the
important field of hymnology and church music. A strong summer school of
Lutheran church music, liturgics and hymnology would be very valuable.

Take the familiar situation: The great festival hymn of the Reformation
is sung. We have before us altar, pulpit, pipe organ; we have before us
minister, organist, choir, congregation. The ideal of the problem is a
_harmonious co-operation_ between all if we are to have VITAL worship
and VITAL song.

The good pastor of a large Lutheran church in Connecticut thanked his
organist and choirmaster in a very hearty way after a fine Sunday
morning service. The good organist and choirmaster answered: “Well, who
cannot play and sing when the pastor preaches such soul-stirring sermons
and conducts the liturgy so beautifully?” And the good pastor replied:
“Well, who cannot preach and conduct the liturgy when the organist and
choirmaster does such excellent work?” That is real co-operation—they
helped each other in a beautiful way. They co-operated in the selection
of hymns and choir music—every Tuesday or Wednesday evening that pastor
and organist were together in conference concerning the song of the
church. That is work very much worth while for the Church service.

In our thousands of Lutheran churches throughout the United States of
America, the American Lutheran Church is to be built up and built
together into ONE great Church, into ONE people that really sings—a
people of God.

  But when here devoutly soareth
  High the temple-anthem sweet,
  Grief grows calm, no plaint outpoureth—
  Hearts with holy rapture beat:
  Free from earthly clouds the soul
  Presses toward a higher goal,
  Takes from hope the comfort given,
  Speaks e’en now the tongue of heaven.

  O my soul, thy wing ascending,
  Yet on Salem’s mount shall rest;
  There where cherub-harps are blending
  With the singing of the blest;
  Let thy note of praise and prayer
  To thy God precede thee there,
  While e’en yet a care-worn mortal,
  Still without thy Father’s portal.

  Let us, Christians, here that wander,
  As our fathers in their day,
  Piously together ponder,
  Gladly sing and meekly pray;
  Be the children’s voices raised
  To the God their fathers praised.
  Let Thy bounty failing never
  Be on us and all forever.
                                                     (From J. O. Wallin)

                          REFORMED CHURCH SONG

The founders of the so-called Reformed Church, Ulrich Zwingli and John
Calvin, sought to restore apostolic simplicity in the matter of public
worship. All images and ornaments were removed from the Reformed
churches. The altars were changed to plain tables. Musical instruments
were not allowed in the churches. Zwingli made the sermon the chief part
of the church service. The Latin chants and songs were abolished, and
their places were seldom filled with congregational singing in the
vernacular. With regard to church service, Calvin had on the whole the
same views as Zwingli. He introduced, however, congregational singing,
using translated and versified portions of the Psalms of David.

Thus the Reformed Church turned to Biblical Psalmody. Early versifiers
of Davidic Psalms were Clement Marot (1495-1544), Theodore Beza
(1519-1605), and Ambrosius Lobwasser (1515-1585). Joachim Neander
(1650-1680), Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), and Lavater (died 1801) are
important Reformed hymnists. The Genevan Psalter, by Marot and Beza, a
successful and influential hymnological work, appeared about the middle
of the sixteenth century. Ambrosius Lobwasser produced a German edition
of the Genevan Psalter in 1573, which became very popular and exerted
considerable influence. English Psalmody presents such important names
as Miles Coverdale (1487-1569), George Buchanan (1506-1582), Thomas
Sternhold (sixteenth century), John Hopkins, Nahum Tate, Nicholas Brady,
and Isaac Watts. In Scotch Psalmody the Royal Psalter and the celebrated
Rous’ Version are significant hymnological works. The Bay Psalmist or
the New England Version was America’s first hymn book. For further study
of Reformed church song we recommend “The Hymn as Literature,” by J. B.
Reeves, also Benson’s “The English Hymn.”

                         A LIST OF HYMN WRITERS
                           (Mainly Lutheran)

Adam of St. Victor (died 1177), Latin hymnist.

Adlerbeth, G. G., state secretary, b. 1751, d. 1818, Swedish hymnist.

Afzelius, A. A., court chaplain, b. 1785, d. 1871, Swedish hymnist.

Agricola, Johann, court chaplain, b. 1492, d. 1566, German hymnist.

Ahnfelt, O., bishop in Swedish Church, b. 1854, d. 1910.

Ahnfelt, P. G., pastor in Swedish Church, b. 1803, d. 1863.

Albert, Heinrich, b. 1604, d. 1651, German Lutheran hymnist.

Albinus, Rev. Johann Georg, b. 1624, d. 1679, German Lutheran hymnist.

Albrecht (IV) Jr., d. 1557, German hymnist.

Alin, S., rural dean in Swedish Church, b. 1852.

Altenburg, Rev. Johann Michael, b. 1584, d. 1640, German Lutheran

Ambrose, Aurelius, Bishop of Milan, b. 340, d. 397, Latin hymnist.

Amnelius, Rev. A. P., b. 1638, d. 1692, Swedish hymnist.

Anatolius, cir. VIII century, Greek hymnist.

Andrew of Crete, Archbishop, b. 660, d. 732, Greek hymnist.

Arndt, Ernst Moritz, professor, b. 1769, d. 1860, German hymnist.

Arrhenius, Rev. Jacob, Upsala University professor, b. 1642, d. 1725,
    great Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Augustine, Aurelius, great Bishop of Hippo, b. 354, d. 430.

Ausius, Hakan, d. 1653, Swedish hymnist.

Bahnmaier, Rev. Jonathan Friederich, b. 1774, d. 1841, German Lutheran

Becker, Cornelius, pastor in Leipzig, b. 1561, d. 1604.

Bede, the Venerable, b. 673, d. 735, Latin hymnist.

Bellman, Carl Michael, Swedish poet, b. 1740, d. 1795.

Bengel, J. A., consistorial counselor in Stuttgart, Bible Theologian, b.
    1687, d. 1752.

Bergstedt, C. F., Swedish author, b. 1817, d. 1903.

Bernard of Clairvaux, b. 1091, d. 1153, Latin hymnist.

Bernard of Cluny, b. cir. 1145, Latin hymnist.

Beza, Theodore, b. 1519, Burgundy, professor at Lausanne, preacher at
    Geneva, French Switzerland, d. 1605.

Blix, E., professor, Norwegian Church, b. 1836, d. 1902.

Boethius, Rev. Jacob, Swedish Church, b. 1647, d. 1718.

Boethius, S. J., professor, Swedish Church, b. 1850.

Begatsky, Karl Heinrich von, b. 1690, Silesia, Lutheran Pietist, d.

Borthwick, Miss Jane Laurie, b. 1813, d. 1897, important English
    translator of German hymns.

Brag, Karl J., pastor and dean at Gothenburg, Swedish Church, b. 1735,
    d. 1781.

Brask, Peter, b. 1641, d. 1691, Swedish hymnist.

Brorson, Hans Adolf, bishop in Danish Church, b. 1694, d. 1764,
    important Danish hymnist.

Buermeyer, Ferdinand Frederick, M. A., D. D., b. 1846, New York,

Canitz, Friedrich Rudolph Ludwig, Freiherr von, b. 1654, d. 1699, German

Carlberg, Birger, pastor in Swedish Church, b. 1641, d. 1683.

Cassel, Karl Gustaf, state official, b. 1783, d. 1866, Swedish Lutheran

Cavallin, S., rural dean in Swedish Church, b. 1820, d. 1886.

Choraeus, Michael, professor, b. 1774, d. 1806, Swedish-Finnish hymnist.

Claudius, Matthias, b. 1740, d. 1815, German Lutheran hymnist.

Clausnitzer, Rev. Tobias, M. A., b. 1619, d. 1684, German Lutheran

Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), b. cir. 170, d. cir. 220,
    Greek hymnist.

Columbus, Samuel, b. 1642, d. 1679, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Cornelius, C. A., bishop in Swedish Church, b. 1828, d. 1893.

Cox, Miss Frances Elizabeth, b. 1812, d. 1897, English translator of
    German hymns.

Cruciger, Elizabeth, died 1558, German hymnist.

Dach, Simon, professor, b. 1605, d. 1659, German Lutheran hymnist.

Dachstein, Wolfgang, organist at St. Thomas Church, Strassburg, left
    monastic life 1524, German Lutheran hymnist.

Dahl, Kristoffer, Upsala University professor, b. 1758, d. 1809.

v. Dalin, Olof, Swedish poet and historian, b. 1708, d. 1763.

Dalius, Sven, b. 1604, d. 1693, Swedish hymn writer.

Decius, Nikolaus, b. Bavaria, d. 1529, German Lutheran hymnist.

Denicke, David, b. 1603, d. 1680, German Lutheran hymnist.

Dilluer, J., dean in Swedish Church, b. 1785, d. 1862, important Swedish
    Lutheran hymnologist.

Diterich, J. S., pastor in Berlin, Germany, b. 1721, d. 1797.

Dueben, J. von, b. 1671, d. 1730, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Eber, Rev. Paul, b. 1511, d. 1569, German Lutheran hymnist.

Ekdahl, F. N., rural dean in Swedish Church, b. 1853.

Evers, Edvard, court chaplain, b. 1853, Swedish hymnologist.

Fant, Erik M., Upsala University professor, b. 1754, d. 1817.

Findlater, Mrs. Sarah (Borthwick), b. 1823, d. 1907, English translator
    of German hymns.

Fleming, Paul, physician, b. 1609, d. 1640, German hymnist.

Fortunatus, Venantius, bishop of Poitiers, b. 530, d. 609, Latin

Franck, Johann, burgomaster, b. 1618, d. 1677, German Lutheran hymnist.

Franck, Salomo, b. 1659, d. 1725, German Lutheran hymnist.

Franzen, Frans Michael, bishop, b. 1772, d. 1847, great Swedish Lutheran

Freylinghausen, Johann, b. 1670, d. 1739, German hymnist.

Frimann, Claus, pastor, b. 1746, d. 1829, Norwegian hymnist.

Funcke, Rev. Friedrich, b. 1642, d. 1699, German Lutheran hymnist.

Gardie, Magnus Gabriel de la, chancellor, count, etc., b. 1622, d. 1688,
    Swedish hymnist.

Geijer, Erik Gustaf, Upsala University professor, great Swedish poet,
    historian, b. 1783, d. 1847, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Gellert, Rev. Christian F., professor, Leipzig, b. 1715, d. 1769.

Gerdes (Gerdessen), Johann, pastor of German Church, Stockholm, Sweden,
    b. 1624, d. 1673.

Gerhardt, Paul, b. 1607, d. 1676, great German Lutheran hymnist.

Gezelius, J., bishop in Swedish Church, b. 1647, d. 1718.

Gesenius, Rev. Dr. Justus, court chaplain, court preacher, b. 1601, d.
    1673, German Lutheran hymnist.

Gotter, Ludwig Andreas, b. 1661, d. 1735, German Lutheran hymnist.

Gramann, Johann, pastor, b. 1487, d. 1541, early German Lutheran

Gregory the Great, b. 540, d. 604, important early Latin hymnist.

Gripenhjelm, Edmund, Upsala University professor, senator, etc., b.
    1622, d. 1675, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Grundtvig, Rev. N. F. S., b. 1783, d. 1872, great Danish Lutheran

Günther, Cyriacus, b. 1649, d. 1704, German hymnist.

Gustavus Adolphus, one of Sweden’s greatest kings, great conquering hero
    of oppressed Protestantism, b. 1594, fell in the battle of Lützen,
    November 6, 1632.

Gyllenborg, Gustaf Fredrik, count, Secretary of State, great Swedish
    poet, b. 1731, d. 1808.

Hardenberg, Freiherr von, b. 1772, d. 1801, German Lutheran hymnist.

Harsdörffer, Georg Philipp, councillor, b. 1607, d. 1658, German

Hauge, A., dean in Norwegian Church, b. 1815, d. 1892, important
    Norwegian hymnist and hymnologist.

Hedborn, Samuel J., court chaplain, pastor, great Swedish poet, b. 1783,
    d. 1849, great Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Heermann, Johann, pastor, b. 1585, d. 1647, great German Lutheran

Held, Heinrich, d. 1655, lawyer, German Lutheran hymnist.

Helmbold, Ludwig, superintendent, b. 1532, d. 1598, German Lutheran

Herberger, Valerius, pastor, b. 1562, d. 1627, German Lutheran hymnist.

Hermann, Nicolaus, schoolmaster, cantor and organist, d. 1561, important
    German-Bohemian hymnist.

Herzog, Joh. Friedrich, LL.D., Dresden, b. 1647, d. 1699, German

Hey, Rev. Johann Wilhelm, b. 1789, d. 1854, German Lutheran Pietist.

Heyd, Sebaldus, rector at Nürnberg, b. 1498, d. 1561.

Hilarius (Hilary), famous Bishop of Poitiers, d. 368, first Latin

Hiller, Philipp, pastor, b. 1699, d. 1769, German Lutheran hymnist.

Hjerten, J., pastor, b. 1781, d. 1835, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Homberg, Ernst Christoph, lawyer, b. 1605, d. 1681, German Lutheran

Hoppe, Miss Anna, of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin,
    American Lutheran hymnist.

Hubert, Konrad, deacon, Strassburg, b. 1507, d. 1577, German hymnist.

Huss, Johann, b. 1369 at Hussinecz, Bohemia, precursor of the
    Reformation, follower of John Wycliffe, pastor in Prague, rector of
    University of Prague, excommunicated by the Pope as an arch-heretic,
    burned at the stake during the Catholic Church Council at Constance,
    July, 1415.

Ingemann, Bernhardt Severin, poet, professor, b. 1789, d. 1862, great
    Danish Lutheran hymnist.

Jacobs, Henry Eyster, D.D., LL.D., S.T.D., b. 1844, Pennsylvania, dean
    Philadelphia Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theologian and Author.

Jacoponus (Jacopone da Todi), Franciscan monk, d. 1306, Latin hymnist.

Johannis Gothus, Peter, pastor, b. 1536, d. 1616, Swedish hymnist.

John of Damascus, d. 780, great Greek hymnist.

Jonae Gestritius, Laurentius, pastor, d. 1597, Swedish hymnist.

Johansson, J., seminary rector, b. 1867, Swedish hymnologist.

Joseph the Hymnographer, d. 883, great Greek hymnist.

Kahl, Johan, b. 1660, d. 1742, Swedish hymnist.

Kingo, Thomas, bishop, b. 1634, d. 1703, great Danish hymnist.

Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb, author, b. 1724, d. 1803, German hymnist.

Knapp, Rev. Albert, b. 1798, d. 1864, German Lutheran hymnist.

Knoll, Christoph, deacon, b. 1563, d. 1621, German hymnist.

Knorr von Rosenroth, Christian, b. 1636, d. 1689, German Lutheran

Kock, Karl Anton, lawyer and government official, b. 1788, d. 1843,
    Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Kolmodin, Israel, professor of theology, Upsala University, b. 1643, d.
    1709, great Swedish hymnist.

Kolmodin, Rev. Olof, b. 1690, d. 1753, important Swedish hymnist.

Lagerlöf, Peter, Upsala University professor, historian, scientist,
    poet, b. 1648, d. 1699, Swedish hymnist.

Landstad, Rev. M. B., b. 1802, d. 1881, great Norwegian hymnist.

Laurenti, Laurentius, b. 1660, Schleswig, d. 1722, Cantor, Director of
    Music, Roman Catholic Church, Bremen, Lutheran.

Laurinus, Laurentius Laurentii, rector, pastor, b. 1573, d. 1655,
    Swedish hymnist.

Lenngren, Anna Maria, great Swedish poet, b. 1755, d. 1817.

Leopold, Karl Gustaf, state secretary, Swedish poet, b. 1756, d. 1829.

Lindschöld, Erik, government official, b. 1634, d. 1690, important
    Swedish hymnist.

Lobwasser, Ambrosius, professor of law, b. 1515, d. 1585, German

Lohman, Karl Johan, pastor, Doctor of Theology, b. 1694, d. 1759,
    Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Loy, Rev. Dr. Mathias, President of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio,
    b. 1828, Pennsylvania, d. 1915, American Lutheran hymnist.

Lucidor, L., poet, b. 1638, d. 1674, Swedish hymnist.

Lundwall, Rev. Karl Johan, Upsala University professor, b. 1775, d.

Luther, Dr. Martin, b. 1483, d. 1546, the father of the evangelical

Lybecker, G., d. 1716, Swedish Pietistic hymnist.

Marci, Rev. Georg, court chaplain, b. 1540, d. 1613, Swedish hymnist.

Marot, Clement, first Reformed versifier of Davidic Psalms, Geneva,
    French Switzerland, b. about 1495, d. about 1544.

Martini, Rev. Olaus, bishop, b. 1557, d. 1609, Swedish hymnist.

Massie, Richard, pastor, b. 1800, d. 1887, Anglican, important English
    translator of German hymns.

Mattes, Rev. John Casper, M. A., b. 1876, Pennsylvania, Lutheran.

Melanchthon, Philip, Wittenberg University professor, Praeceptor
    Germaniae, Luther’s important assistant, b. 1497, d. 1560.

Mentzer, Rev. Johann, b. 1658, d. 1734, German hymnist.

Meuslin, Rev. Wolfgang, theological professor, b. 1497, d. 1563, German

Meyfart, Rev. Johann Matthaeus, Erfurt University professor, b. 1590, d.
    1642, German Lutheran hymnist.

Mortensön Töndebinder, Claus, pastor, b. about 1500, d. about 1577,
    important early Danish Lutheran hymnist.

Muraeus, Rev. Stefan Larsson, court chaplain, b. about 1600, d. 1675,
    Swedish hymnist.

Münter, Rev. Balthasar, b. 1735, d. 1793, German Lutheran hymnist.

Neander, Rev. Christ. Friedrich, b. 1723, d. 1802, German Lutheran.

Neander, Joachim, b. 1650, d. 1680, important German Reformed pietistic

Neale, Rev. Dr. John Mason, hymnologist and liturgiologist, b. 1818, d.
    1866, important English translator of Greek and Latin hymns.

Nelson, Rev. Augustus, Augustana Synod, U. S. A., b. 1863.

Neumark, Georg, poet, b. 1621, d. 1681, German Lutheran hymnist.

Neumeister, Rev. Erdmann, court preacher, etc., b. 1671, d. 1756, German
    Lutheran hymnist.

Nicolai, Rev. Dr. Philipp, b. 1556, d. 1608, German Lutheran hymnist.

Nibelius, Rev. Simon, b. 1747, d. 1820, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Niemeyer, Aug. Herman, university chancellor, b. 1754, d. 1828, German

Norenius, Rev. Ericus Laurentii, b. 1635, d. 1696, Swedish Lutheran

Notker Balbulus, Benedictine monk, warden at St. Gall, d. 912, important
    writer of Sequences.

Nygren, Rev. Carl, b. 1726, d. 1789, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Nyström, Per Olof, government official, b. 1764, d. 1830, Swedish
    Lutheran Hymnist.

Nilsson, Rev. Paul, court preacher, b. 1866, important Swedish

Ohl, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Franklin, b. 1850, Pennsylvania, Lutheran.

Olai, Ericus, Upsala University professor, d. 1486, important Swedish

Olearius, Rev. Dr. Johann, general superintendent Halle and Weissenfels,
    b. 1611, d. 1684, German Lutheran hymnist.

Ollon, Gustaf, b. 1646, d. 1703, important Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Opitz, Martin, historian, b. 1597, d. 1639, important German hymnist.

Pappus, Joh., professor of theology, Strassburg, b. 1549, d. 1610.

Petri, Laurentius, b. 1499, d. 1573, Upsala University professor and
    rector, first Lutheran archbishop of Sweden, pupil and follower of
    Dr. Martin Luther, editor of one of earliest Swedish Lutheran hymn
    books, important Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Petri, Olaus, b. 1493, d. 1552, pastor, great champion of Lutheranism in
    Sweden, pupil and follower of Dr. Martin Luther, editor of first
    Swedish Lutheran hymn book, important Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Poliander (Gramann or Graumann), Rev. Joh., b. 1487, d. 1541, German

Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens, bishop, b. 348, d. 413, great early Latin

Qwirsfeld, Joh., archdeacon, b. 1642, d. 1686, German hymnist.

Rambach, Rev. Dr. Johann Jakob, professor of theology, b. 1693, d. 1735,
    German Lutheran hymnist.

Ramsey, Rev. Dr. Alfred, b. 1860, Pennsylvania, professor, Lutheran
    Theological Seminary, Chicago.

Reed, Rev. Dr. Luther D., b. 1873, Pennsylvania, professor, Lutheran
    Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

Richter, Christian Friedr., physician, b. 1676, d. 1711, German hymnist.

Ringwaldt, Rev. Bartholomew, b. 1530, d. 1598, German hymnist.

Rinkart, Martin, cantor, archdeacon, b. 1586, d. 1649, German Lutheran.

Rist, Rev. Johann, b. 1607, d. 1667, German Lutheran hymnist.

Rodigast, Rev. Samuel, M.A., rector, b. 1649, d. 1708, German Lutheran.

Rothe, Rev. Johann Andreas, M.A., b. 1688, d. 1758, German Lutheran.

Rudbeck, Olof, Upsala University professor, b. 1660, d. 1740, Swedish
    Lutheran hymnist.

Rudbeckius, Rev. Petrus Johannes, Upsala University professor, b. 1578,
    d. 1629, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Runeberg, C. L., professor, b. 1804, d. 1877, great Finnish hymnist.

Rutilius, Martin, archdeacon, b. 1550, d. 1618, German hymnist.

Sandzen, J. P., rural dean in Swedish Church, b. 1830, d. 1904.

Schaeffer, Rev. Dr. Charles William, b. 1813, d. 1898, professor
    Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

Schalling, Rev. Martin, b. 1532, d. 1608, German Lutheran hymnist.

Schartau, Henric, rural dean in Swedish Church, b. 1757, d. 1825.

Scheffler (Angelus Silesius), Johann, physician, Lutheran, later
    Franciscan, b. 1624, d. 1677, German hymnist.

Schenk, Rev. Hartmann, b. 1634, d. 1699, German hymnist.

Schenk, Rev. Heinrich Theobald, b. 1656, d. 1727, German Lutheran.

Schenkendorf, Max von, government official, b. 1783, d. 1817, German

Schirmer, Rev. Michael, M.A., b. 1606, d. 1676, German Lutheran.

Schlegel, Joh. Adolf, professor, b. 1721, d. 1793, German hymnist.

Schmedeman, Johan, government official, b. 1653, d. 1713, Swedish

Schmolck, Rev. Benjamin, b. 1672, d. 1737, important German hymnist.

Schütz, Johann Jakob, lawyer, b. 1640, d. 1690, German hymnist.

Scriver, Christian, court chaplain, b. 1629, d. 1693, German hymnist.

Seiss, Rev. Dr. Joseph Augustus, b. 1823, d. 1904, American Lutheran

Selnecker, Rev. Dr. Nikolaus, superintendent, b. 1530, d. 1592, early
    German Lutheran hymnist.

Skarstedt, C. W., professor, b. 1815, d. 1908, Swedish hymnist.

Sonden, Per Adolf, pastor, author, b. 1792, d. 1837, Swedish hymnist.

Spegel, Haquin, court chaplain, archbishop, poet, b. 1645, d. 1714,
    important Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Spengler, Lazarus, close friend of Luther, b. 1479, d. 1534, German
    Lutheran hymnist.

Speratus, Paul, bishop, b. 1484, d. 1551, early German Lutheran hymnist.

Spitta, Rev. Karl Johann Philipp, b. 1801, d. 1859, important German
    Lutheran hymnist.

Springer, Lars, 17th century, Swedish hymnist.

Stegmann, Rev. Dr. Josua, b. 1588, d. 1632, German Lutheran hymnist.

Stenbäck, Rev. L. J., b. 1811, d. 1870, important Finnish hymnist.

Stenhammar, Rev. Mathias, b. 1766, d. 1852, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Sthen, Hans Chr., pastor, b. 1540, d. 1610, Danish hymnist.

Stolpe, Rev. Georg, b. 1775, d. 1852, Swedish Lutheran hymnist.

Sturm, Rev. Christoph Christian, b. 1740, d. 1786, German hymnist.

Swedberg, Jesper, bishop, b. 1653, d. 1735, father of Emanuel
    Swedenborg, great Swedish hymnist.

Synesius of Cyrene, bishop of Ptolemais, b. cir. 395, d. 430, early
    Greek hymnist.

Tegner, E., bishop, great Swedish scholar, b. 1782, d. 1846.

Tersteegen, Gerhard, b. 1697, d. 1769, important German Reformed

Thomander, Johan Henrik, bishop, b. 1798, d. 1865, important Swedish
    Lutheran hymnologist.

Thomas Aquinas, confessor and the Angelical Doctor, Dominican, b. cir.
    1225, d. 1274, Latin hymnist.

Thomas of Celano, 13th century, Franciscan, important Latin hymnist.

Tollstadius, Erik, great preacher, b. 1693, d. 1759, Swedish Lutheran

Topelius, Z., great Finnish scholar, b. 1818, d. 1898, important Finnish
    Lutheran hymnist.

Vischer (Fischer), Rev. Christoph, d. 1600, German Lutheran.

Wallin, Rev. Dr. Johan Olof, archbishop, b. 1779, d. 1839, greatest
    Swedish Lutheran hymnist and hymnologist.

Walther, Johann, choirmaster and cantor, Torgau, Luther’s musical
    assistant, b. 1496, d. 1570, German Lutheran hymnist.

Weigel, Rev. Joh. Adam Valent., b. 1740, d. 1806, German hymnist.

Weisse, Rev. Michael, monk, later Bohemian Brethren’s Unity, b. cir.
    1480, d. 1534.

Weissel, Rev. Georg, b. 1590, d. 1635, German Lutheran hymnist.

Wieselgren, Per, cathedral dean, Gothenburg, b. 1800, d. 1877, important
    Swedish Lutheran hymnist and hymnologist.

Wilhelm II, b. 1598, d. 1662, German Lutheran hymnist.

Winkworth, Miss Catherine, b. 1829, d. 1878, great English translator of
    German hymns.

Wirsen, C. D., b. 1842, d. 1912, important Swedish hymnist.

Wiwallius, Lars, b. 1605, d. 1669, Swedish hymnist.

Woltersdorf, Rev. Ernst Gottlieb, b. 1725, d. 1761, German hymnist.

Wultejus, Rev. Johan, court chaplain, b. 1639, d. 1700, Swedish hymnist.

Zinzendorf, Count, Moravian, b. 1700, d. 1760.

Aström, Rev. Johan, b. 1767, d. 1844, important Swedish Lutheran

Ödmann, Samuel, pastor, professor of theology, author, b. 1750, d. 1829,
    great Swedish Lutheran hymnist.


[1]The first Lutheran hymn book was “Etlich Christliche Lieder” of 1524.
    This little hymn book may have been published without Luther’s
    assistance. Perhaps the most important hymn book, containing a
    number of Luther’s hymns, was “Geistliches Gesangbuechlein” of 1524.
    “Enchiridion oder ein Handbuechlein” appeared in 1524. Other
    important hymn books appeared in 1526, 1531, and 1535.

                          Transcriber’s Notes

--Preserved copyright notice from the printed book, although this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

--Corrected a few palpable typographical errors.

--In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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