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Forgiven already, I can say,
God's love took all my guilt away.” No one spoke for a time; and the effect on the royal party assembled may more easily be conceived than described. The innocent child, having been used to sing her “grace before meals," and seeing dinner provided, not presuming to sing without being asked, contented herself with saying it. In Brady and Tate's version of the Psalms, we have,
"For sooner could I reckon o'er
(Psalm cxxxix. 18.) The original of the lymn has not this comparison, but J. Wesley's version has,
"Lord, I believe, were sinners more
(Verse 5.) Two of our finest hymns have been ascribed to Tersteegen; though by some the first of them has been claimed for Paul Gerhard; Hymn 344.
" Thou hidden love of God, whose height,” etc. And Hymn 494:
“Lo! God is here! let us adore," etc. Both were published in the Hymn-Book of 1739.
Gerhard Tersteegen, a native of Moers, in Westphalia, born in 1697, was early a student of the dead languages, and a consistent, holy, and exemplary Christian. He was the author of more than one hundred hymns, which are characterized by depth, simplicity, perspicuity, and piety, and he stands in the foremost rank of German hymn-writers. He died in 1769. Hymn 494 is intensely beautiful, and at the same time truly grand. No comparison in the range of poetry is finer than that in verse 6;
“As flowers their opening leaves display,
And glad drink in the solar fire,
So may Thy influence us inspire;
* This version, as literal as the idioms of the two languages will admit, gives a better idea of the effect than the beautiful paraphrase in our Collection, of the first two stanzas of the hymn, would give. The very words of the original, repeated by the little girl, were these :
“ Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit,
Das is mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid;
Wenn ich zum Himmel werd' eingeh'n.
We are reminded that Milton has,-
("Paradise Lost," iii., 1. 2.) and both are indebted to Hebrews i. 3, anaúyaoua rîs 86&ns aútoù, " the outbeaming of His glory."
To the authorship of several of the German hymns the claims are conflicting. Hymn 431, published in the Hymn-Book of 1739, and entitled, “A Morning Dedication of Ourselves to Christ,” has been ascribed by some to Jan Van Steegen, by others to Dr. Joachim Lange:
"O God, what offering shall I give ? " etc. It is a composition of great beauty. The first stanza of the present hymn has been altered, and was originally preceded by another :
"Jesu, Thy light again I view,
Again Thy mercy's beams I see,
To pant for Thy immensity:
To Thee, the Lord of earth and skies?” etc.
“What shall we offer our good Lord,” etc., is the conclusion of a much longer one in the Moravian Collection. It has been attributed by some to J. V. Steegen, and by some to August. Gottlieb Spangenberg. In the Moravian Book it commences :
“ High on His everlasting throne,
The King of Saints His work surveys," etc. To the readers of Mr. Wesley's Journal, the name of Spangenberg must be familiar. Mr. Wesley was much indebted to his counsel in the early part of his religious life. He was a pupil of Budæus, at Jena, and succeeded him there as teacher. In 1727 he joined the Moravians, and was sent by Count Zinzendorf into England and Pennsylvania, between which countries his labours mostly alternated, from 1735 to 1760; when, on the death of the Count, he was called to the government of the Moravian community, which he held for thirty years. He died September 18th, 1792, in the eighty-ninth year of his age. He was of a gentle temper, and a noble aspect; an indefatigable labourer, and successful beyond most others in the work to which his life was devoted.
Hymn 26 has been ascribed to Wolfgang C. Dessler; but it has also been claimed as the joint production of three authors, in the following proportions: verses 1, 2, 7, Count Zinzendorf; verses 3, 4, 5, 6, J. Nitschmann; and verse 8, Anne Nitschmann. To what we have said of the last named, the following may be added: she was born in Moravia, November 24th, 1715; her youth was one of great promise on account of her intelligence and piety. In 1730 she was chosen Superior of
unmarried sisters in Herrnhutlı, in which office she continued to the time of her death, May 19th, 1760. This hymn, in John Wesley's version of it, is more like an original poem suggested by the German than most of the hymns “ from the German Yet there is one fault, occurring in the first stanza, which the Moravian translator has avoided. It is a solecism, or mixed metaphor, which IIorace counsels the poet carefully to avoid, and comparis to joining a liorse's neck, in painting, to a human head.
"I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in Thy cleansing blood ;
To dwell within Thy wounds,” etc. Now, “ to washi," and " to dwell," may be objects of strong desire, but can have no relation to thirst, which can only be satisfied with drinking. This oversight is the more to be regretted, inasmuch as the liymn is not only immensely superior to the Moravian version, but is also exceedingly beautiful, and, with this exception, quite worthy of John Weşley.
Probably our founder had in his thoughts a passage in a favourite author, Dr. Brevint, “On the Christian Sacrament,” etc. : “O Rock of Israel, Rock of salvation, Rock struck and cleft for me, let those streams of blood and water which once gushed out of Thy side, bring down pardon and holiness into my soul, and let me thirst after them now, as if I stood upon the mountain whence sprung this water, and near the cleft of the rock, the wounds of my Lord, whence gushed this sacred blood.” The hymn of the Rev. A. Toplady, numbered 624 in our Collection,
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me,” etc., is evidently a paraplırase of this passage.
In the three Hymns, 26, 27, 28, occur the words, “My Love is crucified," and in the last of the three they form the conclusion of every stanza. The phrase is a translation of St. Ignatius’s ‘o fuos pws doraópwtal. (Ep. ad Romanos, sect. 7.) By “my Love,” in the three hymns, the object of love is intended, as the connection shows. The ancient martyr may also have intended the phrase in this secondary sense, without excluding the primary meaning. He may purposely have left the application of his words undetermined, that both senses might be included. As if he had designed to convey these two facts, “ Christ, the Object of my supreme affection, is crucified, and since it is the doctrine of the Cross that slays our corruption, I am crucified with Christ, and dead to the world : my heart's best affections are with Him on the Cross." Thus Shakespeare makes Mark Antony say,
. My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,"
.“ Humano capiti cerricem pictor equinam
Jungere si velit," etc.--De Arte Poetica, ll. 1, 2.
Suppose a painter to a human bead
Although Hymn 279,
"Shall I, for fear of feeble man," etc., has been claimed for Paul Gerhard, probably from no other cause than that “ To him that hath shall more be given,” yet there is good evidence that the original was penned by John Joseph Winkler, born December 23rd, 1670, at Luckau, in the marquisate of Misnia, in Upper Saxony. He was a clergyman, and successively filled the offices of afternoon preacher of St. Peter's, Magdeburg, chaplain to the army in the Netherlands and Italy, deacon of Magdeburg cathedral, head-preacher there, and a member of the consistory. The ten hymns of which he was the author are able and profound. The one selected by John W.esley for translation appeared in the Hymn-Book of 1739, entitled, “ Boldness in the Gospel." Four weeks after Charles Wesley had found peace with God, he says, " I joined with Mr. Piers in singing,
• Shall I, for fear of feeble man,
Be a true witness to my Lord?'" Horace’s “ Justum et tenacem propositi virum” does not exceed this hymn in the spirit of invincible heroism. Some part of its language breathes the serene courage of the martyr on his way to the scaffold or the stake :
*My life, my blood, I here present,
“ Give me Thy strength, O God of power;
The last of the hymns “ from the German" to be named is 350,
" Holy Lamb, who Thee receive," etc.
Though sometimes ascribed to Paul Gerhard, it is, doubtless, a production of Anna Dober, born at Künewalde, in Moravia, April 9th, 1713, and distinguished for ability, piety, and uprightness of character. She was married in 1727, and died at Marienborn in 1789. Mr. Wesley's translation of this hymn appeared in 1740, and was by him entitled, " Redemption Found." The sixth stanza contains a remarkable figure :
" See, je sinners, see! the flame,
Leading to eternal day." The allusion, though Scriptural, is not obvious. The poet seems to have been thinking of Judges xiii. 20: "For it came to pass, when the
flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the
“Sinners, behold the sacred flame
And God accepts the sacrifice."
“ This is a firebrand, we may see, whose fire
"Behold the fire which God did round extend :
"Thus round me shone a light that seemed alive,
And left me cover'd with a veil so bright,
(Paradiso, canto xxx., 11. 49–51.) The idea was probably suggested to the Florentine poet by the "great sight” presented to the view of Moses at Horeb, Exodus iii. 2: "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush : and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed."
J. W. T.
• See Introduction to “The Trilogy of Dante," p. xxii. The word is employed not only by the medieval writers, but also by Milton :
“Under his burning wheels The steadfast empyrean shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God.” (“Paradise Lost," b. vi.) Na we find it even in Charles Wesley's poetry, and in our Hymo-Book, Hymu 74, verse 4,
" And clothe us with our nobler house
Of empyrean light !”