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THE TUNE. A plain-song by Alexander Reinagle is used by some congregations, but is not remarkably expressive. Reinagle, Alexander Robert, (1799– 1877) of Kidlington, Eng., was organist to the church of St. Peter-in-the-East, Oxford.
The great “Hymn of Trust” could have found no more sympathetic interpreter than the musician of Gerhardt's own land and language, Schumann, the gentle genius of Zwickau. It bears the name “Schumann," appropriately enough, and its elocution makes a volume of each quatrain, notably the one
Who points the clouds their course,
Whom wind and seas obey;
He shall prepare thy way. Robert Schumann, Ph.D., was born in Zwickau, Saxony, June 8, 1810. He was a music director and conservatory teacher, and the master-mind of the pre-Wagnerian period. His compositions became popular, having a character of their own, combining the intellectual and beautiful in art. He published in Leipsic a journal promotive of his school of music, and founded a choral society in Dresden. Happy in the coöperation of his wife, herself a skilled musician, he extended his work to Vienna and the Netherlands; but his zeal wore him out, and he died at the age of forty-six, universally lamented as "the eminent man who had done so much for the happiness of others.”
Gerhardt's Hymn (ten quatrains) is rarely printed entire, and where six are printed only four are usually sung. Different collections choose portions according to the compiler's taste, the stanza beginning,
Give to the winds thy fears, -being with some a favorite first verse.
The translation of the hymn from the German is John Wesley's.
Purely legendary is the beautiful story of the composition of the hymn, “Commit thou all thy griefs”; how, after his exile from Berlin, traveling on foot with his weeping wife, Gerhardt stopped at a wayside inn and wrote the lines while he rested; and how a messenger from Duke Christian found him there, and offered him a home in Meresburg. But the most ordinary imagination can fill in the possible incidents in a life of vicissitudes such as Gerhardt's was.
"When Thou My Righteous Judge Shalt Come."
Selina Shirley, Countess of Huntingdon, born 1707, died 1791, is familiarly known as the titled friend and patroness of Whitefield and his fellowpreachers. She early consecrated herself to God, and in the great spiritual awakening under Whitefield and the Wesleys she was a punctual and sympathetic helper. Uniting with the Calvinistic Methodists, she nevertheless stood aloof from none who preached a personal Christ, and whose watchwords were the salvation of souls and the purification of the Church. For more than fifty years she devoted her wealth to benevolence and spiritual ministries, and died at the age of eighty-four. “I have done my work," was her last testimony. “I have nothing to do but to go to my Father.”
At various times Lady Huntingdon expressed her religious experience in verse, and the manful vigor of her school of faith recalls the unbending confidence of Job, for she was not a stranger to affliction.
God's furnace doth in Zion stand,
But Zion's God sits by,
With an observant eye.
His wounds a cure intend;
He loves unto the end. Her great hymn, that keeps her memory green, has the old-fashioned flavor. “Massa made God BIG!” was the comment on Dr. Bellany made by his old negro servant after that noted minister's death. In Puritan piety the sternest self-depreciation qualified every thought of the creature, while every allusion to the Creator was a magnificat. Lady Huntingdon's hymn has no flattering phrases for the human subject. “Worthless worm," and "vilest of them all” indicate the true Pauline or Oriental prostration of self before a superior
being; but there is grandeur in the metre, the awful reverence, and the scene of judgment in the stanzas-always remembering the mighty choral that has so long given the lyric its voice in the church, and is ancillary to its fame:
When Thou, my righteous Judge, shalt come
Shall I among them stand ?
Be found at Thy right hand ?
Though vilest of them all;
When Thou for them shalt call ?
In this th' accepted day;
Nor let me fall, I pray.
To see Thy smiling face;
The tune of “Meribah,” in which this hymn has been sung for the last sixty or more years, is one of
Dr. Lowell Mason's masterpieces. An earlier German harmony attributed to Heinrich Isaac and named “Innsbruck” has in some few cases claimed association with the words, though composed two hundred years before Lady Huntingdon was born. It is strong and solemn, but its cold psalm-tune movement does not utter the deep emotion of the author's lines. “Meribah” was inspired by the hymn itself, and there is nothing invidious in saying it illustrates the fact, memorable in all hymnology, of the natural obligation of a hymn to its tune.
Apropos of both, it is related that Mason was once presiding at choir service in a certain church where the minister gave out “When thou my righteous Judge shalt come” and by mistake directed the singers to “omit the second stanza." Mason sat at the organ, and while playing the last strain, “Be found at thy right hand,” glanced ahead in the hymnbook and turned with a start just in time to command, “Sing the next verse!” The choir did so, and “O Lord, prevent it by Thy grace!” was saved from being a horrible prayer to be kept out of heaven.
"Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness." Nicolaus Ludwig, Count Von Zinzendorf, was born at Dresden, May 26, 1700, and educated at Halle and Wittenberg. From his youth he evinced