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Gerhardt, Paul(us)

(1607–76). B. Gräfenhainichen, bet. Wittenberg and Halle, Ger.; studied theol. in Wittenberg 1628–42; candidate of theol. and tutor in Berlin 1643–51; provost Mittenwalde 1651; pastor Berlin 1657; dismissed 1666 for refusal to sign syncretistic (see Syncretism) edicts of Frederick William (“Great Elector”) of Brandenburg (1620–88; elector 1640–88); declined opportunity to return 1667; archdeacon Lübben 1669; hymnist.

Outward circumstances of his life are gloomy. (wife and 4 children preceded him in death), but his hymns are full of cheerful trust, sincerely and unaffectedly pious, benign and amiable, reflecting firm grasp of objective realities but also transition to modern subjectivism.

Wrote 14 Lat. and 134 Ger. hymns; many have been tr., including “I Will Sing My Maker's Praises”; “O Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee”; “All My Heart This Night Rejoices”; “Now Let Us Come Before Him”; “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth”; “Upon the Cross Extended”; “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”; “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness”; “Oh, Enter, Lord, Thy Temple”; “Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me”; “Commit Whatever Grieves Thee”; “Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow.”

E. Kochs, Paul Gerhardt (Leipzig, 1926); T. B. Hewitt, Paul Gerhardt as a Hymn Writer and his Influence on English Hymnody (New Haven, Connecticut, 1918); H. Petrich, Paul Gerhardt (Gütersloh, 1907); W. Nelle, Paul Gerhardt: Der Dichter und seine Dichtung (Leipzig, [1940]); Paul Gerhardt, sein Leben—seine Lieder: Karl Hesselbachers Paul Gerhardt—Der Slinger frählichen Glaubens, ed. S. Heinzelmann (Neuffen, Ger., 1963).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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