401

Hours and Days and Years and Ages

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text contrasts the changing character and frailty of human life with the everlast­ing love of our changeless God. Though "life's dangers overwhelm us," we have confidence in God's guidance and protection. The text helps us to give voice to our own trust in divine providence, to bring comfort to those in distress, and to express our hope for "everlasting peace."
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

In the passage of time, the child of God lives with expectancy—for God to renew them and for God to lead them in obedience (Our Song of Hope, stanza 9).
 

Even though time passes and years end swiftly, God is eternally faithful. And so God’s children testify using the words of Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 1: “As followers of Jesus Christ, living in this world—which some seek to control, and others view with despair—we declare with joy and trust: Our world belongs to God!”

401

Hours and Days and Years and Ages

Tune Information

Name
O DU LIEBE MEINER LIEBE
Key
G Major
Meter
8.7.8.7 D
401

Hours and Days and Years and Ages

Hymn Story/Background

Dutch poet Rhijnvis Feith wrote this text in six stanzas; it was published in the Dutch Evangelische Gezangen (1806). An English translation by Leonard P. Brink was published in The New Christian Hymnal compiled by Henry J. Kuiper in 1929. Going back to the Dutch original, Henrietta Ten Harmsel thoroughly revised the Brink translation in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal 1987.
 
The text contrasts the changing character and frailty of human life with the everlasting love of our changeless God. Though "life's dangers overwhelm us," we have confidence in God's guidance and protection. The text helps us to give voice to our own trust in divine providence, to bring comfort to those in distress, and to express our hope for "everlasting peace."
 
Originally a folk song ("Sollen nun die grünen Jahre") dating from around 1700, O DU LIEBE MEINER LIEBE was used as a hymn tune in the Catholic hymnal Bambergisches Gesangbuch (1732). The tune name is the incipit of the text to which it was set in Johann Thommen's Erbaulicher Musicalischer Christen-Schatz oder 500 Geistliche Lieder (1745).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Rhijnvis Feith (b. Zwolle, the Netherlands, 1753; d. Zwolle, 1824) received a law degree from the University of Leiden in 1770 and was mayor of Zwolle. An ardent Dutch patriot and a man of letters who lamented the Napoleonic occupation of the Netherlands, Feith wrote nineteen volumes of prose and poetry, much of it highly romantic, as well as theological and philosophic essays. He also wrote a number of hymns, thirty-five of which were included in the Dutch hymnal Evangelische Gezangen (1806), which he helped to compile.
— Bert Polman

Leonard P. Brink (b. East Saugatuck, MI, 1876; d. Pomeroy, IA 1936), a graduate of Calvin Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1900), spent much of his life as a missionary among the Navajo people. He translated Bible books and hymns into the Navajo language and wrote a catechism for the Navajo people. He also translated Dutch poetry and hymns into English.
— Bert Polman

Henrietta Ten Harmsel (b. Hull, IA, 1921; d. Grand Rapids, MI, March 16, 2012) attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. From 1949 to 1957 she taught English at Western Christian High School in Hull, Iowa, and from 1960 until retirement in 1985 was a member of the English department at Calvin College. Many factors contributed to Ten Harmsel's interest in the psalms. As a child she learned Dutch from her parents, and they instilled in her a love for the Dutch Psalter. Later J. W. Schulte Nordholt, poet, hymnologist, and professor of American history at the University of Leiden, became a great promoter of her interest in Dutch language and literature and her translation work. Ten Harmsel's translations from Dutch include Jacobus Revius: Dutch Metaphysical Poet (1968) and two collections of children's poems: Pink Lemonade (1981) and Good Friday (1984). In 1984 Ten Harmsel was awarded the Martinus Nijhoff translation award.
— Bert Polman
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