Erasmus Alber

Short Name: Erasmus Alber
Full Name: Alber, Erasmus, approximately 1500-1553
Birth Year (est.): 1500
Death Year: 1553

Alber, Erasmus, son of Tileman Alber, afterwards pastor at Engelroth, was born at Sprendlingen c. 1500. After studying at Wittenberg under Luther and Melanchthon, he became, in 1525, schoolmaster at St. Ursel, near Frankfurt-am-Main, and in 1527 at Heldenbergen, in Hesse Darmstadt. In 1528 he was appointed by the Landgrave Philip of Hesse pastor at Sprendlingen and Götzenhain, where he devoted himself specially to the children of his charge. After 11 years' service he was appointed by the Elector Joachim of Brandenburg court preacher at Berlin, but proving too faithful for the court, was, in 1541, removed as chief pastor to Neu Brandenburg. In 1542 he became pastor at Stade, in Wetteravia, and while there received, in 1513, the degree of Doctor of Theology from the University of Wittenberg. He was then invited, in the beginning of 1545, by the Landgrave Philip IV. of Hanau Lichtenberg, to perfect the work of the Reformation in Babenhausen, but no sooner had he fairly entered upon it than, in the end of October, he received his dismissal. After a short stay at Sprendlingen and at Wittenberg, he became preacher at Magdeburg, where he strongly denounced the Interim (see Agricola). On the capitulation of Magdeburg, in 1551, after a 14 months' siege, he fled to Hamburg, and then went to Lübeck. Finally, in 1552, he was appointed by Duke Albrecht I. of Mecklenburg, General Superintendent of Mecklenburg, and preacher at St. Mary's Church in Neu Brandenburg. In addition to losing all his own and his wife's property by confiscation and necessary expenditure, he was there unable to obtain from the Town Council the payment of his stipend. On May 4, 1553, he applied for the payment of 60 florins to relieve his urgent necessities. The refusal broke his heart. He returned home to die, and fell asleep at 9 a.m. on May 5, 1553.

One of the best writers for children in his day, and an ardent controversialist and martyr of freedom of speech, he has been by some ranked, as a hymn-writer, next to Luther, in the Reformation period. His hymns, 20 in all, were first collected by Dr. Stromberger, and published at Halle, 1857. Being mostly long, and ungainly in style, not many of them have kept a place in the hymn-books, though they have been justly styled "powerful and living witnesses of a steadfast faith and a manly trust in God's Word" (Koch, i. 301-306; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie i. 219-20; Dr. Stromberger's Preface; Bode, pp. 35-36—the last stating that his father was a school¬master at Sprendlingen.) Two have been translated into English. One of these, beginning "Christe, du bist der hello Tag," is a translation, and is noted under, "Christe qui lux es et dies."

The only original hymn by Alber translated into English is:—
1. Nun freut euch Gottes Kinder all. [Ascension.] First published on a broadsheet, N.P. N.D., 1549, and thence in Wackernagel, iii. p. 881, in 29 stanzas of 4 lines. In a broadsheet at Nürnberg, c. 1555, it is entitled, "Of the Fruits of the Ascension of our Lord Christ and of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit," and begins—"Freut euch ihr Gottes Kinder all." This form is included in Dr. Stromberger's edition of Alber's Geistliche Lieder, 1857, p. 5. In the hymn-books it is generally abridged, and so the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, 339, gives 16 stanzas (i.-vi., ix.-xi., xiii., xviii., xxv.-xxix., of the first form). A translation:—
0 Children of your God rejoice, of stanzas i., ii., iv., xxvii.-xxix., by A. T. Russell, is given as No. 122, in his Psalms & Hymns 1851. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Wikipedia Biography

Erasmus Alberus (c. 1500 – 5 May 1553) was a German humanist, Lutheran reformer, and poet.

Texts by Erasmus Alber (13)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
Christe, der du bist der helle TagErasmus Alber (Author)German24
Christe, der du bist Tag und LichtErasmus Alber (Author)German2
Danksagen wir alle GottErasmus Alber (Translator)German2
Ein Engel schon, aus Gottes ThronErasmus Alber (Author)4
Gott hat das Evangeliums gegebenDr. Erasmus Alberus (Author)German14
Gott hat das heilige GebotErasmus Alber (Author)German1
Ihr lieben Christen, freut euch nunErasmus Alber (Author)German6
Ihr Lieben, die ihr, uns entschwundenErasmus Alber (Author)2
Nun freut euch gottes Kinder allErasmus Alber (Author)German27
O Christ, Thou art the light of day (Christe, Du bist der helle Tag)Erasmus Alber (Author)English, German2
O Gott, tu dich erbarmenErasmus Alber (Author)2
Slysmez z uceni BozihoErasmus Alber (Author)2
Steht auf, ihr lieben KinderleinErasmus Alber (Author)German9

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