Justus Gesenius

Justus Gesenius
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Short Name: Justus Gesenius
Full Name: Gesenius, Justus, 1601-1673
Birth Year: 1601
Death Year: 1673

Gesenius, Justus, D.D., son of Joachim Gesenius, pastor at Esbeck, near Lauenstein, Hannover; was born at Esbeck, July 6, 1601. He studied at the Universities of Helmstedt and Jena, graduating M.A at Jena in 1628. In 1629 he became pastor of St. Magnus's Church, Brunswick; in 1636 court chaplain and preacher at the Cathedral in Hildesheim; and in 1642 chief court preacher, consistorialrath, and general superintendent at Hannover. He died at Hannover, Sept. 18, 1673 (Koch, iii 230-237; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, ix. 87-88; Bode, p. 76, &c).

Gesenius was an accomplished and influential theologian, a famous preacher, and distinguished himself by his efforts to further the catechetical instruction of the children of his district. Along with D. Denicke (q.v.) he edited the Hannoverian hymnbooks of 1646-1660. Both he and Denicke aimed at reducing the older German hymns to correctness of style according to the poetical canons of Martin Opitz; not so much interfering with the theology or making the authors speak a terminology foreign to them. Consequently their recasts, while setting a bad example, and while often destroying much of the force and freshness of the originals, were not by any means so objectionable as the recasts of the Rationalistic period, and moreover were soon widely accepted.

As no authors' names are given in the Hannoverian hymnbooks, it is difficult to assign the authorship of the new hymns and recasts therein contained. The following is generally, and apparently with reason, ascribed to Gesenius:
Wenn meine Sünd' mich kränken. Passiontide. His finest hymn as regards depth, warmth, and finish. First published in the Hannover Gesang-Buch 1646, No. 49, in 8 stanzas of 7 lines. It has been called a recast of the hymn "Hilf Gott, dass mir gelinge," but bears not the slightest resemblance to it. Included in Crüger's Praxis, 1656, and many later collections, as the Berlin Geistliche Lieder S., ed. 1863, No. 277. By a not unjust retribution it was soon recast, and appeared in the Lüneburg Gesang-Buch, 1661, as "Wenn mich die Sunden kränken." Translated as:—
1. When guilt and shame are raising. In full, by J. C. Jacobi, in pt. ii., 1725, of his Psalter Germanica, p. 4 (1732, p. 34). In the Moravian HymnBook of 1789, No. 106, it is altered to “O Lord, when condemnation"; and in the edition 1886, it begins with st. v., "Lord, let Thy bitter passion." A cento of stanzas ii., iii., v., from the Moravian Hymn Book, 1801, was adopted by Montgomery in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, beginning, "O wonder far exceeding," and this is in the New Zealand Hymnal. 1872.
2. 0 Lord, when my sins grieve me. A good translation of stanzas i., ii., iv., v., by A. T. Russell, as No. 81 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851.
3. When sorrow and remorse. In full, by Miss Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica, 1st Ser., 1855, p. 74. A cento consisting of lines 1-4 of stanzas i., iv.—vi., and of stanza vii., rewritten to S.M., is in the Pennsylvanian Lutheran Church Book, 1868.
4. 0 Lord, when condemnation. A full and good translation, included as No. 84 in the 1857 ed. of Mercer's The Church Psalter and Hymnbook. Probably by Mr. Mercer, but mainly taken from the Moravian Hymnbook, 1789, and from Miss Winkworth. Repeated, abridged, in his Oxford ed., 1864, No. 149, and in the Toronto HymnBook, 1862.
5. When o'er my sins I sorrow. A good translation, based on her 1855 version, and omitting stanzas ii.—iv., by Miss Winkworth, as No. 48 in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Texts by Justus Gesenius (29)sort descendingAsInstances
Allein auf Christi HimmelfahrtJustus Gesenius (Author)22
Auf Chirsti himmelfahrt alleinJustus Gesenius (Alterer)2
Before Thy throne I now appearJ. Gesenius, 1601-73 (Author)1
Fur deinen thron tret ich hiemitDr. Justus Gesenius (Author)1
Gott Vater, Sohn und heiliger Geist, du Gott von grosser GueteJustus Gesenius (Author)18
Herr Jesu, fuehre michJust. Gesenius (Author)1
Kdyz se svych hrichu bojimJustus Gesenius (Author)2
Naar mig min synd vil krænkeJustus Gesenius (Author)5
O death, where is thy cruel stingJustus Gesenius (Author)3
O Gott, der du aus HerzensgrundJustus Gesenius (Author)23
O heilige dreieinigkeit, wer kann dich dochJ. Gesenius (Author)1
O heilige Dreieinigkeit! Voll Majesät und EhrenJustus Gesenius (Author)16
O heilige Dreifaltigkeit, O hoch gelobte EinigkeitJustus Gesenuis, b. 1604 (Author)16
O herr dein seligmachend wortJustus Gesenius (Author)7
O Lord, when condemnation and guilt oppressJ. Gesenius (Author)2
O Lord, when condemnation and guilt afflictJustus Gesenius (Author)3
O Lord, when my sins grieve meJustus Gesenius (Author)2
O meine Seel, erhebe dich, Mit andacht zuJustus Gesenius (Author)4
O meine Seel, erhebe dich, Mit andacht zu betrachtenJustus Gesenius (Author)7
O Tod, wo ist dein Stachel nun?Justus Gesenius, 1601-1671 (Author)64
Was kann ich doch für DankJust. Gesenius, 1601-1671 (Author)3
Wenn meine Sünd' mich kränkenJustus Gesenius (Author)29
Wenn mich die Sünden kränkenJ. Gesenius, 1604-1671 (Author)12
When Guilt and Shame are raisingJustus Gesenius (Author)1
When o'er my sins I sorrowGesenius (Author)9
When on the cross the Savior hungJustus Gesenius (Author (attributed to))1
When over sin I sorrowJustus Gesenius, 1601-73 (Author)2
When sorrow and remorse prey at my heartGesenius (Author)8
Wir Menschen sind zu dem, o GottDr. J. Gesenius (Author)9
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