Laurenti, Laurentius, son of Herr Lorenz, or Laurenti, a burgess of Husum, in Schleswig, was born at Husum, June 8, 1660. He entered the University of Rostock in 1681, and after a year and a half spent there, went to Kiel to study music. In 1684 he was appointed cantor and director of the music at the cathedral church at Bremen. He died at Bremen, May 29, 1722 (Koch, iv. 281; Rotermund's continuation of Jöcher's Gelehrten-Lexicon, iii. 1405, &c). Laurenti was one of the best hymn-writers of the Pietistic school. His hymns are founded on the Gospels for Sundays and Festivals, and they draw out the bearing on the Christian life of the leading thoughts therein contained. They are of noble simplicity; are Scriptural, fervent, and often of genuine poetical worth. In Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704 and 1714, no less than 34 are included, and many of these, with others by him, are still in extensive German use. They appeared in his:—
Evangelia Melodica, das ist: Geistliche Lieder,und Lobgesange, nach den Sinn der ordentlichen Sonn-und Festages Evangelien, &c. Bremen, 1700 [Royal Library, Berlin], with 148 hymns on the Gospels, and two others.
Of his hymns those which have passed into English are:——
i. Du wesentliches Wort. Christmas. Founded on St. John i. 1-12. In his Evangelia Melodica, 1700, p. 30, in 8 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled, "For the Third Day of Christmas." Included in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704, No. 20; and, recently, as No. 83, in the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, 1863. The translations in common use are:—
1. 0 Thou essential Word, Who from. A good translation, omitting st. iii., v., by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, first Ser., 1855, p. 15 (2nd edition, 1856, considerably altered); and repeated, abridged, in Flett's Collection, Paisley, 1871. Varying centos, beginning with st. i., 1. 5, altered to "O Saviour of our race," are found in America, as in Boardman's Selections, Philadelphia, 1861; the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868; and the Dutch Ref. Hymns of the Church, 1869.
2. 0 Thou essential Word, Who wast. By Miss Winkworth, in her Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 54. This is her 1856 version (as above) rewritten to the original metre. Repeated, in full, in Dr. Thomas's Augustine Hymn Book, 1866, and the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880; and, abridged, in the English Presbyterian Psalms & Hymns, 1867, and Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884.
ii. Ermuntert euch, ihr Frommen. Second Advent. This is his finest hymn. In his Evangelia Melodica, 1700, p. 353, in 10 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled, "For the 27th Sunday after Trinity." It is founded on St. Matt. xxv. 1-13; and unites the imagery of the parable of the Ten Virgins with that of Rev. xx., xxi. Included, as No. 578, in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704; and, recently, as No. 1519, in the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863. The translation in common use is:—
Rejoice, all ye believers. By Mrs. Findlater, in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1st Ser., 1854, p. 61 (1884, p. 62), a good translation of st. i.-iii., vii., viii., x. In full, but altered to the original metre, in Schaff’s Christ in Song, 1869 and 1870. This version is found in a large number of English and American hymnals, under the following forms:—
(1) Rejoice, all ye believers (st. i.). Varying centos are found in Mercer, 1864, Hymnal Companion, 1876, &c.; and in America in Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, Evangelical Hymnal, N. Y., 1880, and others.
(2) (st. i. alt.). Varying centos are given in Alford's Year of Praise, 1867, English Presbyterian Psalms & Hymns, 1867, and in America in the Episcopal Hymnal, 1871; Hymns & Songs of Praise, 1874; Baptist Hymn Book, 1871; Laudes Domini, 1884; and others.
(3) Rise up, all ye believers (st. i. alt.). In J. A. Johnston's English Hymnal, 1856, and Kennedy, 1863.
(4) Awake! rise up, ye faithful (st. i. alt.). In the New Zealand Hymnal, 1872.
(5) Ye saints, who here in patience (st. vii.). In W. Stone's Supplemental Hymnal, 1873, and H. L. Hastings's Songs of Pilgrimage, 1886.
Other translations are: (1) "Prepare your lamps, stand ready," by P. H. Molther of st. ii., as No. 857 in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1789 (1886, No. 1282). (2) "Awaken, O chosen and faithful," by Mrs. Bevan, 1858, p. 30.
iii. Fliesst ihr Augen, fliesat von Thränen. Passiontide. In his Evangelia Melodica, 1700, p. 94, in 12 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled, "For Sunday Esto mihi" [Quinquagesima], and founded on St. Luke xviii. 31-43. Included in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704, No. 82, the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, no. 228, &c. The translation in common use is:--
Flow my tears, flow still faster. By Mrs. Findlater, in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 2nd Ser., 1855, p. 48 (1884, p. 107), of st. i., iv., vi., viii.-xii. Repeated, omitting st. viii., ix., xii., altered, and beginning, "Flow my contrite tears, flow faster," in the American Episcopal Hymns for Church and Home, 1860.
Another translation is: "Weep, mine eyes, with tears o'er-flowing," by Miss Manington, 1863, p. 55.
The following hymns are not so well known in their translated forms:—
iv. Jesu, was hat dich getrieben. Advent. On Christ's journey to Jerusalem. 1700, p. 1, in 8 stanzas, entitled, "For the first Sunday in Advent," and founded on St. Matt. xxi. 1-10. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 244. Translated as: "Jesus! what was that which drew Thee," by Mrs. Findlater in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1855, p. 31.
v. Wach auf, mein Herz, die Nacht ist hin. Easter; or, Sunday Morning. 1700, p. 138, in 10 stanzas, entitled, "On the first day of Easter." Founded on St. Mark xvi. 1-8, and Eph. v. 14. In the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 484. The translations are: (1) "Rouse up, my heart! the Night is o'er," by H. J. Buckoll, 1842, p. 3. (2) "Wake up, my heart, the night has flown," by Miss Manington, 1863, p. 68.
vi. wer im Herzen will erfahren. Epiphany. 1700, p. 48, in 12 stanzas of 6 lines, entitled, "For the day of the Epiphany of Christ, or Festival of the Three Holy Kings," and founded on St. Matt. ii. 1-12. Repeated in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch 1704, No. 71 in full. In Bunsen's Versuch, 1833, No. 655 (1881, No. 62), st. i.-iii., xi., xii. are given. Translated as: "Is thy heart athirst to know." A good translation from Bunsen by Miss Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica, 2nd Ser., 1858, p. 22, and her Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 39. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)