Schütz, Johann Jakob, was born Sept. 7, 1640, at Frankfurt am Main. After studying at Tübingen (where he became a licentiate in civil and canon law), he began to practise as an advocate in Frankfurt, and in later years with the title of Rath. He seems to have been a man of considerable legal learning as well as of deep piety. He was an intimate friend of P. J. Spener; and it was, in great measure, at his suggestion, that Spener began his famous Collegia Pietatis. After Spener left Frankfurt, in 1686, Schütz came under the influence of J. W. Petersen; and carrying out Petersen's prin¬ciples to their logical conclusion, he became a Separatist, and ceased to attend the Lutheran services or to communicate. He died at Frankfurt, May 22, 1690 (Koch, iv. 220; Blätter fur Hymnologie, Feb. 1883).
Schütz is known as an author by two tractates; one being his Christliche Lebensregeln, Frankfurt, 1677; the other, that which contains his hymns, Christliches Gedenckbüchlein, zu Beforderung eines anfangenden neuen Lebens, &c, Frankfurt am Main, 1675 [Library of the Predigerministerium at Frankfurt]. This work includes 5 hymns, in a separate section, which is headed, “Hierauf folgen etliche Gesänge." These hymns are:—
i. Die Wollust dieser Welt.
ii. Was inich auf dieser Welt betrübt.
iii. So komm, geliebte Todes-Stund.
iv. Scheuet ihr, ihr matten Glieder.
v. Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut.
Of these No. v. is undoubtedly by Schütz, and the other four exhibit much the same style of thought as, and frequent parallels to, the prose portions of the work. None of these have been traced earlier than 1675; and until this has been done, it is pretty safe to ascribe them all to Schütz.
Three of these hymns have passed into English, viz.:—
i. Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut. Praise and Thanksgiving. First published in 1675, as above, No. v. It is founded on Deut. xxxii. 3; entitled, "Hymn of Thanksgiving ;" and is in 9 stanzas of 6 lines, and the refrain, "Gebt unserm Gott die Ehre”.
Koch, iv. 220, speaks of this hymn as "outweighing many hundred others; and a classical hymn, which, from its first appearance, attracted unusual attention." And Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 334-339, relates how delighted J. J. Moser was, when, on entering church the first Sunday after his captivity at Hohentwiel, he heard this hymn, and how heartily he joined in it; how it comforted the dying G. C. Rieger, of Stuttgart, on Tuesday, in Easter Week, 1743, and many other incidents.
Translations in common use:—
1. All Glory to the Sov'reign Good. This is a full and good translation by J. OJacobi, in his Psalter Germanica, 2nd ed., 1732, p. 151, where it is entitled, "The Malabarian Hymn."
2. All glory be to God most high. A good translation by A. T. Russell, of st. i., iv., viii., for the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book, 1848, No. 59.
3. All praise and thanks to God most high. This is a good tr., omitting st. ix., by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 2nd Ser., 1858, p. 146.
4. Sing praise to God Who reigns above. A good tr., omitting st. ix., contributed by Miss Cox to Lyra Eucharistica, 1864, p. 33, and included in her Hymns from the German, 1864, p. 235.
5. To God a joyful anthem raise. A good tr. of st. i., ii., iv., v., viii., by J. M. Sloan, as No. 314, in J. H. Wilson's Service of Praise, 1865.
The following are also translated into English:—
ii. So komm, geliebte Todes-Stund. For the Dying. First published in 1675, as above, No. iii., in 11 st. of 8 1., entitled, "The thoughts on Death of a Royal Princess, after the usual interpretation of Job xix. 25." This Princess was Sophie Elisabethe. daughter of Duke Philipp Ludwig, of Holstein-Sonderburg (b. at Homburg vor der Hohe, May 4, 1653; married, in 1676. to Duke Moritz, of Sachse-Zeitz; d. at Schleusingen, Aug. 19, 1684), who had been a regular attender at Spener's conferences at Frankfurt, and thus associated with Schütz. This hymn has often been ascribed to her; and she had already chosen Job xix. 25, as the text of her funeral sermon. But it is more probable that both hymns were written by Schütz for her use, or in her honour. The trs. are :—(1) "Come, happy hour of death, and close." By Dr. G. Walker, 1860, p. 56. (2) "O come, delightful hour of death." By Dr. G. Walker, 1860, p. 106.
iii. Was mich auf dieser Welt betriibt. Earthly Vanities. This hymn, on Renunciation of the World, first appeared in 1675, as above, No. ii., in 4 st. of 10 1., and entitled "From the World to God." It has sometimes been erroneously ascribed to Michael Franck. It is tr. as "The woes that weigh my body down." By Miss Manington, 1863, p. 32. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)