Jacob Gabriel Wolf

Short Name: Jacob Gabriel Wolf
Full Name: Wolf, Jacob Gabriel, 1682-1683-1754
Birth Year (est.): 1682
Death Year: 1754

Wolff, Jakob Gabriel, LL.D., son of Jakob Wolff, sometime conrector at Greifswald, was born at Greifswald in 1684. He matriculated, in 1702, at the University of Greifswald, as a student of law. In 1705 went to Halle, where he graduated LL.D. In 1716 he was appointed extraordinary, and in 1724, ordinary professor of law at Halle, and afterwards received the title of Hofrath. He resigned his professorship in 1744, and died at Halle, Aug. 6, 1754 (Koch, iv. 375; Bode, p. 174; the Grischow-Kirchner Kurzgefasste Nachrichte, Halle, 1771, p. 54, &c).

Wolff's hymns were mostly written early in life, principally during his student years at Halle. He was in thorough sympathy with the characteristic teachings of the Halle Pietists, and his hymns share in their excellences and defects. Some of them ate of considerable merit, elegant in style, earnest and glowing in devotion, and have attained considerable popularity in Germany. Nineteen were contributed to Freylinghausen's Neues geistreiches Gesang-Buch, 1714; and these, with nine others, were included in his autograph manuscript (see No. iv. below).

Those of Wolff’s hymns which have passed into English are:—
i. Es ist gewiss ein köstlich Ding. Patience. First published 1714 as above, No. 481, in 6 stanzas of 7 lines. In the Hannover Gesang-Buch, 1740, No. 653, with a new stanza as stanza vii. Translated as "It is, indeed, a precious thing," by Miss Manington, 1863, p. 59.
ii. 0 wie selig ist die Seel. Love to Christ. First published 1714 as above, No. 418, in 12 stanzas of 4 lines. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 1257. The translations are: (1) "O how happy is the soul." As No. 688 in pt. i. of the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. (2) "O those souls are highly blest." As No. 294 in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1789. In the 1801 and later eds. (1886, No. 390) it begins "Blest are they, supremely blest".
iii. Seele, was ermüdst du dich. Heavenly Mindedness. First published 1714 as above, No. 401, in 12 stanzas of 6 lines, 1l. 5, 6 of each stanza being the popular refrain,

"Suche Jesum und sein Licht;
Alles andre hilft dir nicht."

In the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No 338. Translated as "0 soul, why dost thou weary," by Miss Warner, 1869, p. 14.
iv. Wohl dem der sich mit Fleiss bemühet. Christian Warfare. On True and False Christianity. This hymn is ascribed to Wolff, by Count Christian Ernst of Stolberg Wernigerode (d. 1771), and by Koch, iv., 570. In the Nachrich as above, p. 54, it is given under Wolff’s name; but Kirchner adds that it was not to be found in the autograph manuscript of Wolff’s hymns which he had bought at Wolff’s sale in 1755. It appears in the Berlin Gesang-Buch, 1711, No. 825, in 11 stanzas of 6 lines, and was repeated (reading " mit Ernst") as No. 235 in Freylinghausen, 1714 as above. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 646. The translation in common use is: "0 well for him who all things braves." This is a good and full translation by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1st Ser. 1855, p. 167. Her stanza ii.-iv., x., xi., beginning, “Who follows Christ, whate'er betide," are included in the Rugby School Hymn Book, 1876, No. 309. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Texts by Jacob Gabriel Wolf (12)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
Blest are they, supremely blestJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)8
Ein Herz, das Gott erkennen lernetJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)3
Es ist gewiss ein köstlich DingJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)German21
Herr, mein Licht, mein Heil mein LebenJakob Gabriel Wolf † 1754 (Author)German2
Jetzt ist die angenehme Zeit, Jetzt steht der Himmel offenJacob Gabriel Wolf (Author)German4
O was für ein herrlich Wesen hat ein ChristJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)German7
O well for him who all things bravesJacob Gabriel Wolf (Author)English1
O wie selig ist die Seel', Die in dieserJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)5
O wie selig lebt schon hierJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)German7
Seele, was ermüdst du dichJacob Gabriel Wolff (Author)German61
Wirf alle Sorgen hinter dichJ. G. Wolf, 1684-1754 (Author)2
Wohl dem, der sich mit Ernst bemühetJ. G. Wolf (Author)German21
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