Spitta, Carl Johann Philipp, D.D., was born Aug. 1, 1801, at Hannover, where his father, Lebrecht Wilhelm Gottfried Spitta, was then living, as bookkeeper and teacher of the French language. In his eleventh year Spitta fell into a severe illness, which lasted for four years, and so threw him back that his mother (the father died in 1805) abandoned the idea of a professional career, and apprenticed him to a watchmaker. This occupation did not prove at all congenial to him, but he would not confess his dislike, and his family were ignorant of it till an old friend, who was trying to comfort him after the death of a younger brother, discovered his true feelings. The younger brother had been preparing for ordination, and so Carl was now invited… Go to person page >
Am Grabe stehn wir stille. C. J. P. Spitta. [Burial of the Dead.] First published in Series i. of his Psalter und Harfe, Leipzig, 1833, p. 140 (ed. 1838, p. 155), in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, entitled "At the Grave." Taken by his colleague, Pastor Borchers, as the text of his oration at Spitta's funeral, Sunday, Oct. 1, 1859 (Münkel's Spitta, 1861, pp. 283-284). Included as No. 2918 in Knapp's Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz ed. 1850.
Translation in common use:— The precious seed of weeping. An excellent translation, as No. 98, by Miss Winkworth in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. Thence, unaltered, as No. 236 in Allon's Supplemental Hymns, 1868, as No. 554 in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1808, and as No. 1010 in the American Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878.
Other translations are:—
(1.) ”Now weeping at the grave we stand," by Miss Winkworth, 1858, p. 118. (2.) "Beside the dark grave standing," by M. Massie, 1860, p. 138. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]