Zinzendorf, Count Nicolaus Ludwig, the founder of the religious community of Herrnhut and the apostle of the United Brethren, was born at Dresden May 26, 1700. It is not often that noble blood and worldly wealth are allied with true piety and missionary zeal. Such, however, was the case with Count Zinzendorf. Spener, the father of Pietism, was his godfather; and Franke, the founder of the famous Orphan House, in Halle, was for several years his tutor. In 1731 Zinzendorf resigned all public duties and devoted himself to missionary work. He traveled extensively on the Continent, in Great Britain, and in America, preaching "Christ, and him crucified," and organizing societies of Moravian brethren. John Wesley is said to have been under obligat… Go to person page >
Du ewiger Abgrund der seligen Liebe. N. L. von Zinzendorf. [The Love of God.] Written for the birthday, Sept. 21, 1726, of his friend Count Henkel of Oderberg. Appeared as No. 7 in the "Andere Zugabe," c. 1730, to his 1725-8 Sammlung geist- und lieblicher Lieder (3rd ed. 1731, No. 19), in 8 stanzas of 10 lines, entitled “Ein Erweckungs Lied an Fest-Tagen," and repeated in the Herrnhut Gesang-Buch, 1735, No. 11; in the Brüder Gesang-Buch, 1778, No. 36, in 3 stanzas; also in Knapp's ed. of Zinzendorf‘s Geistliche Lieder , 1845, p. 72; and in his own Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz 1850, No. 1136. Translated as:—
1. Eternal depth of Love Divine, a free translation of stanzas 1, 2, 4, 7, by J. Wesley in Hymns & Sacred Poems , 1739 (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 173). It was not included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book. till in the Supplement of 1830, No. 586, omitting Wesley's stanza iii., lines 5-8, and iv., lines 1-4. This form is in the new edition 1875, No. 655, and in the Wesley Association and New Connexion Collections. With the omission of the last 8 lines it is No. 94 in the American Methodist EpiscopalHymns, 1849. These omitted lines are given as No. 730: "O King of Glory, Thy rich grace," in the same collection.
2. Thou deep abyss of blessed Love, a free translation of stanzas 1, 4, 8, by Mrs. Charles in her Voice of Christian Life in Song, 1858, p. 243, and thence in Holy Song, 1869, No. 298.
Another translation is:—
"Ye bottomless depths of God's infinite love," by J. Gambold. The translation of stanza 1 appears as No. 238 in the Appendix of 1743 to the Moravian Hymn Book 1742, and the full form as No. 392 in pt, ii., 1746 (1886, No. 24). Of
this 3 stanzas beginning "0 bottomless depths" appear in the Schaff-Gilman Library of Religious Poetry , ed. 1883. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)