Neumann, Gottfried, was born at Hohenheida, near Leipzig, apparently Nov. 30, 1686. He studied at the University of Leipzig, and thereafter was licensed as a candidate of theology (i.e. general preacher). In 1710 he joined the staff of the Halle Orphanage, but was expelled from Halle as a Separatist, and went to Hanau. He was then for a number of years receiver of rents (Fruchtschreiber) at Bergheim in Wetteravia, Hesse, to the Count Isenburg Meerholz, living later at Himbach, and at Marienbom (1736-39). Himbach was the headquarters of Johann Friedrich Kock, one of the principal leaders of the sect of the "Inspired," and between 1714 and 1734 Neumann generally speaking belonged to this sect. During the visits which Count N. L. von Zinzendor… Go to person page >
Ei wie so selig schläfest du. [Burial.] Included as No. 179 in the Anmuthiger Blümenkrantz, 1712, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. It is sometimes erroneously ascribed to N. L. von Zinzendorf.
In the Herrnhut Gesang-Buch, 1735, No. 535, it is altered, and stanzas iii.-v. omitted, while in the Brüder Gesang-Buch, 1778, No. 937, is stanzas i., ii., vii. of the 1712, considerably altered. The altered stanza ii., "Sein Leiden hat dich frei gemacht," is in the Württemberg Gesang-Buch, 1842, No. 619, inserted as stanza ii. of the hymn, " Ei, wie so sanft verschlafest du. The hymn was sung, probably in the form of 1735, at Zinzendorf’s funeral, and also at that of his second wife, Anna Nitschmann, he having died on the 9th, and she on the 21st May, 1760 (see Koch , v. 337, 271, 312). The translations are, (1) "How sweet the dream of her that sleeps," as No. 47 in the Moravian Hymn Book , 1742 (1754, pt. ii. No. 119). Adopted as No. 105 in the Bible Hymn Book, 1845. (2) "How sweetly this our brother sleeps," by J. W. Foster, as No. 845 in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1789 (1886, No. 1256). [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]