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 >
Es kennt der Herr die Seinen. C. J. P. Spitta. [The Lord's own.] In the 2nd Series, 1843, of his Psalter und Harfe, p. 75, in 6 stanzas of 8 lines, founded on ii. Tim. ii. 19, and entitled, "The Lord Knoweth His Own." Included as No. 1496 in Knapp's Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz, 1850 (1865, No. 1561). The translation in common use is:— He knoweth all His people. A good and full translation by Mrs. Findlater, in the 4th Series, 1862, of the Hymns from the Land of Luther, p. 25 (1884, p. 196), entitled, "The Little Flock." It was given in full as No. 439, in the New App., 1869, to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Psalms & Hymns. Included in Jellicoe's Collection, 1867, omitting stanza v., and in the Uppingham and Sherborne School Hymn Book 1874, omitting stanza ii., iii. In Stevenson's Hymns for Church and Home, 1873, stanzas i., iv., v. form No. 75, slightly altered and beginning, "God knoweth all His people."
Another translation is, "The Lord His people all," by R. Massie, 1864, p. 63. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
Now often named ST. THEODULPH because of its association with this text, the tune is also known, especially in organ literature, as VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN. It was composed by Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635) for "Valet wi…