Fear not, O little flock, the foe

Representative Text

1 O little flock, fear not the foe
Who madly seeks your overthrow;
Dread not his rage and pow'r.
And though your courage sometimes faints,
His seeming triumph o'er God's saints
Lasts but a little hour.

2 Be of good cheer; your cause belongs
To Him who can avenge your wrongs;
Leave it to Him, our Lord.
Though hidden yet from mortal eyes,
His Gideon shall for you arise,
Uphold you and His Word.

3 As true as God's own Word is true,
Not earth nor hell's satanic crew
Against us shall prevail.
Their might? A joke, a mere facade!
God is with us and we with God—
Our vict'ry cannot fail.

4 Amen, Lord Jesus, grant our prayer;
Great Captain, now Thine arm make bare,
Fight for us once again!
So shall Thy saints and martyrs raise
A mighty chorus to Thy praise
Forevermore. Amen.



Source: Lutheran Service Book #666

Author (attributed to): Michael Altenburg

Altenburg, Johann Michael, b. at Alach, near Erfurt, on Trinity Sunday, 1584. After completing his studies he was for some time teacher and precentor in Erfurt. In 1608 he was appointed pastor of Ilversgehofen and Marbach near Erfurt; in 1611, of Troch-telborn; and in 1621 of Gross-Sommern or Som-merda near Erfurt. In the troublous war times he was forced, in 1631, to flee to Erfurt, and there, on the news of the victory of Leipzig, Sept. 17, 1631, he composed his best known hymn. He remained in Erfurt without a charge till, in 1637, he was appointed diaconus of the Augustino Church, and, in 1638, pastor of St. Andrew's Church. He d. at Erfurt February 12, 1640 (Koch, iii. 115-117 ; Allg. Deutsche Biog., i. p. 363, and x. p. 766—the latte… Go to person page >

Author (attributed to): Jacobus Fabricius

Fabricius, Jacob, a chaplain in the army of Gustavus Adolphus, was born in 1593, and died in 1654. There is some doubt as to the authorship of the hymn here credited to him. Some hymnologists have attributed it to Johann Michael Altenburg (1584-1640), a preacher, teacher, and musician of Erfurt, and others attribute it to Gustavus Adolphus. "Fear not, O little flock, the foe." 445 Hymn Writers of the Church, 1911 by Charles Nutter… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Notes

Verzage nicht du Häuflein klein. [In Trouble.] Concerning the authorship of this hymn there are three main theories—i. that it is by Gustavus Adolphus; ii. that the ideas are his and the diction that of his chaplain, Dr. Jacob Fabricius; and iii. that it is by Altenburg.
This hymn has ever been a favourite in Germany, was sung in the house of P. J. Spener every Sunday afternoon, and of late years has been greatly used at meetings of the Gustavus Adolphus Union—-an association for the help of Protestant Churches in Roman Catholic countries. In translations it has passed into many English and American collections.
Translations in common use:—
1. Fear not, 0 little flock, the foe. A good translation from the text of 1638, omitting stanza iv., by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1855, p. 17. Included, in England in Kennedy, 1863, Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1871, Free Church Hymn Book, 1882, and others; and in America in the Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868, Hymns of the Church, 1869, Baptist Hymn Book, 1871, Hymns and Songs of Praise, 1874, and many others. [Rev. James Mearns, M. A..]

-- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs: a manual of worship for the church of Christ #786

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #375

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Lutheran Service Book #666

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The Cyber Hymnal #1563

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #566

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