O Lord, how happy is the time

O Lord, how happy is the time

Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler
Published in 11 hymnals

Representative Text

1 O Lord! how happy is the time,
When in Thy love I rest,
When from my weariness I climb
E'en to Thy tender breast.
The night of sorrow endeth there,
The rays outshine the sun,
And in Thy pardon, and Thy care,
The heav'n of heav'ns is won.

2 The world may call itself my foe,
Or let the world allure,
I care not for the world, I go
To this tried Friend and sure.
And when life's fiercest storms are sent,
Upon life's wildest sea,
My little bark is confident,
Because it holds by Thee.

3 When the law threatens endless death,
Upon the dreadful hill,
Straightway from its consuming breath
My soul mounts higher still;
It hastes to Jesus, wounded, slain,
And finds in Him its home,
Whence it shall not go forth again,
And where no death can come.

4 I do not fear the wilderness,
Where Thou hast been before;
Nay! rather would I daily press
Toward Thee, and near Thee more!
Thou art my strength, on Thee I lean,
My heart Thou makest sing,
And to Thy pastures rich and green
Thy chosen flock wilt bring.

5 And if the gate that opens there
Be closed to other men,
It is not closed to those who share
The heart of Jesus then.
That is not losing much of life,
Which is not losing thee,
Who art as present in the strife,
As in the victory!

Source: Evangelical Lutheran hymnal: with music #421

Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler

Dessler, Wolfgang Christoph, son of Nicolaus Dessler, jeweller, at Nürnberg, was born at Nürnberg, Feb. 11, 1660. His father wished him to become a goldsmith, but, as he was not physically suited for this, he was permitted to begin the study of theology at the University of Altdorf. His poverty and bodily weakness forced him to leave before completing his course, and, returning to Nurnberg, he supported himself there as a proof reader. Becoming acquainted with Erasmus Finx or Francisci, then residing in Nürnberg, he was employed by Finx as his amanuensis, and at his request translated many foreign religious works into German. In 1705 he was appointed Conrector of the School of the Holy Ghost at Nürnberg, where he laboured with zeal and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Lord, how happy is the time
Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


iii. Wie wohl ist mir, O Freund der Seelen. [The Love of Christ.] Founded on Canticles viii. 5. 1st published 1692, as above, p. 154, along with Meditation vi., which is entitled "The penitential forsaking and embracing." Included as No. 451 in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704, and recently as No. 438 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, in 6 stanzas of 10 lines. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii., 243, says of it:—

"This hymn dates from the period when Dessler as a youth was residing in his native town of Nürnberg in ill health. He had given up the occupation of goldsmith and set himself to study at Altdorf, but lack of money and of health compelled him to abandon this also. He then maintained himself as a proof reader in his native town, became the spiritual son and scholar in poesy of Erasmus Francisci, in whose powerful faith he found nourishment in his sorrows. Through his linguistic attainments, as well as through his hymns, he furthered the edification of the Christian populace; and what he here sung may have afforded stimulus to himself in the still greater troubles which he afterwards had to endure during his conrectorship, and finally in his last thirty-five weeks illness."

Fischer (ii. 391) calls it—

"One of the finest hymns of Pietism, that has produced many blessed effects, and has been the model and incitement to many hymns of like character."

It is translated as:—
2. O Lord, how happy is the time, a somewhat free translation of stanzas i.-v., with stanza i., slightly varied, repeated as stanza vi., by Greville Matheson. Contributed to the Hymns & Sacred Songs, Manchester, 1855 (edition 1856, No. 226), repeated in the Sunday Magazine, 1872, p. 741, and in Dr. G. Macdonald's Threefold Cord, 1883, p. 38. In the Hymns for the Sick Room, N. Y., 1859 (1861, p. 70), and Hymns of the Ages, 3rd Series, Boston, U.S., 1864, p. 233, it is considerably altered. This text is given in Schaff's Christ in Song, 1869, p. 491, further altered, and beginning "O Friend of souls! how blest the time"; Miss Winkworth's translation of stanza v., altered, being substituted for Mr. Matheson's. In the Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878, No. 613, is stanzas i., ii., v. of Schaff s text.

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



Instances (1 - 11 of 11)
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Carmina Sanctorum, a selection of hymns and songs of praise with tunes #383

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Carmina Sanctorum #383

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal #421

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Evangelical Lutheran hymnal #421

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal. 9th ed. #a421

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Hymns for the Sick-Room #70

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Hymns of the Ages (3rd series) #233

Immanuel Hymnal #d349

The People's Praise Book or Carmina Sanctorum #d441

The Plymouth Hymnal #d373

Unitarian Service Book, and Hymns for Church and Home. Abridged ed. #d291

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