Coffin, Charles, born at Buzaney (Ardennes) in 1676, died 1749, was principal of the college at Beauvais, 1712 (succeeding the historian Rollin), and rector of the University of Paris, 1718. He published in 1727 some, of his Latin poems, for which he was already noted, and in 1736 the bulk of his hymns appeared in the Paris Breviary of that year. In the same year he published them as Hymni Sacri Auctore Carolo Coffin, and in 1755 a complete ed. of his Works was issued in 2 vols. To his Hymni Sacri is prefixed an interesting preface. The whole plan of his hymns, and of the Paris Breviary which he so largely influenced, comes out in his words.
"In his porro scribendis Hymnis non tam poetico indulgendunv spiritui, quam nitoro et pietate co… Go to person page >
Opus peregisti tuum. C. Coffin. [Ascension.] Given in the Paris Breviary, 1736, as one of the hymns for the Ascension. It was also included in Coffin's Hymni Sacri, 1736, p. 53; J. Chandler's Hymns of the Primitive Church, 1837, No. 72; and Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865. Translated as:—
1. Redeemer, now Thy work is done. By J. Chandler, in his Hymns of the Primitive Church, 1837, p. 72; and his Hymns of the Church, 1841, No. 47. This is in common use in its full, and also in an abbreviated form, in addition to the following arrangements, which are based thereupon.
(1) 0 Saviour, Who for man hast trod. This appeared in R. Campbell's Hymns and Anthems, 1850, p. 77. Of this arrangement stanzas i., iv., l. l, 2 ; vi. ll. 3, 4, and vii. ll. 1, 2, were from Chandler's translation altered, and the rest by Campbell. In Murray's Hymnal, 1852, No. 62, this text is repeated in full, with the exception of stanza ii., ll. 1, 2, and stanza v., where Chandler's original translation is given, slightly altered, instead of Campbell's. In the 1st edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, No. 123, and the revised edition, No. 146, we have a cento, evidently suggested by Murray's text, and composed as follows. Stanza 1., Chandler altered by Campbell; stanza ii., ll. 1, 2, Chandler; ll. 3, 4, Campbell altered by Compilers; stanza iii., Compilers; stanza iv., ll. 1, 2, Chandler altered by Campbell; ll. 3, 4, Campbell altered by Compilers; stanza v., Chandler altered by Compilers; stanza vi. ll. 1, 2, Campbell altered by Compilers ; ll. 3, 4, Chandler altered by Campbell; stanza vii., ll. 1,2, Chandler altered by Campbell; ll. 3, 4, Compilers. Instead of reading as in the 1875 edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern. that this translation is by the "Compilers based upon Latin translation by J. Chandler,"we should read," Translated from Latin by J. Chandler, 1837; altered by R. Campbell, 1850; and again altered by the Compilers, 1861." As the strength and beauty of this translation owes more to Campbell than to Chandler or the Compilers of Hymns Ancient & Modern, it is unfair to ignore his claims as is done in Hymns Ancient & Modern. This text in Hymns Ancient & Modern. is the most popular translation of the "Opus peregisti tuum" in common use and is widely used.
(2) Blest Saviour, now Thy work is done. This altered form of Chandler's translation, stanzas i.-v., was given in the Scottish Episcopal Collection of Hymns, 1858; and repeated, with the addition of Campbell's doxology, in the 1860 Appendix to the Hymnal Noted.
2. Redeemer, when Thy work is done. By W.
L. Alexander, in his Augustine Hymn Book, 1849, No. 90, and later editions.
3. Anointed One! Thy work is done. By W. J. Blew, in his Church Hymn and Tune Book, 1852-55, and again in the People's Hymnal, 1867.
4. Thy glorious work, 0 Christ, is done. By R. C. Singleton, in his Anglican Hymn Book, 1868.
Translations not in common use:—
1. Blest Saviour, now Thy work is done. I. Williams. 1839.
2. O Christ! Thy love its work hath done. J. D. Chambers. 1857.