O Durchbrecher aller Bande. G. Arnold. [Sanctification.] First published in his Göttliche Liebes-Funcken. Frankfurt am Main, 1698, No. 169, in 11 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled ”The Sigh of the Captive." Included in the Geistreiches Gesang-Buch, Darmstadt, 1698, p. 498, in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704, and many later collections, as the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 326. Also in Ehmann's edition of Arnold's Geistlische Lieder, 1856, p. 81, and Knapp's edition, 1845, p. 202. It is Arnold's finest church hymn, and is a very characteristic expression of the Pietistic views regarding the conflict between the old and the new man. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii., 432-434, says of it:—
"In this hymn the poet powerfully expresses his inmost emotions under the many conflicts he had with his heart. . . It is a true daily hymn of supplication for earnest Christians who have taken the words of the Apostle 'Follow. . . .the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord' (Heb. xii. 14) as the rule and standard of their lives. Many such might often rather sigh it out than sing it."
Translations in common use:—
1. Thou who breakest every chain. A very good translation, omitting stanzas v., vi., by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 2nd Series, 1858, p. 140 (Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 111, omitting the trs. of stanzas iii., viii.). Included in the Harrow School Hymn Book, 1866 ; Brown-Borthwick's Select Hymns, 1871, and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871, &c. In Church Hymns the cento is: stanza i. is from i., 11. 1-4, and iv., 11. 1-4 of the German; ii. from iv., 11. 5-8, and vii., 11. 5-8; iii. from ix.; iv. from x., 11. 1-4, and xi. 5-8. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)