Rist, Johann, son of Kaspar Rist, pastor at Ottensen, near Hamburg, was born at Ottensen, March 8, 1607, and from his birth was dedicated to the ministry. After passing through the Johanneum at Hamburg and the Gymnasium Illustre at Bremen, he matriculated, in his 21st year, at the University of Rinteln, and there, under Josua Stegmann (q. v.), he received an impulse to hymn-writing. On leaving Rinteln he acted as tutor to the sons of a Hamburg merchant, accompanying them to the University of Rostock, where he himself studied Hebrew, Mathematics and also Medicine.
During his residence at Rostock the terrors, of the Thirty Years War almost emptied the University, and Rist himself also lay there for weeks ill of the pestilence. After his r… Go to person page >
Wach' auf, wach' auf, du sich're Welt . J. Rist. [Second Advent.] First published in his Neüer Himlischer Lieder sonderbahres Buch, Luneburg, 1651, p. 248, in 13 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled, "True hearted Exhortation and Warning to the careless world that with genuine repentance she may prepare and secure herself against the near approaching Last Day." Founded on the Gospel for the 2nd Sunday in Advent (St. Luke xxi. 25-36), and is one of the finest of Rist's hymns. Repeated in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch , 1704, No. 14 (8 stanzas); and in Bunsen's Versuch, 1833, No. 493 (Allgemeine Gesang-buche, 1846, No. 426), omitting st. ii.-v. Translated as:—
1. Awake, thou careless world, awake! The day shall, &c. By A. T. Russell, in 3 stanzas. The translations of st. i. appeared as No. 108 in the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book, 1848; the translations of st. vii., xiii., were added in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851, No. 39.
2. Awake, thou careless world, awake! The final day, &c. A good translation of stanzas i., vii., xii., vi., ix., xi., xiii., by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1st Ser., 1855, p. 4.
From this the translations of st. vi., ix., xiii., altered and beginning, "The Lord in love delayeth long," were included as No. 113 in the Irvingite Hymns for the Use of the Churches, 1864. A cento in 5 stanzas of L.M. from the trs. of vii., ix., xiii., beginning, "Lo, He, on whom all power is laid," is in H. L. Hastings's Hymnal, 1880.
For her Chorale Book for England , 1863, No. 27, Miss Winkworth rewrote the translation to the original metre, beginning "Awake, thou careless world, awake! That final Judgment day," omitting the trs. of st. vii., xi.
Other translations are: (1) " The last of days will come indeed," by Miss Cox, 1841, p. 9, being st. i., vii., xii., vi. In her edition 1864, p. 33, she added a second part, "Lift up, ye saints, your joyful heads," being st. ix., xi., xiii. (2) "Awake! awake! from careless ease," by Lady E. Fortescue, 1843, p. 1. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)