Zinzendorf, Count Nicolaus Ludwig, the founder of the religious community of Herrnhut and the apostle of the United Brethren, was born at Dresden May 26, 1700. It is not often that noble blood and worldly wealth are allied with true piety and missionary zeal. Such, however, was the case with Count Zinzendorf. Spener, the father of Pietism, was his godfather; and Franke, the founder of the famous Orphan House, in Halle, was for several years his tutor. In 1731 Zinzendorf resigned all public duties and devoted himself to missionary work. He traveled extensively on the Continent, in Great Britain, and in America, preaching "Christ, and him crucified," and organizing societies of Moravian brethren. John Wesley is said to have been under obligat… Go to person page >
Translator: John Gambold
Gambold, John, M.A., was b. April 10, 1711, at Puncheston, Pembrokeshire, where his father was vicar. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1730, M.A. in 1734. Taking Holy Orders, he became, about 1739, Vicar of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, but resigned his living in Oct. 1742, and joined the United Brethren [Moravians], by whom lie was chosen one of their bishops in 1754. He d. at Haverfordwest, Sept. 13, 1771. He published an edition of the Greek Testament; Maxims and Theological Ideas; Sermons, and a dramatic poem called Ignatius. About 26 translations and 18 original hymns in the Moravian Hymn Books are assigned to him. One or two of his hymns, which were published by the Wesleys, have been claimed for them, bu… Go to person page >
Du ewiger Abgrund der seligen Liebe. N. L. von Zinzendorf. [The Love of God.] Written for the birthday, Sept. 21, 1726, of his friend Count Henkel of Oderberg. Appeared as No. 7 in the "Andere Zugabe," c. 1730, to his 1725-8 Sammlung geist- und lieblicher Lieder (3rd ed. 1731, No. 19), in 8 stanzas of 10 lines, entitled “Ein Erweckungs Lied an Fest-Tagen," and repeated in the Herrnhut Gesang-Buch, 1735, No. 11; in the Brüder Gesang-Buch, 1778, No. 36, in 3 stanzas; also in Knapp's ed. of Zinzendorf ‘s Geistliche Lieder , 1845, p. 72; and in his own Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz 1850, No. 1136. Translated as:—
1. Eternal depth of Love Divine, a free translation of stanzas 1, 2, 4, 7, by J. Wesley in Hymns & Sacred Poems , 1739 (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 173). It was not included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book. till in the Supplement of 1830, No. 586, omitting Wesley's stanza iii., lines 5-8, and iv., lines 1-4. This form is in the new edition 1875, No. 655, and in the Wesley Association and New Connexion Collections. With the omission of the last 8 lines it is No. 94 in the American Methodist EpiscopalHymns, 1849. These omitted lines are given as No. 730: "O King of Glory, Thy rich grace," in the same collection.
2. Thou deep abyss of blessed Love, a free translation of stanzas 1, 4, 8, by Mrs. Charles in her Voice of Christian Life in Song , 1858, p. 243, and thence in Holy Song, 1869, No. 298.
Another translation is:—
"Ye bottomless depths of God's infinite love," by J. Gambold. The translation of stanza 1 appears as No. 238 in the Appendix of 1743 to the Moravian Hymn Book 1742, and the full form as No. 392 in pt, ii., 1746 (1886, No. 24). Of this 3 stanzas beginning "0 bottomless depths" appear in the Schaff-Gilman Library of Religious Poetry , ed. 1883. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)