|Short Name:||Elisabethe Creutziger|
|Full Name:||Creutziger Elisabeth von Meseritz, ca. 1500-1535|
Cruciger, Elisabethe, née von Meseritz, was the daughter of a family belonging to the Polish nobility. Her parents, suffering from the persecutions of these times, had been forced to seek refuge at Wittenberg There, in May or June, 1524, she was married to Caspar Cruciger, son of a Leipzig burgess, who had enrolled himself as a student at Wittenberg in 1522. Cruciger, who was treated by Luther as his own son and accounted his most hopeful pupil, became in 1525 Rector of St. John’s School and preacher in St. Stephen's Church, Magdeburg; and in 1528 was called to become professor in the philosophical faculty at Wittenberg, but, by Luther's wish, was appointed one of the professors of Theology. Of his wife, who died at Wittenberg, May, 1535, little is known save that she was a friend of Luther's wife, a lover of music, and an affectionate wife and mother (Koch, i. 281-285; Caspar Cruciger, by Dr. Pressel, Elberfeld,1862, p. 76; Allg. Deutsche Biographie, xviii. 148, &c). The only hymn known as by her is:—
Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn. Christmas, first published in Eyn Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524. In the Geistliche Lieder, Wittenberg, 1531, it is given as "Ein geistlich liedt von Christo, Elisabet Creutzigerin," and from the Rostock Gesang-Buch, 1531, it seems clear that in King's Gesang-Buch, Wittenberg, 1529, it bore the same title. Wackernagel , iii. pp. 46-47, gives four forms, all in 5 stanzas of 7 lines. In the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 37.
Koch, i., 282, calls it "a sublime hymn fully embracing in itself the true power of the Gospel." It has been ascribed to Andreas Knopken, but for this external evidence is entirely wanting, and in the Riga Kirchenordnung, 1537, in which his hymns appeared, this hymn is ascribed to E. Cruciger. That he as a theologian might fitly have written a hymn such as this, displaying power of theological expression (cf. st. v.) and knowledge of Latin (cf. st. i. with Prudentius's "Corde natus ex parentis") may be granted, but ladies learned in Latin and theology were not unknown in those days.
Translations in common use:—
1. The only Son from heaven. A good translation of stanzas i.-iii., by A. T. Russell, as No. 41 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851, repeated, with alterations, as No. 119 in Kennedy, 1863.
2. O Thou, of God the Father. A translation of stanzas i., iii., iv., by Miss Winkworth, as No. 155 in her Chorale Book for England , 1863, and thence as No. 277 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
Translations not in common use:—
(1) "Christ is the only Sonne of God," by Bp. Coverdale, 1539, (Remains, 1846, p. 553). Almost identical with (2) "Christ is the onlie Son of God," in the Gude and Godly Ballates (ed. 1567-8, folio 74), ed. 1868, p. 127. (3) "Lord Christ the eternal Father's” in the Supplement to German Psalmody, ed. 1765, p. 3. (4) "Christ, that only begotten," as No. 335 in pt. i. of the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. (5) "Thou Maker of each creature," No. 193 in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1789, is st. iii., iv. of the 1754, rewritten by P. H. Molther. In later editions a translation of st. vi. of "Herr Jesu, Gnadensonne" (see L. A. Gotter, No. i.) was added. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)