How brightly shines the Morning Star! the nations see and hail afar

Author: Philipp Nicolai

Nicolai, Philipp, D.D., son of Dieterich Nicolai, sometime Lutheran pastor at Herdecke, in Westphalia, and after 1552, at Mengeringhausen in Waldeck, was born at Mengeringhausen, August 10, 1556. (The father was son of Nicolaus Rafflenbol, of Rafflenbol, near Hagen, in Westphalia, and in later life had adopted the Latinised form Nicolai of his father's Christian name as his own surname.) In 1575 Nicolai entered the University of Erfurt, and in 1576 he went to Wittenberg. After completing his University course in 1579 (D.D. at Wittenberg July 4, 1594), he lived for some time at Volkliardinghausen, near Mengeringhausen, and frequently preached for his father. In August, 1583, he was appointed Lutheran preacher at Herdecke, but found many diff… Go to person page >

Translator: William Mercer

Mercer, William, M.A., born at Barnard Castle, Durham, 1811, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1835). In 1840 he was appointed Incumbent of St. George's, Sheffield. He died at Leavy Greave, Sheffield, Aug. 21, 1873. His principal work was:—- The Church Psalter and Hymn Book, comprising The Psalter, or Psalms of David, together with the Canticles, Pointed for Chanting; Four Hundred Metrical Hymns and Six Responses to the Commandments; the whole united to appropriate Chants and Tunes, for the use of Congregations and Families, by the Rev. William Mercer, M.A. . .. Assisted by John Goss, Esq…., 1854; enlarged 1856; issued without music, 1857; quarto edition 1860; rearranged edition (Oxford edition) 1864; Appendix 1872.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How brightly shines the Morning Star! the nations see and hail afar
Author: Philipp Nicolai
Translator: William Mercer
Language: English



Adapting a tune written for Psalm 100 found in Wolff Köphel's Psalter (1538), Nicolai composed WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET, which was published with the text in 1599. Although the tune was originally more varied rhythmically, the hymnal version here is isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) and set to the rich ha…

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The New English Hymnal #27