Jesus lebt, mit ihm auch ich

Author: Christian F. Gellert

Gellert, Christian Fürchtegott, son of Christian Gellert, pastor at Hainichen in the Saxon Harz, near Freiberg, was born at Hainichen, July 4, 1715. In 1734 he entered the University of Leipzig as a student of theology, and after completing his course acted for some time as assistant to his father. But then, as now, sermons preached from manuscript were not tolerated in the Lutheran Church, and as his memory was treacherous, he found himself compelled to try some other profession. In 1739 he became domestic tutor to the sons of Herr von Lüttichau, near Dresden, and in 1741 returned to Leipzig to superintend the studies of a nephew at the University. He also resumed his own studies. He graduated M.A. 1744; became in 1745 private tutor or l… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Jesus lebt, mit ihm auch ich
Author: Christian F. Gellert
Language: German


Jesus lebt, mit ihm auch ich. C. F. Gellert. [Easter.] First published in his Geistliche Oden und Lieder, Leipzig, 1757, p. 147, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, entitled "Easter Hymn." The keynote of this, one of Gellert's finest hymns, is St. John xiv. 19. It is in the metre and has reminiscences of "Jesus, meine Zuversicht", but has yet a genuine lyric character of its own. It passed into the Berlin Gesang-Buch, 1765, and almost all later German hymn-books, and is No. 304 in the Berlin Geistliche Leider, edition 1863. Since 1861 hardly a hymn-book of importance has appeared in English-speaking countries without containing some version of it.

Originally written and still generally used for Easter, it is very appropriate for use by the dying, or for the consecration of a graveyard. It has often recently been sung at funeral services, e.g. at the Lord Mayor's funeral (G. S. Nottage), in St. Paul's, April 18, 1885; at that for Bishop McDougall of Labuan, in Winchester Cathedral, Nov. 19, 1886, &c.

Translations in common use:—
1. Jesus lives, and so shall I. A full and good translation by Dr. J. D. Lang, in his Aurora Australis, Sydney, 1826, p. 57. This is found in full in America in the Plymouth Collection, 1855, and Cantate Domino, 1859; and, abridged, in the Dutch Reformed Hymns of the Church, 1869, Baptist Hymn Book, 1871, &c.
2. Jesus lives! no longer now. A full and very good translation by Miss Cox, in her Sacred Hymns from the German, 1841, p. 35. She revised it for Lyra Messianica, 1864, p. 275, and still further for her Hymns from the German, 1864, p. 61. It has come into very general use in English-speaking countries in the following forms:—
(1) In the original metre. From the 1841 it passed, more or less altered and abridged, into the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book, 1848; Hymns for the Church of Christ, Boston, U. S., 1853 ; Plymouth Collection, 1855 (in the last it begins " Jesus lives, thy terrors now "), &c. In later books the text of 1864 is generally followed, as in the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal, 1876; Congregational Hymnal, 1887; Canadian Presbyterian Hymn Book, 1880, &c.
(2) In metre. This, the most popular form of the hymn, was given in Rorison's Hymns & Anthems, 1851, and repeated in Murray's Hymnal, 1852. The two last lines of each stanza were omitted, "Alleluia" was added to each stanza, and the text was considerably altered. Rorison gives in order stanzas i., ii., iv.-vi., while the 1852 nearly follows his text, but gives in order stanzas i., vi., iv., v., ii., and adds a doxology. To follow out the variation of text and order in later books would be bewildering, the most usual form being that given in Murray's Hymnal, 1852, repeated (without the doxology) in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861. The Hymns Ancient & Modern text (with Dr. Gauntlett's beautiful tune St. Albinus) has passed into very many English, American, and other hymn-books.
The principal forms in the metre which do not begin with the original first line are:—
(a) Jesus lives! Thy terrors now Can no longer, Death, appal us, in Church Hymns, 1871, &c. Otherwise this is the Hymns Ancient & Modern text.
(b) Jesus lives! thy terrors now Can, 0 Death, no more appal us, in Thring's Collection, 1880-82. Here stanza i. lines 2, was altered with Miss Cox's consent in order to avoid an apparent denial of the resurrection of Jesus which some musical settings of the opening line might produce. Otherwise (stanza iii. being omitted) the text and order of her 1864 version are nearly followed.
(c) Jesus lives! henceforth is death (stanza ii.) in Alford's Year of Praise, 1867.
(d) Jesus lives! to Him the throne (stanza v.), in Rorison's Collection, edition 1860.
3. Jesus lives; I live with Him. A good and full translation by Dr. J. Guthrie, in his Sacred Lyrics, 1869, p. 121, repeated in the Ibrox Hymnal, 1871.
The translations not in common use are, (1) "My Saviour lives! I will rejoice," by Lady E. Fortescue, 1843 (1869, p. 18). (2) "Jesus lives! With Him shall I," by Miss Warner, 1869 (1877, p. 18). In Sir John Bowring's Matins and Vespers, 3rd edition, 1841, p. 231, there is a hynm in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, beginning “Jesus lives, and we in Him," which is based on Gellert. This previously appeared as No. 150 in J. R. Beard's Collection, 1837. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



First published in Johann Crüger's Praxis Pietatis Melica (1653) without attribution, JESUS, MEINE ZUVERSICHT was credited to Crüger (PHH 42) in the 1668 edition of that hymnal. (The later isorhythmic RATISBON is related to this tune; see 34.) JESUS, MEINE ZUVERSICHT is named for its association w…

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