iii. Wie wohl ist mir, O Freund der Seelen. [The Love of Christ.] Founded on Canticles viii. 5. 1st published 1692, as above, p. 154, along with Meditation vi., which is entitled "The penitential forsaking and embracing." Included as No. 451 in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704, and recently as No. 438 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, in 6 stanzas of 10 lines. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii., 243, says of it:—
"This hymn dates from the period when Dessler as a youth was residing in his native town of Nürnberg in ill health. He had given up the occupation of goldsmith and set himself to study at Altdorf, but lack of money and of health compelled him to abandon this also. He then maintained himself as a proof reader in his native town, became the spiritual son and scholar in poesy of Erasmus Francisci, in whose powerful faith he found nourishment in his sorrows. Through his linguistic attainments, as well as through his hymns, he furthered the edification of the Christian populace; and what he here sung may have afforded stimulus to himself in the still greater troubles which he afterwards had to endure during his conrectorship, and finally in his last thirty-five weeks illness."
Fischer (ii. 391) calls it—
"One of the finest hymns of Pietism, that has produced many blessed effects, and has been the model and incitement to many hymns of like character."
It is translated as:—
2. O Lord, how happy is the time, a somewhat free translation of stanzas i.-v., with stanza i., slightly varied, repeated as stanza vi., by Greville Matheson. Contributed to the Hymns & Sacred Songs, Manchester, 1855 (edition 1856, No. 226), repeated in the Sunday Magazine, 1872, p. 741, and in Dr. G. Macdonald's Threefold Cord, 1883, p. 38. In the Hymns for the Sick Room, N. Y., 1859 (1861, p. 70), and Hymns of the Ages, 3rd Series, Boston, U.S., 1864, p. 233, it is considerably altered. This text is given in Schaff's Christ in Song, 1869, p. 491, further altered, and beginning "O Friend of souls! how blest the time"; Miss Winkworth's translation of stanza v., altered, being substituted for Mr. Matheson's. In the Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878, No. 613, is stanzas i., ii., v. of Schaff s text.
-- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
|Instances (9)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|Carmina Sanctorum, a selection of hymns and songs of praise with tunes #383||O Lord, how happy is the time||George MacDonald; Wolfgang Christoph Dessler||1886|
|Carmina Sanctorum: a selection of hymns and songs of praise with tunes #383||O Lord, how happy is the time||George MacDonald; Wolfgang Christoph Dessler||1885|
|Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal #421||O Lord! how happy is the time||1880|
|Hymns for the Sick-Room #70||O Lord! how happy is the time||1866|
|Hymns of the Ages (3rd series) #233||O Lord! how happy is the time||Dessler||1865|
|Immanuel Hymnal #d349||O Lord, how happy is the time||Wolfgang Christoph Dessler||1929|
|The People's Praise Book or Carmina Sanctorum #d441||O Lord, how happy is the time||George MacDonald; Wolfgang Christoph Dessler||1889|
|The Plymouth Hymnal #d373||O Lord, how happy is the time||G. Matheson; Wolfgang Christoph Dessler||1893|
|Unitarian Service Book, and Hymns for Church and Home. Abridged ed. #d291||O Lord, how happy is the time||Wolfgang Christoph Dessler||1904|