Eighteenth-century Manuscript Pietist Hymn Book
Evangelisches Gesang Buch alter und neuer Lieder von einem der nichts will und mag als Jesum den gecreutzigten Kennen und lieben zusammen getragen. Angefangen anno 1745 die 30 August Geendet anno 1746 die 22 Dec.
Manuscript on paper. (BRMS 208)
In Pietist circles enthusiastic singing was a pathway to spiritual vitality. This manuscript hymn book exemplifies a common practice of the time. Many women and men selected favorite hymns and copied them into personal, devotional volumes. Some added their own poetry and artwork as expressions of faith. The compiler of this song book is known only by the description, in translation, as “the person who wishes nothing but to commemorate the crucified Jesus.”
The volume combines standard Lutheran hymn texts with hymns written by an abundance of Pietists. These include Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676), Johann Mentzer (1658–1734), Laurenius Laurenti (1660–1722), Ludwig Andrea Gotter (1661–1735), Johann Caspar Schade (1666–1698), Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (1670–1739), Johann Eusebius Schmidt (1670–1745), and Hans Adolph Brorson (1694–1764). Bound in contemporary German vellum over paper boards with covers and flat spine elaborately gilt and all edges gilt, the volume is housed in a contemporary decorated paper-covered slip-case.