O God, thou bottomless abyss

O God, thou bottomless abyss. Ernst Lange* (1650-1727), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Lange’s hymn, ‘O Gott, du Tiefe sonder Grund’*, was first published in Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen*’s Neues Geist-reiches Gesang-Buch (Halle, 1714), and then in Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735), the book which the Moravian missionaries took with them to America. John Wesley, learning German from the Moravians and worshipping with them on board ship, would have found it in that book. His translation was made before or in 1737, when it was published in his first hymnbook, A Collection of Psalms and Hymns (Charles-town, 1737). It was entitled ‘From the German’. Lange’s magnificent...

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