Author: Johan Olof Wallin
Composer: Phillip Nicolai
Translated by: Ernst William Olson
Johan Olof Wallin was born in Stora Tuna i Dalarna, Sweden, on Oct. 15, 1779. Coming from a large family and being the oldest son, he was sent to school in Falun. His parents did not have much money, but because he was a bright student, he managed to get enrolled at the University of Uppsala, probably on a scholarship, in 1799. Four years later in 1803 at age 24, Wallin earned his Master of Arts degree. He attended the school of Theology for another three years and was ordained a minister upon graduation in 1806.
Wallin was a gifted poet and orator. His first poem was published in “Upsala tidningar” in 1802. Following his graduation, he wrote and translated several poetic works, receiving awards from the Swedish Academy for his efforts.
Critics said his poems and verse were too rhetorical and outdated compared to the romantic poets flourishing at the time. Wallin did not take the criticism light hearted but adapted to the new style, which was more emotional and came from the heart.
In 1810, Wallin married Anna Maria Dimander. In the same year he was elected to the Swedish Academy and took upon himself to commission the creation of a new Swedish book of hymns. The book contained 500 hymns, 128 written by him. He also translated 23 of the hymns for other writers and assisted in translating another 178. Wallin did the layout and arrangement of the hymnal.
Wallin held many different clerical positions. Although he was an ordained minister, he felt led to write hymns and become more involved in the music programs of the churches.
In 1837, Wallin was ordained archbishop of Sweden, but before he could move back to Uppsala, (seat of the bishoprick), he died suddenly in 1839 and was buried in Stockholm, Sweden. His death was mourned by all of the Swedish people. The Swedish Literature in Summary (1904) wrote that no Swedish orator or preacher ever had his distinctive glow as a speaker.
This hymn was translated from Swedish to English by Ernst William Olson. Born on March 16, 1870, in Skane, Sweden, he emigrated to America in 1875 with his family. He attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. Olson wrote four original hymns and translated 30 more. He was a member of the Augustana Hymnal Committee, which published its Hymnal and Order of Service, in 1925. In 1948, the King of Sweden made Olson a knight of the Royal Order of Vasa.
The music for this hymn was written by Philipp Nicolai. Born Aug. 10, 1556, in Arolsen, Hessen, Germany, Nicolai was the son of a Lutheran clergyman and attended Theology School at the University of Erfurt and also Wittenberg from 1575-1579.
He became pastor in Herdecke ander Ruhr, but was driven out by Spanish Counter-Reformation mercenary troops during the religious war. He moved to Cologne, a thoroughly Catholic town, and was a preacher of a local Lutheran congregation, but they had to meet in secret in members’ homes.
In 1601, Nicolai became pastor at St. Katherine’s Church in Hamburg, Germany, where he served the rest of his life. He died at age 52 in 1608.
”All Hail To Thee, O Blessed Morn!”
All hail to thee, O blessed morn!
To tidings long by prophets borne
Hast thou fulfillment given.
O sacred and immortal day,
When unto earth, in glorious ray,
Descends the grace of Heaven!
Singing, ringing, sounds are blending,
Praises sending unto Heaven
For the Savior to us given.
‘Tis God’s own Image and withal,
The Son of Man, that mortals all
May find in Him a Brother.
He comes, with peace and love to bide
On earth, the erring race to guide
And help as could no other;
Rather gather closer, fonder,
Sheep that wander, feed and fold them,
Than let evil powers hold them.
He tears, like other men, will shed,
Our sorrows share, and be our aid,
Through His eternal power;
The Lord’s good will unto us show,
And mingle in our cup of woe
The drops of mercy’s shower;
Dying, buying through His passion
Our salvation and to mortals
Opening the heavenly portals.
* Warren Shiver lives in Biscoe and is the author of three books, “104 of My Favorite Hymn Stories,” Vol. 1-3. They are available for purchase via his website, myfavoritehymnstories.net. Contact: 910-220-1511; P.O. Box 775, Biscoe, NC 27209; or email@example.com. For those who mention they read about his books in the newspaper, he will ship all three books for $35 with free shipping.