Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
This hymn was composed by pastor Johann Michael Altenburg in 1631 after having been forced to flee his home and ministry in Som-merda in time of war.[^1]
In regard to translator Catherine Winkworth, Charles Hutchins has this to say:
(she is) the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation. 1
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“0 Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe” by Johann M. Altenburg, 1584-1640 Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878
0 little flock, fear not the Foe Who madly seeks your overthrow; Dread not his rage and power. What though your courage sometimes faints, His seeming triumph o’er God’s saints Lasts but a little hour.
Be of good cheer; your cause belongs To Him who can avenge your wrongs; Leave it to Him, our Lord. Though hidden yet from mortal eyes, His Gideon shall for you arise, Uphold you and His Word.
As true as God’s own Word is true. Not earth nor hell with all their crew Against us shall prevail. A jest and byword are they grown; God is with us, we are His own; Our victory cannot fail.
Amen, Lord Jesus, grant our prayer; Great Captain, now Thine arm make bare, Fight for us once again! So shall Thy saints and martyrs raise A mighty chorus to Thy praise, World without end. Amen.
Hymn #263 The Lutheran Hymnal Text: Luke 12:32 Author: Johann M. Altenburg, 1632, asc., ab. Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1855, alt. Titled: “Verzage nicht, du Haeuflein klein” Tune: “Kommt her zu mir” Melody: German, c. 1400
From Annotations of the Hymnal by Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872. ↩
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