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O du allersüszste Freude!--(Goed. 76.)


First published in the 3d ed., 1648, of Crü. Praxis, no. 155 in 10 stanzas of 8 lines; thence in Wackernagel: no. 30; Bachmann: no. 10. Cf. Koch IV, 232.

This is a fine hymn of supplication to the Holy Spirit for His gifts and graces. It is widely popular in Germany, and is included in the Berlin G. L. S.: 1863, no. 366. Through the version of J. C. Jacobi it has also been very largely used in various forms, in Great Britain and America.

English Versions:
1. O Thou sweetest source of gladness.

A full and good translation by J. C. Jacobi, in his Psal. Ger., 1725, pt. II, p. 6. Jacobi's stanzas I-IV, IX, X, were considerably altered, as "Holy Ghost, dispel our sadness," by A. M. Toplady, in the Gospel Magazine, June, 1776. In Sedgwick's ed. of Toplady's Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1860, p. 169, these stanzas appear:

  1. Holy Ghost, dispel our sadness;
  2. From that height which knows no measure.
  3. Come, Thou best of all donations.
  4. Known to Thee are all recesses.
  5. Manifest Thy love for ever.
  6. Be our Friend on each occasion.

The alteration in Sedgwick is, therefore, as follows:

Toplady: 1 3 2 4 5 6

The hymn appears in many centos, though it usually begins with the first stanza of the text above, "Holy Ghost, dispel our sadness." There are many centos in the original metre, but other metre has been employed also, as:

(1) metre. Cf. a greatly altered version of stanzas I, III, in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1883.

(2) metre. 10 centos. Cf. Cong. H. Book, 1836, 2 stanzas, and Pennsylvania Lutheran Ch. Book, 1868, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines.

Other centos are:

(1) Holy Spirit, Source of gladness, in the American Unitarian Bk. of Hymns 1848, and other collections.

(2) Come, Thou Source of sweetest gladness, in Stopford Brooke's Christian Hymns, 1881. Both these centos are altered forms of the Jacobi-Toplady text.

2. Sweetest joy the soul can know.

A good translation, omitting stanzas VIII and IX, by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Ger., 2d Series, 1858, p. 55, and again, altered in metre, as "Sweetest Fount of holy gladness," in her C. B. for England, 1863, no. 73. In this, stanzas II and IV, as in Lyra Ger., are omitted. From this text is derived no. 408 of the American Hymns of the Spirit, 1864. Cf. also no. 105 in Stryker's Christian Chorals, N. Y., 1885, which is taken from the Chorale Book text.

Selected Stanzas:

J. C. Jacobi, 1722, altered by A. M. Toplady, 1776, in the Schaff-Gilman Library of Religious Poetry, 1881.

1. Holy Ghost, dispel my sadness,
Pierce the clouds of sinful night;
Come, thou source of sweetest gladness,
46Breathe thy life and spread thy light!
Loving Spirit, God of peace!
Great distributer of grace!
Rest upon this congregation,
Hear, oh, hear our supplication!

Miss Winkworth, in her Chorale Book for England, 1863.

1. Sweetest Fount of holy gladness,
Fairest light was ever shed
Who alike in joy and sadness
Leavest none unvisited;
Spirit of the Highest God,
Lord, from whom is life bestow'd,
Who upholdest ev'rything,
Hear me, hear me, while I sing.
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