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Benjamin Schmolck

By the end of the century, the influence of Pietism was perceptible in many quarters where it was not formally accepted. The old orthodox party, as it was called, changed its character, and the best of its hymns are henceforward scarcely to be distinguished from those of the Pietists. Little of real merit was produced at this time, though two of the writers of this school, Neumeister, a pastor in Hamburg (died 1756), and Schmolke, wrote an enormous quantity. The latter (1672-1737) was called in his own day the "Silesian Rist," and had really much in common with Rist--his extraordinary facility, his tendency to wordiness, and his occasional excellence. Schmolke composed altogether 1188 poems and hymns of a religious character, and it may well be imagined that a large number of them are poor enough; yet a few are really very good, with an easy flow, a heartiness, and a simplicity that are rarely found among the hymns of this period. He was for many years the pastor of Schweidnitz, in Silesia, and was a man of great personal piety, which was proved by the patience and cheerfulness with which he bore seven years of illness following a paralytic stroke.

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