Christian Scriver

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Christian Scriver.

Christian Scriver (January 2, 1629 – April 5, 1693) was a German Lutheran devotional writer.

Scriver was born at Rendsburg and entered the University of Rostock in 1647,[1] and in 1653 was appointed archdeacon at Stendal, whence he was called in 1667 to Magdeburg as pastor of St. James's. Here he remained twenty-three years, until in 1690 he was made chief court chaplain at Quedlinburg, a position which he held until his death. The friend of Philipp Jakob Spener, Scriver was one of those theologians of the latter part of the seventeenth century who opposed the formalism then besetting Lutheranism, and thus prepared the way for Pietism, even while himself maintaining strict orthodoxy. Scriver died in Quedlinburg.

The writings of Scriver were devotional, those including the Gottholds vierhundert zufällige Andachten (1667; last ed., Basel, 1893; Eng. transl., Gotthold's Emblems: or, Invisible Things understood by Things that are made, by R. Menzies, Edinburgh, 1857), a collection of 400 parables; Gotthold's Siech- und Siegesbette (1687; new ed., Stuttgart, 1870); and Chrysologia Catechetica, Goldpredigten über die Hauptstücke des lutherischen Katechismus (1687; new ed., Stuttgart, 1861). His most important work, however, was his Seelenschatz ("The Soul's Treasure", 5 parts, 1675-1692; new ed., 3 vols., Berlin, 1852–53), describing the progress of the soul from misery to eternal life and combining allegory, dogmatics, and ethics. It has been translated at least into Danish, Swedish and Finnish.

Scriver was also a hymn-writer, though his hymns never gained much acceptance. Nevertheless, three of his compositions have been translated into English: "Auf, Seel, und danke deinem Herrn" as "To God, my soul, thank-offerings pay"; "Den lieben Sonne Licht and Pracht" (his most well-known hymn), found in a number of renderings; and "Hier lieg ich nun, mein Gott, zu deinen Füssen" as "Here, O my God, I cast me at Thy feet." The collected works of Scriver have been edited by J. H. Heinrich and R. Stier (6 vols., Barmen, 1847–52).


  1. ^ See entry of Christian Scriver in Rostock Matrikelportal

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