1672-1737
portrait

December 21, 1672, Brauchitzchdorf, Silesia (now Chróstnik, Poland).

February 12, 1737, Schweidnitz, Silesia (now Świdnica, Poland) (his wedding anniversary).

Schmolck entered the Gymnasium at Lauban (now Lubań, Poland) in 1688, and spent five years there. After returning home, he preached for his father a sermon which so struck a local patron so that he gave Schmolck a three year scholarship to study theology. He matriculated at Michaelmas, 1693, at the University of Leipzig, where he was influenced by Johann Olearius, J. P. Carpzov and others, and throughout his life he retained the character of their teaching. During his last year there he supported himself mainly by writing occasional poems for wealthy citizens, for which he was also crowned as a poet. In autumn 1697, after completing his studies at Leipzig, he returned to Brauchitzchdorf to help his father, and in 1701 was ordained as his assistant.

On February 12, 1702, he married Anna Rosina, daughter of Christoph Rehwald, a merchant in Lauban. At the end of that year he was appointed diaconus of the Friedenskirche (Protestant church) in Schweidnitz, one of the three Friedenskirchen in Catholic Silesia. As a result of the Counter-Reformation, the churches in the principality of Schweidnitz had been taken from the Lutherans, and for the whole district, the 1648 Peace of Westphalia allowed only one church (and that only of timber and clay, without tower or bells), which the Lutherans had to build at Schweidnitz outside the town walls. The three clergy attached to this church had to minister to a population scattered over 36 villages, and were hampered by many restrictions (e.g., being unable to communicate with a sick person without a permit from the local Roman Catholic priest). Here Schmolck remained the rest of his life, becoming in 1708 archdiaconus, in 1712 senior, and in 1714 pastor primarius and inspector. He suffered a paralyzing stroke on Laetare (Mid-Lent) Sunday, 1730, which for a time laid him up altogether, and after which he never recovered the use of his right hand. For five more years he was still able to officiate, preaching for the last time on a Fastday in 1735.Two more strokes followed, then a cataract, relieved for a time by an operation, but returning again incurably. For the last months of his life he was confined to bed.

Schmolck was the most popular German hymn writer of his time, and was hailed as the Silesian Rist, the second Gerhardt, and the like. In addition to cantatas, occasional pieces for weddings, funerals, etc. he wrote some 900 hymns. These were penned for all sorts of occasions, and range over the whole field of church, family, and individual life. These came very soon into extensive use, not only in Silesia, but all over Germany.

  1. Ach wenn ich dich, mein Gott, nur habe
  2. An Gott will ich gedenken
  3. Der beste Freund ist in den Himmel
  4. Der Sabbath ist vergangen
  5. Du angenehmer Tag
  6. Die Woche geht zum Ende
  7. Endlich, endlich, muss es doch
  8. Gedenke mein, mein Gott, gedenke mein
  9. Geh, müder Leib, zu deiner Ruh
  10. Gott du bist selbst die Liebe
  11. Gott der Juden, Gott der Heiden
  12. Gott lebt, wie kann ich traurig sein
  13. Gott mit uns, Immanuel
  14. Hallelujah! Jesus lebt
  15. Heute mir und Morgen dir
  16. Hier ist Immanuel!
  17. Hilf, Helfer, hilf! ich muss verzagen
  18. Ich habe Lust zu scheiden
  19. Ich sterbe täglich, und mein Leben
  20. Je grösser Kreuz, je näher Himmel
  21. Jesus soll die Losung sein
  22. Licht vom Licht, erleuchte mich
  23. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier
    • According to Thy Gospel, We
    • Blessèd Jesus, We Are Here
    • Blessèd Jesus! Here We Stand
    • Blessèd Lord, Thy Servants See
    • Dearest Jesus! We Are Here
    • Following Thy Words of Grace
    • O Blessed Savior! Here We Meet
  24. Mein Gott, du hast mich Eingeladen
  25. Mein Gott! du wohnst in einem Lichte
  26. Mein Gott, ich klopf an dein Pforte
  27. Mein Gott, ich weiss wohl dass ich sterbe
  28. Mein Gott, mein Alles über Alles
  29. Mein Gott, weil ich in meinem Leben
  30. Mein Jesu, wie du willt
  31. Mein Jesus lebt! was soll ich sterben
  32. Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht
  33. Nun hab ich ubervwundven
  34. O wie fröhlich, o wie selig
  35. Schmückt das Fest mit Maien
  36. Seht welch ein Mensch ist das
  37. Sei gevtreu bis in den Tod
  38. Theures Wort aus Gottes Munde
  39. Thut mir auf die schöne Pforte
  40. Was Gott thut das ist wohlgethan
  41. Weine nicht, Gott lebet noch
    • Weep Not—Jesus Lives on High
    • Weep Not, for God, Our God, Doth Live
  42. Wer will mich von der Liebe scheiden
  43. Willkommen, Held im Streite

Schmolck’s burial place