1532 - 1599 Author of "Alone in God put thou thy trust" Bartholomew Ringwaldt was born at Frankfort-on-the-Oder, in 1530, and was a Lutheran pastor at Langfield, in Prussia, where he died, 1598. His hymns resemble Luther's in their simplicity and power. Several of them were written to comfort himself and others in the sufferings they endured from famine, pestilence, fire and floods. In 1581, he published "Hymns for the Sundays and Festivals of the whole Year."
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.
Ringwaldt, Bartholomäus (Ringwalt, Ringwald), was born Nov. 28, 1532, at Frankfurt a. Oder. He was ordained in 1557, and was pastor of two parishes before he settled in 1566 as pastor of Langfeld (or Langenfeld), near Sonnenburg, Brandenburg. He was still there in 1597, but seems to have died there in 1599, or at least not later than 1600. (Koch, ii. 182; Goedeke's Grundriss, vol. ii. 1886, p. 512; Blätter fur Hymnologie, 1885.
Ringwaldt exercised a considerable influence on his contemporaries as a poet of the people, as well as by his hymns properly so called. He was a true German patriot, a staunch Lutheran, and a man who was quite ready to face the consequences of his plain speaking. His style is as a rule clear and good, though his rhymes are often enough halting; and he possessed considerable powers of observation and description. After 1577 he published various didactic poems, the most important being, (1) Newezeittung: So Hanns Fromman mit sich auss der Hellen unnd dem Himel bracht, Amberg, 1582, and the later editions enlarged and rewritten as Christliche Warnung des Trewen Eckarts, &c, Frankfurt a. Oder, 1588. In various forms and abridgments it passed through at least 34 editions up to 1700. This work is a mirror of the times and of the morals of the people. (2) Die Lauter Warheit, darinnen angezeiget, wie sich ein Weltlicher und Geistlicher Kriegsman in seinen Beruff vorhalten soil, &c, Erfurt, 1586. Of this again at least 18 eds. appeared up to 1700. In it he gives lively pictures of the life of the various ranks and orders of his time, and shows the temptations and failings of each, not by any means sparing his own class, i.e. the Lutheran clergy.
As a hymnwriter Ringwaldt was also of considerable importance. He was one of the most prolific hymn-writers of the 16th century. Wackernagel, iv. pp. 906-1065, gives 208 pieces under his name, about 165 of which may be called hymns. A selection of 59 as his Geistliche Lieder, with a memoir by H. Wendebourg, was published at Halle in 1858. A number appeared in the various eds. of his Trewer Echart and Lauter Warheit as above. The rest appeared principally in his
(1) Der 91. Psalm neben Siben andern schönen Liedern, &c, Frankfurt,a. Oder, 1577. (2) Evangelia, Auffalle Sontag unnd Fest, Durchs gantze Jahr, &c, Frankfurt a. Oder, N.D. The earliest edition now known is undated, but Wackernagel, i., p. 523, gives it as of 1582. It is marked as a 2nd edition, and has a preface dated Nov. 28, 1581. It contains hymns founded on the Gospels for Sundays and Festivals, &c. (3) Handbüchlin: geistliche Lieder und Gebetlein, Auff der Reiss, &c, Frankfurt a. Oder, 1586 (preface, Feb. 21, 1582). A good many of his hymns passed into German collections of the 16th and 17th centuries, and a number are still in German common use.
Those of Ringwaldt's hymns which have passed into English are:—
i. Es ist gewisslich an derZeit. Second Advent. The anonymous original of this hymn is one of Zwey schöne Lieder, printed separately circa 1565, and thence in Wackernagel, iv. p. 344. W. von Maltzahn, in his Bücherschatz, 1875, No. 616, p. 93, cites it as in an undated Nürnberg broadsheet, circa 1556. Wackernagel also gives along with the original the revised form in Ringwaldt's Handbüchlin, 1586. Both forms are also in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 746, in 7 stanzas of 7 lines. It is based on the "Dies Irae," but can hardly be called a version of it. The original has a picturesqueness and force which are greatly lost in Ringwaldt's revision. It was much used in Germany during the Thirty Years' War, when in these distressful times men often thought the Last Day was at hand. The translations are all, except No. 2, from Ringwaldt's text. They are:—
1. 'Tis sure that awful time will come. In full, by J. C. Jacobi, in his Psalter Germanica, 1722, p. 95 (1732, p. 202). Repeated, altered and abridged, in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754 to 1886. It is also found in two centos.
(1) The waking trumpets all shall hear (st. ii.), in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825.
(2) When all with awe shall stand around (st. v.), from the Moravian Hymn Book, 1801, in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868.
2. Most surely at th' appointed time. By A. T. Russell, as No. 38 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851, repeated in the College Hymnal, N. Y., 1876. It is marked a translation from the "Dies Irae," but is really a good translation of st. i., ii., v. of the German of 1565,
3. Behold that awful day draws nigh. A translation of st. i., ii.. v., by W. Sugden, as No. 129 in the Methodist Scholars' Hymn Book, 1870.
4. The day is surely drawing near. In full by P. A. Peter as No. 457 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
5. Surely at the appointed time. By H. L. Hastings, made in 1878, and included as No. 722 in his Songs of Pilgrimage, 1886. It condenses iii., iv. as iii.
6. Tho time draws near with quickening pace. By Miss Fry, in her Hymns of the Reformation, 1845, p. 56.
A hymn which has been frequently but erroneously called a translation from Ringwaldt's text, is noted as “Great God, what do I see and hear" (p. 454, i.).
Hymns not in English common use:--
ii. Allein auf Gott setzt dein Vertraun. The Christian Life. In many of the older Gorman hymnbooks this is ascribed to Ringwaldt, but it is not found in any of his works now extant. Wackernagel, v. p. 327, gives it as anonymous from the Greifswald Gesang-Buch, 1597, where it is entitled "The golden A. B. C. wherein is very in¬geniously comprised what a man needs to know in order to lead an honourable and godly life." It is in 24 stanzas of 4 lines, each stanza beginning with successive letters of the alphabet. Also in Porst's Gesang-Buch, ed. 1855, No. 784. Bäumker, ii. p. 276, cites it as in the manuscript collection of a nun called Catherine Tirs, written in 1588, in the nunnery of Niesing, Münster. There it is in Low German, and begins "Allene up godt hope und truwe." Bäumker thinks Ringwaldt may possibly be the person who made the High German version. Translated as (1) "Alone in God put thou thy trust." By J. C. Jacobi, 1725, p. 29 (1732, p. 110).
iii. Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt, Hält mich in seiner Hute. Ps. xxiii. Wackernagel, iv. p. 944, prints it from Ringwaldt's Evangelia, N.D., 1582 as above, in 7 st. of 7 1. The first four-lines of st. i. are taken from the older version, "Der Herre ist mein treuer Hirt." In the Minden Kavensberg Gesang-Buch, 1854, No. 512. Translated as (i.) "The Lord He is my Shepherd kind." By Miss Manington, 1863, p. 20.
iv. Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut, Du Brunnquell der Genaden. Lent. One of the finest of German penitential hymns. Wackernagel, iv. p. 1028, gives it, in 8 st. of 7 1., from Ringwaldt's Christliche Warnung, 1588, where it is entitled "A fine hymn [of supplication] for the forgiveness of sins." In Burg's Gesang-Buch, Breslau, 1746, No. 1574. The translations are (1) “Lord Saviour Christ, my sovereign good." In the Supplement to German Psalmody, ed. 1765, p. 39. Rewritten as (2) "Lord Jesus Christ, my sov'reign good," as No. 226 in the Moravian Hymn Book , 1789. In the edition of 1886, No. 278, it begins "Jesus, thou source of every good." (3) "O Christ, thou chiefest good, thou spring." By Dr. G. Walker, 1860, p. 76. (4) "Lord Jesus Christ, thou highest good." By F. W. Young, in the Family Treasury, 1877, p. 653. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)