Hymn #67: Let Me Enter God’s Own Dwelling

           E. Benjamin Schmolck (1672-1737) wrote the original German words for this hymn in 1732.  The text was popular with both the Reformed and Evangelical German immigrants to America, although they sang these words to different tunes.  Madeleine Forell Marshall’s translation provides all but one of the original seven stanzas.

            Benjamin Schmolck, a German Lutheran pastor, is credited with more than a thousand hymns of varied quality.  Schmolck faithfully served the few Lutheran churches in a wide area of Germany that had been virtually taken over by the Roman Catholic Church according to the terms of the Peace of Westphalia.
            Joachim Neander (1650-1680) composed this tune and published it in his Glaub- und Liebesübung (1680) with his text beginning UNSER HERRSCHER.  The tune is often called NEANDER for the composer.
 

            Joachim Neander, following his conversion, was a leader of the pietist movement.  He was headmaster of the Reformed grammar school at Düsseldorf, Germany.  An ancient skeleton was discovered in 1856 in a valley near Düssel named for his family, hence Neanderthal Man.