Posted by: rcottrill | August 15, 2010

Today in 1768 – Christoph von Schmid Born

Christoph von Schmid was a Bavarian priest who is mainly known as an educator and author of children’s stories. His purpose, in his writings, was to teach children Christian values and practical piety, and he is considered a pioneer in writing for young people. One of his most famous stories was entitled Easter Eggs. It became so widely popular that Schmid started writing “Author of Easter Eggs,” when called upon to sign his name! His literary works have been translated into many languages. He died of cholera at the age of 87.

Christoph von Schmid also wrote poetry. One of these poems, published in 1794, has become a Christmas carol for children called O Come, Little Children. Combined with a tune by Johann Schulz, a contemporary of Schmid’s, it sounds like a gentle Christmas lullaby.

Oh, come, little children, oh, come, one and all,
To Bethlehem’s stable, in Bethlehem’s stall.
And see with rejoicing this glorious sight,
Our Father in heaven has sent us this night.

Oh, there lies the Christ Child, on hay and on straw;
The shepherds are kneeling before Him with awe.
And Mary and Joseph smile on Him with love,
While angels are singing sweet songs from above.

(2) Fairest Lord Jesus (Data Missing)
The lovely hymn, Fairest Lord Jesus (also called Beautiful Saviour) is often used as a Christmas hymn, but it well suits any time of year. We do not know who wrote the song. It has been traced back to a German hymn called Schonster Herr Jesu (Loveliest Lord Jesus) written about 1662. An English translation appeared in the mid-nineteenth century.

The tune is called Crusader’s Hymn, and for a time some concluded that it was used by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem during the crusades of the Middle Ages. However, this is incorrect. Of much more recent origin, it was first heard in the hayfields of Germany in 1836. Composer Franz Liszt used the tune for what he called the Crusader’s March, in an oratorio entitled The Legend of St. Elizabeth.

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav’n can boast.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Saviour, art to me.

Beautiful Saviour! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honour, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.


  1. […] a 1662 German manuscript (author unknown) Music: Crusader’s Hymn, a German folk melody Links: Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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