German Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer; died on May 31, 1680
Joachim Neander, born in Bremen, Germany, in 1650, was a rambunctious young man who settled down after a conversion experience at St. Martin’s Church, Bremen. From 1666 to 1670 he studied theology at Bremen University. In 1671 he began to study at Heidelberg.
From 1674 to 1679 Neander was the Principal of the Reformed grammar school. He was an unconventional educational leader, a fact which helps explain why his tenure there ended. In addition to fulfilling administrative duties, Neander wrote many poems and held services and meetings in caves and grottoes, for he adored nature. A cave in that region bears his name. There, in 1856, people found the first fossils of the extinct human species (an evolutionary dead end), Neanderthal Man.
In 1679 Neander returned to Bremen to become assistant minister at St. Martin’s Church. There he died of tuberculosis the next year, at age 30.
Neander wrote hymns, some of which we in the English-speaking world sing in translations. Two of these hymns are “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” and “All My Hope on God is Founded.”
Below: St. Martin’s Church, Bremen
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,
the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him,
for he is your health and salvation!
Let all who hear
Now to his temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration!
Praise to the Lord, who over all
Things is wondrously reigning
And, as on wings of an eagle,
Have you not seen
All that is needful has been
Sent by his gracious ordaining?
Praise to the Lord, who will
Prosper your work and defend you;
Surely his goodness and mercy
Shall daily attend you.
What the almighty can do
As with his love he befriends you.
Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all
That is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath,
Come now with praises before him!
Let the amen
Sound from his people again.
Gladly forever adore him!
All My Hope on God is Founded
All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
calls my heart to be his own.
Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.
God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendor, light and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from his store
newborn worlds rise and adore.
Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.
Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.
Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness: You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Joachim Neander. Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21
Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20