Christian Scriver
Christian Scriver was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Lutheran devotional writer.

Scriver was born at Rendsburg
Rendsburg is a town on the River Eider and the Kiel Canal in the northeastern part of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the capital of the Kreis of Rendsburg-Eckernförde. As of 2006, it had a population of 28,476.-History:...

 and entered the University of Rostock
University of Rostock
The University of Rostock is the university of the city Rostock, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.Founded in 1419, it is the oldest and largest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area...

 in 1647, and in 1653 was appointed archdeacon
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in Anglicanism, Syrian Malabar Nasrani, Chaldean Catholic, and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church...

 at Stendal
Stendal is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the capital of Stendal District and unofficial capital of the Altmark. Its population in 2001 was 38,900. It is located some west of Berlin and around east of Hanover...

, whence he was called in 1667 to Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

 as pastor
The word pastor usually refers to an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. When used as an ecclesiastical styling or title, this role may be abbreviated to "Pr." or often "Ps"....

 of St. James's. Here he remained twenty-three years, until in 1690 he was made chief court chaplain
Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam or lay representative of a religion attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel...

 at Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg is a town located north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994 the medieval court and the old town was set on the UNESCO world heritage list....

, a position which he held until his death. The friend of Philipp Jakob Spener
Philipp Jakob Spener
Philipp Jakob Spener was a German Christian theologian known as the "Father of Pietism."...

, Scriver was one of those theologians of the latter part of the seventeenth century who opposed the formalism then besetting Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, and thus prepared the way for Pietism
Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid-18th century and later. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to...

, even while himself maintaining strict orthodoxy
Lutheran Orthodoxy
Lutheran orthodoxy was an era in the history of Lutheranism, which began in 1580 from the writing of the Book of Concord and ended at the Age of Enlightenment. Lutheran orthodoxy was paralleled by similar eras in Calvinism and tridentine Roman Catholicism after the...

. Scriver died in Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg is a town located north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994 the medieval court and the old town was set on the UNESCO world heritage list....


The writings of Scriver were devotional, those including the Gottholds vierhundert zufällige Andachten (1667; last ed., Basel, 1893; Eng. transl., Gotthold's Emblems: or, Invisible Things understood by Things that are made, by R. Menzies, Edinburgh, 1857), a collection of 400 parables; Gotthold's Siech- und Siegesbette (1687; new ed., Stuttgart, 1870); and Chrysologia Catechetica, Goldpredigten über die Hauptstücke des lutherischen Katechismus (1687; new ed., Stuttgart, 1861). His most important work, however, was his Seelenschatz ("The Soul's Treasure", 5 parts, 1675-1692; new ed., 3 vols., Berlin, 1852-53), describing the progress of the soul from misery to eternal life and combining allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

, dogmatics, and ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

. It has been translated at least into Danish, Swedish and Finnish.

Scriver was also a hymn-writer, though his hymns never gained much acceptance. Nevertheless, three of his compositions have been translated into English: "Auf, Seel, und danke deinem Herrn" as "To God, my soul, thank-offerings pay"; "Den lieben Sonne Licht and Pracht" (his most well-known hymn), found in a number of renderings; and "Hier lieg ich nun, mein Gott, zu deinen Füssen" as "Here, O my God, I cast me at Thy feet." The collected works of Scriver have been edited by J. H. Heinrich and R. Stier (6 vols., Barmen, 1847-52).

External links

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