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Martin Schalling (Hymn-Writer)

Born: April 21, 1532 - Strassburg, Pomerania, Germany
Died: December 19, 1608 - Nürnberg, Germany

Martin Schalling took up his studies in Wittenberg in 1550 and became one of Melanchthon’s favorite pupils. He was also an intimate friend of Nikolaus Selnecker.

Having received his M. A. degree in 1550, he lectured for a time in Wittenberg, and in 1554 was called to the office of diaconus of Regensburg. In a short time, however, he incurred the displeasure of Bishop Gallus, who favored the teachings of Mathias Flacius. When Schalling in his sermons attacked Flacius, he was compelled to resign, in 1558. He was called to Amberg, but was again compelled to resign, this time because of his opposition to the Calvinistic views of Elector Friedrich III. Friedrich’s son, the later Elector Ludwig of Saxony, who was a Lutheran, recalled Schalling to Amberg in 1576 and made him court preacher and superintendent. After Friedrich’s death, the same year, he was made general superintendent of Oberphalz and court preacher of Heidelberg. A few years later, however, he fell from grace with the elector and had to resign his office, this time because he declined to accept the Formula of Concord, for the reason that this document, in his opinion, contained unjust attacks upon the followers of Melanchthon. For this action he was banished from the court at Heidelberg, and after being confined to his house at Amberg from 1580 to March, 1583, he was finally deprived of his offices. In 1585 Schalling was called to the pastorate of Nürnberg, where he served until he lost his eye-sight a few years later.

Schalling was not a man of strife. But the bitter doctrinal controversies of that period distracted the Church, and the ministers, often against their wish, were drawn into the struggle.


Source: ELHHB Website [Dahle, Library of Christian Hymns; Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal]
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2003)

Texts of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

BWV 149, BWV 174, BWV 245/40

Chorale Texts used in Bach’s Vocal Works





Links to other Sites

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook - Biographies and Sources (ELHHB)




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