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Karl Johann Philipp Spitta

1801-1859. Lutheran hymnwriter. Born in Hanover and originally apprenticed to a watchmaker, he eventually graduated in theology at Göttingen (1824). As a result of his conversion about that time, he stopped writing secular verse, such as had appeared in his Sangbüchlein der Liebe. After four years as a tutor, he took Lutheran orders. He held clerical posts at Hamelin, Wechold, Wittingen, Peine, and finally Burgdorf. His Psalter und Harfe (two series, 1833-43) enjoyed in Germany a popularity comparable with that in Britain of The Christian Year by John Keble. The hymns were translated in full by R. Massie as Lyra Domestica (1860-64), and in part by others, notably Jane Borthwick* and Sarah Findlater.