Claudius, Matthias, the son of a Lutheran Pastor, was born at Reinfeld, near Lubeck, August 15, 1740. He entered the university at Jena in 1759 as a student of theology, but later turned to law and literature. While residing at Darmstadt he associated with a circle of freethinking philosophers, but a severe sickness caused him to return to the faith of his childhood. He did not intentionally write hymns for the Church, but much of his poetry is Christian in spirit and a few pieces have been utilized as hymns. He died at Hamburg January 21, 1815.
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