1697–1769
portrait

No­vem­ber 25, 1697, Moers, Nied­er­rhein, Ger­ma­ny.

Ap­ril 3, 1769, Mül­heim an der Ruhr, Ger­ma­ny.

Mülheim an der Ruhr, Ger­ma­ny.

Though the name is almost universally shown as the Germ­an­ized Ter­stee­gen, his real name was Dutch: Ger­rit ter Stee­gen. His father abandoned his mother, and Ger­hard grew up in poverty.

He wanted to study theology, but could not afford an education, so he went into commerce instead; he first worked in Mül­heim an der Ruhr (near Moers and Du­is­burg). But Ger­hard preferred the solitary life, so he gave up his sales job and worked as a weaver, knitting ribbons, studying at home in cloister-like asceticism, and reading theological books.

He became an outstanding lay theologian, lay pastor, and mystic of the Pro­test­ant Pi­e­tism movement. From 1728 on, he was an itinerant preacher in the Pro­test­ant Er­weck­ungs­be­weg­ung (spiritual awakening movement) in the Nied­er­rhein region, and hosted home worship and prayer meetings.

Tersteegen was one of the two most famous 18th Cen­tu­ry Ger­man hymn writers (the other being Jo­ach­im Ne­an­der). Beginning in 1729, he edited his famous book Geist­lich­es Blum­en­gärt­lein in­nig­er Seel­en (Spir­it­u­al Flow­er Gar­den for Ar­dent Souls), a collection of hymns, spiritual lyr­ics and ep­i­grams.

  1. Ach Gott, es taugt doch draus­sen nicht
    • Ah God! The World Has Naught to Please
  2. Ach, könnt ich stille stein
    • Ah, Could I but Be Still
    • Oh! Could I but Be Still
  3. Allgenugsam We­sen
    • All-Sufficient Being
    • Thou All-Sufficient One!
    • Thou, Whose Love Unshaken
  4. Bald endet sich mein Pil­ger­weg
    • Weary Heart, Be Not Desponding
  5. Berufne Seelen! Schlaf­et nicht
    • Ye Sleeping Souls, Awake from Dreams of Ca­rnal Ease
    • Sleep Not, O Soul by God Awak­ened
  6. Das ässre Son­nen­licht ist da
    • Outer Sunlight Now Is There, The
    • World’s Bright Sun Is Risen on High, The
  7. Das Kreuz ist den­noch gut
    • Cross Is Ev­er Good, The
  8. Des He­rren priest­er­lich Ge­schlecht
  9. Die Blüm­lein klein und gross in mein­es Herr­en Gar­ten
    • Flowers That in Je­su’s Gar­den Have a Place
    • Full Many Flow­ers, in My Lord’s Gar­den Bloom­ing
  10. Die Lie­be will was ganz­es ha­ben
    • Love Doth the Whole—Not Part—De­sire
  11. Du schönst­es Got­tes­kind
  12. Freue dich, du Kin­der-Or­den
    • Children Rejoice, for God Is Come to Earth
    • Little Children, God Above
  13. Für dich sei ganz mein Herz und Le­ben
    • Constrained by Love So Warm and Ten­der
    • My Soul Adores the Might of Lov­ing
  14. Gott ist ge­ge­nwär­tig
  15. Gott rufet noch, sollt ich nicht end­lich höre­n
  16. Grosser Gott, in dem ich schwebe
    • God, in Whom I Have My Being
  17. Jauchzet ihr Him­mel! froh­locket ihr en­glische Chör­en
  18. Jedes Herz will et­was lie­ben
    • Heart of Man Must Some­thing Love, The
    • Something Every Heart Is Lov­ing
  19. Jesu, Den Ich Meine
    • Jesus, Whom I Long For
  20. Jesu, der du bist al­leine
    • Jesus, Whom Thy Church Doth Own
  21. Jesu, mein Er­bar­mer! höre
    • Jesus, Pitying Savior, Hear Me
  22. Nun so will ich denn mein Le­ben
    • Lo! My Choice Is Now De­cid­ed
    • Now at Last I End the Strife
  23. Jesus-Nam, du höchst­er Name
    • Jesu’s Name, Thou High­est Name
  24. Liebwerther, süsser Got­tes-Wille
  25. Mein ganzer Sinn
    • My Whole Desire Doth Deep­ly Turn Away
  26. Mein Gott, mein Gott, mein wahr­es Le­ben
    • My God, My God, My Life Di­vine!
  27. Mein Herz, ein Eisen grob und alt
    • A Rough and Shape­less Block of Iron Is My Heart
  28. Mein’n Aug­en­blick
    • Each Moment I Turn Me
  29. Nun lobet alle Gott­es Sohn
    • Give Glory to the Son of God
  30. O Jesu, Kö­nig, hoch zu ehr­en
    • O Jesus, Lord of Ma­jes­ty
  31. O liebe Seele! könnst du wer­den
    • Dear Soul, Couldst Thou Be­come a Child
    • Soul! Couldst Thou, While on Earth Re­main­ing
    • Wouldst Thou, My Soul, the Sec­ret Find
  32. Siegesfürste, Ehrn­kö­nig
    • Conquering Prince and Lord of Glo­ry
  33. So gehts von Schritt zu Schritt
    • Thus, Step by Step, My Jour­ney to the In­fi­nite
  34. So ist denn doch nun aber­mal ein Jahr
    • Thus, When Another Year of Pil­grim-Life
  35. Sollt ich nicht ge­las­sen sein
    • Should I Not Be Meek and Still
  36. Verborgne Got­tes­li­ebe du
  37. Von allen Ding­en ab
    • From All Cre­at­ed Things
  38. Wie bist du mir so in­nig gut
    • How Gracious, Kind, and Good
  39. Wie gut ists, wenn man ab­ge­spehnt
    • How Sweet It Is, When, Weaned from All
  40. Wiederum ein Au­gen­blick
    • Of My Time One Min­ute More
    • One More Flying Mo­ment
  41. Willkomm’n, ver­klär­ter Got­tes Sohn
    • Glorious Head, Thou Liv­est Now

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