1697–1769
portrait

Born: No­vem­ber 25, 1697, Moers, Nied­er­rhein, Ger­ma­ny.

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

Buried: 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 Pi­e­tist 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

where to get a be­tter pic­ture of Ter­stee­gen