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, My Great High Priest Art Thou
  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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