Gerhardt Tersteegen

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Sep 08, 2008 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments

Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
whose depth unfathomed no man knows,
I see from afar thy beauteous light,
and only sigh for thy repose;
my heart is pained, nor can it be
at rest, till it finds rest in thee.

Thy secret voice invites me still
the sweetness of thy yoke to prove;
and fain I would; but though my will
seems fixed, yet wide my passions rove;
yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

'Tis mercy all that thou has brought
my mind to seek its peace in thee;
yet while I seek, but find thee not,
no peace my wandering soul shall see.
O when shall all my wanderings end,
And all my steps to theeward tend?

Is there a thing beneath the sun
that strives with thee my heart to share?
Ah, tear it hence and reign alone,
the Lord of every motion there;
then shall my heart from earth be free,
when it hath found repose in thee.

O hide this self from me, that I
no more, but Christ in me, may live!
my vile affections crucify,
nor let one darling lust survive
in all things nothing may I see,
nothing desire or seek, but thee!

O Love, thy sovereign aid impart
to save me from low thought care;
chase this self will from all my heart,
from all its hidden mazes there;
make me thy duteous child that I
ceaseless may "Abba, Father" cry.

Ah no! ne'er will I backward turn:
thine wholly, thine alone I am!
thrice happy he who views with scorn
earth's toys, for thee his constant Flame;
O help that I may never move
from the blest footsteps of thy love!

Each moment draw from earth away
my heart that lowly waits thy call;
speak to my inmost soul and say,
"I am thy love, thy God, thy all!"
to feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
to taste thy love, be all my choice.
        
---Gerhardt Tersteegen, 1729; trans. John Wesley, 1738

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