God’s Presence

Pietism, a renewal movement among Protestants in the 17th and 18th centuries, had many aspects. One was a deepening of personal devotion to God, as expressed, for example, in the following hymn written by Gerhard Tersteegen, who lived from 1697-1769. This English translation is by John Wesley.

God Is Here!
By Gerhard Tersteegen

Lo, God is here! Let us adore,
And own how dreadful is this place!
Let all within us feel His power
And silent bow before His face;
Who know His power, His grace who prove,
Serve Him with awe, with reverence love.

Lo, God is here! Him day and night
The united choirs of angels sing;
To Him, enthroned above all height,
Heaven’s host their noblest praises bring;
Disdain not, Lord, our meaner song,
Who praise thee with a stammering tongue.

Gladly the toys of earth we leave,
Wealth, pleasure, fame, for Thee alone;
To thee our will, soul, flesh, we give –
O take, O seal them for Thine own!
Thou art the God, Thou art the Lord;
Be Tou by all Thy works adored!

Being of beings! May our praise
Thy courts with grateful fragrance fill;
Still may we stand before Thy face,
Still hear and do Thy sovereign will;
To Thee may all our thoughts arise,
Ceaseless, accepted sacrifice.

As floweres their openikng leaves display,
And glad drink in the solar fire,
So may we catch Thy every ray,
So may Thy influence us insprie;
Thou Beam of the eternal Beam,
Thou purging Fire, Thou quickening Flame.

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