Tuesday, 7 February 2017

My High Tower: Paul Gerhart

Is God for me? I fear not, though all against me rise;
I call on Christ my Saviour, the host of evil flies.
My friend the Lord Almighty, and He who loves me, God,
What enemy shall harm me, though coming as a flood?
I know it, I believe it, I say it fearlessly,
That God, the Highest, Mightiest, for ever loveth me;
At all times, in all places, He standeth at my side,
He rules the battle fury, the tempest and the tide.
A Rock that stands for ever is Christ my Righteousness,
And there I stand unfearing in everlasting bliss;
No earthly thing is needful to this my life from Heaven,
And nought of love is worthy, save that which Christ has given.
Christ, all my praise and glory, my Light most sweet and fair,
The ship wherein He saileth is scatheless everywhere;
In Him I dare be joyful, a hero in the war,
The judgment of the sinner affrighteth me no more.
There is no condemnation, there is no hell for me,
The torment and the fire my eyes shall never see;
For me there is no sentence, for me has death no stings,
Because the Lord Who saved me shall shield me with His wings.
Above my soul’s dark waters His Spirit hovers still,
He guards me from all sorrow, from terror and from ill;
In me He works and blesses the life-seed He has sown,
From Him I learn the Abba, that prayer of faith alone.
And if in lonely places, a fearful child, I shrink,
He prays the prayers within me I cannot ask or think;
In deep unspoken language, known only to that Love
Who fathoms the heart’s mystery from the Throne of Light above.
His Spirit to my spirit sweet words of comfort saith,
How God the weak one strengthens who leans on Him in faith;
How He hath built a City, of love, and light, and song,
Where the eye at last beholdeth what the heart had loved so long.
And there is mine inheritance, my kingly palace-home;
The leaf may fall and perish, not less the spring will come;
As wind and rain of winter, our earthly sighs and tears,
Till the golden summer dawneth of the endless Year of years.
The world may pass and perish, Thou, God, wilt not remove—
No hatred of all devils can part me from Thy Love;
No hungering nor thirsting, no poverty nor care,
No wrath of mighty princes can reach my shelter there.
No Angel, and no Heaven, no throne, nor power, nor might,
No love, no tribulation, no danger, fear, nor fight,
No height, no depth, no creature that has been or can be,
Can drive me from Thy bosom, can sever me from Thee.
My heart in joy upleapeth, grief cannot linger there—
While singing high in glory amidst the sunshine fair;
The source of all my singing is high in Heaven above;
The Sun that shines upon me is Jesus and His Love.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Hymns of Tersteegen and others Volume 2

Among many of Tersteegen's great hymns in this second volume there are also gems from the likes of Henry Suso (the Mat etc) and Paul Gerhart whose powerful 'My High Tower' which is based on Psalm 62 and Romans 8 is truly one of the world's greatest hymns.


Monday, 21 July 2008

Tersteegen's biography

Life Gerhard Tersteegen
From the Book: They Knew Their God, Book TwoHarvey/HeyGerhard Tersteegen 'Recluse in Demand'

No little stir was occasioned in Mulheim when the young merchant Gerhard Tersteegen, retired from his business and took up lodgings in an isolated cottage, in order to search after God. For some years his relatives and friends left the youthful twenty-two year old to his odd quest.

Another young man, many hundreds of years before him, had retired from his active life in the city of Jerusalem to the Arabian desert, where he too was to be initiated into the deep things of God. And Gerhard Tersteegen, like St. Paul, was to share the secrets that he learned in his "Arabia", with the sin-burdened and the sorrowing, the hungry and dissatisfied souls. These yearned for soul-food instead of the intellectual rationalizing of formal ministry.

Gerhard would have given as his reason for this escape from social and business contacts, the conviction that his barque was too frail to successfully outride the currents of the world about him. His seven brothers and sisters, save one who had entered the ministry, were intent upon making money. When this youngest member of their family turned his back upon good business opportunities, to live simply and frugally they were chagrined that his name was not mentioned among them. When his mother died, he was not invited to the gathering where the family divided the assets.

The young man's father, Heinrich Tersteegen, died when the child was very small. He was a pious merchant and a member of the Reformed Church. Letters found after his death, revealed that he had been in touch with the spiritual movement, gathering momentum at that time. Gerhard was born in Mohr in the valley of the Rhine in 1697, just six years prior to the advent of John Wesley into Epworth Rectory in England. Germany at the time of Tersteegen's birth, was still suffering from the devastation which resulted from the thirty years struggle between the Protestants and Catholics. Twelve million of her population had perished during this period of bloodshed. Whole villages had been pillaged and burned; fields and orchards lay waste. In Leipsig, in 1686, not a single Bible or New Testament could be found in any bookseller's shop.

The Reformed Church had come to be designated the "Deformed Church" and the Lutheran Church had succumbed to dead rites and ceremonies until those who sought to revive the spiritual life were accounted heretics.God had His witnesses, however, -- torches alight with divine fire, who were to illumine this darkness. Labardie, Spener, Hockmann and others sought to rouse the apathetic populace to a sense of need. They strove to transfer religion from the icy region of the head to the warmer clime of the heart, and went everywhere seeking to form a Church within the Church by instituting prayer meetings and Bible studies.

The messengers proclaimed four distinguishing doctrines:1. Self-renunciation - the complete giving up of self-will to the will of God.2. The continuous activity of the Spirit of God in all believers, and the intimate union possible between God and man.3. The worthlessness of all religion based upon fear or hope of reward.4. The essential equality of laity and clergy, though for the sake of order and discipline the organization of the church was necessary.

Mulheim (home of the mill) had been one of the centers from which this spiritual blessing had radiated. Labardie had taken up his residence here, and had laboured for its welfare. William Hoffman, a deeply spiritual young theological student, who was to influence Gerhard, also resided there. He favoured the cause of the Pietists and so was suspected by the churchmen who feared he would draw away members from the church.In the providence of God, Mulheim was to be the home of Gerhard for most of his life. But we must go back to the young man's early career in order to trace his footsteps thither.

For the rest of the biography see first comment

Gerhard Tersteegen's Sermons: Crumbs from the Master's table

For the complete Google books 'CRUMBS FROM THE MASTER'S TABLE' and 'THE QUIET WAY' cut and paste the website addresses below.



Friday, 4 May 2007

Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others Volume 1

Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others - Click Link Below for Index of hymns.