Kommt, Kinder, lasst uns gehen. G. Tersteegen. [Christian Pilgrimage.] First published in the 3rd ed., 1738, of his Geistliches Blumengartlein, Bk. iii. No. 62, in 19 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled "Hymn of Encouragement for Pilgrims." Repeated in full in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 322; and, abridged, in many other German collections. Illustrating this hymn, Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 564, says that Tersteegen
“once said to some of his friends, who visited him on his birthday: ‘My friends, if I should die today I would only have three words to say to you as a last farewell: 1. Place your whole confidence on the grace of God in Christ Jesus; 2. Love one another; 3. Watch and pray!' This is the quintessence of this noble travelling song for Christian pilgrims and strangers here below (1 St. Peter ii. 11, 12), whose course is a march through the Desert to Canaan. The whole life of Tersteegen is proof of the genuineness and sincerity of the spirit that breathes throughout this hymn."
Translations in common use:—
1. Come, brothers, let us onward. A translation of stanzas i., ii., v., x., xiv., xvii., xviii., by Mrs. Findlater, in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1st Ser., 1854, p. 51 (1884, p. 52). The translations of stanzas i., ii., xvii., xviii., were included in J. A. Johnston's English Hymnal (ed. 1861, No. 192).
2. Come, brethren, let us go. A good translation of stanzas i., ii., vi. xi., xii., xiv.-xix., by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1st Ser., 1855, p. 161. A cento in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, from the translations of stanzas i., xi., xvi., xvii., is included in the Parish Hymn Book, 1863 and 1875. Centos beginning with the translation of stanza xi., "Come, children, let us go," are in the English Presbyterian Psalms & Hymns, 1867, and the Congregational School Hymnal, 1881.
Other translations are, (1) "Come, children! on; this way," by Miss Warner, 1858, p. 224. (2) "Come, children, let's be going," in the Christian Examiner, Boston, U. S., Sept., 1860, p. 252. (3) "Come, brethren, let us hurry," in L. Rehfuess's Church at Sea, 1863, p. 99.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)