O Glorious Head, Thou livest now!
Let us Thy members share Thy life;
Canst Thou behold their need, nor bow
To raise Thy children from the strife
With self and sin, with death and dark distress,
That they may live to Thee in holiness?
Earth knows Thee not, but evermore
Thou liv'st in Paradise, in peace;
Oh fain my soul would thither soar,
Oh let me from the creatures cease:
Dead to the world, but to Thy spirit known,
I live to Thee, O Prince of life, alone.
Break through my bonds whate'er it cost,
What is not Thine within me slay,
Give me the lot I covet most,
To rise as Thou hast risen today.
I nought can do, a slave to death I pine,
Work Thou in me, O Power and Life Divine!
Work Thou in me, and heavenward guide
My thoughts and wishes, that my heart
Waver no more nor turn aside,
But fix for ever where Thou art.
Thou art not far from us; who loves Thee well,
While yet on earth in heaven with Thee may dwell.
Tersteegen, Gerhard, a pious and useful mystic of the eighteenth century, was born at Mörs, Germany, November 25, 1697. He was carefully educated in his childhood, and then apprenticed (1715) to his older brother, a shopkeeper. He was religiously inclined from his youth, and upon coming of age he secured a humble cottage near Mühlheim, where he led a life of seclusion and self-denial for many years. At about thirty years of age he began to exhort and preach in private and public gatherings. His influence became very great, such was his reputation for piety and his success in talking, preaching, and writing concerning spiritual religion. He wrote one hundred and eleven hymns, most of which appeared in his Spiritual Flower Garden (1731). He… Go to person page >
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >