The Breath of God

Thou Breath from still eternity

Translator: Frances Bevan; Author: Gerhard Tersteegen (1769)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

Thou Breath from still eternity
Breathe o’er my spirit’s barren land—
The pine-tree and the myrtle-tree
Shall spring amidst the desert sand;
And where Thy living water flows
The waste shall blossom as the rose.

May I in will and deed and word
Obey Thee as a little child;
And keep me in Thy love, my Lord,
For ever holy, undefiled;
Within me teach, and strive, and pray,
Lest I should choose my own wild way.

O Spirit, Stream that by the Son
Is opened to us crystal pure,
Forth flowing from the heavenly Throne
To waiting hearts and spirits poor,
Athirst and weary do I sink
Beside Thy waters, there to drink.

My spirit turns to Thee and clings,
All else forsaking, unto Thee;
Forgetting all created things,
Remembering only “God in me.”
O living Stream; O gracious rain,
None wait for Thee, and wait in vain.

Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899

Translator: Frances Bevan

Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856. Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >

Author: Gerhard Tersteegen

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 >

Text Information

First Line: Thou Breath from still eternity
Title: The Breath of God
Author: Gerhard Tersteegen (1769)
Translator: Frances Bevan
Language: English