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June 13, 2005

82R Thou Hidden Love of God

Original Title: "Thou Hidden Love of God," Gerhard Tersteegen (1729) trans. John Wesley (1738) GOTTLOB, ES GEHT,, German Chorale, harm. J. S. Bach (1747); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2008), same hymn tune.


1. Thou hid-den love of God, whose height,
Whose depth un-fath-omed no one knows,
I see from far thy beau-teous light,
In-ly I sigh for thy re-pose;
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in thee.

2. Thy se-cret voice in-vites me still
The sweet-ness of thy yoke to prove;
And fain I would: but though my will
Seems fixed, yet wide my pas-sions rove;
Yet hind-ranc-es strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

3. 'Tis mer-cy all, that thou hast brought
My mind to seek true peace in thee;
Yet, while I seek but find thee not,
No peace my wand-'ring soul shall see.
Oh, when shall all my wand-'rings end,
And all my steps to thee-ward tend?

4. O Love, thy sove-reign aid im-part,
To save me from low-thought-ed care;
Chase this self-will through all my heart,
Through all its la-tent maz-es there;
Make me thy du-teous child, that I
Cease-less may Ab-ba, Ab-ba, cry!

5. Each mo-ment draw from earth a-way
My heart which low-ly waits thy call;
Speak to my in-most soul and say
'I am thy Love, thy God, thy All.'
To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
To taste thy love, be all my choice.

PDF File
Noteworthy Composer File

Psalm 5:3 (NRSV), "O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch;" Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God!;" Psalm 108:4, "For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds;" Psalm 131:2, Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy;" Matthew 14:23, [H]e went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone;" Mark 1:35; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Ephesians 5:15-20.

All materials may be reproduced for non-profit local and congregational use. We request notification of use, in addition to notification of any changes made when materials are used so we might benefit from the insight of others. Any materials used or reproduced in any way must bear the notation "(c) 2008 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."


A PDF file can be prepared in a larger font should users wish to have a printout extend to two pages upon request. Differences from Hymns of the Spirit Two are truly minimal; in the first verse, the original reads "no man know;" in the third verse, it reads "her peace in thee;" in the fourth verse, "Abba, Father, cry!" I considered changing the third versed to "Abba, Amma, cry!," but rejected this in favor of something more "historically" accurate. Whatever gendered references there are to the divine here are subtle, and one can only hope more than acceptable given their provenance. In terms of balance, the "hidden love of God" and "thy secret voice" are considerably feminine images by way of contrast.

The Webmaster generally makes inquiry to anyone who may wish to undertake a translation of Gerhard Tersteegen's hymn, entitled "Verborgne Gottesliebe du," into something more (post-)modern while maintaining the integrity of the work.

The tune here, GOTTLOB, ES GEHT, appears to be related to an earlier hymn, GOTTLOB ES GEHT NUNMEHR ZU ENDE, The former repeats the first eight measures of the later. The score of the hymn tune here is in F-sharp while in Hymns of the Spirit Two in appears in B-flat and in a slightly simpler rhythm.

Posted by rehurst at June 13, 2005 09:49 PM


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