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Background

The Methodist Hymn-Book Illustrated
John Telford, 1909

‘Gott ist gegenwärtig’ is, in Tersteegen’s Geistliches Blumengärtlein, 1729, entitled ‘Remembrance of the glorious and delightful presence of God.’ The translation of Tersteegen’s verses, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, by Frederick William Foster and John Miller is in the Moravian Hymn-book, 1789.

William Mercer, in his Church Psalter and Hymn-book, 1854, omitted ver. 4 of Foster and Miller’s translation, retained thirteen lines, slightly altered five, and rewrote the rest, ‘with little regard to the German.’


‘Gott ist gegenwärtig’ is the most popular of his hymns, and is ‘a poetical reflex of his inner nature, a beautiful expression of the characteristics of his peculiar vein of mystical piety.’ Wesley’s translation is Hymn 653.

The translation as it appeared in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren, edited by John Swertner, will show what changes were made by William Mercer.

God reveals His presence,
Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him;
God is in His temple,
All in us keep silence,
And before Him bow with rev’rence:
Him alone,
God we own;
He’s our Lord and Savior;
Praise His name for ever.

God reveals His presence,
Whom th’ angelic legions
Serve with awe in heav’nly regions:
Holy, holy, holy!
Sing the hosts of heaven;
Praise to God be ever given;
Condescend
To attend
Graciously, O Jesus!
To our songs and praises.

O majestic Being!
Were but soul and body
Thee to serve at all times ready.
Might we, like the angels,
Who behold Thy glory,
Deep abasèd sink before Thee,
And through grace
Be always,
In our whole demeanor,
To Thy praise and honor.

Grant us resignation,
And hearts ’fore Thee bowèd,
With Thy peace divine endowèd :
As a tender flower
Opens and inclineth
To the cheering sun which shineth:
So may we
Be from Thee
Rays of grace deriving,
And thereby be thriving.

Lord, come dwell within us,
Whilst on earth we tarry;
Make us Thy blest sanctuary.
O vouchsafe Thy presence;
Draw unto us nearer,
And reveal Thyself still clearer;
Us direct,
And protect;
Thus we in all places
Shall show forth Thy praises.
#HymnalShort NameTitleAuthorTuneComposerVerses
424Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, 1918CSB18God Himself Is PresentGerhard Tersteegen, 1729, Translation by Bishop Frederick W. Foster and William Mercer, 1789, alteredArnsbergRev. Joachim Neander’s Bundes-Lieder, 16803
043Church Hymnal (Ireland), 1891ICH95God Reveals His PresenceGerhard Tersteegen, 1727, Translation by Bishop Frederick W. Foster (1760-1835) and William Mercer (1811-1873)Gröningen (Gott ist gegenwärtig! Lasset uns anbeten)Rev. Joachim Neander (1650-1680)4
249Church Praise, 1907CP07God Reveals His PresenceGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Bishop Frederick W. Foster (1760-1835), alteredGröningen (Wunderbarer König, Herrscher von uns allen)Rev. Joachim Neander (1650-1680)4
022The Methodist Hymn-Book, 1904MHB04God Reveals His PresenceGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Bishop Frederick W. Foster and John Miller, 1789 from the Moravian Hymn-book, 1789ComptonSir George C. Martin, 19044
360The Presbyterian Book of Praise, 1897PBP97God Reveals His PresenceGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Bishop Frederick W. Foster (1760-1835) and John Miller, altered by William Mercer (1811-1873)ArnsbergRev. Joachim Neander (1650-1680)3
232aCongregational Hymnary, 1916CH16Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)DuraHenry J. Gauntlett (1805-1876)3
232bCongregational Hymnary, 1916CH16Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)Vater UnserGeistliche Lieder, 15393
047Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1878HME78Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)WavertreeWilliam Shore (1791-1877)3
391Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Edition, 1904HAM04Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreRev. John Wesley (1703-1791): from the German of Tersteegen (1697-1769)St. JeromeSir Francis H. Champneys (1848-1930)3
015Methodist Hymn and Tune Book, 1918MHT18Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)StellaEasy Hymn Tunes, 1851 (founded on an English Traditional Melody)5
637aThe English Hymnal, 1906TEH06Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)Old 117thMelody in the Genevan Psalter, 1551 (as given in the Scottish Psalter, 1635)2
637bThe English Hymnal, 1906TEH06Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)South CerneyW. H. Hadow2
653The Methodist Hymn-Book, 1904MHB04Lo! God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791) from Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739BaynardJosiah Booth, 18875
526Hymns Ancient and Modern, Standard Edition, 1922HAM22Lo! God Is Here: Let Us AdoreRev. John Wesley (1703-1791): from the German of Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769)St. JeromeSir Francis H. Champneys (1848-1930)3
112The Hymnal (Presbyterian), 1895THP95Lo! God Is Here: Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen, 1729, Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1739, altered and arrangedEllesmereAlexander R. Reinagle, 18684
114The Hymnal Revised (Presbyterian), 1911THR11Lo! God Is Here: Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen, 1729, Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1739, altered and arrangedPenitence“St. Alban’s Tune Book,” 18754
582The Presbyterian Hymnal, 1874TPH74Lo! God Is Here; Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1707-1788)Wareham (All Saints)William Knapp (1698-1768)3
460aChurch Hymns, 1903CH03Lo, God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)EllesmereAlexander R. Reinagle (1799-1877)4
460bChurch Hymns, 1903CH03Lo, God Is Here! Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)StirlingAnonymous4
147The Oxford Hymn Book, 1908OHB08Lo, God Is Here! Let Us AdoreRev. John Wesley (1703-1791)Vater unser im Himmelreich? Martin Luther (1483-1546), In Köphyl’s Strasburg Gesangbuch (1537), Harmonization by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)4
148The Church Hymnary, Twentieth Century Edition, 1900TCH05Lo, God Is Here, Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen, 1731, Translation by Rev. John Wesley, 1739GileadEtienne H. Mehul (1763-1817)3
494Church Hymnal (Ireland), 1891ICH95Lo, God Is Here: Let Us AdoreRev. John Wesley (1703-1791), from the GermanJesu, DomineSir Joseph Barnby (1838-1896)4
210The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer, Revised and Enlarged Edition, 1877THC80Lo, God Is Here: Let Us AdoreGerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)St. Paul’sSir John Goss (1800-1880)4
390The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer, Third Edition, 1890THC90Lo, God Is Here: Let Us AdoreFrom the German, Translation by Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791)St. JustinSir Joseph Barnby (1838-1896)4

The texts from any two of the above sources (assuming two or more exist) can be selected to appear below side by side by selecting the source name from the drop-down lists. The Short Name abbreviations following the titles are shown in the table above:

1God reveals His presence:
Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple:
All within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence.
Him alone
God we own,
Him our God and Savior,
Praise His Name forever.
2God reveals His presence,
Hear the harps resounding,
See the crowds the throne surrounding;
Holy, holy, holy!
Hear the hymn ascending,
Angels, saints, their voices blending.
Bow Thine ear
To us here;
Hearken, O Lord Jesus,
To our meaner praises.
3O Thou Fount of blessing,
Purify my spirit:
Trusting only in Thy merit.
Like the holy angels
Who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee.
Let Thy will
Ever still
Rule Thy church terrestrial,
As the hosts celestial.
4Jesus, dwell within me;
Whilst on earth I tarry,
Make me Thy blest sanctuary.
Then, on angel pinions,
Waft me to those regions,
Filled with bright seraphic legions.
May this hope
Bear me up
Till these eyes forever
Gaze on Thee, my Savior. Amen.
1God reveals His presence;
Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him;
God is in His temple;
All within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence
Him alone
God we own,
Him our God and Savior:
Praise His Name forever.
2God reveals His presence;
Hear the harps resounding,
See the crowds the throne surrounding:
“Holy, Holy, Holy,”
Hear the hymn ascending–
Angels, saints, their voices blending–
Bow Thine ear
To us here;
Hearken, O Lord Jesus,
To our meaner praises.
3O Thou Fount of blessing,
Purify our spirit,
Trusting only in Thy merit:
Like the holy angels
Who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee:
Let Thy will,
Ever still,
Rule Thy Church terrestrial,
As the hosts celestial.
4Jesus, condescending
To the meek and lowly
From Thy heaven, high and holy,
Make us now Thy Temple;
Waft us then to regions
Filled with bright seraphic legions:
May this hope
Bear us up,
Till these eyes forever
Gaze on Thee, our Savior. Amen.
BookReferenceBible Text
Genesis28:10-2210 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. 18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. 20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Genesis28:16And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Genesis28:17And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Genesis28:20-2220 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Psalm29:9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
Psalm42:2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm92:1,21 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
Psalm93:5Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.
Isaiah6:1-31 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Habakkuk2:20But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
Luke11:2And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Revelation5:8-128 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.