Tersteegen translating Guyon
Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon, Madame du Chesnoy (1648–1717).
Die Heilige Liebe Gottes und die Unheilige Naturliebe.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Jacob Schweitzer, 1828. (BRB0666)
Gerhard Tersteegen (1697–1767), the translator of this work by Guyon, was one of the foremost Pietist leaders of the German Reformed Church and one of Pietism’s greatest hymn writers. At the age of eighteen, while an apprentice merchant, Tersteegen came under the influence of Wilhelm Hoffman (1685–1745), a Quietist devoted to the teachings of French Catholic mystic Guyon and French Reformed mystic Pierre Poiret (1646–1719). In 1717 Tersteegen began to live as a hermit in response to a perceived special calling from God. A second mystical experience in 1724 convinced him to reenter society as a teacher and Pietist conventicle organizer. Although not a member of the clergy, Tersteegen devoted the last four decades of his life exclusively to religious writing, publishing, and public speaking.
Guyon’s theological work “The Holy Love of God and the Unholy Love of Nature” was translated into German by Tersteegen and published in Solingen, Germany in 1751. The Bridwell Library copy is the first North American edition of the text.