422. Eternal Spirit, God of Truth

1 Eternal Spirit, God of truth,
our contrite hearts inspire;
ignite a flame of heavenly love
and feed the pure desire.
O come to soothe the sorrowing mind
with guilt and fear oppressed;
O come to bid the dying live
and give the weary rest.

2 Subdue the power of every sin
and make our hearts your throne,
that we in singleness of heart
may worship God alone.
Then with our spirits witness bear,
O Spirit of our God,
that we are children of the Lord,
redeemed through Christ's own blood.

Text Information
First Line: Eternal Spirit, God of truth
Title: Eternal Spirit, God of Truth
Author: Thomas Cotterill (1810, alt.)
Meter: CMD
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Commitment & Dedication; Pentecost and Holy Spirit; Holy Spirit (3 more...)
Tune Information
Adapter and Harmonist: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906)
Meter: CMD
Key: F Major
Source: English
Copyright: By permission of Oxford University Press

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 51:10-12, 17
st. 2 = Rom. 8:9-17

Originally entitled "For a well-grounded hope of salvation," this text by Thomas Cotterill (PHH 409) was published in Coterill’s Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1810). The text's original first line began "Eternal Spirit, source of truth."

Stanza 1 is a prayer for renewal by the Holy Spirit (see PHH 420); stanza 2 continue this prayer with allusions to Romans 8:9-17.

Liturgical Use
Pentecost; as a prayer for comfort at many other services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

FOREST GREEN is an English folk tune associated with the ballad "The Ploughboy's Dream." Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) turned FOREST GREEN into a hymn tune for The English Hymnal (1906), using it as a setting for "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

Shaped in rounded bar form (AABA), FOREST GREEN has the cheerful characteristics of folk tunes. Those characteristics help to support the humanness of this text: We are to be the children (folk) of God! Sing in unison or in harmony, but given the tune's many eighth notes, do not rush. Congregations used to certain rhythmic patterns in hymn tunes will be challenged by the new rhythms at the transition from line 3 to line 4; accompanists should give leadership there.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

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