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Eternal Spirit, Source of truth

Author: Thomas Cotterill

Thomas Cotterill (b. Cannock, Staffordshire, England, 1779; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1823) studied at St. John's College, Cambridge, England, and became an Anglican clergyman. A central figure in the dispute about the propriety of singing hymns, Cotterill published a popular collection of hymns (including many of his own as well as alterations of other hymns), Selection of Psalms and Hymns in 1810. But when he tried to introduce a later edition of this book in Sheffield in 1819, his congregation protested. Many believed strongly that the Church of England should maintain its tradition of exclusive psalm singing. In a church court the Archbishop of York and Cotterill reached a compromise: the later edition of Selection was withdrawn… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Eternal Spirit, Source of truth
Author: Thomas Cotterill
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Eternal Spirit, Source of truth. T. Cotterill. [Assurance of Salvation desired.] Appeared in his Selection of Psalms & Hymns, &c, 1810, No. 66, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "For a well grounded hope of Salvation," stanza ii. being based on J. Hart's "Bless'd Spirit of truth, Eternal God" (1759), stanza ii. It was repeated in all subsequent editions of his Selection. In modern hymn-books it usually reads, "Eternal Spirit, God of truth," as in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872. In this form it is in extensive use in America. Its use in Great Britain is limited. Stanza iv. of this hymn is stanza iv. of the cento “Spirit of Truth, Thy grace impart," q.v.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Lowell Mason (PHH 96) adapted AZMON from a melody composed by Carl G. Gläser in 1828. Mason published a duple-meter version in his Modern Psalmist (1839) but changed it to triple meter in his later publications. Mason used (often obscure) biblical names for his tune titles; Azmon, a city south of C…

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Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
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Hymns and Songs of Praise for Public and Social Worship #361

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Songs of Praise #102

Songs of the Spirit #d128

Page Scan

The Clifton Chapel Collection of "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" #1047

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