Spirit of Mercy, Truth, and Love

Representative Text

1 Spirit of mercy, truth, and love,
O shed thine influence from above,
and still from age to age convey
the wonders of this sacred day.

2 In every clime, by every tongue,
be God's surpassing glory sung;
let all the listening earth be taught
the acts our great Redeemer wrought.

3 Unfailing comfort, heavenly guide,
still o'er thy holy church preside;
still let us all thy blessings prove,
Spirit of mercy, truth, and love.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #262

Author: Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Spirit of mercy, truth, and love
Title: Spirit of Mercy, Truth, and Love
Author: Anonymous (1774)
Source: Foundling Hospital Collection, 1774
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Spirit of mercy, truth, and love. [Whitsuntide.] The earliest date to which this hymn has been traced is 1774, when it appeared in the Collection published for use in the Foundling Hospital, London, where it is given as follows:—

"Spirit of mercy, truth, and love!
Shed Thy sweet influence from above,
And still from age to age convey
The wonders of this sacred day.

”In ev'ry clime, by ev'ry tongue,
Be God's amazing glory sung;
Through all the list'ning earth be taught
The acts our ris'n Redeemer wrought.

"Unfailing Comfort! Heav'nly Guide!
Still o'er Thy favour'd church preside;
Still may mankind Thy blessings prove,
Spirit of mercy, truth, and love."

From the Foundling Collection it passed into those of Cotterill, Bickersteth, Elliott, Hall, and other compilers, both old and new. Several, who copied from R. W. Kyle's Collection, 1846, have attributed it to him. It was in print, however, before Kyle was born. Some of the slight changes in the text found in modern hymnals are from Cotterill's Selection, 1819. In the Anglican Hymn Book, 1868, it is altered to "Blest Source of mercy, truth, and love."

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Also known as: ST. PHILIPS BENEDICTION GRANTON NAZARETH MELCOMBE was first used as an anonymous chant tune (with figured bass) in the Roman Catholic Mass and was published in 1782 in An Essay on the Church Plain Chant. It was first ascribed to Samuel Webbe (the elder; b. London, England, 1740; d.…

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WARRINGTON was composed by Ralph Harrison (b. Chinley, Derbyshire, England, 1748; d. Manchester, Lancashire, England, 1810) and published in his collection of psalm tunes, Sacred Harmony (1784). The tune's rising inflections help to accent words such as erotic (probably the only time this word has b…

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Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Acade…

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The Cyber Hymnal #6201
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Instances (1 - 10 of 10)

Ancient and Modern #262

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Common Praise #197

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Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #613a


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #613b

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CPWI Hymnal #205

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #89

Hymns Old and New #453


The Cyber Hymnal #6201


The Hymnal 1982 #229

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The New English Hymnal #143

Include 86 pre-1979 instances
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