864

Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Full Text

1 Holy Spirit, truth divine,
dawn upon this soul of mine;
Voice of God and inward light,
wake my spirit, clear my sight.

2 Holy Spirit, love divine,
glow within this heart of mine.
Kindle every high desire,
purify me with your fire.

3 Holy Spirit, power divine,
fill and nerve this will of mine.
Boldly may I always live,
bravely serve, and gladly give.

4 Holy Spirit, law divine,
reign within this soul of mine.
Be my law, and I shall be
firmly bound, forever free.

5 Holy Spirit, peace divine,
still this restless heart of mine.
Speak to calm this tossing sea,
grant me your tranquility.

6 Holy Spirit, joy divine,
gladden now this heart of mine.
In the desert ways I sing -
spring, O Living Water, spring!

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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Like "O Come, O Come, Immanuel" (328), this text is a catalog: it lists attributes of the Holy Spirit in successive stanzas. The text is a prayer that the application of the Spirit's attributes may result in more vibrant Christian living, which will then be manifest in discernment of God's will (st. 1), holiness and purity (st. 2), courageous servanthood (st. 3), obedience to God's rule (st. 4), peace and restfulness (st. 5), and the experience of joy (st. 6). The final stanza alludes to Numbers 21:17 ("song of the well") and to John 4:10 ("living water"). Note that this hymn addresses the Holy Spirit without any reference to the Trinity, a Unitarian position that should not, however, hamper its use.

 

Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

To be sure, baptism provides the assurance “that God, by grace, has forgiven our sins because of Christ’s blood poured out for us in his sacrifice on the cross” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70). But it also involves the calling that “more and more we become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, 
Question and Answer 70).

 

“Christ places baptism in the world as a seal of God’s covenant people, placing them in ministry” (Our Song of Hope, stanza 18). Consequently, “The Spirit calls all members to embrace God’s mission” (Our World Belong to God, paragraph 41). Our vocation is broad because Christ is Lord over all: “To follow this Lord is to serve him wherever we are without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 43). Our identity thus determines our vocation.

864

Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Acclamation and Petition
 
Holy Spirit of God, you bring light and splendor.
Dawn upon this soul of mine.
 
You kindle joy and love.
Glow within this heart of mine.
 
You are alive with the power of God.
Fill and nerve this will of mine.
 
You inspire God’s word and law.
Reign within this soul of mine for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
864

Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Tune Information

Name
TEBBEN
Key
D Major
Meter
7.7.7.7

Recordings

864

Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Hymn Story/Background

Samuel Longfellow wrote this text with the heading "Prayer for Inspiration." It was published in the Unitarian hymnal Hymns of the Spirit in 1864.
 
Like "Take My Life and Let It Be," this text is a catalog: it lists attributes of the Holy Spirit in successive stanzas. The text is a prayer that the application of the Spirit's attributes may result in more vibrant Christian living, which will then be manifest in discernment of God's will (st. 1), holiness and purity (st. 2), courageous servanthood (st. 3), obedience to God's rule (st. 4), peace and restfulness (st. 5), and the experience of joy (st. 6). The final stanza alludes to Numbers 21:17 ("song of the well") and to John 4:10 ("living water"). Note that this hymn addresses the Holy Spirit without any reference to the Trinity, a Unitarian position that should not, however, hamper its use.
 
Timothy L. Hoekman composed TEBBEN in 1979 for the text "Take My Life and Let It Be", and it was first sung by the Ann Arbor (MI) Christian Reformed Church on May 13, 1979. Hoekman dedicated the tune to his grandfather on his mother's side, Kasjen Tebben, who was a Christian Reformed minister for fifty-nine years.
 
TEBBEN consists of four phrases with connecting harmonic links from one phrase to the next. This haunting tune may be sung in unison, but is particularly beautiful sung in harmony, especially when sung in two long flowing lines with a sustained tempo.
 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Samuel Longfellow (b. Portland, ME, 1819; d. Portland, 1892) is not as famous as his brother, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, about whom he wrote a biography that was published in 1886. In his time, however, Samuel was well known as a Unitarian preacher and hymn writer. Educated at Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School, he became a minister in 1848 and served Unitarian congregations in Fall River, Massachusetts (1848-1851), Brooklyn, New York (1853-1860), and Germantown, Pennsylvania (1860-1883). With Samuel Johnson he compiled two hymnals: A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (1846) and Hymns of the Spirit (1864). He also published a number of his hymn texts in A Book of Hymns and Tunes (1860).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Timothy L. Hoekman (b. Racine, WI, 1954) received his education at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, Maryland; and the University of Michigan (D.MA). From 1982 to 1984 he taught at East Carolina University and since 1984 has been a professor of vocal coaching and accompanying at Florida State University, Tallahassee. He is also artistic director for the South Georgia Opera Company and assistant conductor and vocal coach for the Glimmerglass Opera Company, Cooperstown, New York. His published work includes Seven Housman Songs (1988).
— Bert Polman
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