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419. Spirit of God, Who Dwells within My Heart

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1 Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart,
wean it from sin, through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as you are,
and make me love you as I ought to love.

2 I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
no sudden rending of the veil of clay,
no angel visitant, no opening skies;
but take the dimness of my soul away.

3 Did you not bid us love you, God and King,
love you with all our heart and strength and mind?
I see the cross there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek you and O let me find!

4 Teach me to feel that you are always nigh;
teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
to check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
teach me the patience of unceasing prayer.

5 Teach me to love you as your angels love,
one holy passion filling all my frame:
the fullness of the heaven-descended Dove;
my heart an altar, and your love the flame.

Text Information
First Line: Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart
Title: Spirit of God, Who Dwells within My Heart
Author: George Croly (1867, alt.)
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Topic: Love: Our Love to God; Pentecost and Holy Spirit; Holy Spirit (1 more...)
Tune Information
Name: MORECAMBE
Composer: Frederick C. Atkinson (1870)
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Key: B♭ Major


Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 51:10-12, Rom. 8:26, Eph. 3:16
st. 2 = Luke 11:13
st. 3 = Matt. 22:37
st. 4 = Ezek. 36:27
st. 5 = Rom. 5:5

This hymn is an intense, personal prayer for the working of the Holy Spirit (st. 1), for illumination (st. 2), for more fervent love for Christ (st. 3), for greater holiness in our walk with the Lord (st. 4), and for the fullness of the Spirit (st. 5). The first line was changed from "Spirit of God, descend upon my heart" to "Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart."

This text was ascribed posthumously to George Croly (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1780; d. Holborn, London, England, 1860) when it was published in Charles Rogers's Lyra Britannica (1867). Croly was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After serving in Irish Anglican churches from 1804-1810, he moved to London and began a successful literary career as poet, novelist, conservative journalist, and editor of The Universal Review. In 1835 he returned to pastoral work and served a poor parish in London, where he became a very popular preacher. Croly published a number of his hymns in a collection he edited, Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854).

Liturgical Use:
Pentecost; worship services at other times of the year because anytime is renewal time!

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte's "Abide with Me" (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins's Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal town on Morecambe Bay near Lancaster, England, a town not far from Bradford, where Atkinson served as organist.

As a boy Atkinson was a chorister and assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral. In 1867 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge and then served as organist and choirmaster in St. Luke's Church, Manningham, Bradford. He also held that position at Norwich Cathedral and at St. Mary's Parish Church in Lewisham. Atkinson wrote hymn tunes, anthems, and complete Anglican services, as well as songs and piano pieces.

MORECAMBE has a good melodic contour and a strong rise to its climax but then concludes rather weakly. (See comments on the generic group of tunes that includes MORECAMBE at PHH 276.) Try singing this fervent prayer to MORESTEAD (295), a tune with a very different character that will shed new light on the text.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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