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Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove

Representative Text

1 Come, gracious Spirit, heav'nly Dove,
With light and comfort from above;
Be Thou our guardian, Thou our guide,
O'er ev'ry thought and step preside.

2 The light of truth to us display,
And make us know and choose Thy way;
Plant holy fear in ev'ry heart,
That we from Thee may ne'er depart.

3 Lead us to Christ, the living Way,
Nor let us from His precepts stray;
Lead us to holiness, the road
That we must take to dwell with God.

4 Lead us to heav'n, that we may share
Fullness of joy for ever there;
Lead us to God, our eternal rest,
To be with Him forever blest.

Amen.

Source: Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #224

Author: Simon Browne

Simon Browne was born at Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire, about 1680. He began to preach as an "Independent" before he was twenty years of age, and was soon after settled at Portsmouth. In 1716, he became pastor in London. In 1723, he met with some misfortunes, which preyed upon his mind, and produced that singular case of monomania, recorded in the text-books of Mental Philosophy; he thought that God had "annihilated in him the thinking substance, and utterly divested him of consciousness." "Notwithstanding," says Toplady, "instead of having no soul, he wrote, reasoned, and prayed as if he had two." He died in 1732. His publications number twenty-three, of which some are still in repute. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins,… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove, With light and comfort from above
Title: Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove
Author: Simon Browne (1720)
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Source: Ash and Evans, 1769
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove, My sinful maladies remove. S.. Browne. [Whitsuntide.] Few hymns in the English language have been subjected to so many alterations and changes as this, which according to the author's title, concerns "The Soul giving itself up to the Conduct and Influence of the Holy Spirit." An enumeration of all these changes would tend to increase rather than to lessen the complications which surround the various texts in modern hymnals. The most that can be done will be to give tho original text, and then to indicate the sources of the important changes in common use: 1. The hymn appeared in S. Browne's Hymns & Spiritual Songs, 1720, Bk. i., No. 131, pp. 173,174, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, as follows:—
"Come, Holy Spirit, heav'nly Dove, My sinful maladies remove; Be Thou my light, be Thou my guide, O'er every thought and step preside. "The light of truth to me display, That I may know and chuse my way; Plant holy fear within mine heart, That I from God may ne'er depart. “Conduct me safe, conduct me far From every sin and hurtful snare; Lead me to God, my final rest, In His enjoyment to be blest. "Lead me to Christ, the living way, Nor let me from his pastures stray; Lead me to heav'n, the seat of bliss, Where pleasure in perfection is. "Lead me to holiness, the road That I must take to dwell with God; Lead to Thy word, that rules must give, And sure directions how to live. "Lead me to means of grace, where I May own my wants, and seek supply; Lead to Thyself, the spring from whence To fetch all quick'ning influence. "Thus I, conducted still by Thee, Of God a child beloved shall be; Here to His family pertain, Hereafter with Him ever reign."
2. In 1769 Ash and Evans published in their Bristol Collection, as No. 161, the following version:
"Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, With light and comfort from, above; Be Thou our Guardian, Thou our Guide, O'er every Thought and Step preside. "Conduct us safe, conduct us far From every Sin and hurtful Snare; Lead to Thy Word that Rules must give, And teach us Lessons how to live. "The Light of Truth to us display, And make us know and choose Thy Way; Plant holy Fear in every Heart, That we from God may ne'er depart. "Lead us to Holiness, the Road, That we must take to dwell with God; Lead us to Christ, the living Way, Nor let us from His pastures stray. "Lead us to God, our final Rest, In His enjoyment to be bless'd; Lead us to Heaven, the Seat of Bliss, Where Pleasure in Perfection is. B."
3. This version was included in Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 2nd ed., edited by Walter Row, 1787, No. 395, with the following alterations: Stanza i., l. 1, "Come gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove," Stanza ii., 1. 3, Lead to Thy word; for that must give. This version was again repeated with minor changes, including "precepts" for "pastures," in Cotterill’s Selection, 1819, and others. 4. The next change of importance came with Hall's Mitre, 1836, No. 79, in which the last stanza reads:—
“Lead us to God, our only rest, To be with Him for ever blest; Lead us to heaven that we may share, Fulness of joy for ever there."
5. In Mercer, 1864, this verse is transposed as:—
"Lead us to heaven, that we may share Fulness of joy for ever there; Lead us to God, our final rest, To be with Him for ever blest."
6. On comparing the texts of modern collections with these details we find that (1) the original is represented in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise Hymnal, 1867; and Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872; (2) the Ash & Evans text as in tho Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858-80, with "gracious" for "holy"; (3) the interwoven text of Browne, Ash & Evans, Toplady, and Hall, as in the Hymnal Companion, with "final rest" for "only rest;" (4) the Browne, Ash & Evans, Toplady, Cotterill, and Mercer text, Oxford ed. of Mercer, No. 228; and, through the same source, the Hymnary, 1872, and Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1875, &c. The American collections follow in the same tracks, and are generally reproductions of the English text. Two centos remain to be noticed, that in Thring's Collection, 1882, where stanza vi. of the original is rewritten by the editor, and the arrangement, "Come gracious Spirit, gift of love," which is found in the Sunday School Union Hymn Book, and other collections for children. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 22 of 22)

Ambassador Hymnal #236

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #122

Christian Science Hymnal Supplement #436

Christian Science Hymnal #459

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #295

Text

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #587

Page Scan

Common Praise (1998) #644

Page Scan

Common Praise #176

TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #116

TextAudioPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Worship #404

Text

Hymnal 1982 #512

Hymnal #303

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #153

Text

Hymns for a Pilgrim People #224

Text

Lutheran Worship #161

Audio

Small Church Music #6196

The Baptist Hymnal #202

TextScore

The Cyber Hymnal #792

The Harmonia Sacra #75

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #347

Text

The Song Book of the Salvation Army #190

Text

Together in Song #402

Include 525 pre-1979 instances
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