Eternal Spirit, God of Truth

Representative Text

1 Eternal Spirit, God of truth,
our contrite hearts inspire;
ignite a flame of heav'nly love,
and feed the pure desire.
'Tis thine to soothe the sorr'wing mind,
with guilt and fear oppressed;
'tis thine to bid the dying live,
and give the weary rest.

2 Subdue the pow'r of ev'ry sin,
whate'er that sin may be,
that we, in singleness of heart,
may worship only thee.
Then with our spirit witness bear
that we are sons of God,
redeemed from sin and death and hell
thro' Christ's atoning blood.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #394

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 In a church court the Archbishop of York and Cotterill reached a compromise: the later edition of Selection was withdrawn… Go to person page 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, God of Truth
Author: Thomas Cotterill (1810)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 51:10-12, 17
st. 2 = Rom. 8:9-17

Originally entitled "For a well-grounded hope of salvation," this text by Thomas Cotterill (PHH 409) was published in Coterill’s Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1810). The text's original first line began "Eternal Spirit, source of truth."

Stanza 1 is a prayer for renewal by the Holy Spirit (see PHH 420); stanza 2 continue this prayer with allusions to Romans 8:9-17.

Liturgical Use
Pentecost; as a prayer for comfort at many other services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


SARAH (Gabriel)


PRECIOUS LORD, the tune Thomas Dorsey used for his most beloved hymn, "Precious Lord, take my hand", is an adaptation of MAITLAND. Sometimes Dorsey is shown as the composer, sometimes as the arranger or adapter the tune. MAITLAND is often attributed to Allen, but the earliest known sources (H.W. Bee…

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BALERMA (Barthélemon)



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The Cyber Hymnal #1376
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Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
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The Cyber Hymnal #1376

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #394

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