Thomas Cotterill was born in 1779; studied at S. John's College, Cambridge, graduating M.A.; ordained in 1806, and enterred upon parochial work at Tutbury; afterwards removed to Lane End, where he remained for nine years among the Potteries; in 1817, became perpetual Curate of S. Paul's, Sheffield. He died in 1823. He was the author of several books; among them, "A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use, adapted to the Services of the Church of England." In the preparation of this collection (the 8th ed., 1819), he had the assistance of Montgomery, who in this work did what he condemned in others, viz., altering and remodeling other authors' hymns.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872.… Go to person page >
Eternal Spirit, Source of truth. T. Cotterill. [Assurance of Salvation desired.] Appeared in his Selection of Psalms & Hymns, &c, 1810, No. 66, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "For a well grounded hope of Salvation," stanza ii. being based on J. Hart's "Bless'd Spirit of truth, Eternal God" (1759), stanza ii. It was repeated in all subsequent editions of his Selection. In modern hymn-books it usually reads, "Eternal Spirit, God of truth," as in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872. In this form it is in extensive use in America. Its use in Great Britain is limited. Stanza iv. of this hymn is stanza iv. of the cento “Spirit of Truth, Thy grace impart," q.v.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)