The Effusion of the Spirit; or the Success of the Gospel

Great was the day, the joy was great

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 105 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Great was the day, the joy was great,
When the divine disciples met;
While on their heads the Spirit came,
And sat like tongues of cloven flame.

2 What gifts, what miracles he gave!
And pow'r to kill, and pow'r to save!
Furnish'd their tongues with wondrous words,
Instead of shields, and spears, and swords.

3 Nations, the learned and the rude,
Were by these heav'nly arms subdu'd,
The heathens saw thy glory, Lord!
And, wond'ring, bless'd thy gracious word.

4 Come the great day, the glorious hour,
When all shall feel thy saving pow'r,
And the whole race of man confess
The beauty of thy holiness!

Source: A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #313

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Great was the day, the joy was great
Title: The Effusion of the Spirit; or the Success of the Gospel
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Great was the day, the joy was great. I. Watts. [Whitsuntide—Missions.] From his Hymns & Sacred Songs, 1709, Book ii., No. 144, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, into a few modern collections. In the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858, No. 287, the lines:—

"Go, and assert your Saviour's cause;
Go, spread the mystery of His Cross,"

are changed to:—

" Go, and your Saviour's Cross proclaim:
Go, teach all nations in my Name."

This change is not generally adopted.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Acade…

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The Cyber Hymnal #11223
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The Cyber Hymnal #11223

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