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O Spirit of the Living God

Representative Text

1 O Spirit of the living God,
in all the fullness of your grace,
wherever human feet have trod,
descend upon our fallen race.

2 Give tongues of fire and hearts of love
to preach the reconciling word;
anoint with power from heaven above
whenever gospel truth is heard.

3 Let darkness turn to radiant light,
confusion vanish from your path;
those who are weak inspire with might:
let mercy triumph over wrath!

4 O Spirit of our God, prepare
the whole wide world the Lord to meet;
breathe out new life, like morning air,
till hearts of stone begin to beat.

5 Baptize the nations; far and near
the triumphs of the cross record;
till Christ in glory shall appear
and every race declare him Lord! Amen.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #257

Author: James Montgomery

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… Go to person page >


O Spirit of the living God. J. Montgomery. [For Missions.] Written in 1823 "to be sung at the Public Meeting of the Auxiliary Missionary Society for the West Biding of Yorkshire, to be sung in Salem Chapel, Leeds, June 4, 1823." It was first printed on a fly-sheet for that meeting, and again in the Evangelical Magazine in the following August. After a careful and most successful revision it was published by Montgomery in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 552, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "The Spirit accompanying the Word of God; " and again in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 257. It is usually given in an abridged form; but the text is seldom altered. As a hymn on behalf of Missions it has great merit, and is in extensive use in all English-speaking countries. The original text is given in the Churchman's Shilling Magazine, 1877.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Also known as: ST. PHILIPS BENEDICTION GRANTON NAZARETH MELCOMBE was first used as an anonymous chant tune (with figured bass) in the Roman Catholic Mass and was published in 1782 in An Essay on the Church Plain Chant. It was first ascribed to Samuel Webbe (the elder; b. London, England, 1740; d.…

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The original version of WINCHESTER NEW appeared in Musikalisches Handbuch der geistlichen Melodien, published in Hamburg, Germany, in 1690 by Georg Wittwe. It was set to the text “Wer nur den lieben Gott” (see 446). An expanded version of the tune was a setting for "Dir, dir Jehova" (see 203) in…

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The Cyber Hymnal #5338
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 15 of 15)

Ancient and Modern #257

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #306

TextPage Scan

Common Praise (1998) #40

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Common Praise #190

Hymns and Psalms #322a

Hymns and Psalms #322b


Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #513

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #378


Small Church Music #1108

Page Scan

The Book of Praise #401


The Cyber Hymnal #5338


The Hymnal 1982 #531

TextPage Scan

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #639


Together in Song #405

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #337

Include 345 pre-1979 instances
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