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Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart

Representative Text

1 Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart,
wean it from sin, through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as you are,
and make me love you as I ought to love.

2 I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
no sudden rending of the veil of clay,
no angel visitant, no opening skies;
but take the dimness of my soul away.

3 Did you not bid us love you, God and King,
love you with all our heart and strength and mind?
I see the cross there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek you and O let me find!

4 Teach me to feel that you are always nigh;
teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
to check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
teach me the patience of unceasing prayer.

5 Teach me to love you as your angels love,
one holy passion filling all my frame:
the fullness of the heaven-descended Dove;
my heart an altar, and your love the flame.

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Author: George Croly

Croly, George, LL.D., born in Dublin, Aug. 17, 1780, and educated at the Dublin University (M.A. 1804, LL.D. 1831). After taking Holy Orders, he laboured in Ireland till about 1810, when he took up his residence in London, and devoted himself to literature. In 1835 he succeeded to the united benefices of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, and St. Benet Sherehog, retaining the same till his death, which occurred suddenly in the public street, Holborn, Nov. 24, 1860. His prose publications, in addition to contributions to Blackwood's Magazine, were numerous, and dealt with biographical, historical, and scriptural subjects. His hymns were given in his— Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship. Written and compiled by the Rev. George Croly, LL.D. London… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Spirit of God, descend upon my heart
Title: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
Author: George Croly (1854)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Songs of Illumination


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 51:10-12, Rom. 8:26, Eph. 3:16
st. 2 = Luke 11:13
st. 3 = Matt. 22:37
st. 4 = Ezek. 36:27
st. 5 = Rom. 5:5

This hymn is an intense, personal prayer for the working of the Holy Spirit (st. 1), for illumination (st. 2), for more fervent love for Christ (st. 3), for greater holiness in our walk with the Lord (st. 4), and for the fullness of the Spirit (st. 5). The first line was changed from "Spirit of God, descend upon my heart" to "Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart."

This text was ascribed posthumously to George Croly (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1780; d. Holborn, London, England, 1860) when it was published in Charles Rogers's Lyra Britannica (1867). Croly was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After serving in Irish Anglican churches from 1804-1810, he moved to London and began a successful literary career as poet, novelist, conservative journalist, and editor of The Universal Review. In 1835 he returned to pastoral work and served a poor parish in London, where he became a very popular preacher. Croly published a number of his hymns in a collection he edited, Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854).

Liturgical Use:
Pentecost; worship services at other times of the year because anytime is renewal time!

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988


Spirit of God! descend upon my heart. G. Croly. [Holiness Desired.] From his Psalms & Hymns, 1854.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte's "Abide with Me" (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins's Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal tow…

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