To the Holy Ghost

Representative Text

1 Stay, Thou long-suff’ring Spirit, stay,
Tho’ I have done Thee such despite;
Nor cast the sinner quite away,
Nor take Thine everlasting flight.

2 Tho’ I have most unfaithful been,
And long in vain Thy grace received;
Ten thousand times Thy goodness seen,
Ten thousand times Thy goodness grieved.

3 Yet O the mourning sinner spare,
In honor of my great High-Priest;
Nor in Thy righteous anger swear
T’exlude me from Thy people’s rest.

4 My weary soul, O God, release;
Uphold me with Thy gracious hand;
Guide me into Thy perfect peace,
And bring me to the promised land.

Source: Gloria Deo: a Collection of Hymns and Tunes for Public Worship in all Departments of the Church #283

Author: Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley, M.A. was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn-writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, Dec. 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with a home and board by his elder brother Samuel, then usher at the school, until 1721, when he was elected King's Scholar, and as such received his board and education free. In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepene… Go to person page >


Stay, Thou insulted Spirit, stay. C. Wesley. [Lent.] Published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, vol. i., No. 41, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. iv., p. 370.) It was included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 155, with the omission of stanzas vi., and the change of stanzas ii., 1. 4, from, "For forty long rebellious years" (the forty referred to his own age at the time), to "For many long," &c. The Wesleyan Hymn Book form of the text is in most of the Methodist collections, and a few others. Other forms of the text are:—(1) "Stay, injured, grieved, Spirit, stay," in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833, and later collections; and (2) "Stay, Thou long-suffering Spirit, stay," in the American Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878.

-- 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 #6340
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