The Interperter

The Spirit breathes upon the Word

Author: William Cowper (1779)
Published in 258 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 The Spirit breathes upon the Word,
And brings the truth to sight;
Precepts and promises afford
A sanctifying light.

2 A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic, like the sun:
It gives a light to every age;
It gives, but borrows none.

3 The hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat;
His truths upon the nations rise:
They rise, but never set.

4 Let everlasting thanks be Thine
For such a bright display
As makes a world of darkness shine
With beams of heavenly day.

5 My soul rejoices to pursue
The steps of Him I love,
Till glory break upon my view
In brighter worlds above.


Source: Worship and Service Hymnal: For Church, School, and Home #155

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Hymns of the Christian Life #409

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #127

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The Book of Praise #506


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #657

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #145

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Worship and Service Hymnal #155

Include 252 pre-1979 instances
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