Scripture Verse

If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. John 16:7


John B. Dykes (1823–1876)

Words: Har­ri­et Au­ber, Spi­rit of the Psalms 1829.

Music: St. Cuth­bert John B. Dykes, 1861 (🔊 pdf nwc). Dykes wrote the tune for these words.

Harriet Auber (1773–1862)

Auber was sit­ting in her bed­room one day, look­ing out the win­dow, me­di­tat­ing on a ser­mon she had heard that morn­ing, when an idea for a hymn po­em came to her. Not hav­ing pen or pa­per near­by, she took off her dia­mond ring and etched the vers­es on the win­dow.

The hymn was there for ma­ny years af­ter­ward, but un­for­tun­ate­ly, the pane was cut out and stol­en af­ter her death. Iron­ic­al­ly, the sub­ject of the hymn is the in­ner working of the Ho­ly Spi­rit, a work that is large­ly in­vi­si­ble, though we can see its out­ward ef­fects. An ethe­re­al mes­sage scratched on glass seems a fit­ting em­blem for it.


Our blest Re­deem­er, ere He breathed
His ten­der last fare­well,
A guide, a com­fort­er, be­queathed
With us to dwell.

He came in sem­blance of a dove,
With shel­tering wings out­spread,
The ho­ly balm of peace and love
On earth to shed.

He came in tongues of liv­ing flame
To teach, con­vince, sub­due,
All pow­er­ful as the wind He came
As view­less too.

He came sweet in­flu­ence to im­part,
A gra­cious, will­ing guest,
While He can find one hum­ble heart
Wherein to rest.

And His that gen­tle voice we hear,
Soft as the breath of ev­en,
That checks each fault, that calms each fear,
And speaks of Heav’n.

And ev­ery vir­tue we pos­sess,
And ev­ery con­quest won,
And ev­ery thought of ho­liness,
Are His alone.

Spirit of pu­ri­ty and grace,
Our weak­ness, pi­ty­ing, see:
O make our hearts Thy dwell­ing place
And wor­thi­er Thee.