Breathe on me, breath of God

Breathe on me, breath of God. Edwin Hatch* (1835-1889). This hymn began life as a poem in Hatch’s privately printed volume, Between Doubt and Prayer (1878). It was later published by his widow in Towards Fields of Light (1890), entitled ‘Spiritus Dei’; it had earlier been included in Henry Allon’s The Congregational Psalmist Hymnal (1886). It has been widely sung ever since. The hymn stands as a prayerful meditation on John 3:3-8, where Christ, speaking to Nicodemus, identifies the relationship that exists between the creating breath of God (Genesis 2:7) and the breath of the Holy Spirit in the new creation. In verse 3 line 2 Allon’s hymnal had ‘Till I am wholly Thine’, which is used...

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