Saturday, November 24, 2012

Breathe On Me, Breathe of God

SONG WRITER: Edwin Hatch                    

MUSIC WRITER: Robert Jackson                     

HYMN HISTORY: Edwin Hatch, who wrote this hymn, was a great scholar.  An esteemed member of the Oxford University faculty, he became widely known for his Brampton Lectures, which were translated into German by the great Adolph von Harnack, a great German scholar.  Lectures of that sort tend to be challenging to read –– tough sledding, as they say. But when it came to expressing his faith in ways that would speak to the ordinary person, nobody has done it better than Edwin Hatch did with this hymn, "Breathe on Me, Breath of God." 

This hymn is a prayer.  The first line of each stanza is "Breathe on Me, Breath of God."  That phrase reminds us of the creation in which God "formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7).  It reminds us of Jesus breathing on his disciples and saying to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22). 

BIBLE VERSE:  John 20:22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”


Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine,
till all this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity. 

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