The enduring passionate Pentecostal hymn
Englishman Charles Wesley was schooled as a King’s scholar at Westminster, UK and became one of the first members of the “Oxford Methodists”. Eventually, he was dubbed the “Bard of Methodism”. Wesley wrote no less than 6,500 hymns including “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire”. He published this in his Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), as a third praise work addressing each person of the Holy Trinity. It’s among the ancient hymns produced during the rapid evolution of music when it was ripe expressing emotions pertaining to faith. That was the era when the big idea was praising God in the fullness of expression.
The Pentecostal hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire” was sung not only in Methodist churches but in many other churches. Pentecost is a season for unity in the Lord’s spirit amongst all of creation. And the Lord’s spirit is the Holy Spirit. The best hymn to celebrate this spiritual unity is “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire”. The apostles are the embodiment of all of creation, the holy fire descended upon them along with seven spiritual gifts manifest in them. The Holy Spirit comforts all.
It first appeared in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1740. Its hymn tune “Winchester Old” was composed by English composer during the Tudor period George Kirbye. Kirbye who composed mostly sacred music was associated with the famous members of the English Madrigal School. His style which tends to be more serious has more in common with Italian models courtesy of Marenzio than the English composers. Thus “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire” has a hymn that has the mystic quality of the past centuries’ chants. The single voice in the middle range anchors the tune. This is a sensitive arrangement with its melody in 126.96.36.199 meter.