BREATHE ON ME, BREATH OF GOD written in 1878
Edwin Hatch (1835-1889), the writer of this hymn, was a very educated man. He could string together sentences filled with polysyllabic words. He was a distinguished lecturer in ecclesiastical history at Oxford and a professor of classics at Trinity College in Quebec, Canada. His lectures “On the Organization of Early Christian Churches” were translated into German by the noted theologian Harnack. Few other English theologians had won European recognition for original research.
But, when it came to expressing his faith, Edwin was “as simple and unaffected as a child”. This hymn is filled with one-syllable words and is a simple, heartfelt prayer.
Edwin knew that, while the words of his hymn were simple, the meaning was profound. At man’s creation, God breathed and man “became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). At our re-creation through Jesus, the breath of God brings spiritual life and power.
This hymn is a beautiful hymn to hear… and to sing.
Read this hymn, and – today – imagine God breathing into you what you need for today.
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, blend all my soul with Thine,
until 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.