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Dear Hyde Park Family,

The greatest Pentecost hymn you may never have heard of was written by Dr. Henry More, an 18th century British theologian and philosopher that one contemporary called “the most holy man he ever knew.” Despite his zealous study and prolific writing, one of the few poems to ever gain notoriety is called “On the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.”

It is a poem that caught the attention of a young Anglican preacher named John Wesley.

When John and Charles Wesley put together their volume called A Collection of Hymns for the People Called Methodist, they included four of More’s original fifteen verses. (You may choose to hum these lyrics to the tune of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” or the “Old 100th” Doxology.) Here are the first two verses:

On all the earth Thy Spirit shower;

The earth in righteousness renew;

Thy kingdom come, and hell’s o’erpower,

And to Thy scepter all subdue.


Like mighty winds, or torrents fierce,

Let it opposers all o’errun;

And every law of sin reverse,

That faith and love may make all one.

The hymn became a standard selection for Methodist Christians throughout the early part of the movement’s history.  We can imagine Christians just like us, gathering together on Pentecost Sundays, singing this hymn and praying for the earth to receive a “Spirit shower” which would renew the earth in righteousness, overpower hell, reverse the law of sin, and make all people one. 

But there’s more!

Wesley, the consummate perfectionist, did more than a bit of tinkering to Henry More’s original poem, adding two verses of his own:

Father! If justly still we claim

To us and ours the promise made,

To us be graciously the same,

And crown with living fire our heard.


Our claim admit, and from above

Of holiness the Spirit shower.

Of wise discernment, humble love,

And zeal and unity and power. 

Wesley believed that it is not enough simply to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit to shower the earth and unleash the Kingdom of God on earth. The Pentecostal work of the Spirit requires nothing less than our full participation.  It was just as critical to Wesley that Christians stake a personal claim on the work of Pentecost, and fulfill the calling each of us receive as followers of Jesus Christ. 

For Wesley, there was a required five-fold response to Pentecost for every Christian: wise discernment, humble love, zeal, unity, and power. 

Join us this Sunday as we gather to celebrate the birth of the church and the work of the Holy Spirit once again in our midst. We will be honored to hear from our youth, who will lead us in our annual Youth Sunday, along with celebrating those who are graduating from various degrees of education.

Together, we will celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, alive and well in our lives.

See you Sunday!

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist