Posted by: rcottrill | November 30, 2010

Today in 1594 – John Cosin Born

John Cosin was a Church of England clergyman. He was deposed during the Puritan era of Oliver Cromwell, at which time he ministered to the exiled royal family in France. After the Restoration, he was appointed bishop of Durham Cathedral in the north of England. A liturgical scholar, he assisted in the revision of the Book of Common Prayer. It is this volume that contains his paraphrase of Veni, Creator Spiritus, written about six centuries before Cosin’s time, and now known to us as his hymn Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire. (For more on the origin of this hymn, see Today in 856.)

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost Thy sev’nfold gifts impart.

Praise to Thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thy blessèd unction from above
Is comfort, life, and fire of love;
Enable with perpetual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

(2) Today in 1880 – Jeanette Threlfall Died
The daughter of a wine merchant, Jeanette Threlfell had a life filled with tragedy. Born in Manchester, England, she was orphaned at a young age and went to live with relatives. Later she met with two serious accidents. The first lamed and disfigured her. The second left her a virtually helpless invalid. But she is described as a cheerful woman of beautiful character, always more interested in others than in herself. Those with whom she stayed described her as a “beloved inmate” of their home.

It is possible her disability may have given her more time to pursue the writing of poetry. She produced several volumes of verse. From a volume entitled Sunshine and Shadow, comes the following hymn for Palm Sunday that takes its title from the opening words.

Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of men and angels rode on in lowly state,
Nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait.

“Hosanna in the highest!” that ancient song we sing,
For Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.
O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice,
And in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!

Here is a choral arrangement of this hymn. The children are rather “pitchy,” but for the most part it is well done.


  1. I am familiar with an English hymn “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest” which I thought was Veni, Creator Spiritus. Are these hymns related? Can you tell me more about “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest”?

    • Thanks for the question. Looks like we’re both right on this one. Take a look at the Cyber Hymnal, and you’ll see there are over 30 English hymns listed that are either translations or paraphrases of Maurus’s original–or perhaps draw their inspiration from it. Richard Mant was the translator who gave us “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest,” and you can read about him here.


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