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A Song to the Lord

The Blessing of the Spirit at Pentecost - "The Comforter Has Come"

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The writer of The Comforter Has Come, Francis Bottome, was born in Derbyshire, England in 1823. He moved to America and in 1850 entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was the group founded and planted in America by John Wesley through bishops Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. Wesley’s Methodism grew out of the First Great Awakening as a revival movement within the Church of England, emphasizing the necessity of a new birth in conversion, as well as the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life.

Bottome wrote the hymn in 1890 and in the first stanza calls on believers to recognize that the Holy Spirit, who was poured out at Pentecost (Acts 2), is still at work, calling Christians to faith in Jesus and filling and empowering Christians for life and service. Just as the 120 heard the sound of the “rushing wind” and received the “tongues of fire” in the upper room, so every believer is to share the joyful message of salvation in Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit.

O spread the tidings 'round wherever man is found
Wherever human hearts and human woes abound
Let every Christian tongue proclaim the joyful sound
The Comforter has come

The Christian life is not without its struggle and difficulty. Who has not, at one time or another, experienced a “long, dark night” and yearned for the “light” to come into the darkness? There are times of weeping, even wailing, crying out to God amid heartache, trial, or conflict. But like a cavalry brigade coming to the rescue, Bottome reminds us that God never abandons us in our troubles, because his Spirit never leaves and never forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

The long, long night is past, the morning breaks at last
And hushed the dreadful wail and fury of the blast
As o'er the golden hills the day advances fast
The Comforter has come

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the King of kings and Lord of lords, and he ministers the blessings of God to his people – blessings such as the healing of our broken lives, and deliverance from the bondage of – and victory over – sin. One of the primary emphases of John Wesley’s Methodist movement was the possibility of the heart being cleansed from sin and replaced with a pure heart and full devotion to God. Healing and cleansing from the stain of sin, as well as deliverance from – and triumph over – the power of sin, are part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in human lives.

Lo the great King of kings with healing in His wings
To every captive soul a full deliv'rance brings
And through the vacant cells the song of triumph rings
The Comforter has come

To realize the great love that God has for us, to begin to grasp the work of grace that the Holy Spirit does in us, and to realize that all of this comes to people so undeserving of this as we are, should motivate us to praise God for the gift of the Spirit. On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be given as a “Comforter” – a helper and teacher – to be with his disciples (John 16). Just before his ascension to heaven, Jesus promised that the power to be witnesses for him would come (Acts 1), and just ten days later – on Pentecost – the Holy Spirit was poured out on the praying disciples in the upper room (Acts 2).

O boundless love divine! How shall this tongue of mine
To wond'ring mortals tell the matchless grace divine
That I, a child of hell, should in His image shine
The Comforter has come

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune Godhead, given to convict human beings of their sin, to draw them into relationship with Jesus, and to fill them with divine power for living the Christian life and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Today let’s live in the power that the Spirit of God provides and be a witness by our life and words that the Holy Spirit lives within us.

The Comforter has come! The Comforter has come!
The Holy Ghost from heav'n, the Father's promise giv'n
O spread the tidings 'round wherever man is found
The Comforter has come


Enjoy the choir of the First Assembly of God, Ft. Myers, FL as they sing this hymn.


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Rusty Rabon

Rusty Rabon has served in vocational Christian ministry in local churches since 1981. He also served as a Christian radio announcer for 15 years. He married his wife Terri in 1978 and they have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. You can find books by Rusty Rabon here.

Rusty also hosts a book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS on his Facebook page. You can follow Rusty at, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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