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© Dr Steve H Hakes (2016) www.lyricology.eu | Contact | Hanging Heaton, West Yorks., England


“Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove”, prayed Doris Akers. What really is praise? It is an expression of admiration: a man might praise a young woman’s beauty or a work of art, without wishing to possess her or it. Such admiration is healthy and (unless expression is imprudent or undermining) to let it flow is quite right—according to nature, as the ancient Greeks would have said. One might almost say that praise harmonizes logic and spirit, as both ‘head’ and ‘heart’ come together in praise. Praise is a spiral of blessing! Indeed, despising praise can cause internal injury. In praising the Supremely Praiseworthy, we are transformed by contemplating and accepting the source of all virtue. Some overlook this, and so might misunderstand why deity seeks our praise. He is not the Supreme Egotist, and it is for our good that he encourages us to ‘feast’ on himself, so to speak: if he could create a more praiseworthy object for us to behold, then he would, and would command us to render to It our highest praise. Praise to/the spirit is obviously right, for even impersonal virtues are said to be worthy of praise (Php.4:8). Would it be right to praise a woman, a picture, yet not the Holy Spirit? We are right—please excuse the anachronism—to Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.