Sunday, January 14, 2018

Prone to Wander

1. Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, O fix me on it!
Mount of God’s redeeming love.

2. Here I’ll raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.

3. Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for thy courts above.

4. O that Day when freed from sinning,
I shall see thy lovely Face;
Cloth-ed then in blood-washed linen
How I’ll sing thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransom’d soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

This hymn was written in 1757 and first published in 1759. It is presented here as I know it. I did not find the original printing.

Robert Robinson, the author of “Come, Thou fount of every blessing,” and “Mighty God, while angels bless Thee,” was born at Swaffham, in Norfolk, on Sept. 27, 1735. He died June 9, 1790 and was buried at the Dissenters’ Burial Ground at Birmingham, West Midlands, England. On the radio I heard the following (similar) story about Robinson and his hymn “Come, Thou fount of every blessing.” I have been unable to verify whether the story is true or apocryphal. Here it is:
In a back-slidden condition, Robinson was traveling in a stage coach one day through the English countryside. His companion in the coach was a young woman. They did not know one another. In the providence of God, and not realizing who it was she spoke with, the woman quoted from his hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – saying what a blessing it had been to her. Though he tried, Robinson could not get her to change the subject. Finally, he said, with tears in his eyes, “Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn, many years ago. And I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I then had!” The young lady replied, “Sir, the ‘streams of mercy’ are still flowing.” He was deeply touched by that. The very words he had penned had been returned to him, by the grace and providence of God, to first wound and then heal his heart.

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