The author of this text is Barton Warren Stone. Stone was born December 24, 1772, near Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland. He died November 9, 1844 at Hannibal, Marion County, Missouri, and is buried at the Cane Ridge Meeting House Cemetery at Cane Ridge, near Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Stone is best-known for uniting with Alexander Campbell and others to form the Christian or Disciples Church. He was licensed by the Presbyterian Church in 1796, and later withdrew from them in 1804. He was a leading figure in the Cane Ridge Revival at the turn of the century.
In 1829 B. W. Stone and Thomas Adams published The Christian Hymn-Book (words-only). It contained 340 hymns. Later, Stone joined with Campbell, Walter Scott, and J. T. Johnson to produce Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Original and Selected (Bethany, VA: 1834).
This hymn is 11s. Meter, and can be sung with tunes such as Bellevue/Firm Foundation and The Bower of Prayer. The Biography of Eld. Barton Warren Stone says that this “hymn is founded upon Ezekiel’s vision of the water, chapt. 47.” It originally had 10 stanzas, five of which are presented here.
1. The Lord is the fountain of goodness and love,
Through Eden once flowing in streams from above,
Refreshed every moment the first happy pair,
Till sin stopped the torrent and brought in despair.
2. O wretched condition! What anguish and pain!
They thirst for the fountain but cannot obtain;
To sin’s bitter water they fly for relief,
They drink but the draught still increases their grief.
3. Glad tidings, glad tidings! no more we complain,
Our Jesus has opened this fountain again,
Now mingled with mercy, enriched with free grace,
From Zion ’tis flowing on all the lost race.
4. How happy the prophet, how pleasant his road,
When led down the stream by the angel of God,
Though shallow at first, yet he found it at last
A river so boundless it could not be passed.
5. Come all ye dead sinners, here life you will find,
Come all ye poor beggars; ye halt and ye blind;
This water has virtue to heal all complaints,
Come drink, ye diseased, and rejoice with the saints.