Thursday, December 4, 2008

The story behind the hymn Come Thou Fount


Author: Robert Robinson, 1735-1790
Composer: John Wyeth, 1770-1858
Tune Name: "Nettleton"
Scripture Reference: 1Samuel 7:12

Robert Robinson was born of lowly parents in Swaffham, Norfolk, England, on September 27, 1735. His father died when Robert was eight, and at the age of fourteen he was sent by his mother to London to learn the barbering trade. He was then associated with notorious gang of hoodlums and had lived a morally corrupt life. One day, Robinson together with his gang went to a meeting where George Whitefield was preaching. At first, they were there for the purpose of "scoffing at the poor, deluded Methodists," but he was converted to Christ that day. Years after, he sensed that God's calling him to preach and enter the ministry of the Methodist church. After some time, he left for Cambridge and became a Baptist pastor; an able theologian through his writings of many theological works as well as several hymns.

Come, Thou Fount was written by Robinson when he was 23 years old. The video I uploaded here contained the first verse of this song. The interesting expression, however, is contained in the second stanza which says, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer-Hither by Thy help I'm come." This language is taken from 1Samuel 7:12, where the Ebenezer is a symbol of God's faithfulness. An expression in the third verse, "prone to wander-Lord, I feel it-Prone to leave the God I love," seems to have been prophetic of Robinson's later years, as once again his life became characterized by lapses into sin, unstableness.

The story is told that Robinson was one day riding a stagecoach when he noticed a woman deeply engrossed with a hymn book. During an ensuing conversation the lady turned to Robinson and asked what he thought of the hymn she was humming. Robinson burst into tears and said, "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 had then."

Osbeck, K.W. (1995) 101 Hymn Stories: The Inspiring True Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns. Kregel Publications, U.S.A.

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! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve 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;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, 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.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

1 comment:

Aegis` said...

ok paos ako jan pasensya na!!haha:D sana'y nakatulong ang material na ito sa paghahanap mo:D