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.
Here I 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.
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.
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.
glad to see the original lyrics
in the UC hymnal ‘Voices United” the line “Here I raise my Ebenezer” was, I think, too suggestive for UC types [or maybe a bit too obscure]] so they changed the quatrain to ‘Here I pause in my sojourning/giving thanks for having come/come to trust, at every turning/God will guide me safely home” , , , not bad lyrically, but I miss my Evenezer [hmmm somehow Austin Powers comes to mind]. Nevertheless great hymn.
Why is this a great hymn?
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”
What kind of love is it that is “prone to wander”?
“Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”
This is abdication: “Here’s my heart” because I don’t want to be responsible for it.
Prov 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence
1Thess 4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel
Matt 25:25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.’
“Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.”
Again, abdication of free will; and implying that it is okay to give up hope that one might ever become steadfast.
I don’t want to walk a dog that is continually straining (prone to wander) at the leash (a fetter) to get away from me unless it is sedated (take my heart). Why would God be ultimately satisfied with the most intimate kind of relationship with one who is content to be an irresponsible, unfaithful, abdicating steward?
The “solutions” proposed in the hymn for improper attitudes do not change the attitudes.
A better solution:
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Not to say that I am currently in a better condition than the hymnist, but I see the hymn as promoting things that are not worth promoting.
Rex, it’s either you misunderstood the context of the hymn or you want to interpret it in the way you want. “prone to wander” – is due to our sinful nature, we are prone to sin which is a rebellion against God, and unless in His mercy seal us and return us to his fold, we’ll totally wander away. “here’s my heart take and seal it” is a sincere prayer that though my spirit is willing to serve the Lord, due to the remaining sin in me, i may not, therefore it is not an attempt to escape from responsibility and accountability for mistakes. There’s no abdication of free will on this hymn, and just to remind you, our relationship with God is not like man-dog relationship but closer than that – a parent -child relationship wherein without the parent’s guidance, the child may wander away and be totally lost or fall to various dangers
I view your comments as one faithfully pursueing the truth. The apostle Paul spoke of a “war within his members”. The “love incorruptible” is God’s love. The love he places in you that causes you to seek perfection and opposes the old nature of man that wars against it. Your free will is not taken by asking God to make you feel and do His will. Rather it is the most glorious expression of free will. It is the mound of clay that willfully lays itself into the hands of the potter and allows Him to choose the finished product.
“Yes Lord, take my heart and seal it with your incorruptible love. Cause me to “will and to do” Your good pleasure. I freely lay myself down under your molding hand. And should the molding process become uncomfortable, I freely chose to have you give me the strength to remain on your table until I become an outward example of the incorruptible love you have place within me.”
I like your desire, Rex. Follow Him.
This is not a hymn that is know much in South Africa where I live, I know it from “Bluegrass Revival” a CD set I bought on a visit to the USA, as omething of a bluegrass style banjo player (mainly at home). That said, I found this hymn so much more real than so much of the music we Christians sing at our worship – some of which I think of as outright lies – nice sounding, pious, but lies nevertheless – and ask myself if our Lord is going to send blessings in response.
I read the comments, especially of Rick, and was challenged, as what he says is literally correct. Yet the hymn is a petition and I know myself how prone to wander I am as a Christian. Do I believe in Jesus Christ? Certainly, I do. Do I always follow His ways? Not really. Indeed, saying “Lord, here is a sin I will never commit” almost makes it certain that there is a sin I WILL commit – as the writer to the Romans said, “the very thing I seek not to do, I do” [paraphrase from memory]. So, yes, it shows weakness in its lyrics, but it speaks of reality to me and of a petition to God to strengthen me because not one of us will see heaven in our own strength.
This hymn was brought back to me when it was sang in ” Love Comes Softly”–a tv movie. I remembered singing as a child in the Baptist Church I attended. Little did I realize this song would be my life.
Thank you for giving me all of the words to this hymn.
I like this hymn, always have and in particular that part, “prone to wander, Lord I feel it” and “here’s my heart…take and seal it”
PS- I no longer claim to be a “Christian”
I do hope there is more to life than Stephen Hawking thinks, but I have given up hope of assurance and decided to live my life here, now, being myself, loving others, seeking to be in tune with the energy of love and light.
Wow..Pastor Lutzer of Moody Church had this after his sermon last sunday. A song I have not heard for thirty years…and with the context of his words I heard it for the first time thru the spirit…To leave the God I love …tears flowed…prone to wander to leave the God I love…how why but just have done it over and over caught in the natural world going about whatever,forgetting the Holy Spirit can get hurt,forgot how sensitive He is, to leave and do what I thought I could do…to leave my Jesus my Lord and Savior today with these words the Holy Spirit left ..Brett, be careful he will leave and I was blessed Moody took me in prayed over me and I now know the blessings only He can give…The Holy Spirit is real you cannot know how awful it is without him ….