This week’s contribution to my series, Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth, composed by Robert Robinson in 1757. When thinking of what hymn to feature this week, I could have sworn I’d mentioned this one before, and I did, but not as a part of this series. I do really appreciate this hymn, and the fourth verse is one that continues to resonate… a debtor to grace, and “prone to wander, Lord I feel it.” In response, we offer our heart and ask God to seal it for his heavenly courts. Beautiful.
This hymn did appear in my youth somewhere as I stood with hymnal in hand among the rows of pews, singing words that in some places must have sounded like a completely foreign language. As with many such traditions, it was probably not appreciated as it was being impressed, but now, years later….
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
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.
I remember preparing to use this song for worship at a PCA church we attended in our initial foray into post-charismaticism in the late 90’s. I love the hymn, but the line “Here I raise my Ebenezer” cracked up the entire worship team. We thought of changing it – but felt we had no right – so we did a word search and discovered Joshua’s Ebenezer – a memorial that meant “thus far the Lord has brought us.” It has made me love the hymn even more. There’s a 4Him album, Hymns, produced by Michael Omartian that has a wonderful version on it – I can hear it playing in my head while I type this.
Thanks for posting this, BroMayn.
I have a question for ya, do you remember all these Hymns, or do you search for some?
This is one of my favorite hymns and one that I wish we would’ve have sung growing up – but it wasn’t nearly revivalist enough.
Now I request it whenever I have a chance and love how it focuses our dependence on Christ instead of ourselves. We need more songs like this.
I confess, I Google the lyrics! ;^) There are very few hymns for which I can recall all of the words to all of the verses — probably because they always used to pick-and-choose, surveying a five-verse hymn and announcing, “We’ll sing the first and third verses.”