August Hymn: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
Robert Robinson wrote "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" in 1758 to compliment his Pentecost Sunday sermon at Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England. With this hymn, Robinson joined a long list of pastors and ministers who wrote longstanding verses of the faith for their local churches. At the young age of 20, Robinson entered the ministry, but not before engaging in a wild and crazy teenage life.
His father passed away early in his childhood and his mother was incapable of taming young Robert. In an effort to help him mature, she sent him to London to learn barbering. Instead of using the opportunity to straighten out his behavior, Robert got involved in gang-life and drinking. When he was 17, he and his friends visited a fortune-teller while under the influence of alcohol, and the experience mysteriously bothered Robert. That evening, Robert recommended that he and friends go to an evangelistic meeting led by George Whitefield. It was there that Robert recognized his frivolity for what it was.
After three years of pondering the words of Whitefield and allowing the Spirit to work in his heart, Robinson came to saving faith in Jesus Christ in 1755 at 20 years old. He dove headfirst into ministry and three years later penned the song that has stood the test of time in churches all over the world. He continued in ministry after its composition until his early but peaceful death in 1790.
"Come, Thou Fount" is now a staple in most hymnals across denominations. The profound truth of the gospel coupled with the intensely personal assessment of faith it calls for make it a beautiful addition to church liturgy. As we sing these three verses, we remember the saving work of Christ for us in his sacrifice on the cross. We confess our sin and recognize our great need for the grace of a good God. And we invite the Lord to inhabit our hearts and overflow in our praise as a response to his merciful love. This hymn continually reminds me that I am in great need of Christ, every minute of every day. He is good and willing to offer that grace to us freely.
This month, let’s commit Robinson’s words to memory in the hope that it encourages our hearts and we are better equipped to preach the gospel to ourselves all the time!
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 God’s unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I come.
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger wand’ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let they grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wand’ring heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.