"Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard [the gospel of Jesus Christ], lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:1-3)
I love so many of the old hymns--they're rich with meaning and seem to bear more and more fruit in my life the longer I sing them. And among my very favorites is the one written in 1752 by the twenty-two-year-old Robert Robinson, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Robinson was converted to Christ under the preaching of George Whitefield and became a pastor, but sadly he neglected his salvation and drifted away from Christ. How did this happen? I don't know the details, but I do know the answer: one small step at a time!
As Robinson drifted farther and farther away from Christ, he began to travel in search of peace. On one of his journeys he met a young woman who asked him what he thought about a particular hymn she had been enjoying. At first he tried to avoid the question because, as it turns out, it was his very own hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing! But alas, he could not escape the grace of the Lord that pursued him every day, and he broke down and told the woman who he was and what he had done. She assured him that the "streams of mercy" were still flowing, and with this Robert Robinson was restored to fellowship with Jesus and his people.
Oh the mercy of God that pursues us to the end! Blessed be the name of the Lord!
I pray that you'll read these historic and precious words with a new found appreciation. Here is the hymn as originally penned by Robinson:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd 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.