Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

In 1985, the Church issued a new hymn book containing 341 hymns entitled Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some new hymns appeared, which had not been published by the Church before, such as How Great Thou Art. Others were left out of the book such as Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The Church did not give reasons for leaving out any particular hymn, just saying that the spirit was followed in the selection and there were too many hymns to be included into one book.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is a Christian hymn composed by the 18th century Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. He was born 27 September 1735 in Swaffham, Norfolk, England. Robinson’s wi­dowed mo­ther sent him to Lon­don at 14, to learn the trade of bar­ber and hair dress­er. How­ev­er, after hearing a Methodist sermon he turned from his life of recklessness and hooliganism and be­came a Methodist min­is­ter. He lat­er moved to the Bapt­ist church and pas­tored in Cam­bridge, Eng­land. In lat­er life he en­count­ered a wo­man who was stu­dy­ing a hymn­al. She asked how he liked the hymn she was hum­ming. In tears, he replied:

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.

Robert Robinson died 8 June 1790 at Show­ell Green, War­wick­shire and is buried in Key Hill Cem­e­te­ry, Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land.

There is a curious phrase at the beginning of verse 2: Here I raise my Ebenezer. How many times have I sung that without knowing what it means? Apparently it refers to 1 Samuel 7:12:

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.

Samuel took a lamb and made an offering to the Lord asking that He would help the Israelites defeat the Philistines. When the Philistines were beaten, Samuel erected a stone and called it Ebenezer so as to remind Israel of what the Lord had done. The Ebenezer stone is a source of inspiration and reminder to many, as witnessed by The Heart Of The Matter, A Life Worthy, and Another Think. There is even a blog called Ebenezer Stone.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the hymn as follows, in an arrangement by Mack Wilberg. It is essentially the modern hymnal version, except that verse 2 is split into two parts and the last half of verse 3 is appended to each part to form two verses. See this Wikipedia article for the different versions, including the original. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Also consider Mark Mabry’s spiritual journey to recreate and photograph the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is rendered in his Reflections of Christ video.

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.

Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
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.

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
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.

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.
Rickety signature

Comments

  1. I heard this song for the first time on the Hour of Power Sunday service a few months ago. It’s sound and message has lingered with me since then. I am so happy to find it here where I can again listen to it and be enveloped by it’s beauty. thank you.

  2. Paula,
    This is one of my favorite hymns though it is no longer in my church’s hymn book. Is the Hour of Power the one that is broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral?

  3. Thank you for all the information about this beautiful hymn. I had never thought about “Ebenezer” and your insight was awesome.

  4. Tori,
    I’d never thought about the meaning of Ebenezer either until I wrote the post. Well, at least I’m getting a little education running a blog.

  5. Keith, the cousin says:

    This is one of my favorite hymns, which is why I kept a copy of the previous hymnal. I’m grateful the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has it on one of their recent CDs. It’s interesting that the last four lines of verses two, three, and four are the same. They are certainly quite applicable to me. Thanks for the great post.

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