This is the story of Robert Robinson author of the hymn Come Thou Fount.
I was eight year’s old when my Father died. I wish I could say I shouldered the responsibility of a man and helped my mother. That was not the bent of my personality. I was defiant, and it is said bright. I caused my mother more grief than just the death of my father. After seven years of struggle she had an opportunity to send me to London to learn the trade of barbering.
London in 1749 offered more temptation than I could handle. Instead of the steady hand of an older man helping me find my way, it only occupied me in finding devious ways I could devote myself to mischief. Drinking and gambling after hours with others became a daily pursuit.
My friends and I plotted to go to an evangelistic meeting one night to see what trouble we could make during the service. George Whitfield began to preach and I lost all ideas of trouble. I knew he was talking to me that night. When an altar call began, I held back for fear of what my fellows would say. I could never shake those words I heard that night.
Finally, I could resist no more. I was 20 when I surrendered my life the Jesus Christ and started my pursuit to preach. I had peace and a church after three years, the Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England. One night I felt divine inspiration as I prepared to preach, the words for a hymn came to me.
I thought of 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.” I wrote that I raise my Ebenezer. I also recalled how I was a stranger to God, and I was prone to wonder. The words flowed from my pen to the paper.
This is the story of how this hymn came to be. It is still included in protestant hymnals in England and the United States. Jars of Clay and the Mormon Tabernacle are among the artist who have made recordings of the song. If you are a fan of Janet Okey’s Love Comes Softly Series, you can hear Come Thou Fount in the film by the same name.
In the You Tube video by Sarah Noelle is the classically trained artist performing Come Thou Fount.
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.