Monday, November 8, 2010

Music Monday - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17  KJ

Hymn:


Lyricist: Robert Robinson
Lyrics Date: 1758
 
 
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Robert Robinson, following the tradition of ministers of the time, wrote "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" as a hymn-poem for the conclusion of his sermon for Whitsunday, 1758. He was 23 years old at the time. It was published the following year in A Collection of Hymns used by the Church of Christ in Angel Alley, Bishopsgate (1759). There has been some speculation that it was written by the Countess of Huntingdon, but it is generally agreed to be the work of Robinson.

Originally "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" had four stanzas. The fourth stanza was omitted by Martin Madan in Psalms and Hymns, 1860 and has not been used since.

The statement in stanza two, "Here I raise my Ebenezer" refers to I Samuel 7:12, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." Ebenezer is the Hebrew for "Stone of Help." Israel had suffered defeat because of its sin. But the people had repented of their sin, God had helped them and they were victorious. Samuel placed the stone to remind Israel that God had them, their victory was because of Him.
In stanza three, Robinson speaks of being "prone to wonder, prone to leave the God I love". This seems to be a forecast of his later life, when he lapsed into sin, unstableness and involvement with Unitarianism. There is a well-known story of Robinson, riding a stagecoach with a lady who was deeply engrossed in a hymnbook. Seeking to encourage him, she asked him what he thought of the hymn she was humming. Robinson burst into tears and said, "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."

Thank you God for all you many Blessings you give us.  Thank you Jesus for the Greatest Blessing of all.

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