Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Legacy of Hymns

When I was a young Christian, the Pastor's wife of the church I attended was the piano and organ player. She was one of those precious saints who had grown up in the faith and had a rich legacy of hymns and choruses. I "grew up" (in my early 20's) being introduced to the old hymns...and oh, how I grew to love them.
Pastor and Faith Shaw were called to another city, and I still miss them. As a young mother, I remember inviting Faith to my home for lunch so I could ask her what her parents did right...for all of Faith's brothers and sisters were serving God. (All 11 of them!) Faith was a quiet lady, but had a deep, deep well to draw from.

As my son grew older and the hymns became more and more scarce, I felt a sense of importance that Eddie would grow up being exposed to the hymns of old, knowing and hopefully developing a love for them. I felt this so strongly, that I bought a book of Hymns for Devotions, that gave a history of each hymn along with the lyrics and bio of the composer; as well as cassette tapes of hymns; and videos of the Gaithers, who had gathered old saints and gospel singers to have a time of worship together. We owned several hymn books as well.

We played them in our home and "had church" in our living room many times. I still love the hymns, more than ever. So rich in doctrine (most of them)...and anointed. One of my favorites is "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." It is also special to my son, as he included it in the worship at his wedding ceremony. What a joy to stand there singing those words on such a significant day! We all felt the presence of God in a powerful way.
I heard this song on the radio the other day and just knew I needed to journal this and share it with you. In doing an internet search for the lyrics, I found that although there are a few different versions, and some stanzas are used more than others, there are actually five beautiful verses in the original text.
Come Thou Fount was composed by Rev. Robert Robinson, a Methodist pastor in the year 1757. He was 22 years old. The music is an American folk tune known as Nettleton, and attributed to evangelist Asahel Nettleton, who composed it in the early 19th century.
Here are all five stanzas (click here to listen):
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;
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.

Does not the melody resound in your heart as you read these rich words?!


(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

We are slowly working on learning this one! I too LOVE the hymns, and my oldest son is at the age where he's starting to appreciate worship music. Not terrible, but I've taken to everybody picking a hymn during devotion so we keep learning and singing them~I KNOW they will draw from them richly later in life!

So cute~one day my 8yos said of his 1yos as she was in song, "You know what she's singing, don't you?" I didn't immediately make it out... "He Lives!" he said. ~smile~

I really enjoy your blog! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

Anonymous said...

It's been a REALLY LONG TIME~PLEASE come on out and play! (((((HUGS))))) sandi