“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (1758)
Bible Text: 2 Peter 3:9 | Preacher: Bev Wiens | Series: The Background to some of our most memorable hymns. | “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (1758)
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering towards us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
“Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy praise.
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 God’s unchanging love.”
Robert Robinson (September 27, 1735 – June 9, 1790) had a rough beginning. His father died when he was young, and his mother, unable to control him, sent him to London to learn barbering. What he learned was drinking and gang life. When he was seventeen, he and his friends reportedly visited a fortune-teller. Relaxed by alcohol, they laughed as she tried to tell their futures. But something about the encounter bothered Robert, and that evening he suggested to his buddies they attend the evangelistic meeting being held by George Whitefield.
Whitefield was one of history’s greatest preachers, with a voice that was part foghorn and part violin. That night he preached from Matthew 3:7:
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Bursting into tears, Whitefield exclaimed, “Oh, my hearers! The wrath to come!” The wrath to come!”
Robert immediately sobered up and sensed that Whitefield was preaching directly to him. The preacher’s words haunted him for nearly two years, until December 10th, 1755, when he gave his heart to Christ.
Robert soon entered the ministry, and three years later at age 23, while serving Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England, he wrote a hymn for his sermon on Pentecost Sunday. It was a prayer that the Holy Spirit flood into our hearts with His streams of mercy, enabling us to sing God’s praises and remain faithful to Him. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” has been a favourite of the church since that day.
Robinson continued working for the Lord until 1790, when he was invited to Birmingham, England, to preach for Dr. Joseph Priestly, a noted Unitarian. There on the morning of June 8th, he was found dead at age fifty-four, having passed away quietly during the night.
Take a few moments to offer this hymn as a personal prayer, especially remembering those last insightful lines:
“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.”