"Come, and let us return to the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up." - Hosea 6:1
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.
God is always pursuing His people! Never believe that God has given up!
It is an unfortunate turn of events when a young boy is forced to grow up without a loving father. This was the sad fate of Robert Robinson. His father passed away when he was only eight years of age. Robert was born on Sept. 27, 1735, to Mary Wilkin and Michael Robinson, a customs officer, in the English countryside of Norfolk.
To make Roberts circumstances more difficult, his maternal grandfather, Robert Wilkin, a wealthy man, never reconciled his relationship with his daughter. Because he disapproved her marriage to Robert's father, he disinherited his grandson and provided no inheritance, relationship, or financial help.
As soon as Robert was old enough, he secured a job as an apprentice to a barber. Even in his youth he endured the hardship of having to be the breadwinner for his widowed mother and himself. His formal education was limited. However, his knowledge was varied and extensive because he spent many hours in study. There was an adult-like quality deeply ingrained in him, and it allowed him to accept the responsibilities of adulthood, even as a teenager.
As he grew older, he came under the influence of the famed evangelist, George Whitfield. On Dec. 10, 1755, Robinson could not push from his mind a particular phrase used by Mr. Whitfield in one of his sermons: “Oh, my hearers! the wrath to come! the wrath to come!” He was gloriously saved and became a minister of the gospel; first, in a Baptist church, then in a Methodist church, and later in other denominations. In one location his congregation grew to 1,000 in attendance!
While pastoring, Robert wrote the powerful song: "Come Thou Fount" and the song quickly became a favorite! It is still a favorite hymn of many, including myself. Robert was passionate about his walk with Christ and loved his life of serving Christ. Years of ministry began to wear on his body, soul, and spirit, and after bouts of discouragement and depression, he left the ministry and lived a life of complete solitude.
He became altogether unstable and unhappy. His Christian beliefs and training seemed of little importance to him. In fact, he sadly on one occasion to a friend stated: "I do not know where the Lord that I loved is, I am totally forsaken and forgotten."
On one occasion, years later, he found himself the fellow passenger of a young lady on a long train ride. While riding along, the young lady began to hum a familiar tune, then to sing the second verse of his famous hymn: "Come Thou Fount."
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy 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!
Robert began to weep silently, then noticeably to the young lady singing. She replied, "Sir has my singing upset you? Do you not like this song?" Robert replied: "Madam, I am the unhappy man who wrote that hymn years ago; and, I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, if I could feel now as I felt then."
Although Robert never returned to public ministry, he returned to the Lord! We are not sure when, but Robert eventually wrote this final stanza of this beloved hymn after his meeting with the young lady on the train.
O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be.
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
God is always pursuing His children. Thank God for His infinite mercy and love that He demonstrates to us even when we wander from Him! Today is a good day to RETURN to the Lord who loves you deeply and longs to fellowship with you.