Scripture Verse

How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. Luke 15:17

Introduction

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John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 104. The pro­di­gal son.

Music: St. Mag­nus at­trib­uted to Je­re­mi­ah Clarke, in The Di­vine Com­pan­ion, sec­ond edi­tion, by Hen­ry Play­ford (Lon­don: 1707). Har­mo­ny by Will­iam H. Monk, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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William H. Monk
1823–1889

Lyrics

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Return of the Prodigal Son
Pompeo Batoni (1708–1787)

Afflictions, though they seem se­vere,
In mer­cy oft are sent;
They stopped the pro­di­gal’s ca­reer,
And forced him to re­pent.

Although he no re­lent­ings felt
Till he had spent his store;
His stub­born heart be­gan to melt
When fa­mine pinched him sore.

“What have I gained by sin, he said,
But hun­ger, shame, and fear;
My fa­ther’s house abounds with bread,
While I am starvi­ng here.

I’ll go, and tell him all I’ve done,
And fall be­fore his face
Unworthy to be called his son,
I’ll seek a ser­vant’s place.

His fa­ther saw him com­ing back,
He saw, and ran, and smiled;
And threw his arms around the neck
Of his re­bel­lious child.

Fa­ther, I’ve sinned—but O for­give!
I’ve heard enough, he said,
“Rejoice my house, my son’s alive,
For whom I mourned as dead.

Now let the fat­ted calf be slain,
And spread the news around;
My son was dead, but lives again,
Was lost, but now is found.

’Tis thus the Lord His love re­veals,
To call poor sin­ners home;
More than a fa­ther’s love He feels,
And welc­omes all that come.