Scripture Verse

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. Hosea 11:4


Hans G. Nägeli (1773–1836)

Words: John Faw­cett, Hymns Adapt­ed to the Cir­cum­stance of Pub­lic Wor­ship (Leeds, Eng­land: 1782). This hymn was sung in the 1940 mo­vie Our Town, which was nom­in­at­ed for sev­er­al Aca­de­my Awards.

Music: Den­nis Hans G. Nä­ge­li (1773–1836). Ar­ranged by Lo­well Ma­son in The Psal­tery, 1845 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

John Fawcett (1740–1817)
National Portrait Gallery


Origin of the Hymn

Dr. John Faw­cett was the pas­tor of a small church at Wains­gate, and was called from there to a larg­er church in Lon­don in 1772. He ac­cept­ed the call and preached his fare­well ser­mon.

The wag­ons were load­ed with his books and fur­ni­ture, and all was rea­dy for the de­par­ture, when his pa­rish­ion­ers gath­ered around him, and with tears in their eyes begged of him to stay.

His wife said, Oh John, John, I can­not bear this. Nei­ther can I, ex­claimed the good pas­tor, and we will not go. Un­load the wag­ons and put ev­ery­thing as it was be­fore.

His de­ci­sion was hailed with great joy by his peo­ple, and he wrote the words of this hymn in com­me­mo­ra­tion of the event. This song, and God be with you un­til we meet again, are the most use­ful fare­well hymns in the world.

[Dwight] Moody used to tell of a Sun­day-school teach­er, to whom he had giv­en a class of girls, who one day came to Mr. Moody’s store much dis­heart­ened. He had suf­fered from hem­or­rhage of the lungs, and his doc­tor had or­dered him to leave Chi­ca­go.

He was sad be­cause he felt that he had not made a true ef­fort to save his class.

At Mr. Moody’s pro­pos­al that they go vis­it each of the class mem­bers, they took a car­riage and at once be­gan the work, the young man in his fee­ble­ness say­ing what he could to each.

At a fare­well meet­ing where they were all gath­ered, they end­ea­vored to sing Blest be the tie that binds, but their hearts were full and their voic­es failed. Ev­ery mem­ber of the class yield­ed her heart to God.

Sankey, pp. 139–40


Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Chris­tian love;
The fel­low­ship of kin­dred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Fa­ther’s throne
We pour our ar­dent pray­ers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our com­forts and our cares.

We share each oth­er’s woes,
Our mu­tu­al bur­dens bear;
And oft­en for each oth­er flows
The sym­pa­thiz­ing tear.

When we asun­der part,
It gives us in­ward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glo­ri­ous hope re­vives
Our cour­age by the way;
While each in ex­pec­ta­tion lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sor­row, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And per­fect love and friend­ship reign
Through all eter­ni­ty.