Samuel took a stone and…named it Ebenezer, saying 1 Samuel 7:12
Thus far has the Lord helped us.
Words: Robert Robinson, written for Whitsunday (Pentecost) 1758. Appeared in his Collection of Hymns Used by the Church of Christ in Angel Alley, Bishopgate, 1759.
The author of this hymn, born in 1735, was of lowly parentage. At the age of fourteen his widowed mother sent him to London to learn the trade of barber and hair-dresser. His master found him more given to reading than to his profession.
While in London he attended meetings held by the great evangelist, George Whitefield, became converted, and began to study for the ministry.
In the latter part of his life, Mr. Robinson often indulged in frivolous habits. But on one occasion, while traveling in a stage-coach, he encountered a lady who soon compelled him to admit his acquaintance with religion. She had just been reading this hymn, and she asked his opinion of it, after having told him of the blessings it had brought to her heart.
He avoided the subject and turned her attention to some other topic; but the lady, who did not know to whom she was talking, soon returned to the hymn, expressing her strong admiration for its sentiments. Agitated beyond the power of controlling his emotion, Robinson broke out:
Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who composed that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.
Sankey, pp. 144–45
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.
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.
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.
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.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd 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.