Come unto Me. Matthew 11:28
John H. Yates, a humble layman who lived at Batavia, New York, wrote this hymn after reading the following incident in a newspaper:We were nearing a dangerous coast, and the night was drawing near. Suddenly a heavy fog settled down upon us. No lights had been sighted, and the pilot seemed anxious and troubled, not knowing how soon we might be dashed to pieces on the hidden rocks along the shore. The whistle was blown loud and hard, but no response was heard.
The captain ordered the engines to be stopped, and for some time we drifted about on the waves. Suddenly the pilot cried,Hark!Far away in the distance we heard the welcome tones of the harbor bell, which seemed to say, ‘This way, this way!’ Again the engines were started, and, guided by the welcome sound, we entered the harbor in safety.
On receiving this hymn from Mr. Yates, in 1891, I at once set it to music. It has been found useful in meetings for sailors and fishermen.
Sankey, p. 265
Our life is like a stormy sea
Swept by the gales of sin and grief,
While on the windward and the lee
Hang heavy clouds of unbelief;
But o’er the deep a call we hear,
Like harbor bell’s inviting voice;
It tells the lost that hope is near,
And bids the trembling soul rejoice.
This way, this way, O heart oppressed,
So long by storm and tempest driv’n;
This way, this way, lo here is rest,
Rings out the harbor bell of Heav’n.
O let us now the call obey,
And steer our bark for yonder shore,
Where still that voice directs the way,
In pleading tones forevermore;
A thousand life wrecks strew the sea;
They’re going down at every swell;
Come unto Me, come unto Me,
Rings out th’assuring harbor bell.
O tempted one, look up, be strong;
The promise of the Lord is sure,
That they shall sing the victor’s song,
Who faithful to the end endure;
God’s Holy Spirit comes to thee,
Of His abiding love to tell;
To blissful port, o’er stormy sea,
Calls Heav’n’s inviting harbor bell.
Come, gracious Lord, and in Thy love
Conduct us o’er life’s stormy wave;
O guide us to the home above,
The blissful home beyond the grave;
There safe from rock, and storm, and flood,
Our song of praise shall never cease,
To Him who bought us with His blood,
And brought us to the port of peace.