Words: Horatius Bonar, 1843.
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During a revival in a female seminary in Massachusetts, many of the pupils had shown the naturalenmityof thecarnal mindto spiritual things.
Helen B— was among those who noticed the Spirit’s work only by a curling lip and scornful laugh. It seemed in vain to talk with her or seek to induce her to attend a prayer meeting. Christians could do nothing more than to pray for her.
One evening, however, as a praying band had gathered, the door opened, and Helen B— entered. Her eyes were downcast, and her face was calm and very pale. There was something in her look which told of an inward struggle.
She took her seat silently, and the exercises of the meeting proceeded. A few lines were sung, two or three prayers offered, and then, as was their custom, each repeated a few verses of their favorite hymn.
One followed another in succession until it came to the turn of the newcomer. There was a pause and a perfect silence, and then, without lifting her eyes from the floor, she commenced:
I was a wandering sheep,
I did not love the fold.
Her voice was low, but distinct; and every word, as she uttered it, thrilled the hearts of the listeners. She repeated one stanza after another of that beautiful hymn of Bonar, and not an eye save her own was dry.
Nutter, p. 161
I was a wandering sheep,
I did not love the fold;
I did not love my Shepherd’s voice,
I would not be controlled.
I was a wayward child,
I did not love my home;
I did not love my Father’s voice,
I loved afar to roam.
The Shepherd sought His sheep,
The Father sought His child;
They followed me o’er vale and hill,
O’er deserts waste and wild;
They found me nigh to death,
Famished and faint and lone;
They bound me with the bands of love,
They saved the wand’ring one.
They spoke in tender love,
They raised my drooping head,
They gently closed my bleeding wounds,
My fainting soul they fed;
They washed my filth away,
They made me clean and fair;
They brought me to my home in peace,
The long sought wanderer.
Jesus my Shepherd is:
’Twas He that loved my soul;
’Twas He that washed me in His blood,
’Twas He that made me whole.
’Twas He that sought the lost,
That found the wand’ring sheep,
’Twas He that brought me to the fold,
’Tis He that still doth keep.
No more a wandering sheep,
I love to be controlled;
I love my tender Shepherd’s voice,
I love the peaceful fold.
No more a wayward child,
I seek no more to roam;
I love my heavenly Father’s voice,
I love, I love His home!