There is a Fountain – and then some.


The Olney Hymns as they were called, were a joint effort by John Newton and William Cowper. They were first published in 1779. In part, they were to be used as a means of making Biblical truths memorable for those who were less educated and able in Newton’s parish. Set to music, they made sound theology accessible and memorable.

Among those hymns is one ascribed to Cowper, inspired by Zechariah 13:1 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” We know the poem and thus the hymn as “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood.”

While most of us are familiar with the standard five verses, there were in fact 2 additional stanzas that never made into the sung version we have today.

Here is the poem in full, with its last 2 stanzas included. They are sweet.

1 THERE is a fountain fill’d with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plung’d beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

2 The dying thief rejoic’d to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, as vile as he,
Wash’d all my sins away.

3 Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransom’d church of God
Be sav’d to sin no more.

4 E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

5 Then in a nobler, sweeter song
I’ll sing thy pow’r to save;
When this poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave.

6 Lord, I believe thou hast prepar’d
(Unworthy though I be)
For me a blood-bought free reward,
A golden harp for me!

7 ’Tis strung and tun’d, for endless years,
And form’d by pow’r divine;
To sound in God the Father’s ears
No other name but thine.

 

John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, vol. 3 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 392–393.

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