Friday, February 20, 2009

There is A Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.

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.

One of my favorite hymns -- this one almost always makes me cry. Little known fact: girls will undoubtedly remember in the movie version of Sense and Sensibility the scene where Marianne is brutally critiquing poor Edward Ferrars's reading of a poem. We catch the lines: "No voice divine the storm allayed/ no light propitious shone..." The author of that poem, William Cowper, is also the author of "There is a Fountain."

Cowper battled depression his whole life. I love the fact that, in the midst of his struggles, he wrote such a beautiful hymn that expresses not just his personal hope but the hope of "all the ransomed church of God."


Laura said...


I think, generally, they didn't write 'em like this back then either! "There is a Fountain" is one of the greatest hits of the hymnal... but all those b-sides don't really make it onto anybody's lists.

As for good writing in modern hymns, how about a shameless plug for

Thanks for the comment. ;)

Laura said...

If by "music group" you mean "church," then yes. :)

Laura's Dad said...

Some folks still write 'em like this.

Witness #1, verse 1 of "Sweetly Broken"
To the cross I look.
To the cross I cling.
Of its suffering I do drink.
Of its work I do sing;
For on it my Savior,
Both bruised and crushed,
Showed that God is love
And God is just.

Witness #2, any verse of "In Christ Alone," but notably verse 4:
No guilt in life, no fear in death:
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry 'til final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand!
'Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I stand.


Laura's Dad

Lara said...

It is a beautiful hymn. I'm not sure I've ever actually sung it at church, but I have played it as an instrumental while the communion elements were being distributed. It makes me cry too, but for a slightly different reason. There was a lady at my old church, about 10 years ago (so she was probably younger than I am now) who performed it as an item once. She had the most beautiful voice. Sadly, she also struggled with depression, and ended up taking her own life. So, I always think about her when I hear this hymn.

Laura said...

Dad -- I love the verses of that song but I completely hate and cannot bring myself to sing the chorus. HATE IT. It's both twee and slightly creepy... you know the Police song "I'll be Watching You"? That's what it feels like to me. Creepy. It's like a serial killer chorus.

Lara, thanks for sharing that story.