“This sweet hymn was written by John Fawcett D.D. in 1772. The following are given as the interesting facts that occasioned it.
After he had been a few years in the ministry, his family increasing far more rapidly than his income, he thought it was his duty to accept a call to settle as pastor of a Baptist church in London, to succeed the celebrated Dr. Gill. He preached his farewell sermon to his church in Yorkshire, and loaded six or seven wagons with his furniture, books, etc., to be carried to his new residence. All this time the members of his poor church were almost broken hearted, fervently did they pray that even now he might not leave them; and, as the time for departure arrived, men, women, and children clung around him and his family in perfect agony of soul.
The last wagon was being loaded, when the good man and his wife sat down on one of his packing-cases to weep. Looking into his tearful face, while tears like rain fell down her own cheeks, his devoted wife said, “oh, John, John, I cannot bear this! I know not how to go!”
“Nor I either,” said the good man; “nor will we go. Unload the wagons and put everything in the place where it was before.” The people cried for joy. A letter was sent to the church in London to tell them that his coming to them was impossible; and the good man buckled on his armor for renewed labors on a salary of less than three hundred dollars a year.
He then took his pen and wrote the words,
as expressive of the golden bond of union that knit pastor and people so closely and tenderly together.”
“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes;
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.
From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.”
This passage is taken from the "Illustrated History of Hymns and Their Authors" published in 1875, page 171.
Melody Publications is an organization focused on reawakening the melody of truth in the hearts and minds of believers at home and abroad. Our prayer is that our work would aid churches and families as they sing “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs” in praise and in worship to our God.
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