Listening Through Lent: A Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed 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.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
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.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.
~William Cowper

 

As a ten year old, musically inclined, I dreamed of playing the piano. Problem: it was the depression and my parents had no money for such things as piano lessons.  In the local newspaper there was a series of articles on how to play the piano by chords. Here was my answer. No piano, but we had an old pump organ someone gave us. I found a hymn with no sharps or flats, “There Is A Fountain.”  I must have played it hundreds of times. The words became second nature to me.  At a difficult moment the words would spontaneously come to mind. In the service during WWII that happened quite often as death was a shell burst away. As we approached the target I would start to sing the two most important stanzas to me.

“The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
and there may I as vile as he washed all my sins away.”
By His saving grace I with the thief was ready to be with Jesus in paradise.

And then the next verse.

“Dear dying Lamb they precious blood shall never lose its power:
Till all the ransomed Church of God be saved to sin no more.”  

If such were to happen, my death, I was ready to rejoice with the saints to sin no more.

A shell burst just below our plane and shell fragments were zinging though our plane and two found their way into my thigh. Six inches to the right and they would have hit me in the head — Divine intervention.  This hymn has stayed with me over the years.   It always brings back that moment of divine intervention.
William Cowper, the author of the hymn, suffered his whole life with deep depression, at one time considering suicide. The ministry of a kindly soul led him to the Lord. It was out of such a history that he wrote this hymn. Many do not like the hymn because they think it is excessive imagery. You may decide for yourself if you agree or not.
~Pastor Jack Matheis
On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
Zechariah 13:1

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