"Come Thou Fount" was written in 1758 and is sung in Christian churches to this day. What is it about this age-old hymn that keeps it relevant to Christians throughout the centuries? In my estimation it is nothing short of rich theological truths put to beautiful penmanship.
Orthodox Christian doctrines that are rooted in the Word of an immutable God create and sustain the life of the true church in every generation. This is what connects 21st century Christians to 1st century and 18th century Christians alike. The gospel bonds believers together in a way that transcends generations and lifetimes. What was true about God then is true about God now. This is what makes a hymn penned in 1758 perpetually relevant.
“Come, thou Fount of every blessing,”
Rather than simply stating that Jesus is the source of blessing, this hymn shows us. Our Lord, imaged here as a Fount, overflows with blessing toward His people. The imagery reveals to us wells of endless riches of grace that Christ generously drenches us in. I’m sure that Ephesians 1 was on the author’s mind, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3). Lyrics rooted in Scripture are indeed timeless.
“tune my heart to sing thy grace;”
Our preparedness or summoning does not set the stage of worship; Christ does. According to His riches, Christ is petitioned to come and cause our hearts to sing of His grace. The heart of man is wicked and fallen. Only by the blessing of grace can our hearts be changed to sing for joy. Tuning is an insightful image. As a stringed instrument that sits and naturally falls out of tune, so our hearts are prone to falling out-of-whack. Our hearts naturally drift to mumbling and grumbling. May Christ cause our hearts to sing by tuning them to the blessedness of grace.
“streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.”
From Christ, the Fount of every blessing, streams of mercy never cease to flow toward those who are in Him. Streams of common grace will one day cease to flow to those who reject Christ, but to those who are His children, they will roar for all eternity. Why has The Fount chosen to let his blessing flow toward us? Because of His mercy, and because of that only. This calls for songs of loudest praise. Such mercy does not call for mumbling. Such mercy does not call for boasting, unless that boasting be in the cross. Such mercy does not call for just any old songs, but songs of loudest praise. May Christ tune our hearts to sing His grace louder than Adele sings for her love. We must not be out-sung by a lost world that knows not so great a love.
“Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.”
The thought of the mercy of God has raptured our author’s heart into the heavenly realms. Our little earthly songs will not do. A heavenly host of creatures surrounds the throne of God day and night to sing, sing, sing. In the presence of God, their songs have reached perfection. May we repeat the perfect words they sing there. One day we will join the heavenly chorus, but until then, we must practice with melodious sonnets.
“Praise the mount – I’m fixed upon it - mount of God’s redeeming love.”
On Calvary’s mount, mercy was poured out upon us through the precious blood spilt by our Savior. It was there, in love, that He redeemed our out-of-whack hearts. The cross of Jesus Christ is the central theme of Christian worship, for without it, there is no worship. Let us fixate our entire beings upon Calvary’s Mount where we find our loving Lord’s body broken for our redemption. The cross has a way of tuning our hearts to sing of its grace. To be fixed upon Jesus is the joy of the Christian. May we stay and linger long at the mount, where loved poured out to us.