Tuesday Hymns: “Come, Ye Sinners”

Joseph Hart was born in London in 1712 and at an early age resisted the truths of Christianity, going so far as to write a pamphlet entitled, “The Unreasonableness of Religion, Being Remarks and Animadversions on the Rev. John Wesley Sermon on Romans 8:32.” He was converted at a Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane, London, after hearing a sermon on Revelation 3:10, and eventually became a Non-Conformist pastor and hymn writer. One of his best known hymns is our Tuesday Hymn for this week, “Come, Ye Sinners.” It is a glorious reminder to us of the grace of Christ and of the fact that Jesus did not “come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)

Sunday night at Reformed Presbyterian Church we had a great discussion on the different tunes that were connected to Hart’s lyrics. The tune that I grew up hearing was a tune by an anonymous author entitled, RESTORATION. It has also been sung to Benjamin F. White’s, BEACH SPRING; Robert Edwards.’ CAERSALEM; William Owen’s BRYN CALFARIA; and now made popular to many college students by Matthew Smith’s Indelible Grace version.

The powerful message of Hart’s lyrics seems to be able to rise above whatever tune may be connected to it.

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

Refrain

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Refrain

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

Refrain

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

Refrain

View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Refrain

Lo! th’incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.

Refrain

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

Refrain