This hymn by Joseph Hart is one of the favourites in our church. It emphasises that we come to Jesus in belief and repentance, trusting that He is enough, that we do not have to be worthy, for He is worthy.
Not every hymnbook includes our fourth verse (and the YouTube recording below lacks it), but I consider that very unfortunate, for the fourth verse is the heart of the message of the hymn. The price that was paid for our sins was enough, for that price was our Maker, laying down His life.
It is because the price was sufficient that we do not think of our own fitness for salvation, that we do not tarry until we are better, that we still come even though poor and needy, in a desperate spiritual condition. Joseph Hart had tried self-improvement with mixed success for many years, but two years before writing this hymn, he gave up on being fit for the Saviour and trusted the Saviour to fit him for the Kingdom. This hymn, then, was his personal testimony.
Lord willing, we’ll be singing this hymn this coming Sunday.
Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.
I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Saviour,
O there are ten thousand charms.
Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.
View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?
Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to know your need of Him.
Joseph Hart, 1712-1768
Music: William Walker, 1809-1875
Amen! I love that hymn because it exalts my Savior and tells of the sufficiency His sacrifice for all sinners. Praise God our Father for His gracious goodness and love given to men through His Son Jesus Christ and His propitiation upon the cross for all,especially for those who believe in and receive Him! God bless you:)
Thanks, Eliza. Occasionally I choose a hymn and preach on the truths it teaches, so that we can know what we are singing, and that it is Biblical truth. I plan to do that with this one tomorrow.
I was at a Sacred Harp singing today in which we sang the words of that hymn to a different tune (BEACH SPRING) and the tune (RESTORATION First) to a different set of words (“Come, thou fount of ev’ry blessing”).
Some hymnals (such as Gadsby’s Hymns) have a slightly altered and longer version in which the first stanza goes like this:
“Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched, / Weak and wounded, sick and sore; / Jesus ready stands to save you, / Full of pity, joined with power; / He is able, / He is willing; doubt no more.”
Yes, I’ve heard this sung to BEACH SPRING and this tune sung with “Come Thou Fount.”
We pretty well like it with this tune. 🙂