Hymn #459: Come, O Fount of Every Blessing

Robert Robinson (1735-1790) is believed to be the author of this hymn, although the original manuscript has not been found. Robinson noted in his diary that a Mr. Wheatly of Norwich had published his hymn in 1758. It only appeared with Robinson’s name in later collections.

Robert Robinson was born September 17, 1735, at Norfolk, England. He was influenced by George Whitefield, John Wesley, and other evangelical preachers and converted to Christianity at the age of twenty. Robinson entered the ministry, but his unstable nature caused him to move from one denomination to another. He was a friend of the scientist Dr. Joseph Priestley.

This anonymous American folk tune is named NETTLETON because it was attributed to Asahel Nettleton, a nineteenth-century evangelist. Although he is not believed to be the composer, his name continues to be used with this tune.

John Wyeth’s (1770-1858) Repository of Sacred Music (1813) marks the first printed use of this anonymous American tune. It may be an old tune that was sung with “Go tell Aunt Tabby her old gray goose is dead.” A similar melody exists in the African American spiritual tradition.