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Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Matthew 13:36-43
ST. GEORGE'S, WINDSOR  |  Hymn History  |  Bible Passage
Author: Henry Alford, 1810-1871, alt.
Musician: George J. Elvey, 1816-1893

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest-home:
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied:
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest-home.

All the world is God's own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn doth appear:
Lord of of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away;
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come
To Thy final harvest-home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin;
There, forever purified,
In Thy presence to abide:
Come, with all Thine angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest-home.



HYMN HISTORY:

One of the most beautiful seasons of the year especially for the church, is harvest. I love it!

To see the house of God tastefully decorated with the fruits of the field and the flowers of the garden is a sight to gladden any heart. The fruits and flowers are evident tokens of the manifold provisions of God; and it's right that we should have special services of thanksgiving.

Harvest time is also a great opportunity to press home the truths of the Scripture to saint and sinner.

Many a weary child of God has been encouraged to serve the Lord with renewed vigour through a timely message on 'the fields white unto harvest.' Similarly, many a wayward soul has been brought into the shelter of the heavenly garner on hearing that, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.'

But harvest is mainly a time of praise and thanksgiving. I can well remember how much sheer pleasure I experienced, as a boy, just from the singing of the harvest hymns.

I don't remember a single thought from any of the sermons I heard; but I do remember those lovely hymns.

Stirring hymns like, "We Plough The Fields And Scatter", "Where Are The Reapers", "Bringing In The Sheaves" and this one, "Come, Ye Thankful People Come". All these bring back a flood of precious memories.

"Come, Ye Thankful People Come", was first published in 1844, and its original title was "After Harvest."

Only the first stanza deals with the temporal harvest here on earth. The other three portray the spiritual harvest of precious souls and the time when God shall come to 'gather in' His people.

It seems clear that this hymn is based on those encouraging words in Psalm 126:6: 'He that goeth forth and weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.' The lines of each stanza are well worth a thoughtful perusal.

The author, Rev. Henry Alford DD, was born in London, England, on October 7 1810.

From all appearances he was a very godly man. Indeed, it is reported that when he was just fifteen old he dedicated himself to the Lord in the words of this sacred vow:.

'I do this day, in the presence of God and my
own soul, renew my covenant with God,
and solemnly determine henceforth to
become His and to do His work as far as in
me lies.'

It seems that he never deviated from this for the rest of his life. Biographers describe Henry Alford as a pious young student, an eloquent preacher, a sound Biblical critic, a man of great learning and taste, one of the most gifted men of his day, and, an affectionate man, full of good humour.'

His literary skills were displayed in every department of the art. He wrote a total of 50 books, the most important of them being his four volume Exposition of the New Testament. It took him more than twenty years to complete.

But above all, he was a superior preacher, who ever lived in the light of eternity, and sought to point his listeners heavenward.

Come ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest-home;
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God our maker doth provide,
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest-home.


BIBLE PASSAGE:

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.



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