Yesterday our church had the privilege of helping with the official start of a new Baptist church. It was so exciting to be a part of this. The new pastor and his family have been members of our church for several months, and while we will miss them we are also excited for this new beginning.
The last song we sang together was “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”. This is such a sweet song, and I think you will find the story behind it just as sweet. I had heard this story and was glad to see it again as I researched this song.
Dr. John Fawcett was the pastor of a small church at Wainsgate, and was called from there to a larger church in London in 1772. He accepted the call and preached his farewell sermon. The wagons were loaded with his books and furniture, and all was ready for the departure, when his parishioners gathered around him, and with tears in their eyes begged of him to stay. His wife said, “Oh John, John, I cannot bear this.” “Neither can I,” exclaimed the good pastor, “and we will not go. Unload the wagons and put everything as it was before.” His decision was hailed with great joy by his people, and he wrote the words of this hymn in commemoration of the event.
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.
We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.
From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.
The last two verses here were new to me yesterday. I had never heard them before.
The church I was in before I was married had a tradition (that I loved) of everyone holding hands in a circle around the perimeter of the auditorium after celebrating the Lord’s Supper and singing the first verse of this song.