There is a fountain filled with blood

“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” – Zechariah 13:1

Most likely written in 1771, first published in 1772 and republished by Cowper and Newton in 1779, this hymn written based on Zechariah 13:1, was written by William Cowper (pronounced “Cooper”). He was born on the 26th of November 1731 in Great Berkhampstead, England to George II, a chaplain, and his wife, who died when Cowper was 6 years.

William Cowper battled with depression from an early age beginning when he was sent to a boarding school at Markyate. Here, he started suffering from frequent emotional difficulties. He was then transferred to a school in Westminster where he was much happier. After graduating, he was apprenticed to a solicitor. In 1754, he was called to the Bar, but never really practiced law. Later in 1763, he was nominated to the Clerkship of Journals of the House of Lords but suffered a panic attack at the interview causing him to lose his chance of that position. This pushed William Cowper into a state of deep depression requiring treatment at a hospital in Huttington during which he stayed in the home of Rev. Morley Unwin and his wife.

After the death of Rev. Unwin in 1767, William Cowper moved to Olney with Mrs. Unwin and her family after John Newton’s persuasion. Newton and Cowper became close friends over the years, and started an influential joint publication. It was during his depression that Cowper wrote the hymn, “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood.” The hymn which is a meditation on the saving power of the blood of Christ was one of Cowper’s best hymns. After a long battle with depression, William Cowper died on April 25, 1800.

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in His day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away:
Washed all my sins away,
Washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more:
Are safe, to sin no more,
Are safe, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

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