Table of Contents
Introduction: A Plentiful Source of Redemption
In Zechariah 13:1, it is foretold that “In that day there shall be a fountain opened…for sin and for uncleanness.” This verse inspired William Cowper to pen the hymn “There Is a Fountain” (#314 in Hymns for Worship Revised, and #160 in Sacred Selections for the Church). Cowper, born into the Anglican clergy, grew up facing physical and emotional challenges. Only finding solace in the Bible after years of suffering, he eventually recovered and went on to write poetry, including this timeless hymn.
The Power of the Fountain
Stanza 1: A Gateway to Cleansing
“This fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And those immersed beneath its flood
Shed all their guilty stains.”
This stanza highlights the significance of Christ’s blood as the means of redemption. Throughout history, blood has played a crucial role in the remission of sins. Jesus, known as Immanuel, had His veins pierced, and from His wounds flows the redeeming blood. When sinners willingly immerse themselves in this divine flood, their guilt is washed away thanks to the salvation made possible by Christ’s blood.
Stanza 2: The Power to Wash Away Sins
“The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.”
This omitted stanza, found in earlier versions of the hymn, refers to the thief who was crucified alongside Jesus. Despite his sinfulness, the thief found hope in the fountain of Christ’s blood. Similarly, we, no matter how morally corrupt we may have been, can experience the cleansing power of the fountain. Through baptism, our sins are washed away, just as the thief’s guilt was pardoned by Jesus.
Stanza 3: Empowering the Church
“Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.”
Jesus, symbolized as the Lamb of God, sacrificed His life, providing redemption through His blood. This powerful resource is made available to us through the gospel. The stanza speaks of the future time when the church of God, those already saved on Earth, will be eternally saved in heaven, free from sin. Until that moment, the grace of God, which offers salvation, will continue to be accessible to all.
Stanza 4: The Symbol of Redeeming Love
“Ere since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.”
When we embrace faith, we perceive the stream created by Christ’s flowing wounds, which serves as a source of justification before God. This stream, a result of God’s redeeming love, demonstrates His act of sending Jesus to save us. Throughout our lives, our central theme should be Christ and His crucifixion, as they exemplify redeeming love.
Stanza 5: The Anticipation of Heavenly Rest
“Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave.”
Stanzas 4 and 5 are intimately connected, expressing a hope that extends beyond death. The phrase “Then in a nobler, sweeter song” refers to the time after death, in accordance with Hebrews 9:27. This implies a belief in the existence of the soul or spirit beyond the grave. The profound hope lies in the fact that even when our feeble tongues lay silent in death, Jesus will return to raise our bodies, transforming them to be like His glorious body. This anticipation enables us to obtain an eternal home in heaven.
Conclusion: The Impact of “There Is a Fountain”
“There Is a Fountain” holds immense significance in emphasizing the role of Christ’s blood in our salvation. Each stanza showcases the power, cleansing, and redemptive love found in this divine fountain. Let us recognize the importance of this hymn’s message both in our lives today and in the future, when we will join in an elevated and sweeter melody. To delve deeper into hymns and their meanings, visit 5 WS.