Monday, January 7, 2008

Blest Be The Tie That Binds


Words: John Faw­cett, Hymns Adapt­ed to the Cir­cum­stance of Pub­lic Wor­ship (Leeds, Eng­land: 1782).

"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. This song, and “God be with you un­til we meet again,” are the most use­ful fare­well hymns in the world." (

“I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love...” Hosea 11:4

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

In heaven above, surely there will be harmony sweet. Never will there be a discouraging word, a cross look, a prejudiced thought. All will be kindness, unity, grace and love. How sweet it is when in Christian fellowship we can now experience the same. In the Church of Jesus Christ this is to be our vision, our goal, the mark to which we march toward. It is a blessed tie, a band of love, a bond of perfectness, and picture of Christ Himself.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

It has often been my comfort to hear the prayers of the saints, and to pray with them. I love the singing, and I love the preaching, but the heavenward language of a heart’s prayer is edifying beyond imagination. Certainly it is more than a relief, it is an effectual pouring out of our soul’s desire, or our heart’s complaint. God from heaven hears, and relieves our struggles.

Together in prayer we’re blessed to pray in the presence of others so all know our trouble, our worry, our hope, our vision. Together we’re encouraged to hear such thoughts of the inward parts.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

The scriptures tell us to rejoice with our brethren who rejoice, and we’re to weep with those that weep. I love to hear the requests of the saints for prayer, and more to hear them pour out their own prayers to God. In such times my heart pours forth to God for His help to them, during such moments my heart is drawn closer to them.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

In times when the Spirit of God is attending us in the assembly, it is a grievous time to part with the saints. However, our consolation is to know that soon we’ll be gathered together again at the next Lord’s day, and if not then, in heaven itself.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

Each time I have to depart the Lord’s house, it truly is a revival to know that soon I’ll be gathered with His people again, and soon I’ll experience their encouragement. The day of the Lord’s service is a day of expectation for His faithful disciples, and is a favored time to their soul. How much more favored is the great day of anticipation where perfect love and harmony will be experienced at the end of time!

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

While the fellowship of the saints and their prayers are wonderful and helpful, it can never fully remove our pain, toil, sorrow and sin; however, the day approached that the Ascended Christ shall ensure the removal of all those things, and the addition of a day of perfect bliss. A day without end. What a hope the Christian has, what wonderful expectation. But also what a blessing is ours in the congregation of the Lord to bear and be bound together!