Scripture Verse

I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against Heaven and you. Luke 15:18


Alfred H. Ackley

Words: Al­fred H. Ack­ley, 1910.

Music: Bent­ley D. Ack­ley (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Al­fred Ack­ley, would you ?

Bentley D. Ackley

Origin of the Hymn

The click­ing of the wheels on the rail joints on a stuf­fy day coach in which I was rid­ing be­came so au­di­ble, and had such a per­sis­ten­tly in­trus­ive note, I found my­self keep­ing time with the rhyth­mic clicks. I shift­ed from one thought to an­oth­er, seek­ing to find a suit­a­ble phrase to match the rail-rhythm. All this with­out any def­ini­te ideas for a me­lo­dy. Of course, the fact that I was hur­ry­ing home be­tween meet­ings at Dan­ville [Il­li­nois], and Bell­ing­ham [Wash­ing­ton], fo­cused my at­ten­tion on my home, for I would not get to see my young­est daugh­ter, then three months old, un­less I left the Dan­ville cam­paign Thurs­day be­fore its close. This I did, and though the train out of Terre Haute [In­di­a­na] car­ried no par­lor car, that old stuf­fy day coach clicked out a match­ing rhythm to the idea fixed in my mind, ‘Well, I’m com­ing home to­day.’ On the lit­tle pad which I in­var­i­ably car­ried with me in those days, I jot­ted down the idea and the me­lo­dy which ac­com­pa­nied it, sug­gest­ed with words beat­en out by the car-click­ing wheels on the rails.

My broth­er, A. H. Ack­ley, to whom I im­me­diat­ely sent the man­u­script, wrote the words on the theme, and to the me­lo­dy I had sent him. I took the song with me when we opened the Bil­ly Sun­day meet­ings at New Cas­tle [Penn­syl­van­ia], in 1910.

Bentley Ack­ley, quot­ed in San­ville, p. 68


Jesus, I am coming home today, for
I have found there’s joy in Thee alone;
From the path of sin I turn away; now
I am coming home.


Jesus, I am coming home today,
Never, never more from Thee to stray;
Lord, I now accept Thy precious promise,
I am coming home.

Many years my heart has strayed from Thee, and
Now repentant to Thy throne I come;
Jesus opened up the way for me; now
I am coming home.


O the misery my sin has caused me,
Naught but pain and sorrow I have known;
Now I seek Thy saving grace and mercy;
I am coming home.


Fully trusting in Thy precious promise,
With no righteousness to call my own,
Pleading nothing but the blood of Jesus,
I am coming home.


Now I seek the cross where Jesus died! For
All my sins His blood will still atone,
Flowing o’er till ev’ry stain is covered;
I am coming home.