The sower soweth the Word. Mark 4:14
Words: William Cowper, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779).
Music: St. James Ralph Courteville, in Select Psalms and Hymns for the Use of the Parish Church and Tabernacle of St. James’, Westminster, 1696 (🔊 pdf nwc).
If you know where to get a good picture of Courteville (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
Ye sons of earth, prepare the plough,
Break up your fallow ground!
The Sower is gone forth to sow,
And scatter blessings round.
The seed that finds a stony soil
Shoots forth a hasty blade;
But ill repays the sower’s toil,
Soon withered, scorched, and dead.
The thorny ground is sure to balk
All hopes of harvest there;
We find a tall and sickly stalk,
But not the fruitful ear.
The beaten path and highway side
Receive the trust in vain;
The watchful birds the spoil divide,
And pick up all the grain.
But where the Lord of grace and power
Has blessed the happy field,
How plenteous is the golden store
The deep wrought furrows yield!
Father of mercies, we have need
Of Thy preparing grace;
Let the same hand that gives me seed
Provide a fruitful place!