1 Fountain of mercy, God of love,
How rich Thy bounties are!
The rolling seasons, as they move,
Proclaim Thy constant care.
2 When in the bosom of the earth
The sower hid the grain,
Thy goodness marked its secret birth,
And sent the early rain.
3 The spring's sweet influence, Lord, was Thine;
The plants in beauty grew;
Thou gav'st refulgent suns to shine,
And the refreshing dew.
4 These various mercies from above
Matured the swelling grain;
A kindly harvest crowns Thy love,
And plenty fills the plain.
5 We own and bless Thy gracious sway;
Thy hand all nature hails;
Seed-time nor harvest, night nor day,
Summer nor winter, fails.
Source: Methodist Hymn and Tune Book: official hymn book of the Methodist Church #631
|First Line:||Fountain of mercy, God of love|
|Title:||God's Bountiful Goodness|
Fountain of mercy, God of love. Alice Flowerdew. [Harvest.] Frst published in her Poems on Moral and Religious Subjects, 3rd edition, 1811, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, “Harvest Hymn." It has been contended by some that it is taken from John Needham's hymn, No. lvi., in his Hymns Devotional and Moral, &c, 1763, which opens:—
"To praise the ever bounteous Lord,
My soul, wake all thy powers:
He calls, and at His voice come forth
The smiling harvest hours."
Needham's hymn, however, is very inferior in design and composition, and has nothing in common with this, by Mrs. Flowerdew, save the subject of Harvest. Mrs. Flowerdew's hymn was brought into congregational use by Cotterill in his Selection, 1819, where it was given in 5 stanzas, the last being by himself or Montgomery. The latter repeated it in his Christian Psalmist, 1825. In the Anglican Hymn Book, 1868, it is given as "O Fount of mercy, God of love." Its use in its original and other forms is extensive in most English-speaking countries. Original text in Hymnal Companion, No. 50.
An altered version of this hymn is very popular. It was given in Murray's Hymnal, 1852, as:—
"Father of mercies, God of love,
Whose gifts all creatures share;"
and later in numerous collections in Great Britain and America, including Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861 (where a doxology is substituted for the last stanza), and others. Another form of this hymn was given anonymously in Longfellow and Johnson's American Unitarian Book of Hymns,
1846; their Hymns of the Spirit, 1864; and in Mrs. E. Courtauld's Psalms, Hymns & Anthems, Lond., 1860. It begins, "Fountain of life, and God of love."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)