Hymn Appreciation: Come Ye Thankful People Come

Come Ye Thankful People Come was written by Henry Alford. He was born in Somerset County, London, in 1810. He was raised in a family that gave five consecutive generations of clergymen to the Anglican church. At a young age, Alford began writing. He had written several Latin odes (poems), a history of the Jews and a series of homiletic outlines. He served as pastor at the Quebec Chapel in Marylebone, London until 1857, when he was promoted to become the Dean of Canterbury, where he served until his death in 1871. Alford wrote many poems and hymns and he published several books.

A little hymn history on Come Ye Thankful People Come written by Henry Alford. frogslilypad.net

Each of the stanzas of Come Ye Thankful People Come is centered on a theme of harvest. First is the invitation to give thanks in God's church. Verse two and three are Alford's commentary on the parable of the wheat and the tares and verse four is a prayer for the Lord's return.

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
Bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.