Come, Ye Thankful People, Come | Henry Alford

Come, ye thankful people, come
Author: Henry Alford (1844)
Tune: ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR (Elvey)
Scripture Songs
Published in 611 hymnals

This hymn is commonly sung as a song of rejoicing over a bountiful harvest, which it appears to be from the first stanza. However, it is really a more sobering text and may have been intended to provoke Christians to consider whether they are truly people of God (represented by the wheat in Jesus’ parable of Matthew 13), or merely lookalikes (represented by the weeds – also called “tares” in some translations).

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1. 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.

2. All the world is God’s own field, fruit as praise to God we yield;
Wheat and tares together sown are to 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.

3. For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home;
From the 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 the garner evermore.

4. 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 presence to abide;
Come, with all thine angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.

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