Robert Robinson was born in 1735 in Swaffham, Norfolk, England. His father died when Robert was very young and he turned to a life of reckless abandon. One night, Robert and his friends harassed a drunken gypsy, demanding that she tell their fortune for free. She pointed directly at him and told him that he would live to see his children and grandchildren.
These words shook Robert, and he lived in fear of where his life would lead him were he not to change.
This led Robert, under the guise of going to mock him with his friends, to hear the preaching of Methodist evangelist George Whitefield. Whitefield’s sermon, dealing with John the Baptist’s words, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7). These words filled him with a deep conviction of sin. After three years of wrestling, Robert repented of his sin and became a Methodist Pastor.
Two years later, he wrote his best known hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.This hymn, with its passionate portrayal of our tendency to wander from our gracious and merciful God, is still a favorite of many Protestant Christians today. The original lyrics of which are reprinted below.