Charles H. Spurgeon is well known as a great preacher and pastor. He championed the truth of God’s Word and labored to make known the gospel of Jesus Christ. Spurgeon, however, was also a hymn-writer and compiler of hymns. He prepared a collection of hymns for use at the Metropolitan Tabernacle during his ministry. And he composed hymns.
The last hymn written by Spurgeon is included in the second volume of his autobiography, The Full Harvest, reprinted by Banner of Truth in 1973. On pages 426-427 he provides the words to the hymn and the following account:
The hymn was written in the early part of the year 1890, and was inserted in the programme used at the next College Conference. Those who were present, on that occasion, are not likely to forget the thrilling effect produced when five hundred ministers and students joined in singing it to the tune ‘Nottingham’. At the commencement, all sat and sang; but as they came to the later verses, they spontaneously rose, the time was quickened, and Mr. Manton Smith’s cornet helped to swell the volume of praise expressed by the writer.
The hymn is a glorious expression of praise for God’s grace coming upon a dry and dead sinner, raising him up, and plunging him into the glories of knowing and serving Jesus. The verses form a grand crescendo that reaches its peak in Christ alone.
1. All my soul was dry and dead
Till I learned that Jesus bled;
Bled and suffered in my place,
Bearing sin in matchless grace.
2. Then a drop of Heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret, mystic art
Reached the center of my heart.
3. Glad the story I recount,
How that drop became a fount,
Bubbled up a living well,
Made my heart begin to swell.
4. All within my soul was praise,
Praise increasing all my days;
Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free.
5. More and more the waters grew,
Open wide the flood-gates flew,
Leaping forth in streams of song
Flowed my happy life along.
6. Lo! A river clear and sweet
Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
And I praised and prayed with ease.
7. Now my soul in praises swims,
Bathes in songs, and psalms and hymns;
Plunges down into the deeps,
All her powers in worship steeps.
8. Hallelujah! O my Lord!
Torrents from my soul are poured!
I am carried clean away,
Praising, praising all the day.
9. In an ocean of delight,
Praising God with all my might,
Self is drowned; so let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.
—C.H. Spurgeon, 1890
Download here a PDF file of the hymn set to the tune sung at the Pastor’s College, NOTTINGHAM, based on music by W. A. Mozart, 1756-1791.