A DYING TESTIMONY
From Youth’s Living Ideals of the U.S.A.
A touching story is told concerning the singing of part of that well-known hymn by Cowper, ‘There is a fountain filled with blood.’ A young man, suffering from cancer, was about to undergo an operation in one of the large hospitals in Scotland.
When the surgeon had made a careful examination, he discovered that the only hope of saving the life of the patient was the removal of his tongue. The young man was already in the operating room when the surgeon, in a tender and sympathetic way, explained to the sufferer that even though the operation should be successful, he would never again be able to speak and was asked whether there was anything he wished to say before the operation commenced.
For a moment a shadow crossed the brow of the young man at the thought that he would never again be able to testify in song or word for the Master whom he loved. But soon the shadow passed and a smile lighted up his face. He sat up, lifting up his voice, and sang the hymn Â—’There is a fountain filled with blood.’
Before the third verse was reached, not an eye of those who stood around the bed was dry. How he sang! For his heart was in the song. Then came the last verse Â—
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save.
Anaesthetic was administered, the operation performed, but alas! the patient never regained consciousness. Thus his last song on earth would be his first in heaven.
Happy, if with my latest breath,
I may but gasp His name;
Preach Him to all, and cry in death Behold, ‘Behold the Lamb!’
May the possession of that hope which this young man possessed so sanctify and consecrate the lives of those who may read this touching story, that, as you pass from time to eternity, your living witness may lie crowned with your dying witness Â— both consisting in lifting up the Son of Man.
Here are the complete words to the song this young man sang.
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced, to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away.
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its power;
Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved to sin no more.
E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die.
When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler; sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save