Henry Alford was a minister’s son, and the fifth consecutive generation of ministers. After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, he entered the Anglican ministry and rose quickly from one position to another until he became the Dean of Canterbury. He was well known as a Greek scholar who spent twenty years writing his four-volume edition of the Greek Testament. He was musically gifted as well and wrote several books of hymns. A devout man, it is said that at the end of every day and every meal, he would stand and thank God for his love care and gifts1.
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 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.
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.
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.
1page 210 – Leeman, D. and Leeman, B., 2022. Our Hymns, Our Heritage: A Student Guide to Songs of the Church