The Surprising Origins of Two Thanksgiving Hymns

It is true that “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (1844) has overtones of joy at harvest time. In Stanza 1, the people are exhorted to sing in thankfulness for the harvest “safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin” since “doth provide for our wants to be supplied.” However, the reference to a joyful harvest time ends here. In the next three stanzas, the theme unexpectedly shifts to Jesus’ Parable of the Wheat and Weeds (Matthew 13).

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