Dr. John Fawcett was the pastor of a small church at Wainsgate, and was called from there to a larger church in London in 1772. He accepted the call and preached his farewell sermon. The wagons were loaded with his books and furniture, and all was ready for the departure, when his parishioners gathered around him, and with tears in their eyes begged of him to stay. His wife said, ”Oh, John, John, I cannot bear this.” "Neither can I,” exclaimed the good parson,” and we will not go. Unload the wagons and put everything as it was before.” His decision was hailed with great joy by his people, and he wrote the words of this hymn in commemoration of the event. This song, and ”God be with you till we meet again,” are the most useful farewell hymns in the world.
Mr. Moody used to tell of a Sunday-school teacher, to whom he had given a class of girls, who one day came to Mr. Moody's store much disheartened. He had suffered from hemorrhage of the lungs, and his doctor had ordered him to leave Chicago. He was sad because he felt that he had not made a true effort to save his class. At Mr. Moody's proposal that they go to visit each of the class members, they took a carriage and at once began the work, the young man in his feebleness saying what he could to each. At a farewell meeting where they were all gathered, they endeavored to sing ”Blest be the tie that binds,” but their hearts were full and their voices failed. Every member of the class yielded her heart to God.