(photograph of Fred Berryman)
O SINNER, COME TO THE SAVIOR
“…And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37)
INTRO.: A song which encourages us to come to Him who will in no wise cast us out is “O Sinner, Come to the Savior.” The text was written by William Frederick “Fred” Berryman, who was born on Jan. 17, 1898, at Yellowpine in Sabine County, Texas, to James Charley Berryman (1862–1932) and Helen Ada Veatch Berryman (1866–1938). His wife’s name was Roxie (nee Brown), and they had two sons, Billy Don and Ed, and one daughter, Violet Sue. Berryman started his singing career at the age of 22. He taught singing schools and led singing at gospel meetings for 45 years. Most of his work was in east Texas and west Louisiana. His occupation was listed as “Minister for the Churches of Christ.”
Berryman wrote his first song at the age of thirty. His early songs were “Look Up and Catch the Sunshine” and “Shine On, Fair Star.” Several of his songs have been published, including “O Sinner, Come to the Savior,” with the tune composed by J. H. Ener. It was copyrighted in 1968 by the National Music Co., which was owned by the composer of “No Tears in Heaven,” Robert S. Arnold, and first appeared in their Songs So Precious. It was also used in the 1982 book Our Garden of Song edited by Gene C. Finley.
The Berrymans lived in Yellowpine and were members of the Hemphill Church of Christ. Berryman died, aged 83, at the Sabine County Hospital Hemphill, Sabine County, Texas, on Mar. 9, 1981, following an extended illness. Preceded in death by his parents, he was survived by his widow, his children, eight grandchildren, three brothers, and two sisters. Funeral services were held on Friday, March 13, at the Warren Meadows Funeral Chapel in Hemphill, with Don Gannon officiating. Burial was in the Victoria Cemetery at Toro, in Sabine Parish, Louisiana.
“O Sinner, Come to the Savior” suggests three reasons why the sinner needs to come to Jesus.
I. Stanza 1 says that He alone can save us
O sinner, come to the Savior;
He alone can save your soul.
Plunge ‘neath the soul’s cleansing fountain;
Come now and be made whole.
- Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners: 1 Tim. 1:15
- To be saved, we must plunge beneath the cleansing fountain in baptism: Rom. 6:3-4
- When we do this, we are made whole by the redemption through His blood: Eph. 1:7
II. Stanza 2 says that He will take our burdens away
Come unto Him with your burdens;
He will take them all away.
Write your dear name up in heaven,
Where it will ever stay.
- Our burdens cause us to be weary and heavy laden: Matt. 11:28-30
- But when we come to Him, we can cast our burdens and cares on Him: 1 Pet. 5:6-7
- The result of coming to Him is that our names will be written in heaven: Lk. 10:20
III. Stanza 3 says that He is calling and waiting
Come while for you He is calling;
He has often called before.
In pearly parts He is waiting,
Calling from heaven’s shore.
- He calls us through the gospel: 2 Thess. 2:13-14
- Now He is waiting for us where the gates are of pearl: Rev. 21:21
- Calling from heaven’s shore, He wants to take us to be where He is: Jn. 14:1-3
CONCL.: The chorus continues to urge lost sinners to come to Jesus for salvation.
Come while for you He’s waiting;
Come, there is rest in His fold.
Only the Savior can save you;
Only His blood makes whole.
The Scriptures do not specifically require an “invitation song.” However, in preaching the gospel we are extending the Lord’s invitation, and we are authorized to teach and admonish in song. What better way to invite the lost to Jesus than by singing “O Sinner, Come to the Savior”?