Come, Blessing! And “Bring Your Vessels, Not A Few”
Not many hymns provoke the congregation to a question. Leila Morris' "Bring Your Vessels, Not A Few" posits the most critical issue to believers in a hymn.
The question this hymn asks is in its first line, "Are you longing for the fullness of the blessing of the Lord?" The first line, as like many hymns, serves as a secondary or alternative title to the original.
This hymn's presence is small, appearing only in 25 hymnals. Its three stanzas with six lines each delve into how God enriches a person's life and the benefits of being under God's grace, warmth, and love. There is also one chorus with five lines. The chorus lines proclaim that God can give an 'overflowing" presence of the Holy Spirit and power. The chorus also includes the tile/first line, emphasizing the need to fill a void in a believers' heart that only God can fill.
It is set to the tune of "Vessels," a tune composed by the lyricist. The tune has low visibility, appearing in only 16 hymnals.
The hymn was a piece by Lelia (Mrs. C.H.) Morris (1862-1929), born in Ohio. The daughter of John T. E. and Olivia E. Naylor, she grew up in Malta Ohio and grew up with her mother who owned a millinery shop. She later married Charles H. Morris (1881), and the couple was active members of their Methodist Episcopal Church. It is said that she started to write hymns in the 1890s and she did it while doing her house chores. An industrious woman, almost one thousand hymns were credited to her and some number of tunes. Her love to write and compose hymns was so strong that even in the inevitability of blindness in 1913, she continued to write and compose with a blackboard measuring 28 feet with large staff lines.