“For the Son of man is come to seek
and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10 (KJV)
A British poet, Francis Thompson, (1859-1907) a man of modest ability, lived in London England for some years and became addicted to opium. His most famous poem was entitled, The Hound of Heaven.
Opium was freely used by the poor and wealthy alike to mask pain and a multitude of other medical symptoms. Many became addicted to opium.
For example, the great British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833) took opium for a painful illness and became addicted to it.
Thompson was reduced to selling matches for a living and to support his addiction. He lived for some years on the streets of London.
It took a kindly couple with some money to rescue Thompson from the gutter with the promise to publish his writings.
The reason for Thompson writing The Hound of Heaven was because he underwent an evangelical conversion later in his life. As he reflected on his tragic life of pain, poverty and addiction, he sensed that the Lord had been pursuing him for years.