Saturday, April 25, 2009

God is His own interpreter

Justin Taylor reminds us that:
On this day in history, 1800, the incredibly gifted but frequently and deeply depressed William Cowper died at the age of 68.
And he refers us to John Piper's Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Soul of a Saint, a good summary biography and reflection on the life of the poet and hymn-writer, who, undoubtedly a Christian, suffered from melancholy and depression all of his adult life.

He wrote the lyrics to many hymns which, with even more hymns by John Newton, were published. Among the best known of Cowper's contributions are "There is a Fountain Filled With Blood," and "Sometimes a Light Surprises." But, agreeing with Piper, the one I appreciate the most is "God Moves in a Mysterious Way."

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purpose will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain:
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Between Two Worlds: William Cowper, Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Soul of a Saint :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

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