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Archive for May 29th, 2021

Light shining out of darkness.

Posted by appolus on May 29, 2021

The title of the last poem that that William Cowper wrote, in 1773, was “Light shining out of Darkness.” It became known by the first line “God moves in a mysterious way.” John Newton would publish it the following year. It might help to understand the original title when we consider that William wrote this poem after attempting suicide. And so the darkness that he is writing about was gross darkness indeed and how sweet the light of Christ that rescues us even if we make our beds in hell, even the darkness, shall be light unto Him. He also wrote “There is a fountain filled with Blood,” and “O for a closer walk with God.”

These words written, have comforted countless millions over the last 250 years. William, in his serious battles with depression over his whole lifetime could never have imagined the impact his life would have, how it would continue to resonate down through the centuries. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in a man who walked in the darkness of depression for much of his life. Light shining out of darkness. God indeed moves in mysterious ways, who can explain our God? I tell you this though, you rarely if ever read words like this anymore. Savor the words below, they are rich in depth and meaning as opposed to so much of the shallowness that today passes for writing.

    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 a 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.

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