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Entries in Cowper (44)


Joy and Peace in Believing

From the Olney Hymns
On the Spiritual Life
William Cowper
Joy and Peace in Believing 

Sometimes a light surprises
The christian while he sings;
It is the LORD who rises
With healing in his wings:
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining
To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation,
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation,
And find it ever new:
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
E’en let th’ unknown tomorrow,
Bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing
But he will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing
Will clothe his people too:
Beneath the spreading heavens,
No creature but is fed;
And he who feeds the ravens,
Will give his children bread.

The vine, nor fig–tree neither,
Their wonted fruit should hear,
Though all the fields should wither,
Nor flocks, nor herds, be there:
Yet God the same abiding,
His praise shall tune my voice;
For while in him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice. 



From the Olney Hymns
On the Spiritual Life
William Cowper

Far from the world, O Lord, I flee,
From strife and tumult far;
From scenes, where Satan wages still,
His most successful war.

The calm retreat, the silent shade,
With prayer and praise agree;
And seem, by thy sweet bounty made,
For those who follow thee.

There if thy Spirit touch the soul,
And grace her mean abode;
Oh with what peace, and joy, and love,
She communes with her God!

There like the nightingale she pours
Her solitary lays,
Nor asks a witness of her song,
Nor thirsts for human praise.

Author and Guardian of my life,
Sweet source of light divine;
And (all harmonious names in one)
My Savior, thou art mine!

What thanks I owe thee, and what love,
A boundless, endless store;
Shall echo through the realms above,
When time shall be no more. 


The Happy Change

From the Olney Hymns
On the Spiritual Life
William Cowper
The Happy Change

How blest thy creature is, O God,
When with a single eye,
He views the lustre of thy word,
The day–spring from on high!

Through all the storms that veil the skies,
And frown on earthly things;
The Sun of righteousness he eyes,
With healing on his wings.

Struck by that light, the human heart,
A barren soil no more;
Sends the sweet smell of grace abroad,
Where serpents lurked before.

The soul, a dreary province once
Of Satan’s dark domain;
Feels a new empire formed within,
And owns a heav’nly reign.

The glorious orb, whose golden beams,
The fruitful year control
Since first obedient to thy word,
He started from the goal,

Has cheered the nations, with the joys
His orient rays impart;
But Jesus, ’tis thy light alone,
Can shine upon the heart. 



From the Olney Hymns
On the Spiritual Life
William Cowper

O Lord, my best desire fulfill
And help me to resign,
Life, health, and comfort to thy will,
And make thy pleasure mine.

Why should I shrink at thy command,
Whose love forbids my fears?
Or tremble at the gracious hand
That wipes away my tears?

No, let me rather freely yield
What most I prize to thee;
Who never hast a good withheld,
Or wilt withhold from me.

Thy favor, all my journey through,
Thou art engaged to grant;
What else I want, or think I do,
’Tis better still to want.

Wisdom and mercy guide my way,
Shall I resist them both?
A poor blind creature of a day,
And crushed before the moth!

But ah! my inward spirit cries,
Still bind me to thy sway;
Else the next cloud that veils my skies,
Drives all these thoughts away. 


Prayer for Patience

From the Olney Hymns
On the Spiritual Life
William Cowper
Prayer for Patience 

Lord, who hast suffered all for me,
My peace and pardon to procure;
The lighter cross I bear for thee,
Help me with patience to endure.

The storm of loud repining hush,
I would in humble silence mourn;
Why should th’ unburnt, though burning bush,
Be angry as the crackling thorn?

Man should not faint at thy rebuke,
Like Joshua falling on his face,
When the cursed thing that Achan took,
Brought Israel into just disgrace.

Perhaps some golden wedge suppressed,
Some secret sin offends my GOD;
Perhaps that Babylonish vest,
Self–righteousness, provokes the rod.

Ah! were I buffeted all day,
Mocked, crowned with thorns, and spit upon;
I yet should have no right to say,
My great distress is mine alone.

Let me not angrily declare
No pain was ever sharp like mine;
Nor murmur at the cross I bear,
But rather weep rememb’ring thine.