"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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    On William Cowpers Grave Site


    It is a place where po­ets crowned may feel the heart’s decaying;
    It is a place where happy saints may weep amid their praying;
    Yet let the grief and humbleness as low as silence can languish:
    Earth surely now may give her calm to whom she gave her anguish.

    O po­ets from a maniac’s tongue was poured the deathless singing!
    O Christ­ians, at your cross of hope a hopeless hand was clinging!
    O men, this man in brotherhood your weary paths beguiling,
    Groaned inly while he taught you peace, and died while ye were smiling!

    And now, what time ye all may read through dimming tears his story,
    How discord on the music fell and darkness on the glory,
    And how when, one by one, sweet sounds and wandering lights departed,
    He wore no less a loving face because so broken-hearted.

    With quiet sadness and no gloom, I learn to think upon him,
    With meekness that is gratefulness to God whose Heaven hath won him,
    Who suffered once the madness-cloud to His own love to blind him,
    But gently led the blind along where breath and bird could find him;

    And wrought with­in his shattered brain such quick po­etic senses
    As hills have language for, and stars, harmonious influences:
    The pulse of dew upon the grass kept his with­in its number,
    And silent shadows from the trees refreshed him like a slumber.

    Wild timid hares were drawn from woods to share his home-caresses,
    Uplooking to his human eyes with sylvan tendernesses,
    The very world, by God’s constraining, from falsehood’s ways removing,
    Its women and its men be­came, beside him, true and loving.

    And though, in blindness, he remained unconscious of that guiding,
    And things provided came with­out the sweet sense of providing,
    He testified this solemn truth, while phrensy desolated,—
    Nor man nor nature satisfied whom on­ly God created.

    Posted by on April 26, 2006 06:02 PM


    Cowper's "There is a Fountain" is my favorite hymn and one of the first I sang after my conversion. His life and hymns mean a great deal to me because of this connection and I wanted to thank you for sharing this with us. Who is the author?

    I was particularly struck by the line "O Christ­ians, at your cross of hope a hopeless hand was clinging!" That captures poor Cowper so perfectly, I feel. He despaired, but he never really let go of Christ. He counted himself accursed, but never turned away from the One whose curse he thought was upon him.

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