Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hymn For The Week: There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)

There Is A Fountain (A Quiet Place Instrumental Hymns)
  1. There is a fountain filled with blood,
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.
  2. The dying thief rejoiced to see
    That fountain in His day;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away.
  3. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
    Shall never lose its pow’r,
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more.
  4. E’er since by faith I saw the stream
    Thy flowing wounds supply,
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die.
  5. When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
    Lies silent in the grave,
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

William Cowper is one of God's gracious gifts to those suffering from depression. Like the Psalmist who cried, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" (Psalm 42:5), Cowper shows us that our emotional struggles often give us heightened sensitivity to the heart of God and to the need of others.

Cowper (pronounced Cooper), born in 1731, was the forth child a British clergyman and his wife. William's three siblings died, then his mother died while giving birth to the fifth child. William was six when he lost his mother, and it was a blow from which he never recovered. Years later, when someone sent him a picture of her, he wrote:

My mother? When I learn'd that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hover'd  thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?...
I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that nor thee slow away,
And, turning from my nurs'ry window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!

William, emotionally frail, was sent to a boarding school where for two years he was terrorized by a bully which further shattered his nerves. From ages 10 to 18, he had a better experience at Westminster School, developing a love for literature and poetry. His father wanted him to be an attorney, but, preparing for his bar exam, he experienced runaway anxiety. Concluding  himself dammed, he threw away his Bible and attempted suicide.

Friends recommend an asylum run by Dr. Nathaniel Cotton, a lover of poetry and a committed Christian. Under Dr. Cotton's care, William recovered. In the asylum in 1764, he found the Lord while reading Romans 3:25: His life was still to hold many dark days of intense depression, but at least he now had a spiritual foundation. As he later put it: there is a fountain....

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