09 August 2005

"Shall Never Lose Its Power"

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, as vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb! Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.

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.

Then, in a nobler sweeter song
I'll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave.

-- William Cowper, 1731-1800. Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship (London: Wakeman Trust, 1991): 248.

We sang this hymn during our communion service recently, and I couldn't help but exult in the power of the Christ's death to reach its goal in me and in the human race. The final glorification of all the elect of every nation and through every age has been secured by the dying (and now living!) Lamb.

"Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand" (Isaiah 53:10).


joydriven said...

cowper was cool.

Jeremy Pittsley said...

Very true. I didn't know much about him until I put in the link for his name. I originally had the Wikipedia article for his bio, but I found it disturbing. Piper does a good job with it, so I left that one there.
His inner despair produced great works of poetry; the best works came when he was able to get a glimpse of "the hidden smile of God."

joydriven said...

i know "cool" is an understatement. i did a paper on newton & cowper for history of doctrine class in seminary. it was one of the greatest highlights of my education, period. kwm might have the stuff still.