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Author and Guardian of my life,

Sweet source of light divine,
And (all harmonious names in one)

My Saviour ! 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 joy of reconciliation with God. Written during one of those happy releases from depression which Cowper continued to enjoy during the first years of his residence at Olney.]

I will praise thee every day,
Now thine anger 's turn'd away!
Comfortable thoughts arise
From the bleeding sacrifice.

Here, in the fair gospel field,
Wells of free salvation yield
Streams of life, a plenteous store,
And my soul shall thirst no more.

Jesus is become at length
My salvation and my strength ;
And his praises shall prolong,
While I live, my pleasant song.

Praise ye then his glorious name,
Publish his exalted fame!
Still his worth your praise exceeds,
Excellent are all his deeds.

Raise again the joyful sound,
Let the nations roll it round !
Zion, shout, for this is he,
God the Saviour dwells in thee!

III. [The secret joys of a saving faith in Christ. Written also at St Alban’s, soon after what has been termed “ Cowper's conversion ;” that is, after distress of mind and body, and the desertion of the world, had taught him the vanity of all sublunary comforts without God. The appeal to his “ former friends” is an affecting proof of sincerity. To this hymn he himself gave the expressive title, “ The hidden life.”]

To tell the Saviour all my wants,

How pleasing is the task !
Nor less to praise him when he grants

Beyond what I can ask.

My labouring spirit vainly seeks

To tell but half the joy :
With how much tenderness he speaks,

And helps me to reply!

Nor were it wise, nor should I choose,

Such secrets to declare;
Like precious wines, their taste they lose
· Exposed to open air.

But this with boldness I proclaim,

Nor care if thousands hear,
Sweet is the ointment of his name,

Not life is half so dear.

And can you frown, my former friends,

Who knew what once I was ;
And blame the song that thus commends

The Man who bore the cross

Trust me, I draw the likeness true,

And not as fancy paints ;
Such honour may he give to you,

For such have all his saints.


[The praises of redeeming love. most beautiful.]

The close of the hymn is

THERE is a fountain fill'd 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 have I, as vile as he,

Wash'd all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood

Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransom'd 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.

Lord, I believe thou hast prepared

(Unworthy though I be)
For me a blood-bought free reward,

A golden harp for me!

'Tis strung, and tuned for endless years,

And form’d by power divine ;
To sound in God the Father's ears

No other name but thine.

s The divine wisdom, as displayed in the work of creation and redemption. The imagery of the first stanza is full of graceful beauty; the opening of the second is sublime; and scarcely any transition can be more happily executed than passing from the mysterious revelations of the Old, to the realized love of the New Testament. Proverbs, viii. 22–31.]

ERE God had built the mountains,

Or raised the fruitful hills ;
Before he fill'd the fountains

That feed the running rills ;
In me, from everlasting,

The wonderful I AM,
Found pleasures never wasting,

And Wisdom is my name.

When like a tent to dwell in,

He spread the skies abroad,
And swathed about the swelling

Of ocean's mighty flood ;
He wrought by weight and measure ;

And I was with him then :
Myself the Father's pleasure,

And mine the sons of men.

Thus wisdom's words discover

Thy glory and thy grace,
Thou everlasting lover

Of our unworthy race !
Thy gracious eye survey'd us

Ere stars were seen above ;
In wisdom thou hast made us,

And died for us in love.

And couldst thou be delighted

With creatures such as we,
Who, when we saw thee, slighted

And nail'd thee to a tree ?
Unfathomable wonder!

And mystery divine !
The voice that speaks in thunder,

Says, “ Sinner, I am thine!”


[The obligations of the sinner to Christ. Tender and persuasive, the last verse must touch every breast that has ever felt how inefficient is the will without the grace to love. John, xxi. 16.]

Hark, my soul ! it is the Lord ;
'Tis thy Saviour, hear his word ;
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee :
“ Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me ?

“ I deliver'd thee when bound,
And, when bleeding, heal'd thy wound;
Sought thee wandering, set thee right,
Turn'd thy darkness into light.

“ Can a woman's tender care
Cease toward the child she bare ?
Yes, she may forgetful be,
Yet I will remember thee.

“ Mine is an unchanging love,
Higher than the heights above,
Deeper than the depths beneath,
Free and faithful, strong as death.

“ Thou shalt see my glory soon,
When the work of grace is done ;
Partner of my throne shalt be ;
Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me ?”

Lord, it is my chief complaint,
That my love is cold and faint ;
Yet I love thee and adore,
O for grace to love thee more!

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