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By William Cowper

1

God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.


2

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill,

He treasures up his bright designs,

And works his sov’reign will.


3

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.


4

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust him for his grace;

Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.


5

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding ev’ry hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flow’r.


6

Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan his work in vain;

God is his own interpreter,

And he will make it plain.


Poet Bio

The life of William Cowper was defined by extended periods of depression and spiritual agony. At age twenty-three, after leaving school, Cowper began to study law, but stopped because of severe depression. He recovered, but soon relapsed, and was hospitalized; while in the asylum he converted to Evangelicalism. Once released, he lived with a reverend and his wife. After the reverend’s death, Cowper became engaged to the wife, with whom he lived for twenty-three years, until her death. In “Light Shining Out of Darkness,” Cowper explores the relationship between God and the world and how to react to God’s unfathomable power.