William Cowper

William Cowper 1731-1800

William Cowper 1731-1800

William Cowper, 1731-1800

Born: No­vem­ber 15, 1731, Great Berk­hamp­stead, Hert­ford­shire, Eng­land.
Died: Ap­ril 25, 1800, East Dere­ham, Nor­folk, Eng­land.
Buried: East Dere­ham, Nor­folk, Eng­land. Cowper’s friend and hymn writ­ing part­ner John Newton con­duct­ed the fun­er­al ser­vice.

Cowper (pro­nounced “Koop­er”), “is a name highly respected in English classic literary circles. He is the most honored poet between Pope and Shelley and is viewed as one of the finest of all English writers.” His fa­ther was an English clergyman and his mother was from royalty. He went through the mo­tions of be­com­ing an at­tor­ney, but ne­ver prac­ticed law. In 1764 at 33, “Cowper realized a personal relationship with Christ and a sense of forgiveness of sin.” After that he recovered  from depression. He lived near Ol­ney, Buck­ing­ham­shire, the name­sake town of the Ol­ney Hymns, which he co-wrote with John New­ton, au­thor of Amaz­ing Grace. Cowper wrote 67 Hymns, two of which are “O For a Closer Walk with God” and “There is a Fountain.” The later hymn “only eternity will reveal the hosts who, through the singing of this hymn, have be made aware of the efficacy of Christ’s complete atonement.”

“He was easily depressed and in a fit of depression, which later turned towards suicide, Cowper was moved to write,”

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take:
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.


* Northcott, p. 81
* Hatfield, pp. 158-65
* Julian, pp. 265-6, 1625-6
* Nutter, p. 401
* Sutherland, pp. 271-96
* Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories, pp. 264-265


  1. Almighty King! Whose Won­drous Hand
  2. As Birds Their Infant Brood Protect
  3. By Whom Was Da­vid Taught
  4. Bestow, Dear Lord, upon Our Youth
  5. Billows Swell, the Winds Are High, The
  6. Breathe from the Gen­tle South, O Lord
  7. Dear Lord, Accept a Sinful Heart
  8. Ere God Had Built the Mount­ains
  9. Far from the World, O Lord, I Flee
  10. Fierce Pass­ions Discom­pose the Mind
  11. Glory Gilds the Sac­red Page, A
  12. God Gives His Mer­cies to Be Spent
  13. God Moves in a Mys­ter­i­ous Way
  14. God of My Life, to Thee I Call
  15. Grace, Triumphant in the Throne
  16. Gracious Lord, Our Child­ren See
  17. Hark, My Soul, It Is the Lord!
  18. Heal Us, Em­man­u­el
  19. Hear What God the Lord Hath Spok­en
  20. His Mas­ter Taken from His Head
  21. Ho­ly Lord God! I Love Thy Truth
  22. Honor and Happiness Unite
  23. How Blest Thy Crea­ture Is, O God
  24. I Was a Groveling Crea­ture Once
  25. I Will Praise Thee Ev­ery Day
  26. Israel in Ancient Days
  27. Jesus, Where’er Thy Peo­ple Meet
  28. Jesus, Whose Blood So Free­ly Streamed
  29. Lord, My Soul with Pleasure Springs
  30. Lord Pro­claims His Grace Abroad, The
  31. Lord Receives His High­est Praise, The
  32. Lord, Who Hast Suf­fered All for Me
  33. Lord Will Hap­pi­ness Di­vine, The
  34. My God! How Per­fect Are Thy Ways!
  35. My God! Till I Received Thy Stroke
  36. My Song Shall Bless the Lord of All
  37. My Soul Is Sad and Much Dismayed
  38. Newborn Child of Gos­pel Grace, The
  39. No Strength of Na­ture Can Suffice
  40. O for a Clos­er Walk with God
  41. O God, Whose Favorable Eye
  42. O How I Love Thy Ho­ly Word
  43. O Lord, My Best De­sire Fulfill
  44. Of All the Gifts Thine Hand Bestows
  45. Saints Should Ne­ver Be Dismayed, The
  46. Savior Hides His Face!, The
  47. Savior! What a Noble Flame, The
  48. Sin Enslaved Me Ma­ny Years
  49. Sin Has Undone Our Wretch­ed Race
  50. Sometimes a Light Surprises
  51. There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
  52. This Is the Feast of Heav’nly Wine
  53. Thy Mansion Is the Christ­ian’s Heart
  54. ’Tis My Happiness Below
  55. To Je­sus, the Crown of My Hope
  56. To Keep the Lamp Alive
  57. To Tell the Sav­ior All My Wants
  58. To Those Who Know the Lord I Speak
  59. Too Ma­ny, Lord, Abuse Thy Grace
  60. What Thousands Ne­ver Knew the Road!
  61. What Various Hindrances We Meet
  62. When Dark­ness Long Has Veiled My Mind
  63. When Hagar Found the Bottle Spent
  64. Winter Has a Joy for Me
  65. Write to Sardis, Saith the Lord
  66. Ye Sons of Earth Prepare the Plough

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