#285 God Moves in a Mysterious Way

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1. God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

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

3. His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

4. Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan his works in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

Text: William Cowper, 1731-1800
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: William Cowper

William Cowper (play /ˈkpər/ koo-pər; 26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800)[1] was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetrySamuel Taylor Coleridge called him “the best modern poet”, whilst William Wordsworth particularly admired his poem Yardley-Oak. He was a nephew of the poet Judith Madan.

While Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity, the inspiration behind his much-loved hymns, he often experienced doubt and feared that he was doomed to eternal damnation. His religious sentiment and association with John Newton (who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace“) led to much of the poetry for which he is best remembered. His poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” gave the English language theidiom “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”

Cowper is represented with fifteen hymns in The Church Hymn book 1872:

  • 127 Jesus! where’er thy people meet
  • 357 The Spirit breathes upon the word
  • 450 There is a fountain, filled with blood
  • 790 Hark! my soul! it is the Lord
  • 856 To Jesus, the Crown of my hope
  • 871 Far from the world, O Lord! I flee
  • 885 My Lord! how full of sweet content (1782 translation)
  • 932 What various hindranes we meet
  • 945 Oh! for a closer walk with God
  • 965 When darkness long has veiled my mind
  • 1002 T is my happiness below
  • 1009 O Lord! in sorrow I resign (1782 translation)
  • 1029 O Lord! my best desire fulfill
  • 1043 There is a safe and secret place
  • 1060 God of my life! to thee I call

Music By: William B. Bradbury

William Batchelder Bradbury (October 6, 1816 – January 7, 1868) was a musician who composed the tune to Jesus Loves Me and many other popular hymns.

He composed many tunes, including those for He Leadeth Me, Just As I Am, Without One Plea, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us and The Solid Rock, all of which can still be found in hymmbooks and songbooks today.