Sunday, November 12

The Pulpit

William Cowper (1731-1800) was an influential English poet and hymn writer who, with his spiritual mentor John Newton, helped to dramatically reform the character and canon of Evangelical hymnody. His long lyrical excursus on everyday British life, The Task, includes this beautiful reminder of the unlikely power of preaching:

The pulpit, (and I name it fill'd
With solemn awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing);
The pulpit (when the satirist has at last,
Strutting and vapouring in an empty school,
Spent all his force, and made no proselyte);
I say, the pulpit (in the sober use
Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs)
Must stand acknowledg'd, while the world shall stand,
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause.


Highland Host said...

Praise God for Cowper!

Thomas W. Grimm, Sr. said...

Cowper also wrote some wonderful poems concerning his friend and contemporary Wlm. Willberforce. May God grant us more of their kind in our generation. We're looking forward to doing church with you!