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Sometimes a light surprises

Representative Text

1 Sometimes a light surprises
the Christian while he sings;
it is the Lord, who rises
with healing in his wings;
when comforts are declining,
he grants the soul again
a season of clear shining,
to cheer it after rain.

2 In holy contemplation,
we sweetly then pursue
the theme of God’s salvation,
and find it ever new;
set free from present sorrow,
we cheerfully can say,
“Let the unknown tomorrow
bring with it what it may.”

3 It can bring with it nothing
but he will bear us through;
who gives the lilies clothing
will clothe his people too;
beneath the spreading heavens
no creature but is fed;
and he who feeds the ravens
will give his children bread.

4 Though vine nor fig tree neither
their wonted fruit should bear,
though all the field should wither,
nor flocks nor herds be there;
yet God the same abideth,
his praise shall tune my voice,
for, while in him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #487

Author: William Cowper

Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25, 1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hasti… Go to person page >

Notes

Sometimes a light surprises. W. Cowper. [Joy and Peace in Believing.] Published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book iii., No. 48, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed "Joy and Peace in Believing." It is in O. XJ. in its full and in an abbreviated form. There are also two centos therefrom in modern collections:—(1) "In holy contemplation, we sweetly then pursue," in the American Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, and later editions; and (2) "Thy children, Lord, lack nothing," in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1870. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 20 of 20)
Text

Ancient and Modern #519

Text

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #56

Page Scan

Common Praise #572

Text InfoTextAudio

Glory to God #800

Text

Hymnal 1982 #667

Hymnal #603

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #108

Hymns and Psalms #571a

Hymns and Psalms #571b

Hymns of the Saints #154

Hymns of the Saints #155

TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #309

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #159

The Baptist Hymnal #316

The Covenant Hymnal #94

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #6199

The Willard Hymnary #14

Text

Together in Song #128

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #621

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #487

Include 339 pre-1979 instances
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