Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Great Cowper Quote

One of my favorite pastimes is listening to books. I do understand that some folks don't have the constitution for such things, but I thoroughly enjoy it and my children have picked up on my habit and find it a most enjoyable exercise as well. I think I may enjoy them enjoying it as much as I enjoy it myself.

The book I am currently listening to is John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Aiken. Newton is one of my heroes. His insight and experience with the grace of God is well known and encapsulated in his immortal words "Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound." One of Newton's dearest friends was William Cowper. Cowper was even more the poet than Newton. From Cowper we have received the timeless treasure "God Moves in a Mysterious Way - His Wonders to Perform..."

During the Abolition of the Slave Trade movement in late 18th century England, Newton published Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade, a first hand account of the wickedness and cruelty that was the detestable occupation. William Cowper was also asked to join in the fight against slavery by composing a poem that would prick the consciences of the people against the trade. I love Cowper's response. He said: "I can not contemplate the subject without a degree of abhorrence that affects my spirits and sinks them below the pitch requisite for success in verse."

I feel ya bro.

1 comment:

Flavel's friend said...

Pastor Carter,

I applaud you for the Newton quote. For good reason he is often remembered as: the guy who wrote amazing grace. Yet there is much more to this man, as you have observed, than that famous hymn. He ended up being rejected by a few churches before becoming one of the greatest pastors of his time. I appreciate the fact that you have drawn attention to the man who lived under amazing grace.
regards from Canada,