Tuesday, March 24, 2020

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

God Moves in a Mysterious Way - a hymn by William Cowper from the book Spurgeon's Own Hymn Book (Hymn No. 211).

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

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov'reign will.

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

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

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

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

There's an interesting back story to this hymn. Spurgeon relates that the English missionary Richard Knill prophesied over him when he was about ten years old. According to Spurgeon:
Mr. Knill took me on his knee, and said, 'This child will one day preach the gospel, and he will preach it to great multitudes. I am persuaded that he will preach in the chapel of Rowland Hill, where (I think he said) I am now the minister.' He spoke very solemnly, and called upon all present to witness what he said. Then he gave me sixpence as a reward if I would learn the hymn, 'God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.' I was made to promise that, when I preached in Rowland Hills's Chapel, that hymn should be sung...
Years flew by. After I had begun for some little time to preach in London, Dr. Alexander Fletcher was engaged to deliver the annual sermon to children in Surrey Chapel; but as he was taken ill, I was asked in a hurry to preach to the children in his stead. 'Yes,' I replied, if you will allow the children to sing "God moves in a mysterious way." I have made a promise long ago, that hymn should be sung.' And so it was: I preached in Rowland Hill's Chapel, and the hymn was sung.


napoliana said...

This is pointless but I've always loved that hymn! I came across it in a poetry book when I was still before Christ and it stuck with me even then.

Nice to have an additional back story on it. I always found the story on Cowper to be interesting since he struggled with depression but was still able to bring glory to God's Name through his work.

That's all. Thanks!

Alf Cengia said...

Thanks for your thoughts. Of course, Spurgeon also suffered from depression, as I do from time to time.