Counseling One Another

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Counseling One Another

There Is a Fountain

This past Sunday, we closed our communion service by singing what has become known as the “redemption anthem” of the church. It was written in the late 1700’s by an Englishman named William Cowper, one of the most famous poets of his day.

Like others whom God has used in powerful ways, William suffered throughout his life with periods of deep depression, despair, and even insanity. At least one bout with despair was so severe he was committed to an asylum. It was there he came face to face with the Scriptures and was converted to Christ.

During his stay at the asylum, William found a Bible on a park bench and began to read it. Seeing the mercy of Jesus in the raising of Lazarus, Cowper’s heart began to soften. Being drawn to the Scriptures, again, he turned to Romans 3:25 and read of Jesus “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”

Later, he wrote, “Immediately I received the strength to believe it, and the full beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement He had made, my pardon sealed in His blood, and all the fullness and completeness of His justification. In a moment I believed, and received the gospel.”

A few years later, God brought John Newton into William’s life. Newton was the author of Amazing Grace and 200 other hymns and, for 13 years, served as William’s pastor, faithfully walking with him through dark valleys of fear and despair. Complete deliverance from periods of intense mental suffering never became a reality for William, but God used those times to draw him closer and closer. And from the crucible of that mental suffering came some of the church’s richest, best-loved hymns. There Is a Fountain is one of them.

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in His day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away:
Washed all my sins away,
Washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more:
Are safe, to sin no more,
Are safe, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save

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