Light Shining out of Darkness

Original Text: 
John Newton [and William Cowper], Olney Hymns, in Three Books, 5th edn. (London: J. Buckland and J. Johnson, 1788). Book III, no. 15, p. 255. BV 370 N48 1788 Victoria College Library.
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1God moves in a mysterious way,
2    His wonders to perform;
3He plants his footsteps in the sea,
4    And rides upon the storm.
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5Deep in unfathomable mines
6    Of never-failing skill,
7He treasures up his bright designs,
8    And works his sov'reign will.
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9Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
10    The clouds ye so much dread
11Are big with mercy, and shall break
12    In blessings on your head.
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13Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
14    But trust him for his grace;
15Behind a frowning providence
16    He hides a smiling face.
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17His purposes will ripen fast,
18    Unfolding ev'ry hour;
19The bud may have a bitter taste,
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21Blind unbelief is sure to err,
22    And scan his work in vain;
24    And he will make it plain.

Notes

20] Rendered "But wait, to Smell the flower" in the Maitland-Madan Commonplace Book, 113-14 (The Poems of William Cowper, ed. John D. Baird and Charles Ryskamp, Vol. I: 1748-1782 [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980]: 174-75; PR 3380 A2). Back to Line
23] interpreter: commentator. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1774
Publication Notes: 
First appeared in print in two unrelated publications in 1774, the earlier being "Omicron" [i.e., John Newton], Twenty Six Letters on Religious Subjects. Newton later collected this with other hymns by Cowper in Olney Hymns, 1779.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: 
Form: