Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2018.03.11


March 11 – March 17




Scripture Passage: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”  Romans 3:25-26


Dear Friends,


     William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) was born in 1731 in Hertfordshire, England.  His father was a pastor, and chaplain to King George II.  When he was six years old, his mother died.  From that time forth, he struggled with bouts of depression and pessimism that tormented him throughout his academic career.  Soon after his 21st birthday his father died, his stepmother died, and his best friend drowned.  This alone would have been enough to press him to the point of complete despair.  Violent attacks of melancholia set in which plunged him to degrees of insanity and nervous breakdown. To make matters worse, he was recommended for a position as Clerk of the Journals of the House of Lords and during the interview experienced what we would describe today as a panic attack.  He lost the position and afterwards tried several times to take his own life.  As a result, his sense of guilt and oppression increased and the darkness of depression grew.  Cowper found himself feeling that he was experiencing the wrath of God as a punishment and judgement for his sins.  He had a complete mental breakdown and was committed to a mental asylum in London for 18 months. 


     It was during this time he began to read his Bible for comfort.  During one of these times, he sat down in a chair, opened his Bible, and read the first words he came to.  Those words were Romans 3:25-26 that we used for our Scripture text this week. Upon reading those words, Cowper became convicted and convinced that Christ’s atoning sacrifice sufficiently covered ALL of his sins.  He recalled the moment, - “I could only look up to heaven in silent fear, overwhelmed with love and wonder.”  Once he was released, he left London and made the acquaintance of Morley Unwin and his wife in Huntington and took up residence with them in 1765.  Two years later Mr. Unwin died and Cowper and the Unwin family moved to Olney to live with John Newton.  (Yes, the same John Newton who wrote, “Amazing Grace.”) Newton used Cowper as an assistant.  He visited the sick and poor and often led in village prayer meetings.  The joy he felt in having a purpose and plan, as well as the friendship of Newton, was still not enough to keep him from slipping back into times of depression and melancholy.  To help his friend get through these difficult times, Newton suggested they work together to write some hymns.  The concentration on Scripture would cause Cowper to focus on the Word of God rather than the darkness of his emotions.  So in 1770 Cowper wrote a hymn based upon Zechariah 13:1.  “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.”  Using this Scripture, Cowper began to paint a picture in words of Christ’s atoning blood and God’s forgiveness.  The result is the beautiful hymn we enjoy today called, “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood.)  And now you know the rest of the story.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny






By: William Cowper


Pastor Johnny



Pastor Johnny