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Sometimes a Light Surprises

William Cowper (1731–1800)

Joy and Peace in Believing
Olney Hymns, XLVIII

Sometimes a light surprises
     The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
     With healing on His wings;
When comforts are declining,
     He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
     To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation
     We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation,
     And find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow,
     We cheerfully can say,
E’en let the unknown to-morrow
     Bring with it what it may!

It can bring with it nothing,
     But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,
     Will clothe His people too;
Beneath the spreading heavens
     No creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens
     Will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither
     Their wonted fruit shall bear,
Though all the field should wither,
     Nor flocks nor herds be there:
Yet God the same abiding,
     His praise shall tune my voice;
For, while in Him confiding,
     I cannot but rejoice.

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