Saturday, December 6, 2014

This Day in Christian History: December 6

This Day in Christian History: December 6


December 6, 1769: William Cowper composes the hymn Oh, For a Closer Walk with God.


William Cowper was a poet and hymnist of the 18th century. On December 6th, during the illness of one of William's closest friends, he picked up his pen and wrote the lines to the hymn, Oh For a Closer Walk with God. William told his aunt:
I be­gan to com­pose them yes­ter­day morn­ing be­fore day­break, but I fell asleep at the end of the first two lines. When I awaked again, the third and fourth vers­es were whis­pered to my heart in a way I have of­ten ex­per­i­enced.

These are the words he wrote:
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!


Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His Word?


What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.


Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.


The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.


So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.

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