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Where is the soul-refreshing view?
Of Jesus, and his word?
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.”
People in Cowper’s era read poetry. For one hundred
years after his death, Cowper was a household
name in England. He has been regarded as one of
England’s greatest poets.
O ften when Cowper was gripped by depression,
he came to the vicarage for help from his pastor,
John Newton. Both John Newton and his wife,
Mary, had great affection for “Sir Cowper.” William
Cowper was a great man—a great man propped up
by those whom God put in his path. There had been
Dr. Nathanael Cotton, John Newton, and others.
All of these had calmed William Cowper in his
hours of need.
Did Cowper have assurance of his salvation? Yes! Did
he have doubts in times of depression and sickness?
Yes! This writer is certain that William was saved
and that in normal and ordinary times he had great
assurance, based on his experience and the Word of
God. After all—we too, must hold to the promises
and not to OUR feelings that come and go.
Read again the great hymn “There Is a Fountain”
and feel the assurance that gripped Cowper’s soul.
NO ONE—NO ONE—could write such words
“There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day,
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.
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.”
A few months before his death, William Cowper,
looking at his mother’s picture, penned, “I shall
meet thee on that peaceful shore.”
A pril 25, 1800, at the age of 69, William Cowper
lay down to die. John Newton stated the
following: “About half an hour before his death, his face, which
had been wearing a sad and hopeless expression,
suddenly lighted up with a look of wonder and
inexpressible delight. It was as though he saw his
Saviour. ” 3 Those who attended his funeral, at which
John Newton preached, said that this look of
wonder remained even as he lay in his coffin.
The “poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue” lay silent
in the grave—yet, for centuries since, that tongue
has lifted the hearts of condemned men to God.
Through that noble writer of hymns, throngs of
souls in conflict have found assurance and peace.
Perhaps, dear reader, YOU should go to Olney and
sit there in the park, meditate, and say with William
Cowper. . .
“The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only Thee.”
“And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.”
14 3 Jane Smith & Betty Carlson, Favorite
Men Hymn Writers, (Wheaton:
Crossway Books, 1997) 57.
Dear Brother & Mrs. Ray,
Dear Brother James,
We pray that this note finds you
both in good health. Enclosed is
our check for the Bible purchases
to Scotland and the reseeding effort.
Please know that this ministry is
near and dear to our hearts and we
praise the Lord for using both of you
mightily in this endeavor.
Sammy & Laureen Bakri, Fairfax,
Virginia It was a surprise to see our story
in the Nations. Reba has been with
the Lord 20 years. I miss her every
day. I am amazed, viewing you and
Sister Mary’s ministry. The Nations
is inspiring to my soul. My longing
is in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto
Jesus.” Love & Prayers,
Garland Cofield, McDonald,
Tennessee, Retired missionary to
Dear Brother Ray,
the Far North, Founder of Camp
I am so grateful for your sending me of the Woods, Canada
Incredible Stories Along the Journey.
I just ordered your book to send to Dear James & Mary,
one of our family members. Please Time is passing and soon we will be
say hello to your dear wife.
in heaven with Jesus. Praise God!
In Christ, Al Mjaames,
This is another day to praise the
Lord for His goodness. May this
Dear Dr. Ray & Mary,
As I have written to you before, I so
much enjoy your Nations Magazine.
I look with much happiness and joy
when your magazine arrives in my
mail box. I count it a privilege to be
on your mailing list. The articles are
so uplifting and informative to me.
When I read of the need for God’s
Word, it plays on my heart to send
you a gift once again. I am enclosing
a check in the amount of $200 to be
used for Bibles for Scotland. I pray
that His Word will touch their hearts
and that they will come to know the
Lord as we do. God bless you as you
continue to serve Him as one of His
Shirley Pruim, Leslie, Georgia
little amount of money go for Bibles
to those who are in need. May God
bless you two for all you have done
and do for our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am trusting God and leaning on
HIS understanding. Proverbs 3:5
With Love, Lula Mae Wright,
Hendersonville, North Carolina
been saved a few months. My life is
not my own. I’m God’s. God be with
you. If we don’t see each other on
earth, then we will in heaven. Your
brother in Christ Jesus.
Roman, Ribinskaya, Russia
There is no way to explain George Whitefield
apart from the hand of God. The Great
Awakening in Colonial America was a
moving of the Spirit of God, unparalled with
anything seen before that time. Follow James
and Mary Ray in the very footsteps of some
of the greatest lives ever to touch America.
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If paying by check, use the attached
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Greetings to you Brothers & Sisters,
I am writing to you from Russia
from the city of Ribinskaya. In our
city there are a lot of young people.
Some dying in ignorance, some in
unbelief and sin. I found out your
address through a church in St.
Petersburg. I found it in the front of a
large, black New Testament marked,
BIMI. I am 16 years old and have