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William Cow­per (1731-1800) was a poet who oft­en strug­gled with spiritual de­press­ion and doubt. One night, in a deep moment of desperation, he de­cid­ed to com­mit su­i­cide by drown­ing him­self.

He called a taxi and told the driv­er to take him to the Thames Riv­er. How­ev­er, a thick fog then came down upon London and pre­vent­ed them from find­ing the riv­er.

After driv­ing around lost for some time, the driver fin­al­ly stopped and let Cow­per out. To Cowper’s sur­prise, he found him­self on his own door­step. God, it seems, had sent the fog to keep him from kill­ing him­self.

This event led him to write his final hymn:

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines, Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break, In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.