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Abuse of the Gospel (Cowper and Taylor)

March 29, 2012

I know few people whose heart beats both for the gospel and music like that of Jeremy Taylor.  I know it might sound a little prejudicial because Jeremy is one of our worship leaders at East Point Church. And I am sure that many people would say the same about those who lead worship in their church. If this is true, then praise God. We can not have too many musicians, singers, and songwriters whose heart is genuinely after the gospel of Jesus Christ and not themselves and their gifts. I thank God for all those worship leaders who desire for people to see less of them and more of Christ. Nevertheless, I particularly thank God for Jeremy because God has been pleased to place him in our local fellowship.

Jeremy’s sincerity comes across in not only how he sings, but what he sings. This is illustrated by some of the latest music he has produced.  One of my favorites of late is this track Abuse of the Gospel – a poem by William Cowper (1731-1800) set to music and sung by Jeremy. It is a sobering reminder that there remains those who turn from the mercy of God and forsake the grace that could be theirs (Jonah 2:8). May we humbly pray that such is not true of us.  As Cowper writes:

The liberty our hearts implore 
Is not to live in sin; 
But still to wait at Wisdom’s door, 
Till Mercy calls us in.

Abuse of the Gospel

Too many, Lord, abuse Thy grace
In this licentious day,
And while they boast they see Thy face,
They turn their own away.

Thy book displays a gracious light
That can the blind restore;
But these are dazzled by the sight,
And blinded still the more.

The pardon such presume upon,
They do not beg but steal;
And when they plead it at Thy throne,
Oh! where’s the Spirit’s seal?

Was it for this, ye lawless tribe,
The dear Redeemer bled?
Is this the grace the saints imbibe
From Christ the living head?

Ah, Lord, we know Thy chosen few
Are fed with heavenly fare;
But these, — the wretched husks they chew,
Proclaim them what they are.

The liberty our hearts implore
Is not to live in sin;
But still to wait at Wisdom’s door,
Till Mercy calls us in.

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