|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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Cowper's name will always be associated with that of John Newton, his friend and pastor. Together they wrote many hymns familiar to us today.
Cowper suffered from bouts of acute depression. Newton saved him from suicide several times. In fact, because his nervous system was so delicate, he was unable to hold a job. Therefore he spent his time in literary persuits, including writing poetry.
His poetry was quite influential. Many people who scorned evangelicals as "Methodists" would read Cowper's poems. He addressed many social issues, such as African slavery, as well as spreading the Gospel.
One of Cowper's critics says that Newton was a bad influence, causing him to "indulge and inflame his sensiblity in the dark ecstasies of Calvinism, while at the same time affronting all that was reasonable and humane in his nature." (H I Faussett) Judge for yourself.
I am told that he pronounced his name "Cooper."
Walking With God
Newton wrote many hymns, both with Cowper and on his own. He also wrote poetry. While he is not as elegant a poet as Cowper, his poetry has a clarity and simple charm that is appealing.
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