When “Jesus” Isn’t Enough
The subliminal message was that Walsh had achieved a level of spiritual maturity and faith that would preclude him from making the decision to end his own life despite his own battles with “depression”.
The rest of that message is that you could do a lot better no matter your illness or affliction if you were as holy as he is.
His name was William Cowper and he was a “celebrity” in his own time.
He was a renowned poet and and writer of hymns…some of which are still sung today.
“GOD moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.”
He also suffered from deep depression and was probably bi polar.
He attempted death by suicide at least three times.
“No voice divine the storm allay’d,
No light propitious shone;
When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,
We perish’d, each alone;
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulphs than he.”
He knew Christ…and knew Him well.
“There is a fountain fill’d with blood
Drawn from EMMANUEL’s veins;
And sinners, plung’d beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.”
Cowpers closest friend was also his pastor, John Newton.
He wrote to Newton;
“Loaded as my life is with despair, I have no such comfort as would result from a supposed probability of better things to come, were it once ended … You will tell me that this cold gloom will be succeeded by a cheerful spring, and endeavour to encourage me to hope for a spiritual change resembling it—but it will be lost labour. Nature revives again; but a soul once slain lives no more … My friends, I now expect that I shall see yet again. They think it necessary to the existence of divine truth, that he who once had possession of it should never finally lose it. I admit the solidity of this reasoning in every case but my own. And why not in my own? … I forestall the answer:—God’s ways are mysterious, and He giveth no account of His matters:—an answer that would serve my purpose as well as theirs that use it. There is a mystery in my destruction, and in time it shall be explained.”
Newton never condemned Cowper for his illness, though the 18th century knew little about the issue…more importantly, he never abandoned him to his despair.
“I found those comforts in your visit, which have formerly sweetened all our interviews, in part restored. I knew you; knew you for the same shepherd who was sent to lead me out of the wilderness into the pasture where the Chief Shepherd feeds His flock, and felt my sentiments of affectionate friendship for you the same as ever. But one thing was still wanting, and that the crown of all. I shall find it in God’s time, if it be not lost for ever.”
There is no happy ending for Cowpers story in this life…he died of natural causes, but he died in despair.
I am not spiritually elite, nor sanctified in full.
There is no sin, weakness, or failure that can not take me at any moment save for the grace of God.
My hope is to be a Newton to the Cowpers in my life…and stay close to the Newtons in my own.
My complete transformation awaits me, though Cowper has received his and found the joy that he never knew here.
Now, Jesus is enough…