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Hymn 38

John Newton



2Ki 5:14

Before Elisha’s gate

The Syrian leper stood;

But could not brook to wait,

He deemed himself too good:

He thought the prophet would attend,

And not to him a message send.

Have I this journey come,

And will he not be seen?

I were as well at home,

Would washing make me clean:

Why must I wash in Jordan’s flood?

Damascus’ rivers are as good.

Thus by his foolish pride

He almost missed a cure;

Howe’er at length he tried,

And found the method sure:

Soon as his pride was brought to yield,

The leprosy was quickly healed.

Leprous and proud as he,

To Jesus thus I came,


From sin to set me free,

When first I heard his fame:

Surely, thought I, my pompous train

Of vows and tears will notice gain.

My heart devised the way

Which I supposed he’d take;

And when I found delay,

Was ready to go back:

Had he some painful task enjoined,

I to performance seemed inclined.

When by his word he spake,

That fountain opened see;

’Twas opened for thy sake,

Go wash, and thou art free:”

O! how did my proud heart gainsay,

I feared to trust this simple way.

At length I trial made,

When I had much endured;

The message I obeyed,

I washed, and I was cured:

Sinners this healing fountain try,

Which cleansed a wretch so vile as I.

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