Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The leper, by John Newton

The leper. Mt 8:23

Oft as the leper's case I read,
My own described I feel;
Sin is a leprosy indeed,
Which none but CHRIST can heal.

Awhile I would have passed for well,
And strove my spots to hide;
Till it broke out incurable,
Too plain to be denied.

Then from the saints I sought to flee,
And dreaded to be seen;
I thought they all would point at me,
And cry, "Unclean, unclean!"

What anguish did my soul endure,
Till hope and patience ceased?
The more I strove myself to cure,
The more the plague increased.

While thus I lay distressed, I saw
The Savior passing by;
To him, though filled with shame and awe,
I raised my mournful cry.

LORD, thou canst heal me if thou wilt,
For thou canst all things do;
O cleanse my leprous soul from guilt,
My filthy heart renew!

He heard, and with a gracious look,
Pronounced the healing word;
"I will, be clean" -- and while he spoke
I felt my health restored.

Come lepers, seize the present hour,
The Savior's grace to prove;
He can relieve, for he is pow'r,
He will, for he is love.

John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779.
Copied from "Song to the Lamb" listserve 12 June 2007

1 comment:

Bro. Matt said...

We studied this passage in our Men's Bible Study last Wednesday night. I love the part where the leper ask Jesus to heal him. In fact, he asks Jesus "if you will" (my paraphrase). The leper didn't ask Jesus if he could heal him, he asked him if he would heal him. The leper seemed to have more faith than the religiouis leaders of the day!