The Pool of Bethesda

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 112

Beside the gospel pool
Appointed for the poor;
From year to year, my helpless soul
Has waited for a cure.

2. How often have I seen
The healing waters move;
And others, round me, stepping in
Their efficacy prove.

3. But my complaints remain,
I feel the very same;
As full of guilt, and fear, and pain.
As when at first I came.

4. O would the Lord appear
My malady to heal;
He knows how long I've languished here;
And what distress I feel.

5. How often have I thought
Why should I longer lie?
Surely the mercy I have sought
Is not for such as I.

6. But whither can I go?
There is no other pool
Where streams of sovereign virtue flow
To make a sinner whole.

7. Here then, from day to day,
I'll wait, and hope, and try;
Can Jesus hear a sinner pray,
Yet suffer him to die?

8. No: he is full of grace;
He never will permit
A soul, that fain would see his face,
To perish at his feet.

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