The Meal and Cruse of Oil

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 36

By the poor widow's oil and meal
Elijah was sustained;
Though small the stock it lasted well,
For God the store maintained.

2. It seemed as if from day to day,
They were to eat and die;
But still, though in a secret way,
He sent a fresh supply.

3. Thus to his poor he still will give
Just for the present hour;
But for tomorrow they must live
Upon his word and power.

4. No barn or storehouse they possess
On which they can depend;
Yet have no cause to fear distress,
For Jesus is their friend.

5. Then let not doubts your mind assail,
Remember, God has said,
The cruse and barrel shall not fail,
My people shall be fed.

6. And thus though faint it often seems,
He keeps their grace alive;
Supplied by his refreshing streams,
Their dying hopes revive.

7. Though in ourselves we have no stock,
The Lord is nigh to save;
His door flies open when we knock,
And 'tis but ask and have.

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