The Exorcists

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 124

Then the apostle wonders wrought,
And healed the sick, in Jesus' name;
The sons of Sceva vainly thought
That they had pow'r to do the fame.

2. On one possessed they tried their art,
And naming Jesus preached by Paul,
They charged the spirit to depart
Expecting he'd obey their call.

3. The spirit answered, with a mock,
Jesus I know; and Paul I know;
I must have gone if Paul had spoke;
But who are ye that bid me go?

4. With fury then the man he filled,
Who on the poor pretenders flew;
Naked and wounded, almost killed,
They fled in all the peoples' view.

5. Jesus! that name, pronounced by faith,
Is full of wonder-working pow'r;
It conquers Satan, sin and death,
And cheers in trouble's darkest hour.

6. But they, who are not born again,
Know nothing of it but the sound;
They do but take his name in vain
When most their zeal and pains abound.

7. Satan their vain attempts derides,
Whether they talk, or pray, or preach;
Long as the love of sin abides,
His pow'r is safe beyond their reach.

8. But you, believers, may rejoice,
Satan well knows your mighty Friend;
He trembles at your Saviour's voice,
And owns he cannot gain his end.

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