Gideon's Fleece

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 23

The signs which God to Gideon gave,
His holy Sovereignty made known;
That He alone has pow'r to save,
And claims the glory as his own.

2. The dew which first the fleece had filled,
When all the earth was dry around;
Was from it afterwards withheld,
And only fell upon the ground.

3. To Israel thus the heavenly dew
Of saving truth was long restrained;
Of which the Gentiles nothing knew,
But dry and desolate remained.

4. But now the Gentiles have received
The balmy dew of gospel peace
And Israel, who his spirit grieved,
Is left a dry and empty fleece.

5. This dew still falls at his command,
To keep his chosen plants alive;
They shall, though in a thirsty land,
Like willows by the waters thrive.

6. But chiefly when his people meet,
To hear his word and seek his face;
The gentle dew, with influence sweet,
Descends and nourishes their grace.

7. But ah! what numbers still are dead,
Though under means of grace they lie!
The dew still falling round their head,
And yet their heart untouched and dry.

8. Dear Saviour, hear us when we call,
To wrestling prayer an answer give;
Pour down thy dew upon us all,
That all may feel, and all may live.

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