John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 37
Though Jericho pleasantly stood,|
And looked like a promising soil;
The harvest produced little food,
To answer the husbandman's toil.
The water some property had,
Which poisonous proved to the ground;
The springs were corrupted and bad,
The streams spread a barrenness round.
2. But soon by the cruse and the salt,
3. How noble a creature he seems!|
What knowledge, invention and skill!
How large and extensive his schemes!
How much can he do if he will!
His zeal to be learned and wise,
Will yield to no limits or bars;
He measures the earth and the skies,
And numbers and marshals the stars.
4. Yet still he is barren of good;
5. But grace, like the salt in the cruse,|
When cast in the spring of the soul;
A wonderful change will produce,
Diffusing new life through the whole:
The wilderness blooms like a rose,
The heart which was vile and abhorred;
Now fruitful and beautiful grows,
The garden and joy of the Lord.
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