Before Elisha's gate
The Syrian leper stood;
But could not brook to wait,
He deemed himself too good:
He thought the prophet would attend,
And not to him a message send.

Have I this journey come,
And will he not be seen?
I were as well at home,
Would washing make me clean:
Why must I wash in Jordan's flood?
Damascus' rivers are as good.

Thus by his foolish pride
He almost missed a cure;
Howe'er at length he tried,
And found the method sure:
Soon as his pride was brought to yield,
The leprosy was quickly healed.

Leprous and proud as he,
To Jesus thus I came,
From sin to set me free,
When first I heard his fame:
Surely, thought I, my pompous train
Of vows and tears will notice gain.

My heart devised the way
Which I supposed he'd take;
And when I found delay,
Was ready to go back:
Had he some painful task enjoined,
I to performance seemed inclined.

More verses by John Newton

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