Scripture Verse

He went down and plunged himself into the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said; and his flesh was restored like that of a little child and he was clean. 2 Kings 5:14

Introduction

portrait
John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), book 1, num­ber 38. Na­maan.

Music: Belsize (El­li­ott) James W. El­li­ott, 1892 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

illustration
Namaan Washing in Jordan

Lyrics

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.

When by His word He spake,
That fountain op­ened see;
’Twas op­ened for thy sake,
Go wash, and thou art free
:
O! how did my proud heart gain­say,
I feared to trust this sim­ple way.

At length I tri­al made,
When I had much en­dured;
The mes­sage I ob­eyed,
I washed, and I was cured:
Sinners, this heal­ing foun­tain try,
Which cleansed a wretch so vile as I.