Scripture Verse

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called…Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. John 5:3

Introduction

illustration
Christ Healing by the Well of Bethesda
Carl H. Bloch
1834–1890

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 112. The pool of Be­thes­da.

Music: St. An­drew (Barn­by) Jo­seph Barn­by, 1866 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Joseph Barnby
1838–1896

Lyrics

Beside the Gos­pel pool
Appointed for the poor;
From year to year, my help­less soul
Has wait­ed for a cure.

How oft­en have I seen
The heal­ing wa­ters move;
And oth­ers, round me, step­ping in
Their ef­fi­ca­cy prove.

But my com­plaints remain,
I feel the ve­ry same;
As full of guilt, and fear, and pain.
As when at first I came.

O would the Lord ap­pear
My ma­la­dy to heal;
He knows how long I’ve lang­uished here;
And what dis­tress I feel.

How oft­en have I thought
Why should I long­er lie?
Surely the mer­cy I have sought
Is not for such as I.

But whi­ther can I go?
There is no oth­er pool
Where streams of so­ve­reign vir­tue flow
To make a sin­ner whole.

Here then, from day to day,
I’ll wait, and hope, and try;
Can Je­sus hear a sin­ner pray,
Yet suf­fer him to die?

No: He is full of grace;
He ne­ver will per­mit
A soul, that fain would see His face,
To per­ish at His feet.