The prophets sons, in time of old,
          Though to appearance poor;

2 Ki 6:5,6

The prophets sons, in time of old,
          Though to appearance poor;
Were rich without possessing gold,
          And honored, though obscure.

In peace their daily bread they eat,
          By honest labor earned;
While daily at Elisha’s feet,
          They grace and wisdom learned.

The prophet’s presence cheered their toil,
          They watched the words he spoke;
Whether they turned the furrowed soil,
          Or felled the spreading oak.

Once as they listened to his theme,
          Their conference was stopped;
For one beneath the yielding stream,
          A borrowed axe had dropped.

“Alas! it was not mine, he said,
          How shall I make it good?”
Elisha heard, and when he prayed,
          The iron swam like wood.

If God, in such a small affair,
          A miracle performs;
It shows his condescending care
          Of poor unworthy worms.

Though kings and nations in his view
          Are but as motes and dust;
His eye and ear are fixed on you,
          Who in his mercy trust.

Not one concern of ours is small,
          If we belong to him;
To teach us this, the Lord of all,
          Once made the iron swim.

~ John Newton

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