Elijah's example declares

Representative Text

1 Elijah's example declares,
Whatever distress may betide,
The saints may commit all their cares
To him who will always provide,
When rain long withheld from the earth
Occasioned a famine of bread,
The prophet, secured from the dearth,
By ravens was constantly fed.

2 More likely to rob than to feed,
Are ravens who live upon prey;
But where the Lord's people have need,
His goodness will find out a way:
This instance to those may seem strange,
Who know not how faith can prevail;
But sooner all nature shall change,
Than one of God's promises fail,

3 Nor is it a singular case;
The wonder is often renewed;
And many may say to God's praise,
By ravens he sendeth them food.
Thus worldlings, though ravens indeed,
Though greedy and selfish their mind,
If God has a servant to feed,
Against their own wills can be kind.

4 Thus Satan the raven unclean,
That croaks in the ears of the saints,
O'erruled by a power unseen,
Administers oft to their wants;
God teaches them how to find food
From all the temptations they feel:
This raven who thirsts for my blood,
Has helped me to many a meal.

5 How safe and how happy are they
Who on the good shepherd rely!
He'll give them aught strength for their day,
Their wants he will surely supply,
He ravens and lions can tame;
All creatures obey his command:
Then let me rejoice in his name,
And leave all my cares in his hand.

The Christian's duty, exhibited in a series of hymns, 1791

Author: John Newton

John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumul­tuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Elijah's example declares
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Elijah's example declares. J. Newton. [Providence.] This hymn on Elijah being fed by ravens appeared in K. Conyers's Collection, 3rd edition, 1774, No. 267: in the author's Twenty-six Letters, &c, by Omicron, 1774; the Gospel Magazine, April, 1774; and in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book i., No. 35, in 5 stanzas of 8 lines. In the Methodist Free Church Sunday School Hymn Book, 1869, stanzas i., ii., and v. are given as No. 244.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The tune most commonly known as CONTRAST is a German folk tune. In American shape-note tradition the tune is known as GREEN FIELDS or GREENFIELDS. J. S. Bach quoted it in his "Peasant Cantata," but he did not compose it. It has also been misattributed to Maria DeFleury and to Lewis Edson. Edson wrot…

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The Cyber Hymnal #13762
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The Cyber Hymnal #13762

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