27. The Gift of Perseverance

{68}
ONCE, as I brooded o'er my guilty state,
    A fever seized me, duties to devise,
    To buy me interest in my Saviour's eyes;
Not that His love I would extenuate,
But scourge and penance, masterful self-hate,
    Or gift of cost, served by an artifice
    To quell my restless thoughts and envious sighs
And doubts, which fain heaven's peace would antedate.
Thus as I tossed, He said:—"E'en holiest deeds
Shroud not the soul from God, nor soothe its needs;
Deny thee thine own fears, and wait the end!"
Stern lesson! Let me con it day by day,
And learn to kneel before the Omniscient Ray,
Nor shrink, when Truth's avenging shafts descend!

Oxford
.
November 23, 1832.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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