166. St. Philip in his God

PHILIP, on thee the glowing ray
    Of heaven came down upon thy prayer,
To melt thy heart, and burn away
    All that of earthly dross was there.

Thy soul became as purest glass,
    Through which the Brightness Incarnate
In undimm'd majesty might pass,
    Transparent and illuminate.

And so, on Philip when we gaze,
    We see the image of his Lord;
The Saint dissolves amid the blaze
    Which circles round the Living Word.
The Meek, the Wise, none else is here,
    Dispensing light to men below;
His awful accents fill the ear,
    Now keen as fire, now soft as snow.

As snow, those inward pleadings fall,
    As soft, as bright, as pure, as cool,
With gentle weight and gradual,
    And sink into the feverish soul.

The Sinless One, He comes to seek,
    The dreary heart, the spirit lone,
Tender of natures proud or weak,
    Not less than if they were His own.

He takes and scans the sinner o'er,
    Handling His scholars one by one,
Weighing what they can bear, before
    He gives the penance to be done.

Jesu, to Philip's sons reveal
    That gentlest wisdom from above,
To spread compassion o'er their zeal,
    And mingle patience with their love.

The Oratory

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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