53. The Witness

HOW shall a child of God fulfil
His vow to cleanse his soul from ill,
And raise on high his baptism-light,
Like Aaron's seed in vestment white
And holy-hearted Nazarite?

First, let him shun the haunts of vice,
Sin-feast, or heathen sacrifice;
Fearing the board of wealthy pride,
Or heretic, self-trusting guide,
Or where the adulterer's smiles preside.

Next, as he threads the maze of men,
Aye must he lift his witness, when
A sin is spoke in Heaven's dread face,
And none at hand of higher grace
The Cross to carry in his place. {105}

But if he hears and sits him still,
First, he will lose his hate of ill;
Next, fear of sinning, after hate;
Small sins his heart then desecrate;
And last, despair persuades to great.

Off Ithaca
December 30, 1832.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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