Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MEMORIAL ABSTRACT OF A SERMON PREACHED ON PROVERBS, XX, 27, by JOHN BYROM

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First Line: The human spirit, when it burns and shines
Last Line: And shine for ever in jehovah's sight.
Subject(s): Humanity; Life; Nature; Sermons

THE human spirit, when it burns and shines,
"Lamp of EHOVAH" Solomon defines—
Now, as a vessel, to contain the whole,
This Lamp denotes the body, Oil the soul;
(As H—observes) which, tho' itself be dark,
Is capable of light's enkindling spark;
But, as consider'd in it's own dark root,
Still wants the unction, and the light's recruit.

Brighter than all, that now is look'd upon,
This lamp of God, at its creation shone;
The body, purer than the finest gold,
Had no defect in its material mold;
The soul's enkindled oil was heav'nly bright,
Till evil mixture darken'd its good light;
And hid the supernatural supply,
That fed the glorious lamp of the Most High.

That fatal poison quench'd, in human frame,
The spirit flowing from the vital flame:
Adam's free will consenting to such food,
Death, as its natural effect, ensu'd:
True life departing left him naked, blind,
And spiritless, in body, soul, and mind;
Dead to his paradisic life, a birth
From sin began his mortal life on earth.

His faith, his spiritual discernment gone,
He fell into a poring, reas'ning one;
Into a state of ignorance he fell,
Which brutal instincts very oft excel:
What his self-seeking will would know was known,
The light of this terrestrial orb alone;
Dark, in comparison, when this was done,
As moon, or star-light to meridian sun.

What help, when lesser light should vanish too,
And death discover a still darker view,
Had not the CHRIST of God, sole help for sin,
Rais'd up salvation as a Seed within?
That sprouting forth by penitence and faith,
Could pierce thro' death, and dissipate its wrath;
Till God's true image should again revive,
And rise, thro' Him, to its first life alive.

This Parent Saviour, God's anointed Son,
Begets the life that Adam should have done;
Reforms the lamp; renews the holy fire,
And sends to Heav'n its flaming love-desire:
'Tis He, the life that was the light of men,
Who fits them to be lamps of God again;
Restores the vessel, oil, and light, and all
The spirit-life that vanish'd at the fall.

Reason has nothing to proceed upon,
Without an unction from this Holy One;
Without a Spirit, to dispel the damp
Of nature's darkness, and light up the lamp:
Nothing whatever, but the touch divine,
Can make its highest faculties to shine;
All just as helpless in their selfish use,
As lamps their own enkindling to produce.

All true religion teaches then to trim
The lamp, that must receive its light from Him;
From Him, the Quick'ning Spirit to obtain
The life that must for ever blest remain:
The life of Christ arising in the soul,
This, this alone makes human nature whole;
Makes ev'ry gift of grace to reunite,
And shine for ever in JEHOVAH'S sight.

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