Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE NATURE AND REASON OF ALL OUTWARD LAW, by JOHN BYROM



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ON THE NATURE AND REASON OF ALL OUTWARD LAW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: From this true saying one may learn to draw
Last Line: Till the good saviour's hour is come, to cure.
Subject(s): Law & Lawyers; Reason; Attorneys; Intellect; Rationalism; Brain; Mind; Intellectuals


FROM this true saying one may learn to draw
The real nature of all outward law;
In ev'ry instance, rightly understood,
Its ground and reason is the human good:
By all its changes, since the world began,
Man was not made for law; but law for man.

Thou shalt not eat (the first command of all)
Of good and ill, was to prevent his fall:
When he became unfit to be alone,
Woman was form'd out of his flesh and bone.
When both had sinn'd, then penitential grief,
And sweating labour, was the law relief.

When all the world had sinn'd, save one good sire,
Flood was the law that sav'd its orb from fire:
When fire itself upon a Sodom fell,
It was the law to stop a growing hell:
So on—the law with riches or with rods,
Come as it will, is good, for it is God's.

Men who observe a law, or who abuse,
For selfish pow'r, are blind as any Jews;
On sabbath, constru'd by rabbinic will,
God must not save, and men must seek to kill;
Such zeal for law has pharisaic faith,
Not as 'tis good, but as it worketh wrath.

JESUS, the perfect Law-fulfiller, gave
The victory that taught the law to save;
Pluck'd out its sting, revers'd the cruel cry,—
"We have a law by which he ought to die;"
Dying for man, this conquest he could give,—
"I have a law by which he ought to live."

Whilst in the flesh, how oft did He reveal
His saving will, and god-like pow'r to heal!
They whom defect, disease, or fiend possess'd,
And pardon'd sinners by his word had rest;
He, on the Sabbath, chose to heal and teach;
And law-proud Jews to slay him for its breach.

The Sabbath, never so well kept before,
May justify one observation more;
Our Saviour heal'd, as pious authors say,
So many sick upon the sabbath day,
To shew that rest and quietness of soul,
Is best for one who wants to be made whole;

Not to indulge an eagerness too great,
Of outward hurry, or of inward heat;
But with a humble temper, and resign'd,
To keep a sabbath in a hopeful mind;
In peace and patience meekly to endure,
Till the good Saviour's hour is come, to cure.





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