Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON WHITSUNDAY, by JOHN BYROM



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ON WHITSUNDAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Jesus, ascended into heav'n again
Last Line: Who hear this inward teacher and obey.
Subject(s): Apostles; Bible; Christianity; Jesus Christ; Religion; Disciples, Twelve; Theology


JESUS, ascended into Heav'n again,
Bestow'd this wondrous gift upon good men,
That various nations, by his Spirit led,
All understood what Galileans said:
He gave the word, who form'd the list'ning ear,
And truth became in ev'ry language clear.

One country's tongue, to his Apostles known,
To ev'ry pious soul became its own:
The well-dispos'd, from all the world around,
With holy wonder, heard the gospel sound;
Their hearts prepar'd to hear it—God's command
No obstacle in nature could withstand.

Nature itself, if ev'ry heart was right,
All jarring languages would soon unite:
Here is but one intelligible guide;
But tongues are numberless where hearts divide:
The Babel projects bring them to their birth,
And scatter discord o'er the face of earth.

The Prince of Peace now sending, from above,
His Holy Spirit of uniting love,
By its miraculous effusion shew'd
How great a pow'r he promis'd and bestow'd;
Pow'r to reverse confusion, and impart
One Living Word to ev'ry honest heart.

Deaf to its influence the wicked stood,
And mock'd the just amazement of the good;
For want of sense, ascribing to new wine
Their joint acknowledgments of grace divine:
The world's devout epitome was taught,
And hid from pride the miracle, when wrought.

Known to the meek, but from the worldly wise,
From scoffers, hid the wonderful supplies
Of God's good Spirit, now as near to men
Whose hearts are open to the truth, as then:
Blest, in all climates, all conditions they
Who hear this inward teacher and obey.





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