Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON WORKS OF MERCY AND COMPASSION; PROOFS OF TRUE RELIGION, by JOHN BYROM



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ON WORKS OF MERCY AND COMPASSION; PROOFS OF TRUE RELIGION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Of true religion works of mercy seem
Last Line: His love is heav'n; and want of it is hell.
Subject(s): Mercy; Religion; Truth; Theology


OF true religion works of mercy seem
To be the plainest proof, in Christ's esteem:
Who has himself declar'd what He will say
To all the nations, at the judgment day:
"Come" or "Depart," is the predicted lot
Of brotherly compassion shewn, or not.

Then, they who gave poor hungry people meat,
And drink to quench the thirsty suff'rer's heat;
Who welcom'd in the stranger at the door,
And with a garment cloth'd the naked poor;
Who visited the sick to ease their grief,
And went to pris'ners, or bestow'd relief—

These will be deem'd religious men, to whom
Will sound—Ye blessed of my Father, come,
Inherit ye the kingdom, and partake
Of all the glories founded for your sake:
Your love to others I was pleas'd to see,
What you have done to them was done to me.

Then, they who gave the hungry poor no food;
Who with no drink the parch'd with thirst bedew'd;
Who drove the helpless stranger from their fold,
And let the naked perish in the cold;
Who to the sick no friendly visit paid,
Nor gave to pris'ners any needful aid—

These will be deem'd of irreligious mind;
And hear the—Go, ye men of cursed kind,
To endless woes, which ev'ry harden'd heart
For its own treasure has prepar'd—depart:
Shewn to a brother, of the least degree,
Your merciless behaviour was to me.

Here, all ye learned, full of all dispute,
Of true and false religion lies the root:
The mind of Christ, when he became a man,
With all its tempers, forms its real plan;
The sheep from goats distinguishing full well—
His love is Heav'n; and want of it is hell.





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