Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE RELIGION OF CAIN, by JOHN HENRY NEWMAN



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THE RELIGION OF CAIN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The time has been, it seem'd a precept plain
Last Line: They argued not, but preach'd; and conscience did the rest.
Subject(s): Cain


THE time has been, it seem'd a precept plain
Of the true faith, Christ's tokens to display;
And in life's commerce still the thought retain,
That men have souls, and wait a judgment day;
Kings used their gifts as ministers of heaven,
Nor stripp'd their zeal for God, of means which
God had given.

'Tis alter'd now; -- for Adam's eldest born
Has train'd our practice in a selfish rule,
Each stands alone, Christ's bonds asunder torn;
Each has his private thought, selects his school,
Conceals his creed, and lives in closest tie
Of fellowship with those who count it blasphemy.

Brothers! spare reasoning; -- men have settled long
That ye are out of date, and they are wise;
Use their own weapons; let your words be strong,
Your cry be loud, till each scared boaster flies
Thus the Apostles tamed the pagan breast,
They argued not, but preach'd; and conscience did the rest.





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