Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Catholic Love
By Charles Wesley (1707–1788)
 
WEARY of all this wordy strife,
  These notions, forms, and modes, and names,
To Thee, the Way, the Truth, the Life,
  Whose love my simple heart inflames,
Divinely taught, at last I fly,        5
With Thee, and Thine to live, and die.
 
Forth from the midst of Babel brought,
  Parties and sects I cast behind;
Enlarged my heart, and free my thought,
  Where’er the latent truth I find,        10
The latent truth with joy to own,
And bow to Jesu’s name alone.
 
Redeem’d by Thine almighty grace,
  I taste my glorious liberty,
With open arms the world embrace,        15
  But cleave to those who cleave to Thee;
But only in Thy saints delight,
Who walk with God in purest white.
 
One with the little flock I rest,
  The members sound who hold the Head;        20
The chosen few, with pardon blest,
  And by the anointing Spirit led
Into the mind that was in Thee,
Into the depths of Deity.
 
My brethren, friends, and kinsmen these,        25
  Who do my heavenly Father’s will;
Who aim at perfect holiness,
  And all Thy counsels to fulfil,
Athirst to be whate’er Thou art,
And love their God with all their heart.        30
 
For these, howe’er in flesh disjoin’d,
  Where’er dispersed o’er earth abroad,
Unfeigned unbounded love I find,
  And constant as the life of God;
Fountain of life, from thence it sprung,        35
As pure, as even, and as strong.
 
Joined to the hidden church unknown
  In this sure bond of perfectness,
Obscurely safe, I dwell alone,
  And glory in the uniting grace,        40
To me, to each believer given,
To all thy saints in earth and heaven.
 
 
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