John Byrom

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In the Praise ever due to the Gospel of Grace
Its Universality holds the first Place.

John Byrom (29 February 169226 September 1763) was an English poet.

Quotes[edit]

If a man do but keep himself sober and stout,
The world as he'd have it must needs turn about.
The Church is indeed, in its real Intent,
An Assembly where Nothing but Friendship is meant;
And the utter Extinction of Foeship and Wrath
By the Working of Love in the Strength of its Faith.
Take time enough: all other graces
Will soon fill up their proper places.
  • Sir, you must be all caution and no fear, and you'll find true what our old friend Archimedes said some while ago.
If a man do but keep himself sober and stout,
The world as he'd have it must needs turn about.
  • Letter to John Stansfield (c. 1717), as quoted in "How to move the World" in The Poems of John Byrom (1894), p. 9.
  • Some say, that Signor Bononcini,
    Compared to Handel's a mere ninny;
    Others aver, to him, that Handel
    Is scarcely fit to hold a candle.
    Strange! that such high dispute should be
    'Twixt Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
    • "Epigram on the Feuds between Handel and Bononcini" in The London Journal (5 June 1725)
    • Alternately reported as:
      • Some say, compar'd to Bononcini,
        That Mynheer Handel 's but a ninny;
        Others aver that he to Handel
        Is scarcely fit to hold a candle.
        Strange all this difference should be
        'Twixt Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
    • Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Bartlett's further reports Byrom having said "Nourse asked me if I had seen the verses upon Handel and Bononcini, not knowing that they were mine", Byrom's Remains (Chetham Soc.), vol. i. p. 173; and states: "The last two lines have also been attributed to Swift and Pope (see Scott's edition of Swift, and Dyce's edition of Pope)".
  • Christians, awake! salute the happy morn,
    Whereon the Saviour of mankind was born.
    • A Hymn for Christmas Day (1750)
  • The Church is indeed, in its real Intent,
    An Assembly where Nothing but Friendship is meant;
    And the utter Extinction of Foeship and Wrath
    By the Working of Love in the Strength of its Faith.

    This gives it its holy and catholic Name,
    And truly confirms its apostolic Claim;
    Showing what the One Saviour's One Mission had been:
    "Go and teach all the World," — ev'ry Creature therein.

    In the Praise ever due to the Gospel of Grace
    Its Universality holds the first Place.

    • "A Paraphrase on the Prayer used in The Church Liturgy for All Sorts and Conditions Of Men" St. 10 & 11; a poetic paraphrase of a prayer by Peter Gunning
  • Take time enough: all other graces
    Will soon fill up their proper places.
    • Advice to Preach Slow as quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • As clear as a whistle.
    • Epistle to Lloyd I' as quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • The point is plain as a pike-staff.
    • Epistle to a Friend as quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Bone and Skin, two millers thin,
    Would starve us all, or near it;
    But be it known to Skin and Bone
    That Flesh and Blood can't bear it.
    • Epigram on Two Monopolists as quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Thus adorned, the two heroes, 'twixt shoulder and elbow,
    Shook hands and went to 't; and the word it was bilbow.
    • Upon a Trial of Skill between the Great Masters of the Noble Science of Defence, Messrs. Figg and Sutton as quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

Miscellaneous Poems (1773)[edit]

From the Divine, Eternal Spirit springs
Order and Rule and Rectitude of Things...
To plain Minds the Plainest Pow'r Above
Is Native Goodness to attract our Love.
Centre of all Its various Pow'r and Skill
Is One Divine, Immutable Good Will.
  • Were I a king (God bless me) I should hate
    My chaplains meddling with affairs of state
    ;
    Nor would my subjects, I should think, be fond,
    Whenever theirs the Bible went beyond.
    • "On Clergymen Preaching Politics"
  • Th' Eternal Mind, ev'n Heathens understood,
    Was Infinitely Powerful, Wise, and Good.

    In their Conceptions, who conceiv'd aright,
    These Three Essential Attributes unite.
    They saw that, wanting any of the Three,
    Such an All-perfect Being could not be.
    • The True Grounds Of Eternal And Immutable Rectitude" St. 1
Man was not made for Law, but Law for Man.
  • From the Divine, Eternal Spirit springs
    Order and Rule and Rectitude of Things
    ,
    Thro' outward Nature, His Apparent Throne,
    Visibly seen, intelligibly known, —
    Proofs of a Boundless Pow'r, a Wisdom's Aid,
    By Goodness us'd, Eternal and Unmade.
    • The True Grounds Of Eternal And Immutable Rectitude" St. 6.
  • Endless Perfections after all conspire,
    And to adore excite and to admire;
    But to plain Minds the Plainest Pow'r Above
    Is Native Goodness to attract our Love;
    Centre of all Its various Pow'r and Skill
    Is One Divine, Immutable Good Will.
    • The True Grounds Of Eternal And Immutable Rectitude" St. 8.
His Love is Heav'n, and Want of It is Hell.
  • "The Sabbath was made for Man; not Man for the Sabbath."
— St. Mark, ii. 27.
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.
  • "On the Nature and Reason of All Outward Law."
  • 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 shown, or not.
    • "On Works of Mercy and Compassion, Considered as The Proofs of True Religion", St. 1
  • 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.
    • "On Works of Mercy and Compassion, Considered as The Proofs of True Religion", St. 6.
  • My spirit longs for Thee,
    Within my troubled breast,
    Though I unworthy be
    Of so divine a Guest.
    • "The Desponding Soul's Wish" (also called "My Spirit Longs For Thee")
  • No rest is to be found
    But in Thy blessèd love;
    O let my wish be crowned
    And send it from above.
    • "The Desponding Soul's Wish".
  • God bless the King! (I mean our faith's defender!)
    God bless! (No harm in blessing) the Pretender.
    But who Pretender is, and who is King,
    God bless us all! That's quite another thing!
    • Verse "Intended to allay the Violence of Party-Spirit"

Divine Love, The Essential Characteristic of True Religion[edit]

Religion's Meaning when I would recall,
Love is to me the plainest Word of all.
  • Religion's Meaning when I would recall,
    Love is to me the plainest Word of all.

    Plainest, — because that what I love, or hate,
    Shews me directly my internal State;
    By its own Consciousness is best defin'd
    Which way the Heart within me stands inclin'd.

    On what it lets its Inclination rest,
    To that its real Worship is address'd;
    Whatever Forms or Ceremonies spring
    From Custom's Force, there lies the real Thing
    ;
    Jew, Turk or Christian be the Lover's Name,
    If same the Love, Religion is the same.

    • St. 1 & 2.
Religion, then, is Love's Celestial Force
That penetrates thro' all to Its True Source...
  • Of all Religions if we take a View,
    There is but one that ever can be true, —
    One God, One Christ, One Spirit, none but He.
    All else is Idol, whatsoe'er it be,—
    A Good that our Imaginations make,
    Unless we love it purely for His Sake.
    • St. 3.
Whither attracting the desirous Will
To its true Rest, He saves it from all Ill,
Gives it to find in His Abyssal Love
An Heav'n within, — in other Words, Above.
  • The One Unbounded, Undivided Good,
    By all His Creatures partly understood.

    If therefore Sense of its apparent Parts
    Raise not His Love or Worship in our Hearts,
    Our selfish Wills or Notions we may feast,
    And have no more Religion than a Beast.
    • St. 5.
  • Religion, then, is Love's Celestial Force
    That penetrates thro' all to Its True Source
    ;
    Loves all along, but with proportion'd Bent,
    As Creatures further the Divine Ascent,
    Not to the Skies or Stars, but to the part
    That will be always uppermost, — the Heart,

    There is the Seat, as Holy Writings tell,
    Where the Most High Himself delights to dwell;
    Whither attracting the desirous Will
    To its true Rest, He saves it from all Ill,
    Gives it to find in His Abyssal Love
    An Heav'n within, — in other Words, Above.

    • St. 7 & 8.

External links[edit]

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