Meditations

{87}

1. On Christian Duty

What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
       Keep the commandments. Mark x. 17.
What shall we do?
       Repent and be baptized every one of you. Acts ii. 37, 38.
What must I do to be saved?
       Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Acts xvi. 31.
What shall we do then?
(To the multitude.) He who hath two coats, let him impart to
              him that hath none.
       He that hath meat, let him do likewise.
(To the publicans.) Exact no more than is appointed you.
(To soldiers.) Do violence to no man; neither accuse any
              falsely;
       be content with your wages. Luke iii. 10-14.

The knowledge and faith
of [GOD'S] justice             [GOD'S] mercy     
[leads] unto

fear,
abasement,
repentance,
fasting,
prayers,
patience,
a sacrifice [Note],           
hope,
consolation,
thanksgiving,
almsgiving,
hymns,
obedience,
an oblation. {88}

2. On the Day of Judgment

FATHER Unoriginate, Only-begotten SON,
Life-giving SPIRIT,
merciful, pitiful, long-suffering,
full of pity, full of kind yearnings,
who lovest the just and pitiest the sinful,
who passest by sins and grantest petitions,
GOD of penitents,
SAVIOUR of sinners,
I have sinned before Thee, O LORD,
and thus and thus have I done.
Alas, alas! woe, woe.
How was I enticed by my own lust!
How I hated instruction!
Nor felt I fear nor shame
at Thy incomprehensible glory,
Thy awful presence,
Thy fearful power,
Thy exact justice,
Thy winning goodness.
I will call if there be any that will answer me;
to which of the Saints shall I turn?
O wretched man that I am,
who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
how fearful is Thy judgment, O LORD?
when the thrones are set
and Angels stand around,
and men are brought in,
the books opened,
the works inquired into,
the thoughts examined
and the hidden things of darkness.
What judgment shall be upon me?
who shall quench my flame?
who shall lighten my darkness,
if Thou pity me not? {89}
LORD, as Thou art loving,
give me tears,
give me floods, give me today.
For then will be the incorruptible Judge,
the horrible judgment-seat,
the answer without excuses,
the inevitable charges,
the shameful punishment,
the endless Gehenna,
the pitiless Angels,
the yawning hell,
the roaring stream of fire,
the unquenchable flame,
the dark prison,
the rayless darkness,
the bed of live coals,
the unwearied worm,
the indissoluble chains,
the bottomless chaos,
the impassable wall,
the inconsolable cry,
none to stand by me,
none to plead for me,
none to snatch me out.
But I repent, LORD, O LORD, I repent,
help Thou mine impenitence,
and more, and still more,
pierce, rend, crush my heart.
Behold, O LORD, that I am
indignant with myself,
for my senseless, profitless,
hurtful, perilous passions;
that I loathe myself,
for these inordinate, unseemly,
deformed, insincere,
shameful, disgraceful
passions, {90}
that my confusion is daily before me,
and the shame of my face hath covered me.
Alas! woe, woe—
O me, how long?
Behold, LORD, that I sentence myself
to punishment everlasting,
yea, and all miseries of this world.
Behold me, LORD, self-condemned;
Behold, LORD, and enter not into judgment with Thy servant.
And now, LORD,
I humble myself under Thy mighty hand,
I bend to Thee, O LORD, my knees,
I fall on my face to the earth.
Let this cup pass from me!
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee;
I smite my breast, I smite on my thigh.
Out of the deep my soul crieth unto Thee,
as a thirsty land;
and all my bones,
and all that is within me.
LORD, hear my voice.

3. On Human Frailness

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am weak;
remember, LORD, how short my time is;
remember that I am but flesh,
a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
My days are as grass, as a flower of the field;
for the wind goeth over me, and I am gone,
and my place shall know me no more.
I am dust and ashes,
earth and grass,
flesh and breath,
corruption and the worm,
a stranger upon the earth,
dwelling in a house of clay, {91}
few and evil my days,
today, and not tomorrow,
in the morning, yet not until night,
in a body of sin,
in a world of corruption,
of few days, and full of trouble,
coming up, and cut down like a flower,
and as a shadow, having no stay.
Remember this, O LORD, and suffer, remit;
what profit is there in my blood,
when I go down to the pit?
By the multitude of Thy mercies,
by the richess and excessive redundance
of Thy pity;
by all that is dear to Thee,
all that we should plead,
and before and beyond all things, by Thyself,
by Thyself, O LORD, and by Thy CHRIST.
LORD, have mercy upon me, the chief of sinners.
O my LORD, let Thy mercy rejoice
against Thy judgment in my sin.
O LORD, hear, O LORD, forgive,
O LORD, hearken,
O LORD, hearken and do,
do and defer not for Thine own sake,
defer not, O LORD my GOD.

Top | Tract 88 contents | Contents | Works | Home


Note

1. E.g. Concede nobis, Domine Deus noster, ut hc
hostia salutaris, et nostrorum fiat purgatio delictorum,
et tu propitiatio Majestatis, per, &c.—St. Gregory's
Lib. Sacrament. p. 57.
Return to text

Top | Tract 88 contents | Contents | Works | Home


Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.