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On Clemens Alexandrian’s Description of a Perfect Christian1616This poem, and that which follows on p.51, “After considering some of his Friends,” are not included in the edition of Gambold’s Works before referred to; but the place which they occupy in the “Collection of Moral and Sacred Poems,” among other poems of Gambold, and apart from those which are afterwards claimed for J. and C. W., makes it highly probable that, though his name is not prefixed, Wesley knew them to be the productions of his early friend. Clement’s Description of a perfect Christian will be found in the Fourth Book of his “Stromata,” or Miscellanies.

Here from afar the finish’d height

Of holiness is seen:

But, O! what heavy tracts of toil.

What deserts lie between?

Man for the simple life Divine

What will it cost to break;

Ere pleasure soft and wily pride

No more within him speak?

What lingering anguish must corrode

The root of nature’s joy?

What secret shame and dire defeats

The pride of heart destroy?

Learn thou the whole of mortal state

In stillness to sustain;

Nor soothe with false delights of earth

Whom God has doom’d to pain.

Thy mind now multitude of thoughts,

Now stupor shall distress;

The venom of each latent vice

Wild images impress.

Yet darkly safe with God thy soul

His arm still onward bears,

Till through each tempest on her face

A peace beneath appears.

’Tis in that peace we see and act

By instincts from above;

With finer taste of wisdom fraught,

And mystic powers of love.

Yet ask not in mere ease and pomp

Of ghostly gifts to shine:

Till death the lownesses of man,

And decent griefs are thine.

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