Tuesday, March 9, 2010

John Owen on Christian Friends Divided

The Christian Guardian (1823), p. 133:

Anecdote of the Late Rev. John Owen

This lamented individual having on a particular occasion endeavoured in vain to accomodate a matter in dispute between two friends for both of whom he felt much respect, evinced the amiableness of his disposition by retiring and writing impromptu the following lines, which he transmitted to the disputants.

How rare that toil a prosperous issue finds,
Which seeks to reconcile divided minds!
A thousand scruples rise at passion's touch;
This yields too little, and that asks too much:
Each wishes each with other's eyes to see,
And many sinners* can't make two agree.
What mediation then the Saviour show'd,
Who singly reconcil'd us all to God.

* Other versions of this poem use the word 'efforts' instead of 'sinners'.

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