John Bunyan 1628 (Elstow, Bedfordshire) – 1688 (London)
Wouldst thou be very upright and sincere?
Wouldst thou be that within thou dost appear,
Or seem to be in outward exercise
Before the most devout, and godly wise?
Yea, art thou thus when no eye doth thee see
But that which is invisible? and be
The words of God in truth thy prop and stay?
And do they in thy conscience bear more sway
To govern thee in faith and holiness,
Than thou canst with thy heart and mouth express?
And do the things that truly are divine,
Before thee more than gold or rubies shine?
And if, as unto Solomon, God should
Propound to thee, What wouldst thou have? how would
Thy heart and pulse beat after heav'nly things,
After the upper and the nether springs?
Couldst, with unfeigned heart and upright lip,
Cry, Hold me fast, Lord, never let me slip,
Nor step aside from faith and holiness,
Nor from the blessed hope of future bliss?
Lord, rather cross me anywhere than here;
Lord, fill me always with thy holy fear,
And godly jealousy of mine own heart,
Lest I, Lord, should at any time depart
From thy most blessed covenant of grace,
Where Jesus rules as King, and where thy face
Is only to be seen with comfort, and
Where sinners justified before thee stand.
If these thy groanings be sincere and true,
If God doth count thee one that dost pursue
The things thou cryest after with thy heart,
No doubt but in them thou shalt have a part.
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"Of Uprightness and Sincerity" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 29 Oct. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/22145/of-uprightness-and-sincerity>.