Firmly I believe and truly

Firmly I believe and truly. John Henry Newman* (1801-1890). Newman wrote his poem-sequence, ‘The Dream of Gerontius’, in January and February 1865. It was published in two issues of a new Roman Catholic periodical, The Month (May and June 1865), and separately in October of the same year. These verses come from Part I of the poem, in which Gerontius (‘old man’) feels death near. His prayer ‘Miserere, Judex meus/ Parce mihi, Domine’ (‘Have pity, O my judge, spare me, O Lord’) is interspersed with this poem, which sets out the traditional belief in the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, and the authority of the Church. Four lines from the original, preceding the doxology, are normally...

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