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    I knew she was but as a withering flour,

    That’s here to day perhaps gone in an hour;

    Like as a bubble, or the brittle glass,

    Or like a shadow turning as it was.

    More fool then I to look on that was lent,

    As if mine own, when thus impermanent.

    Farewel dear child, thou ne re shall come to me,

    But yet a while and I shall go to thee.

    Mean time my throbbing heart’s chear’d up with this

    Thou with thy Saviour art in endless bliss.

    2.7.8 “On My Dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet”

    No sooner come, but gone, and fal’n asleep,

    Acquaintance short, yet parting caus’d us weep.

    Three flours, two scarcely blown, the last i’th’ bud,

    Cropt by th’ Almighties hand; yet is he good,

    With dreadful awe before him let’s be mute,

    Such was his will, but why, let’s not dispute,

    With humble hearts and mouths put in the dust,

    Let’s say he’s merciful as well as just.

    He will return, and make up all our losses,

    And smile again, after our bitter crosses.

    Go pretty babe go rest with Sisters twain

    Among the blest in endless joyes remain.

    2.7.9 Reading and Review Questions

    1. In “The Prologue,” what are her “inherent defects” to which Bradstreet brings attention? Why does she do so? Does the poem as a whole bear out these “defects” as actual defects? To what degree, if any, do these defects reflect Bradstreet’s sense of her gender and her religion?

    2. Why do you think Bradstreet essentially records her knowledge of literature and the classics in “The Prologue?”

    3. In “The Author to Her Book,” what conventional maternal behaviors does Bradstreet apply to her book? Why? Why does she make an especial note of her “offspring” not having a father?

    Page | 183




    4. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” what conventions and tropes often used in the sonnet form does Bradstreet use? What, if anything, is unconventional in her using them? Why?

    5. How does Bradstreet console herself for such losses and suffering as the deaths of her grandchildren and the burning of her house? How, if at all, does her religious faith support her as a woman?



    Michael Wigglesworth’s parents, Edward

    and Esther Wigglesworth, brought him with

    them when they emigrated to the American

    colonies in 1683. Wigglesworth was educated

    in America, first at home under the tutelage

    of Ezekiel Cheever (1514–1708), then at

    Harvard. In 1652, he earned his MA from

    Harvard and remained there as lecturer.

    After his graduation, Wigglesworth also

    began preaching; he ultimately became an

    ordained minister at Malden, Massachusetts

    in 1656. Chronic illness curtailed his ministry

    activities, ministry that he nevertheless

    maintained through his writing. His The

    Day of Doom: Or, A Description of the Great

    and Last Judgment, with a Short Discourse

    about Eternity (1662) is a didactic religious

    poem, exhorting his parishioners to adhere Image 2.4 | First Edition of The Day

    of Doom

    to true Puritan doctrines and ideals. Its Author | Michael Wigglesworth publication coincided with the controversy Source | Wikimedia Commons over church membership, later resolved in License | Public Domain what became known as the Half-Way Covenant, allowing church membership without conversion testimony. The Covenant intended to bring colonists to the fervid faith held by first-generation settlers. This historical context may help explain the purpose of Wigglesworth’s work.

    Its effectiveness as a didactic piece appears in its extraordinary popularity (selling over 1,800 copies) and its being used to teach children Puritan theology.

    Its 224 eight-line stanzas—all with striking details and often terrifying images—

    arrest the attention of wandering minds and souls threatening to fall into sins of omission and commission, souls that may repent too late before the inevitable judgment day. Its stanzaic lines alternate between eight and six syllables; with internal rhymes in the eight-syllable lines, and end rhymes in alternating pairs Page | 184


    of the six-syllable lines. Through its artistry and style combined with substance, through its sweetness and light, The Day of Doom fulfills poetry’s highest purpose (according to Sir Phillip Sidney) in encouraging right living.

    2.8.1 The Day of Doom

    Or, A Description of the Great and Last Judgment



    Still was the night, serene and bright,

    when all men sleeping lay;

    Calm was the season, & car [. . .] l reason

    thought so ‘twould last [. . .] or ay.

    Soul take thine ease, let sorrow cease,

    much good thou hast in store;

    This was their song their cups among

    the evening before.


    Wallowing in all kind of sin,

    vile wretches lay secure,

    The best of men had scarcely then

    their Lamps kept in good ure.

    Virgins unwise, who through disguise

    amongst the best were number’d,

    Had clos’d their eyes; yea, and the Wise

    through sloth and frailty slumber’d.


    Like as of old, when men grew bold

    Gods threatnings to contemn,

    (Who stopt their ear, and would not hear

    when mercy warned them?

    But took their course, without remorse,

    till God began to pour

    Destruction the world upon,

    in a tempestuous show [. . .]


    They put away the evil day

    and drown’d their cares and fears,

    Till drown’d were they, and swept away

    by vengeance unawares:

    Page | 185


    So at the last, whilest men sleep fast

    in their security,

    Surpriz’d they are in such a snare

    as cometh suddenly.


    For at midnight broke forth a light,

    which turn’d the night to day:

    And speedily an hideous cry

    did all the world dismay.

    Sinners awake, their hearts do ake,

    trembling their loyns surprizeth;

    Am [. . .] z’d with fear, by what they hear,

    each one of them ariseth.


    They rush from beds with giddy heads,

    and to their windows run,

    Viewing this Light, which shines more bright

    than doth the noon-day Sun.

    Straightway appears (they see’t with [. . .] ears)

    the Son of God most dread,

    Who with his train comes on amain

    to judge both Quick and Dead.


    Before his face the Heavens give place,

    and Skies are rent asunder,

    With mighty voice and hideous noise,

    more terrible then Thunder.

    His brightness damps Heav’ns glorious l [. . .] mps,

    and makes them hide their heads:

    As if afraid, and quite dismaid,

    they quit their won [. . .] ed steads.


    Ye sons of men that durst contemn

    the threatnings of Gods word,

    How cheer you now? your hearts (I trow)

    are thrill’d as with a sword.

    Now Atheist blind, whose bru [. . .] ish min [. . .]

    a God could never see,

    Page | 186


    Dost thou perceive, dost now believe

    that Christ thy Judge shall be [. . .]


    Stout courages (whose hardiness

    could death and hell out-face)

    Are you as bold now you behold

    your Judge draw near apace?

    They cry, No, no: alas and wo [. . .]

    our courage all is gone:

    Our hardiness, ( [. . .]ool-hardiness)

    hath us undone, undone.


    No heart so b [. . .]ld but now grows cold,

    and almost dead with fear:

    No eye so dry but now can cry,

    and pour out many a tear.

    Earths Po [. . .] entates and pow’rful States,

    Captains and men of Might

    Are qui [. . .] e abasht, their courage dasht.

    At this most dreadful sight.


    Mean men lament, great men do r [. . .] nt

    their robes and tear their hair:

    They do not spare their flesh to tear

    through horrible despair.

    All kindreds wail, their hearts do fail:

    horrour the world doth fill

    Wi [. . .] weeping eyes, and loud out-cries,

    yet knows not how to kill.


    Some hide themselves in Caves and Delves,

    and pl [. . .] ces under ground:

    Some rashly leap into the deep,

    to, scape by being drown’d:

    Some to the Rocks, (O sensless blocks)

    and woody Mountains run,

    T [. . .] a [. . .] there they might this fearful [. . .] ight and dreaded Presence shun.

    Page | 187



    In v [. . .] in do they to Mountains say,

    Fall on us, and us hide

    From Judges i [. . .] e, more hot then fire,

    For who may it abide?

    No hiding place can from his face

    sinners at all conceal,

    Whose flaming eye hid things doth spy,

    and darkest things reveal.


    The Judge draws nigh, exalted high

    upon a lofty Throne,

    Amids the throng of Angels strong,

    LIKE Israel’s [. . .] oly One.

    The excellence of whose Presence,

    and awful Majesty,

    Am [. . .] zeth Nature, and every Crea [. . .] ure

    doth more then terrifie.


    The Mountains smo [. . .] k, the Hills are shook,

    the Earth is rent and torn,

    As if she should be clean dissolv’d,

    or from her Cen [. . .] re born.

    The Sea doth roar, forsakes the sho [. . .] e,

    and shrinks away for fear:

    The wild beasts flee into the Sea

    so soon as he draws nea [. . .].


    Whose glory bright, whose wond [. . .] ous might,

    whose Power Imperial,

    So far surpass what ever was

    in Realms Terrestrial;

    That tongues of men (nor Angels pen)

    cannot the same express:

    And the [. . .] efore I must pass it by,

    lest speaking should transgress.


    Before his throne a Trump is blown,

    proclaiming th’ day of Doom:

    Page | 188


    Forthwith he c [. . .] ies, Ye dead arise,

    and unto Judgement come.

    No sooner said, but ‘tis obey’d;

    Sepulch [. . .] es open’d are;

    Dead bodies all [. . .] ise at his call,

    and’s mig [. . .] y power declare.


    Both s [. . .] a and land at his command,

    their dead at once surrender:

    The fire and air constrained are

    also [. . .] heir de [. . .] d to [. . .] ender.

    The mighty wo [. . .] d of [. . .] his great Lord

    links body and soul toge [. . .] her,

    Both of the just and the unjust,

    to part no more for ever.


    The same translates from mortal states

    [. . .] o imm [. . .] tality,

    All that survive, and be alive,

    i’th’ twinkling of an eye.

    That so they may abide for ay

    to endless weal or woe;

    Both the Renate and Reprobate

    are made to dye no moe.


    His winged Hosts fly through all Coasts,

    together gathering

    Both good and bad, both quick and dead,

    and all to Judgement bring.

    Out of their holes these creeping Moles,

    that hid themselves for fear,

    By force they take, and quickly make

    before the Judge appear.


    Thus every one before the Throne

    of Christ the Judge is brought,

    Both righteous and impious,

    that good or ill had wrought.

    A sepa [. . .] ation, and diff’ring station

    Page | 189


    by Christ appointed is

    To sinners sad (‘ [. . .] wixt good and bad,)

    ‘ [. . .] wixt Heirs of woe, and bliss.


    At Christ’s right hand the sheep do st [. . .] nd,

    his Holy Martyrs who

    For his dear Name, suffering shame,

    calamity, and woe,

    Like Champions stood, and with their blood

    their Testimony sealed;

    Whose innocence, without off [. . .] nce

    to Christ their Judge appealed.


    Next unto whom there find a room,

    all Christs [. . .] fflicted one [. . .],

    Who being chastis’d, neither despis’d,

    nor sank amidsts their g [. . .] oans:

    Who by the Rod were turn’d to God,

    and loved him the more,

    N [. . .] murmuring nor quarrelling [. . .]

    when they were chast’ned sore.


    Moreover such as loved much,

    that had not such a trial,

    As might constrain to so great pain,

    and such deep sel [. . .]-denial;

    Yet ready were the Cross to bear,

    when Christ them call’d thereto,

    And did rejoyce to hear his voice,

    they’r counted Sheep also.


    Christ’s flock of Lambs there also stands,

    whose Faith was weak, yet true;

    All sound Believers (Gospel-receivers)

    whose grace was small, but grew.

    And them among an infant throng

    of Babes, for whom Christ dy’d;

    Whom [. . .] or his own, by ways unknown.

    to men, he sanctify’d.

    Page | 190



    All stand before their Saviour

    in long white Robes [. . .] clad,

    Their countenance [. . .] ull of pleasance,

    appearing wondrous glad.

    O glorious sight I behold how bright

    dust heaps are made to shine,

    Conformed so their Lord unto,

    whose glory is divine.


    At Christs left hand the Goats do stand,

    all whining Hypocrites,

    Who for self-ends did seem Christ’s friends,

    but fost’red guileful sprites:

    Who Sheep resembled, but they dissembled

    (their heart was not sincere)

    Who once did throng Christ’s Lambs among;

    but now must not come near.


    Apostata’s, and Run-away’s,

    such as have Christ forsaken,

    (Of whom the the Devil, with seven more evil,

    hath fresh possession taken:

    Sinners in grain, reserv’d to pain

    and torments most severe)

    Because ‘gainst light they sinn’d with spight,

    are also placed there.


    There also stand a num’rous band,

    that no profession made

    Of Godliness, nor to redress

    their wayes at all assay’d:

    Who better knew, but (sin [. . .] ul Crew [. . .])

    Gospel and Law despised;

    Who all Christ’s knocks withstood like blocks,

    and would not be advised.


    Moreover there with them appear

    a number numberless

    Page | 191


    Of great and small, vile wretches all,

    that did Gods Law transgress:

    Idolaters, false Worshippers,

    Prophaners of Gods Name,

    Who not at all thereon did call,

    or took in vain the same.


    Blasphemers lewd, and Swearers shrewd,

    Scoffers at Purity,

    That hated God, contemn’d his Rod,

    and lov’d security.

    Sabbath-polluters, Saints Persecuters,

    Presumptuous men, and Proud,

    Who never lov’d those that reprov’d;

    all stand amongst this crowd.


    Adulterers and Whoremongers

    were there, with all unchast.

    There Covetou [. . .] , and Ravenous,

    that Riches got too fast:

    Who us’d vile ways themselves to raise

    t’ Estates and worldly wealth,

    Oppression by, or Knavery,

    by Force, or Fraud, or Stealth.


    Moreover, there together were

    Children fl [. . .] gitious,

    And Parents who did them undo

    by nature vicious.

    False-witness-bearers, and self-forswearers,

    Murd’rers and men of blood,

    Witches, Inchanters, and Alehouse-haunters,

    beyond account there stood.


    Their place there find all Heathen blind,

    that Natures light abused,

    Although they had no tidings glad

    of Gospel-grace re [. . .] used.

    There stand all Nations and Generations

    Page | 192


    of Adam’s Progeny,

    Whom Christ redeem’d not, who Christ esteem’d not

    throught infidelity.


    Who no Peace-maker, no Undertaker

    to shrowd them from God’s ire

    Ever obtained; they must be pained

    with everlasting fire.

    These num’rous bands, wringing their hands,

    and weeping, all stand there,

    Filled with anguish, whose hearts do languish

    through self-tormenting fear.


    Fast by them stand at Christ’s left hand

    the Lion fierce and fell,

    The Dragon bold, that Serpent old

    that hurried Souls to Hell.

    There also stand, under command,

    Legions of Sprights unclean.

    And hellish Fiends that are no friends

    to God, nor unto men.


    With dismal chains and strong reins,

    like prisoners of Hell,

    They’r held in place before Christ’s face,

    till he their Doom shall tell.

    These void of tears, but fill’d with fears,

    and dreadful expectation

    Of endless pains, and scalding flames,

    stand waiting for Damnation.


    All silence kept, both Goats and Sheep,

    before the Judges Throne:

    With mild aspect to his Elect

    then spake the Holy One:

    My Sheep draw near, your sentence hear,

    which is to you no dread,

    Who clearly now discern, and know

    your sins are pardoned.

    Page | 193



    ‘Twas meet that ye should judged be,

    that so the world may ‘spy

    No cause of grudge, when as I judge

    and deal impartially,

    Know therefore all both great and small,

    the ground and reason why

    These men do stand at my right hand,

    and look so chearfully.


    These men be those my Father chose

    before the world’s foundation,

    And to me gave that I should save

    from death and condemnation.

    For whose dear sake I flesh did take,

    was of a woman born,

    And did inure my self t’endure

    unjust reproach and scorn.


    For them it was that I did pass

    through sorrows many a one:

    That I drank up that bitter Cup,

    which made me sigh and groan.

    The Cross his pain I did sustain;

    yea more, my Fathers ire

    I under-went, my bloud I spent

    to save them from Hell fire.


    Thus I esteem’d, thus I redeem’d

    all these from every Nation,

    that they might be (as now you see)

    a chosen Generation.

    What if ere-while they were as vile

    and bad as any be,

    [. . .] nd yet from all their guilt and thrall

    at once I set them free?


    My grace to one is wrong to none:

    none can Election claim.

    Page | 194


    Amongst all those their souls that lose,

    none can Rejection blame.

    He that may chuse, or else refuse,

    all men to save or spill,

    May this man chuse, and that refuse,

    redeeming whom he will.


    But as for those whom I have chose

    Salvations heirs to be,

    I u [. . .] derwent their punishment,

    and therefore set them free.

    I bore their grief, and their relief

    by suffering procur’d,

    That they of bliss and happiness

    [. . .] ight firmly be assur’d.


    And this my g [. . .] ace they did embrace,

    believing on my name;

    Which Faith was true, the fruits do shew

    proceeding from the same.

    Their Penitence, their Patience,

    their Love, their Self-den [. . .] al;

    In suffering losses and bearing crosses,

    when put upon the trial:


    Their sin forsaking, their cheerful taking

    my yoke; their chari [. . .] ee

    Unto the Saints in all their wants,

    and in them unto me.

    These things do clear, and make appear

    their Faith to be unfeigned:

    And that a part in my desert

    and purchase they have gained.


    Their debts are paid, their peace is made,

    their sins remitted are;

    Therefore at once I do pronounce

    and openly declare,

    That Heaven is theirs, that they be Heir [. . .]

    Page | 195


    of Life and of Salvation;

    Nor ever shall they come at all

    to death or to damnation.


    Come, blessed ones, and sit on Thrones,

    judging the world with me:

    Come, and possess your happiness,

    and bought [. . .] elicitee.

    Henceforth no fears, no care, no tears,

    no sin shal you annoy,

    Nor any thing that grief doth bring;

    eternal rest enjoy.


    You bore the Cross, you suffered loss

    of all [. . .] or my Names sake:

    Receive the Crown that’s now your own;

    come, and a kingdom take.

    Thus spake the Judge: the wicked grudge,

    and grind their teeth in vain;

    They see with groans these plac’d on throne [. . .]

    which addeth to their pain:


    That those whom they did wrong and slay,

    must now their judgement see!

    Such whom they sleighted and once de [. . .] spighte [. . .]

    must of their Judges be!

    Thus ‘tis decreed, such is their meed

    and guerdon glorious:

    With Christ they sit, judging it fit

    to plague the impious.


    The wicked are brought to the Bar

    like guilty malefactors,

    That oftentimes of bloody crimes

    and treasons have been actors.

    Of wicked men none are so mean

    as there to be neglected:

    Nor none so high in dignity,

    as there to be respected.

    Page | 196



    The glorious Judge will priviledge

    nor Emperour nor King:

    But every one that hath misdone

    doth into judgement bring;

    And every one that hath misdone,

    the Judge impartially

    Condemneth to eternal wo,

    and endless misery.


    Thus one and all, thus great and small,

    the rich as well as poor,

    And those of place, as the most base,

    do stand their Judge before:

    They are arraign’d, and there detain’d

    before Christ’s judgement seat

    With trembling fear their Doom to hear,

    and feel his angers heat.


    There Christ demands at all their hands

    a strict and straight account

    Of all things done under the Sun;

    who [. . .] e numbers far surmount

    Man’s wit and thought: yet all are brought

    unto this solemn trial;

    And each offence with evidence,

    so that there’s no denial.


    There’s no excuses for their abuse [. . .]

    since their own consciences

    More proof give in of each man’s sin;

    then thousand witnesses.

    Though formerly this faculty

    had grosly been abused,

    (Men could it stifle, or with it trifle,

    whenas it them accused.)


    Now it comes in, and every si [. . .]

    unto mans charge doth lay:

    Page | 197


    It judgeth them, and doth condemn,

    though all the world say nay.

    It so stingeth and tortureth,

    it worketh such di [. . .] tress,

    That each mans self against himself

    is forced to confess.


    It’s vain, moreover, for men to cover

    the least iniquity;

    The Judge hath seen and privy been

    to all their villany.

    He unto light and open sight

    the works of darkness b [. . .] ings:

    He doth unfold both new and old,

    both known and hidden things.


    All filthy facts and secret acts,

    however closely done

    And long conceal’d, are there reveal’d.

    before the mid-day Sun.

    Deeds of the night shunning the light,

    which darkest corners sought,

    To fearful blame and endless shame,

    are there most justly brought.


    And as all facts and grosser acts,

    so every word and thought,

    Erroneous notion and lust [. . .] ul motion,

    are into judg [. . .] ment brought.

    No sin so small and trivial,

    but hi [. . .] her it must come:

    [. . .] or so long past, but now at last

    it must receive a doom.


    [. . .] t this sad season Christ asks a reason

    (with just austerity)

    Of Grace refus’d, of Light abus’d

    so oft, so wilfully:

    O [. . .] Talents lent, by them-mispent,

    Page | 198


    and on their lusts bestown;

    Which if improv’d as it behoov’d,

    Heaven might have been their own.


    Of time neglected, of meanes rejected,

    of God’s long-suffering,

    And patience, to penitence

    that sought hard hearts to bring.

    Why cords of love did nothing move

    to shame or to remorse?

    Why warnings grave, and councels have

    nought chang’d their sinful course?


    Why chastenings and evil [. . .] hings,

    why judgments so severe

    Prevailed not with them a jo [. . .],

    nor wrought an awful fear?

    Why promises of holiness,

    and new obedience,

    [. . .] hey oft did make, but always break

    the [. . .] ame to Gods offence?


    Why, still Hell-ward, without regard,

    the boldly ventured,

    And chose Damnation before Salvation

    when it was offered?

    Why sinful pleasures and earthly treasures,

    like fools they prized more

    Then heavenly wealth, eternal health,

    and all Christs Royal store?


    Why, when he stood off’ring his Bloud

    to wash them from their sin,

    They would embrace no saving Grace,

    but liv’d and di’d therein?

    Such aggravations, where no evasions

    nor false pretences hold,

    Exagerate and cumulate

    guilt more then can be told:

    Page | 199



    They multiply and magnifie

    mens gross iniquities;

    They draw down wrath (as Scripture saith)

    out of God’s treasuries [. . .]

    Thu [. . .] all their ways Christ open lays

    to Men and Angels view,

    And, as they were, makes them appear

    in their own proper hue.


    Thus he doth find of all ma [. . .] kind

    that stand at his left hand

    No mothers son but hath misdone,

    and broken God’s command.

    All have transgrest, even the best,

    and merited God’s wrath

    [. . .] nto their own perdition,

    and everlasting scath.


    Earth’s dwellers all both great and small,

    have wrought iniquity,

    And suffer must (for it is just)

    eternal misery.

    Amongst the many there come not any

    before the Judge’s face,

    That able are themselves to clear,

    of all this curled race.


    Nevertheless they all express,

    Christ granting liberty,

    What for their way they have to say,

    how they have liv’d, and why.

    They all draw near, and seek to clear

    themselves by making plea’s.

    There hypocrites, false-hearted wights,

    do make such pleas as these.


    Lord, in thy Name, and by the same

    we Devils dispossest:

    Page | 200


    We rais’d the dead, and ministred

    succour to the distrest.

    Our painful preaching and pow’rful teaching,

    by thine own wond’rous might,

    Did throughly win from God to sin

    many a wretched wight.


    All this (quoth he) may granted be [. . .]

    and your case little better’d,

    Who still remain under a chain,

    and many irons fetter’d.

    You that the dead have quickened,

    and rescu’d from the grave,

    Your selves were dead, yet never ned

    a Christ your Souls to save.


    You that could preach, and others teach

    wh [. . .] t way to life doth lead;

    Why were you slack to find that track,

    and in that way to tread?

    How could you bear to see or hear

    of others freed at last

    From Satans Paws, whilst in his jaws

    your selves were held more fa [. . .] t?


    Who though you kne [. . .] Repentance true

    and faith in my great Name,

    The only mean to quit you clean

    from punishment and blame,

    Yet took no pain true faith to gain,

    (such as might not deceive)

    Nor would repent wi [. . .] h true intent

    [. . .] our evil deeds to leave.


    [. . .] is Masters will how to fulfil

    [. . .] he servant that well knew,

    [. . .] et left undone his duty known,

    more plagues to him are due.

    [. . .] ou against Light perverted Right;

    Page | 201


    [. . .] herefore it shall be now

    [. . .] or Sidon and for Sodom’s Land

    [. . .] ore easie then for you.


    [. . .] ut we have in thy presence bin,

    say some, and eaten there.

    [. . .] id we not eat thy flesh for meat,

    and feed on heavenly cheer?

    Whereon who feed shall never need,

    as thou thy self dost say,

    [. . .] or shall they die eternally,

    but live with thee for ay.


    We may alledge, thou gav’st a pledge

    of thy dea [. . .] love to us

    [. . .] Wine and B [. . .] e [. . .] d, [. . .] hich figured

    [. . .] hy grace bestowed thus.

    Of streng [. . .] hning seals, of s [. . .] eetest meals

    have we so oft partaken?

    [. . .] nd shall we be cast off by thee,

    and utterly forsaken?


    [. . .] whom the Lord thu [. . .] in a word

    [. . .] eturns a short reply:

    I never k [. . .] ew any of you

    that wrought iniquity.

    You say y’ have bin, my Presence in;

    bu [. . .] , f [. . .] iends, how came you there

    Wi [. . .] h Raiment vile, that did defile

    and quite disgrace my cheer?


    Durst you draw near without due fear

    unto my holy Table?

    Du [. . .] st you prophane and render vain

    so far as you were able,

    Those Mysteries? which whoso prize

    and carefully improve,

    Shall saved be undoubtedly,

    and nothing shall them move.

    Page | 202



    How du [. . .] st you venture, bold guests, to enter

    in such a [. . .] ordid hi [. . .] e,

    Amongst my guests, unto those feasts

    that were not made for you?

    How durst you eat for spir’tual meat

    your bane, and drink damnation,

    Whilst by your guile you rendred vile

    so rare and great salvation?


    Your fancies fed on heav’nly bread;

    your hearts fed on some lust:

    You lov’d the Creature more then th’Creator

    your soules clave to the dust.

    And think you by hypocrisie

    and cloaked wickedness,

    To enter in, laden with sin,

    to lasting happiness.


    This your excuse shews your abuse

    of things ordain’d for good;

    And do declare you guilty are

    of my dear Flesh and Bloud.

    Wherefore those Seals and precious Meals

    you put so much upon

    As things divine, they seal and sign

    you to perdition.


    Then forth issue another Crew,

    (those being silenced)

    Who drawing nigh to the most High

    adventure thus to plead:

    We sinners were, say they, ‘tis clear,

    deserving Condemnation:

    But did not we rely on thee,

    O Christ, for whole Salvation?


    We did believe, and of receive

    thy gracious Promises:

    Page | 203


    We took great care to get a share

    in endless happiness:

    We pray’d and wept, we Fast-days kept,

    lewd ways we did eschew:

    We joyful were thy Word to h [. . .] ar,

    we fo [. . .] m’d our lives anew.


    We thought our sin had pardon’d bi [. . .],

    that our estate was good,

    Our debts all paid, [. . .] ur peace well made,

    our Souls wash [. . .] wi [. . .] h [. . .] hy B [. . .] oud.

    Lord, why dost thou rej [. . .] ct us now,

    who have not thee rejected,

    Nor utterly true sanctity

    and holy li [. . .] e neglected?


    The Judge ince [. . .] sed at their pretenced

    self-vaunting piety,

    With such a look as trembling strook

    into them, made reply;

    O impudent, impeni [. . .] ent,

    and guile [. . .] ul generation!

    Think you that I cannot descry

    your hearts abomination?


    You not receiv’d, nor yet believ [. . .] d

    my promises of grace;

    Nor were you wise enough to prize

    my reconciled face:

    But did presume, that to assume

    which was not yours to take,

    And challenged the childrens bread,

    yet would not sin forsake.


    B [. . .] ing too bold you laid fast hold

    where int’ [. . .] est you had none,

    Your selves deceiving by your believing;

    all which you might have known.

    You [. . .] an away (but ran astray)

    Page | 204


    with Gospel promises,

    And perished, being still dead

    in sins and trespasse [. . .].


    How oft did I hypocrisie

    and hearts deceits unmask

    Before your sight, giving you ligh [. . .]

    to know a Christians task?

    But you held fast unto the last

    your own conceits so vain:

    No warning could prevail, you would

    your own deceits re [. . .] ain.


    As for your care to get a share

    in bliss, the fear of Hell,

    And of a part in endless smart,

    did thereunto compel.

    Your holiness and ways redress,

    such as it was, did spring

    From no true love to things above,

    but from some other thing.


    You pray’d and wept, you Fast-days kept,

    but did you this to me?

    No, but for [. . .] n you sought to win

    the greater liberte [. . .].

    For all your vaunts, you had vile haunt’s;

    for which your consciences

    Did you alarm, whose voice to charm

    you us’d these practises.


    Your penitence, your diligence

    to read, to pray, to hear,

    Were but to drown the clam’rous sound

    of conscience in your ea [. . .]

    If light you lov’d, vain-glory mov’d

    your selves therewith to store,

    Th [. . .] t seeming wise, men might you prize,

    and honour you the more.

    Page | 205



    Thus from your selves unto your selves

    your duties all do tend:

    And as self-love the wheels do move,

    so in self-love they end.

    Thus Ch [. . .] ist detects their vain projects,

    and close impiety,

    And plainly shews that all their shows

    were but hypocrisie.


    Then were brought nigh a company

    of [. . .] ivil honest men,

    That lov’d true dealing, and hated stealing,

    [. . .] e wrong’d their brethren:

    Who pleaded thus, Thou knowest us

    that we were blamele [. . .] s livers;

    No whore-mongers, no murderers,

    no quarrellers nor strivers.


    Idolaters, Adulterers,

    Church-robbers we were none;

    Nor false dealers, nor couzeners,

    but paid each man his own.

    Our way was fair, our dealing square,

    we were no wastful spenders,

    No lewd toss-pots, no drunken sots,

    no scandalous offenders.


    We hated vice, and set great price

    by vertuous conversation:

    And by the same we got a name,

    and no small commendation.

    God’s Laws express that righteousness

    is that which he doth prize;

    And to obey, as he doth say,

    is more then sacrifice.


    Thus to obey, hath been our way;

    let our good deeds, we pray,

    Page | 206


    Find some regard, and good rewa [. . .] d

    with thee, O Lord, this day.

    And whereas we transgressors be;

    of Adam’s Race were n [. . .] ne,

    (No not the best) but have confes [. . .]

    themselves to h [. . .] ve mis [. . .] one.


    Then answered, un [. . .] o their dread,

    the Judge, True piety

    God doth desire, and eke requi [. . .] e

    no less then honesty.

    Justice demands at all your hands

    perfect Obedience:

    If but in part you have come sh [. . .],

    that is a just offence.


    On earth below where men did owe

    a thousand pounds and more,

    Could twenty pence it recompence?

    could that have clear’d the score?

    Think you to buy felicity

    with part of what’s due debt?

    O [. . .] for desert of one small part

    the whole should off be set?


    And yet that part (whose great desert

    you think to reach so far

    For your excuse) doth you accuse,

    and will your boasting mar.

    However fair, however square

    your way, and work h [. . .] th bin

    Before mens eyes, yet God espies

    iniquity therein.


    God looks upon th’ [. . .] ff [. . .] ction

    and temper of the heart;

    Not only on the action,

    and the external part.

    Whatever end vain men pretend,

    Page | 207


    God knows the v [. . .] ri [. . .] y [. . .]

    And by the end which they intend

    their words and deeds doth try.


    Without true faith, the Scripture saith,

    God cannot take delight

    In any deed, that doth proceed

    from any si [. . .] ful wight.

    And withou [. . .] love all actions prove

    but barren empty things:

    Dead works they be, and vanity,

    the which vexation brings.


    Nor from true faith, which quencheth wrath

    hath your obedience flown:

    Nor from true love, which wont to move

    believers, hath it grown.

    Your argument shews your intent

    in all that you have done:

    You thought to [. . .] cale heavens lofty wall,

    by ladders o [. . .] your own.


    Your blinded spirit, hoping to merit

    by your own righteousness,

    Needed no Saviour, but your b [. . .] haviour

    and blameless ca [. . .] riages [. . .]

    You trusted to what you could do,

    and in no need you stood:

    Your haughty pride laid me aside,

    and trampled on my Bloud.


    All men have gone astray, and done

    that which God’s Law [. . .] condemn:

    But my Purchase and offered Grace

    all men did not contemn.

    The Ninevites and Sodomites

    had no such sin as this:

    Yet as if all your sins were small,

    you say, All did amiss.

    Page | 208



    Again, you thought, and mainly sought

    a name with men t’ acquire:

    Pride bare the B [. . .] ll that made you swell,

    and your own selves admire.

    M [. . .] an frui [. . .] it is, and vile, I wis,

    that sp [. . .] ings from such a root:

    Vertue divine and genuine

    wants not from pride to shoor.


    Such deeds as you are worse then poo [. . .],

    they are but sins guilt over

    With silver dross, whose glistering gloss

    [. . .] an them no longer cover.

    The best of them would you condemn,

    and [. . .] uine you alone,

    Al [. . .] hough you were from faults so clear,

    that other you had none.


    Your gold is dross, you [. . .] silver brass,

    your righteousness is sin:

    And think you by such honesty

    Eternall life to win?

    You much mistake, if for it’s sake

    you dream of acceptation;

    Whereas the same deserveth shame,

    and meriteth damnation.


    A wond’rous Crowd then ‘gan aloud

    thus for themselves to say;

    We did intend, Lord to mend,

    and to reform our way:

    Ou [. . .] true intent was to repent,

    and make our peace with thee;

    But sudden death stopping our breath,

    left us no libertee.


    Short was our time; for in his prime

    our youthful flow’r was cropt:

    Page | 209


    We dy’d in youth, before full growth;

    so was our purpose stopt.

    Let our good will to turne from ill,

    and sin to have forsaken,

    Accepted be O Lord, by thee,

    and in good part be taken.


    To whom the Judg; Where you alledge

    the shortness of the space

    That from your bi [. . .] th you liv’d on earth,

    to compass S [. . .] ving Grace:

    It was free-grace, that any space

    wa [. . .] given you at all

    To turn from evil, defie the Devil,

    and upon God to call.


    One day, one week, wherein to seek

    Gods face with all your hearts,

    A favour was that far did pass

    the best of your deserts.

    You had a season; what was your Reason

    such preciou [. . .] hours to waste?

    What could you find, what could you mind

    that was of greater haste?


    Could you find time for vain pastime?

    for loose licentious mirth?

    For fruitless toys, and fading joyes

    that perish in the birth?

    Had you good leisure for Carnal pleasure

    in days of health and youth?

    And yet no space to seek Gods face,

    and turn to him in truth?


    In younger years, beyond your fears,

    what if you were surprised?

    You put away the evil day,

    and of long life devised.

    You oft were told, and might behold,

    Page | 210


    that Death no age would spare.

    Why then did you your time foreslow,

    and slight your Souls welfare?


    H [. . .] d your intent been to Repent,

    and had you it desir’d,

    There would have been endeavours seen

    before your time expir’d.

    God makes no [. . .] reasure nor hath he pleasure

    in idle purpo [. . .] es:

    Such fair pretences are foul offences,

    and cloaks for wickedness.


    Then were brought in and charg’d with sin

    another Compa [. . .] y,

    Who by Petition obtain’d permission

    to make apology:

    They argued; We were mis-led,

    as is well known to thee,

    By their Example, that had more ample

    abilities than we.


    Such as profest we did detest

    and hate each wicked way:

    Whose seeming grace whil’st we did trace,

    our Souls were led astray.

    When men of Parts, Learning and Arts,

    professing Piety,

    Did thus and thus, it seem’d to us

    we might take liberty.


    The Judge Replies; I gave you eyes,

    a [. . .] d light to see your way:

    Which had you lov’d and well improv’d

    you had not gone astray.

    My Word was pure, the Rule was sure;

    why did you it forsake,

    Or thereon trample, and men’s Example

    your Directory make?

    Page | 211



    This you well know, that God is true,

    and that most men are liars,

    In word professing holiness,

    in deed thereof deniers [. . .]

    O simple [. . .] ools! that having Rules

    your lives to Regulate,

    Would them refuse, and rather chuse

    vile men to imitate.


    But Lord, say they, we we [. . .] astray,

    and did more wickedly,

    By means of those whom thou hast chose

    Salvations Heirs to be.

    To whom the Judge; What you alledge

    doth nothing help the case,

    But makes appear how vile you were,

    and rend’reth you more ba [. . .] e.


    You understood that what was good

    was to be [. . .] ollowed,

    And that you ought that which was nought

    to have relinquished.

    Contrariwise, it was your guise,

    only to imitate

    Good mens defects, and their neglects

    that were Regenerate.


    But to express their holiness,

    or imitate their Grace,

    Yet little ca [. . .] ‘d, not once prepar’d

    your hearts to seek my face.

    They did Repent, and truly Rent

    their hearts for all known sin:

    You did Offend, but not Amend,

    to follow them therein.


    We had thy Word, (said some) O Lord,

    but wiser men then wee

    Page | 212


    Could never yet interpret it,

    but always disagree.

    How could we fools be led by Rules

    so far beyond our ken,

    Which to explain, did so much pain

    and puzzle wisest men?


    Was all my Word obscure and hard?

    the Judge then answered:

    It did contain much Truth so plain,

    you might have run and read.

    But what was hard you never car’d

    to know, nor studied:

    And things that were most plain and clear,

    you never practised.


    The Mystery of Pie [. . .] y

    God unto Babes reveals;

    When to the wise he it denies,

    and from the world co [. . .] ceals.

    If [. . .] o fulfill Gods holy will

    had seemed good to you,

    You would have sought light as you ought,

    and done the good y [. . .] u knew.


    Then came in view ano [. . .] her Crew,

    and ‘gan to make their plea’s;

    Amongst the rest, some of the best

    had such poor [. . .] hifts as these:

    Thou know’st right well, who all canst tell,

    we liv’d amongst thy foes,

    Who the Renate did sorely hate,

    and goodness much oppose.


    We Holiness durst not profess,

    fearing to be forlorn

    Of all our friends, and for amends

    to be the wicked’s scorn.

    We knew thei [. . .] anger would much endanger

    Page | 213


    our lives and our estates:

    Therefore for fear we durst appear

    no better than our mates.


    To whom the Lord returns this word;

    O wonderful deceits!

    To cast off aw of Gods strict Law,

    and fear mens wrath and th [. . .] eats!

    To fear Hell-fire and Gods fierce ire

    less then the rage of men!

    As if Gods wrath could do less scath

    than wrath of bretheren!


    To use such strife to temp’ral life

    to rescue and secure!

    And be so b [. . .] ind as not to mind

    that life that will endure!

    This was you [. . .] case, who carnal peace

    more then [. . .] ue joyes did savour:

    Who fed on dus [. . .] , clave to your lust,

    and spurned at my [. . .] avour.


    To please your kin, mens loves to win,

    to flow in wo [. . .] ldly wealth,

    To save your skin, these things have bin

    more than Eternal health.

    You had your choice, wherein rejoyce,

    it was your portion,

    For which you chose your Souls t’ expose

    unto Perdition.


    Who did not hate friends, life, and state,

    with all things else for me,

    And all forsake, and’s Cross up take,

    shall never happy be.

    Well worthy they do die for ay,

    who death then life had rather:

    Death is their due that so value

    the friendship of my Father.

    Page | 214



    Others argue, and not a few,

    is not God gracious?

    His Equity and Clemency

    are they not marvellous?

    Thus we believ’d; are we deceiv’d?

    cannot his Mercy great,

    (As hath been told to us of old)

    asswage his anger’s heat?


    How can it be that God should see

    his Creatures endless pain?

    O [. . .] hear their groans or ruefull moanes,

    and still his wrath retain?

    Can it agree with equitee?

    can Mercy have the heart,

    To Recompence few years offence

    with Everlasting smart?


    Can God delight in such a sight

    as sinners Misery?

    Or what great good can this our bloud

    bring unto the most High?

    Oh thou that dost thy Glory most

    in pard’ning sin display!

    Lord! might it please thee to release,

    and pardon us this day?


    Unto thy Name more glorious fame

    would not such Mercy bring?

    Would it not raise thine endless praise,

    more than our suffering?

    With that they cease, holding their peace,

    but cease not still to weep;

    Griefe ministers a flood to tears,

    in which their words do steep:


    But all too late; Grief’s out of date

    when Life is at an end.

    Page | 215


    The glorious King thus answering,

    all to his voice attend:

    God gracious is, quoth he, like his

    no Mercy can be found;

    His Equity and Clemency

    to sinners do abound.


    As may appear by those that here

    are plac’d at my right hand;

    Whose stripes I bore and clear’d the score

    that they might quitted stand.

    For surely none but God alone,

    whose Grace transcends man’s thought,

    For such as those that were his foes

    like wonders would have wrought.


    And none but he such lenitee

    and patience would have shown

    To you so long, who did him wrong,

    and pull’d his judgements down.

    How long a space (O stiff-neck’t Race!)

    did patience you afford?

    How oft did love you gently move

    to turn unto the Lord?


    With cords of Love God often strove

    your stubborn hearts to tame:

    Nevertheless, your wickedness

    did still resist the same.

    If now at last Mercy be past

    from you for evermore,

    And Justice come in Mercies room,

    yet grudge you no [. . .] therefore.


    If into wrath God tu [. . .] ed hath

    his Long-long [. . .] uffe [. . .] ing,

    And now for Love you Vengeance prove,

    it is an equal thing.

    Your waxing worse, hath stopt the course

    Page | 216


    of wonted Clemency:

    Mercy refus’d, and Grace misus’d,

    call for severity.


    It’s now high time that every Crime

    be brought to punishment:

    VVrath long contain’d, and oft refrain’d,

    at last must have a vent.

    Justice [. . .] evere cannot fo [. . .] bear

    to plague sin any longer;

    But must inflict with hand mo [. . .] t strict

    mischief upon the wronger.


    In vain do they for Mercy pray,

    the season being past,

    Who had no care to get a share

    therein, while time did last.

    The men whose ear refus’d to hear

    the voice of Wisdom’s cry,

    Earn’d this reward, that none regard

    him in his misery.


    It doth agree with Equitee,

    and with God’s holy Law,

    That those should dy eternally,

    that death upon them draw.

    The Soul that sin’s damnation win’s;

    for so the Law ordains:

    Which Law is just [. . .] and therefore must

    such suffer endless pains.


    Etern [. . .] l smart is the desert

    ev’n of the least offence;

    Then wonder not if I allot

    to you this Recompence:

    But wonder more that, since so sore

    and lasting plagues are due

    To every sin, you liv’d therein,

    who well the danger knew.

    Page | 217



    God hath no joy to crush or ‘stroy,

    and ruine wretched wights:

    But to display the glorious ray

    of Justice he delights.

    To manifest he doth detest

    and throughly hate all sin,

    By plaguing it, as is most fit,

    this shall him glory win.


    Then at the Bar arraigned are

    an impudenter sort,

    Who to evade the guilt that’s laid

    upon them, thus retort;

    How could we cease thus to transgress?

    how could we Hell avoid,

    Whom God’s Decree shut out from thee,

    and sign’d to be destroy’d?


    Whom God ordains to endless pains

    by Laws unalterable,

    Repentance true, Obedience new,

    to save such are unable:

    Sorrow for sin no good can win

    to such as are rejected;

    Ne can they give, not yet believe

    that never were elected.


    Of man’s faln Race who can true Grace

    or Holiness obtain?

    Who can convert or change his heart,

    if God with-hold the same?

    Had we apply’d our selves, and tri’d

    as much as who did most

    Gods love to gain, our busie pain

    and labour had been lost.


    Christ readily makes this reply;

    I damn you not because

    You are rejected, or not elected;

    Page | 218


    but you have broke my Laws.

    It is but vain your wits to strain

    the E [. . .] d and Me [. . .] ns to sever:

    Men fondly seek to dart or break

    what God hath link’d together.


    Whom God will save, such he will have

    the means of life to use:

    Whom he’l pass by, shall chuse to di [. . .],

    and ways of life refuse.

    He that fore-sees and fore-decrees,

    in wisdom order’d has,

    That man’s free-will electing ill

    shall bring his Will to pass.


    High God’s Decree, as it is free,

    so doth it none compel

    Against their will to good or ill;

    i [. . .] forceth none to Hell.

    They have their wish whose Souls perish

    with torments in Hell-fire:

    Who rather chose their souls to lose,

    then leave a loose desire.


    God did ordain sinners to pain;

    and I to hell send none,

    But such as swe [. . .] v’d, and have deserv’d

    destruction as their own.

    His pleasure is, that none fr [. . .] ss

    and endless happiness

    Be barr’d, but such as wrong [. . .] much

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