The Day of Doom by Michael Wigglesworth 1662Crystal Calhoun
1662 Best-selling classic. The poem is the longest poem of the Colonial Period, with two hundred and twenty-four stanzas. Eighteen hundred copies were sold within a year, and for the next century it held a secure place in New England Puritan households”. According to the Norton Anthology of American Literature (Volume 1), “about one out of every twenty persons in New England bought it”
[ 1 ]
Still was the night, Serene and Bright,
when all Men sleeping lay;
Calm was the season, and carnal reason
thought so ‘twould last for ay.
Soul, take thine ease, let sorrow cease,
much good thou hast in store:
This was their Song, their Cups among,
the Evening before.
of World before
[ 2 ]
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. Matt 25:5
[ 3 ]
Like as of old, when Men grow 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 powre
Destruction the World upon
in a tempestuous showre. Matt 24:37-38
[ 4 ]
They put away the evil day,
And drown’d their care and fears,
Till drown’d were they, and swept away
by vengeance unawares:
So at the last, whilst Men sleep fast
in their security,
Surpriz’d they are in such a snare
as cometh suddenly. I Thess 5:3
[ 5 ]
For at midnight brake 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 loynes surprizeth;
Amaz’d with fear, by what they hear,
each one of them ariseth. The suddenness,
Terror of Christ’s
II Pet 3:10
[ 6 ]
They rush from Beds with giddy heads,
and to their windows run,
Viewing this light, which shines more bright
then doth the Noon-day Sun.
Straightway appears (they see’t with tears)
the Son of God most dread;
Who with his Train comes on amain
To Judge both Quick and Dead. Matt 24:29-30
[ 7 ]
Before his face the Heav’ns gave place,
and Skies are rent asunder,
With mighty voice, and hideous noise,
more terrible than Thunder.
His brightness damps hev’ns glorious lamps
and makes them hide their heads,
As if afraid and quite dismay’d,
they quit their wonted steads. II Pet 3:10
[ 8 ]
Ye sons of men that durst contemn
the Threatnings of Gods Word,
How cheer you now? your hearts, I trow,
are sthrill’d as with a sword.
Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind
a God could never see,
Dost thou perceive, dost now believe,
that Christ thy Judge shall be?
[ 9 ]
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 (fool hardiness)
hath us undone, undone.
[ 10 ]
No heart so bold, but now grows cold
and almost dead with fear:
No eye so dry, but now can cry,
and pour out many a tear.
Earths Potentates and pw’rful States,
Captains and Men of Might
Are quite abasht, their courage dasht
at this most dreadful sight. Rev 6:16
[ 11 ]
Mean men lament, great men do rent
their Robes, and tear their hair:
They do not spare their flesh to tear
through horible despair.
All Kindreds wait: all hearts do fail:
horror the world doth fill
With weeping eyes, and loud out-cries,
yet knows not how to kill. Matt 24:30
[ 12 ]
Some hide themselves in Caves and Delves,
in places under ground:
Some rashly leap into the Deap,
to scape by being drown’d:
Some to the Rocks (O sensless blocks!)
and woody Mountains run,
That there they might this fearful sight,
and dreaded Presence shun. Rev 6:15-16
[ 13 ]
In vain do they to Mountains say,
Fall on us, and us hide
From Judges ire, more hot than fire,
for who may it abide?
No hiding place can from his Face,
sinners at all conceal,
Whose flaming Eyes hid things doth ‘spy,
and darkest things reveal.
[ 14 ]
The Judge draws nigh, exalted high
upon a lofty Throne,
Amidst the throng of Angels strong,
lo, Israel’s Holy One!
The excellence of whose presence
and awful Majesty,
Amazeth Nature, and every Creature,
doth more than terrify. Matt 25:31
[ 15 ]
The Mountains smoak, the Hills are shook,
the Earth is rent and torn,
As if she should be clean dissov’d,
or from the Center born.
The sea doth roar, forsakes the shore,
and shrinks away for fear;
The wild Beasts flee into the Sea,
so soon as he draws near. Rev 6:14
[ 16 ]
Whose Glory bright, whose wondrous might,
whose Power Imperial,
So far surpass whatever was
in Realms Terrestrial;
That tongues of men (nor Angels pen)
cannot the same express,
And therefore I must pass it by,
lest speaking should transgress.
[ 17 ]
Before his Throne a Trump is blown,
Proclaiming th’ Day of Doom:
Forthwith he cries, Ye Dead arise,
and unto Judgment come.
No sooner said, but ’tis obey’d;
Sepulchers open’d are:
Dead Bodies all rise at his call,
and’s mighty power declare. I Thess 4:16
of the Dead.
[ 18 ]
Both Sea and Land, at his Command,
their Dead at once surrender:
The Fire and Air constrained are
also their dead to tender.
The mighty word of this great Lord
links Body and Soul together
Both of the Just, and the unjust,
to part no more for ever.
[ 19 ]
The same translates, from Mortal states
All that survive, and be alive.
i’ th’ twinking of an eye:
That so they may abide for ay
to endless weal or woe;
Both the Renate and Reprobate
are made to dy no more. The living
Luke 20:36 I Cor 15:52
[ 20 ]
His winged Hosts flie through all Coasts,
Both good and bad, both quick and dead,
and all to Judgment bring.
Out of their holes those creeping Moles,
that hid themselves for fear,
By force they take, and quickly make
before the Judge appear. All brought
[ 21 ]
Thus every one before the Throne
of Christ the Judge is brought,
Both righteous and impious
that good or ill had wrought.
A separation, and diff’ring station
by Christ appointed is
(To sinners sad) ‘twixst good and bad,
‘twixt Heirs of woe and bliss. II Cor 5:10
[ 22 ]
At Christ’s right hand the Sheep do stand,
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 offence,
to Christ their Judge appealed. Who are Christ’s Sheep.
[ 23 ]
Next unto whom there find a room
all Christ’s afflicted sones,
Who being chastised, neither despised
nor sank amidst their groans:
Who by the Rod were turn’d to God,
and loved him the more,
Not murmuring nor quarrelling
when they were chast’ned sore. Heb 12:5-7
[ 24 ]
Moreover, such as loved much,
that had not such a tryal,
As might constrain to so great pain,
and such deep self denyl:
Yet ready were the Cross to bear,
when Christ them call’d thereto,
And did rejoyce to hear his voice,
they’re counted Sheep also. Luke 7:41, 47
[ 25 ]
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 for his own, by wayes unknown
to men, he sanctify’d. John 21:15
[ 26 ]
All stand before their Saviour
in long white Robes yclad,
Their countenance full of pleasance,
appearing wondrous glad.
O glorious sight! Behold how bright
dust heaps are made to shine,
Conformed so their Lord unto,
whose Glory is Divine. Rev 6:11
[ 27 ]
At Christ’s left hand the Goats do stand,
all whining hypocrites,
Who for self-ends did seem Christ’s friends,
but foster’d guileful sprites;
Who Sheep resembled, but they dissembled
(their hearts were not sincere);
Who once did throng Christ’s Lambs among,
but now must not come near. The Goats
described or the
several sorts of
the left hand.
[ 28 ]
Apostates and Run-awayes,
such as have Christ forsaken,
Of whom 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. Luke 11:24, 26
[ 29 ]
There also stand a num’rous band,
that no Profession made
Of godliness, nor to redress
their wayes at all essay’d:
Who better knew, but (sinful Crew)
Gospel and Law despised;
Who all Christ’s knocks withstood like blocks
and would not be advised. Luke 12:47
Prov 1:24, 26
[ 30 ]
Moreover, there with them appear
a number, numberless
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. Gal 3:10
I Cor 6:9
[ 31 ]
Blasphemers lewd, and Swearers shrewd,
Scoffers at Purity,
That hated God, contemn’d his Rod,
and lov’d Security:
Sabbath-polluters, Saints persecuters,
Presumptous men and Proud,
Who never lov’d those that reprov’d;
all stand amongst this Crowd. Exod 20:7-8
II Thess 1:6, 8-9
[ 32 ]
Adulterers and Whoremongers
were there, with all unchast:
There Covetous, and Revenous,
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. Heb 13:4
I Cor 6:10
[ 33 ]
Moreover, there together were
And Parents who did them undo
by Nurture vicious.
False-witness-bearers, and self-forswearers,
Murd’rers, and Men of blood,
Witches, Inchanters, and Ale-house-haunters,
beyond account there stood. Zach 5:3-4
[ 34 ]
Their place there find all Heathen blind,
that Natures light abused,
Although they had no tydings glad,
of Gospel-grace refused.
There stands all Nations and Generations
of Adam’s Progeny,
Whom Christ redeem’d not, who Christ esteem’d not,
through Infidelity. Rom 2:13
[ 35 ]
Who no Peace-maker, no Undertaker,
to shrow’d them from Gods ire,
Ever obtain’d; 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. Acts 4:12
[ 36 ]
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. I Cor 6:3
[ 37 ]
With dismal chains, and strngest reins,
like Prisoners of Hell,
They’re 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. Jude 6
[ 38 ]
All silence keep, both Goats and Sheep,
before the Judge’s 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. The Saints
[ 39 ]
‘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. II Cor 5:10
[ 40 ]
These Men be those my Father chose
before the worlds foundation,
And to me gave, that I should save
from Death and Dondemnation.
For whose dear sake I flesh did take,
was of a Woman born,
And did inure my self t’indure,
unjust reproach and scorn. John 17:6
[ 41 ]
For them it was that I did pass
through sorrows many 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 underwent, my Blood I spent
to save them from Hell fire. Rev 1:5
[ 42 ]
Thus I esteem’d, thus I redeem’d
all these from every Nation,
That they may be (as now you see)
a chosen Generation.
What if ere-while they were as vile,
and bad as any be,
And yet from all their guilt and thrall
at once I set them free? Eph 2:1, 3
[ 43 ]
My grace to one is wrong to none:
none can Election claim,
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. Matt 20:13, 15
[ 44 ]
But as for those whom I have chose
Salvations heirs to be,
I underwent their punishment,
and therefore set them free;
I bore their grief, and their relief
by suffering procur’d,
That they of bliss and happiness
might firmly be assur’d. Isa 53:4-5, 11
[ 45 ]
And this my grace they did imbrace,
believing on my Name;
Which Faith was true, the fruits do shew
proceeding from the same:
Their Penitence, their Patience,
their Love and Self-denial
In suffering losses, and bearing Crosses,
when put upon the tryal. Acts 13:48
[ 46 ]
Their sin forsaking, their chearful taking
my yoke, their Charity
Unto the Saints in all their wants,
and in them unto me,
These things do clear, and make appear
their Faith to be unfaigned,
And that a part in my desert
and purchase they have gained. I John 3:3
[ 47 ]
Ther debts are paid, their peace is made,
their sins remitted are;
Therefore at once I do pronounce,
and openly declare
That Heav’n is theirs, that they be Heirs
of Life and of Salvation!
Not ever shall they come at all
to Death or to Damnation. Isa 53:11-12
[ 48 ]
Come, Blessed Ones, and sit on Thrones,
Judging the World with me:
Come, and possess your happiness,
and bought felicitie.
Henceforth no fears, no care, no tears,
no sin shall you annoy,
Nor any thing that grief doth bring:
Eternal Rest enjoy. Luke 22:29-30
[ 49 ]
You bore the Cross, you suffered loss
of all for 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’t on Thrones
which addeth to their pain: Matt 25:34
They are place on
Thrones to joyn
with Christ in
judging the wicked.
That those whom they did wrong and slay,
must now their judgment see!
Such whom they slighted, and once despighted,
must now their Judges be!
Thus ’tis decreed, such is their meed,
and guerdon glorious!
With Christ they sit, Judging is fit
to plague the Impious. I Cor 6:2
[ 51 ]
The wicked are brought to the Bar,
like quilty 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. The wicked
brought to the Bar.
Rom 2:3, 6, 11
[ 52 ]
The glorious Judge will priviledge
nor Emperour, nor King:
But every one that hath mis-done
doth into Judgment bring.
And every one that hath mis-done,
the Judge impartially
Condemneth to eternal wo,
and endless misery. Rev 6:15-16
[ 53 ]
Thus one and all, thus great and small,
the Rich as well as Poor,
And those of place as the most base,
do stand the Judge before.
They are arraign’d, and there detain’d,
before Christ’s Judgment-seat
With trembling fear, their Doom to hear,
and feel his angers heat.
[ 54 ]
There Christ demands at all their hands
a strict and strait account
Of all things done under the Sun,
whose number far surmount
Man’s wit and thought: yet all are brought
unto this solemn Tryal;
And each offence with evidence,
so that there’s no denial. Eccl 11:9 &
[ 55 ]
There’s no exceuses for their abuses,
since their own Consciences
More proof give in of each Man’s sin,
than thousand Witnesses,
Though formerly this faculty
had grosly been abused,
Men could it stifle, or with it trifle,
when as it them accused.
[ 56 ]
Now it comes in, and every sin
unto Mens charge doth lay:
It judgeth them, and doth condemn,
though all the world say nay.
It so stingeth and tortureth,
it worketh such distress,
That each Man’s self against himself,
is forced to confess.
[ 57 ]
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 brings:
He doth unfold both new and old,
both known and hidden things. Secret sins and
works of darkness
brought to light.
Ps 139:2, 4, 12
[ 58 ]
All filthy facts, and secret acts,
however closly 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. Eccl 12:14
[ 59 ]
And as all facts and grosser acts,
so every word and thought,
Erroneous notion, and lustful motion,
are unto judgment brought,
No sin so small and trivial
but hither it must come:
Nor so long past, but now at last
it must receive a doom. Matt 12:36
[ 60 ]
At this sad season, Christ asks a Reason
(with just Austerity)
Of Grace refused, of light abus’d
so oft, so wilfully:
Of Talents lent by them mispent,
and on their Lust bestown;
Which if improv’d, as it behov’d,
Heav’n might have been their own! An account
demanded of all
Matt 25:19, 27
[ 61 ]
Of times neglected, of means 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 counsels, have
nought chang’d their sinful course? Rom 2:4-5
[ 62 ]
Why chastenings, and evil things,
why judgments so severe
Prevailed not with them a jot,
nor wrought an awful fear?
Why Promises of Holiness,
and new Obedience,
They oft did make, but always brake
the same, to God’s offence? Isa 1:5
[ 63 ]
Why still Hell-ward, without regard,
they boldly ventured,
And chose Damnation before Salvation,
when it was offered:
Why sinful pleasures, and earthly treasures,
like folls, they prized more
Than heav’nly wealth, Eternal health,
and all Christ’s Royal store. John 3:19-20
[ 64 ]
Why, when he stood off’ring his Blood
to wash them from their sin,
They would embrace no saving Grace,
but liv’d and dy’d therein?
Such aggravations, where no evasions,
nor false pretences hold,
Exaggerate and cumulate
guilt more than can be told. Luke 13:34
[ 65 ]
They multiply and magnify
mens gross iniquities,
They draw down wrath (as Scripture saith)
out of Gods treasuries.
Thus all their ways Christ open lays
to men and Angels view,
And, as they were, makes them appear
in their own proper hew.
[ 66 ]
Thus he doth find of all Mankind,
that stand at his left hand,
No Mothers Son, but hath mis-done,
and broken God’s Command.
All have transgrest, even the best,
and merited God’s wrath
Unto their own perdition,
and everlasting scath. Rom 3:10, 12
[ 67 ]
Earths dwellers all, both great and small,
have wrought iniquity,
And suffer must, for it is just,
Amongst the many there come not any,
before the Judge’s face,
That able are themselves to clear,
of all this cursed race. Rom 6:23
[ 68 ]
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 pleas;
There Hypocrites, false hearted wights,
do make such pleas as these: Hypocrites plead
[ 69 ]
Lord, in they Name, and by the same,
we Devils dispossest,
We rais’d the dead, and ministred
succour to the distrest.
Our painful teaching, and pow’rful preaching
by thine own wondrous might,
Did throughly win to God from sin
many a wretched wight. Matt 7:21-23
[ 70 ]
All this, quoth he, may granted by,
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. The judge replyeth.
I Cor 9:27
[ 71 ]
You that could preach, and others teach
what 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 Satan’s pawes, whilst in his jawes
your selves were held more fast? Rom 2:19, 21-23
[ 72 ]
Who though you knew Prepentance 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, with true intent,
your evil deeds to leave. John 9:41
[ 73 ]
His Masters will how to fulfill
the servant that well knew,
Yet left undone his duty known,
more plagues to him are due.
You against light perverted right;
wherefore it shall be now
For Sidon and for Sodoms Land
more easie than for you. Luke 12:47
Matt 11:21-22, 24
[ 74 ]
But we have in thy presence been,
say some, and eaten there.
Did we not eat thy Flesh for meat,
and feed on heavenly Cheer?
Whereon who feed shall never need,
as thou thy self dost say,
Nor shall they dy eternally,
but live with Christ for ay. Another plea of
[ 75 ]
We may alledge, thou gav’st a pledge
of thy dear love to us
In Wine and Bread, which figured
thy Grace bestowed thus.
Of strengthing Seals, of sweetest Meals,
have we so oft partaken;
And shall we be cast off by thee,
and utterly forsaken?
[ 76 ]
To whom the Lord thus in a word
returns a short reply,
I never knew any of you
that wrought iniquity.
You say y’have been my Presence in;
but friends, how came you there
With Raiment vile that did defile
and quite disgrace my Cheer? Is Answered.
[ 77 ]
Durst you draw near without due fear
unto my holy Table?
Durst 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.
[ 78 ]
How durst you venture, bold guests, to enter
in such a sordid hew,
Amongst my guests, unto those Feasts
that were not made for you?
How durst you eat for spiritual meat
your bane, and drink damnation,
Whilst by your guile you rendred vile
so rare and great Salvation? I Cor 11:27, 29
[ 79 ]
Your fancies fed on heav’nly Bread,
your hearts fed on some Lust:
You lov’d the Creature more than th’ Creator,
your Souls clave to the dust.
And think you by Hypocrisie,
and cloaked Wickedness,
To enter in, laden with sin,
to lasting happiness? Matt 6:21, 24
[ 80 ]
This your excuse shews your abuse
of things ordain’d for good;
And doth declare you guilty are
of my dear Flesh and Blood.
Wherefore those Seals and precious Meals
you put so much upon
As things divine, they seal and sign
you to Perdition. I Cor 11:27, 29
[ 81 ]
Then forth issue another Crew
(those being silenced)
Who drawing nigh to the most High
adventure thus to plead:
We sinners were, say they, it’s clear,
But did not we rely on thee,
O Christ, for whole Salvation? Another sort of
[ 82 ]
We did believe and oft receive
thy gracious promises:
We took great care to get a share
in endless happiness.
We pray’d and wept, we Fast-dayes kept,
lewd ways we did eschew:
We joyful were they Word to hear;
we form’d our lives anew. Act 8:13
[ 83 ]
We thought our sin had pard’ned been;
that our Estate was good,
Our debts all paid, our peace well made,
our Souls wash’d with thy Blood.
Lord, why dost thou reject us now,
who have not thee rejected,
Nor utterly true sanctity
and holy life neglected. II Pet 2:20
[ 85 ]
The Judge incensed at their pretenced
With such a look as trembling strook
into them, made reply;
O impudent, impenitent,
and guileful generation!
Think you that I cannot descry
your hearts abomination? The Judge
[ 85 ]
You nor receiv’ed, 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. Job 6:64
[ 86 ]
Being too bold you laid fast hold,
where int’rest you had none,
Your selves deceiving by your believing,
all which you might have known,
You ran away, but ran astray,
And perished; being still dead
in sins and trespasses. Rev 3:17
[ 87 ]
How oft did I Hypocrisie
and Hearts deceit unmask
Before your sight, giving you light
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 retain. Matt 6:2, 4, 24
[ 88 ]
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. Ps 78:34-37
[ 89 ]
You pray’d and wept, you Fast-days kept;
but did you this to me?
No, but for sin, you sought to win,
the greater libertie.
For all your vaunts, you had vile haunts,
for which your Consciences
Did you alarm, whose voice to charm
you us’d these practices. Zach 7:5-6
I Sam 15:13, 21
Isa 1:11, 15
[ 90 ]
Your Penitence, your diligence
to Read, to Pray, to Hear,
Were but to drown’d the clamorous sound
of Conscience in your ear.
If light you lov’d, vain glory mov’d
your selves therewith to store,
That seeming wise, men might you prize,
and honour you the more. Matt 6:2, 5
[ 91 ]
Thus from your selves unto your selves,
your duties all do tend:
And as self-love the wheels doth move,
so in self-love they end.
Thus Christ detects their vain projects,
and close Impiety,
And plainly shews that all their shows
were but Hypocrisy. Zech 7:5-6
[ 92 ]
Then were brought nigh a Company
of Civil honest Men,
That lov’d true dealing, and hated stealing,
ne’r wrong’d their Bretheren;
Who pleaded thus, Thou knowest us
that we were blameless livers;
No Whoremongers, no Murderers,
no quarrellers nor stivers. Civil honest mens
[ 93 ]
Church-robbers we were none,
Nor false-dealers, no 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.
[ 94 ]
We hated vice, and set great price,
by vertuous conversation:
And by the same we got a name,
and no small commendation.
Gods Laws express that righteousness,
is that which he doth prize;
And to obey, as he doth say,
is more than sacrifice. I Sam 15:22
[ 95 ]
Thus to obey, hath been our way;
let our good deeds, we pray,
Find some regard and some reward
with thee, O Lord, this day.
And whereas we transgressors be,
of Adam’s Race were none,
No not the best, but have confest
themselves to have mis-done. Eccl 7:20
[ 96 ]
Then answered unto their dread,
the Judge: True Piety
God doth desire and eke require
no less than honesty.
Justice demands at all your hands
If but in part you have come short,
that is a just offence. Are taken off &
[ 97 ]
On Earth below, where men did ow
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?
Or for desert of one small part,
the whole should off be set?
[ 98 ]
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 hath been,
Before mens eyes, yet God espies
iniquity therein. Luke 18:11, 14
[ 99 ]
God looks upon th’ affection
and temper of the heart;
Not only on the action,
and the external part.
Whatever end vain men pretend,
God knows the verity;
And by the end which they intend
their words and deeds doth try. I Sam 16:7
II Chron 25:2
[ 100 ]
Without true Faith, the Scripture saith
God cannot take delight
In any deed, that doth proceed
from any sinful wight.
And without love all actions prove
but barren empty things.
Dead works they be, and vanitie,
the which vexation brings. Heb 11:6
I Cor 13:1-3
[ 101 ]
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 scale Heav’ns lofty Wall
by Ladders of your own.
[ 102 ]
Your blinded spirit, hoping to merit
by your own Righteousness,
Needed no Saviour, but your behaviour,
and blameless carriages;
You trusted to what you could do,
and in no need you stood:
Your haughty pride laid me aside,
and trampled on my Blood. Rom 10:3
[ 103 ]
All men have gone astray, and done,
that which Gods Laws 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. Rom 9:30, 32
[ 104 ]
Again you thought and mainly sought
a name with men t’acquire;
Pride bare the Bell, that made you swell,
and your own selves admire.
Mean fruit it is, and vile, I wiss,
that springs from such a root:
Vertue divine and genuine
wonts not from pride to shoot. Matt 6:5
[ 105 ]
Such deeds as your are worse than poor;
they are but sins guilt over
With silver dross, whose glistering gloss
can them no longer cover.
The best of them would you condemn,
and ruine you alone,
Although you were from faults so clear,
that other you had none. Prov 26:23
[ 106 ]
Your Gold is brass, your silver dross,
your righteouness is sin:
And think you by such honesty
eternal life to win?
You much mistake, if for its sake
you dream of acceptation;
Whereas the same deserveth shame,
and meriteth Damnation. Prov 15:8
[ 107 ]
A won’drous Crowd then ‘gan aloud,
thus for themselves to say,
We did intend, Lord to amend,
and to reform our way:
Our true intent was to repent,
and make our peace with thee;
But sudden death stopping our breath,
left us no libertie. Those that
pretend want of
[ 108 ]
Short was our time, for in his prime
our youthful flow’r was cropt:
We dy’d in youth, before full growth,
so was our purpose stopt.
Let our good will to turn from ill,
and sin to have forsaken,
Accepted be, O Lord, by thee,
and in good part be taken.
[ 109 ]
To whom the Judge: where you alledge
the shortness of the space,
That from your bith you liv’d on earth,
to compass saving Grace:
It was Free grace that any space
was given you at all
To turn from evil, defie the Devil,
and upon God to call. And confuted
[ 110 ]
One day, one week, wherein to seek
God’s 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 precious hours to waste?
What could you find, what could you mind
that was of greater haste? Luke 13:24
II Cor 6:2
[ 111 ]
Could you find time for vain pastime,
for loose licentious mirth?
For fruitless toyes, and fading joyes
that perish in the birth?
Had you good leasure for carnal Pleasure,
in dayes of health and youth?
And yet no space to seek God’s face,
and turn to him in truth? Eccl 11:9
[ 112 ]
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,
that Death no Age doth spare;
Why then did you your time foreslow,
and slight your Souls welfare? Amos 6:3-6
[ 113 ]
Had your intent been to repent,
and had you it desir’d,
There would have been endeavours seen,
before your time expri’d.
God makes no treasure, nor hath he pleasure,
in idle purposes:
Such fair pretences are foul offences,
and cloaks for wickedness. Luke 13:24-25
[ 114 ]
The were brought in, and charg’d with sin,
Who by Petition obtain’d permission,
to make Apology:
They argued, We were misled
as is well known to thee,
By their Example, that had more ample
abilities than we: Some plead
Examples of their
[ 115 ]
Such as profest they did detest,
and hate each wicked way:
Whose seeming grace whilst we did trace,
our Souls were led astray.
When men of Parts, Learning and Arts,
Did thus and thus, it seem’d to us
we might take liberty. John 7:48
[ 116 ]
The Judge relies, I gave you eyes,
and 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 mens example
your Directory make? Who are told that
Ps 19:8, 11
[ 117 ]
This you well knew, that God is true
and that most men are liars,
In word professing holiness,
in deed thereof deniers.
O simple fools! that having Rules
your lives to regulate,
Would then refuse, and rather chuse
vile men to imitate. II Tim 3:5
[ 118 ]
But Lord, say they, we went astray,
and did more wickedlie,
By means of those whom thou hast chose
Salvation 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 base. They urge that
they were misled by
But all their shifts
turn to their greater
I Cor 11:1
[ 119 ]
You understood that what was good,
was to be followed,
And that you ought that which was naught
to have relinquished.
Contrariwayes, it was your guise,
only to imitate
Good mens defects, and their neglects
that were regenerate. Philip 4:8
[ 120 ]
But to express their holiness,
or imitate their grace,
You little car’d, nor 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. Ps 32:5
II Chron 32:26
[ 121 ]
We had thy Word, say some, O Lord,
but wiser men than we
Could never yet interpret it,
but alway 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? Some plead
II Pet 3:16
[ 122 ]
Was all my word abstruse 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. They are confuted.
[ 123 ]
The Mystery of Pietie
God unto Babes reveals,
When to the wise he it denies,
and from the world conceals.
If to fulfil Gods holy will
had seemed good to you,
You would have sought light as you ought,
and done the good you knew. Matt 11:25
[ 124 ]
Then came in view another Crew,
and ‘gan to make their pleas.
Amongst the rest, some of the best
had such poor shifts 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. Others the fear of
[ 125 ]
We holiness durst not profess,
fearing to be forlorn
Of all our friends, and for amends
to be the wickeds scron.
We know their anger would much endanger
our lives, and our estates:
Therefore for fear we durst appear
no better than our mates. John 12:42-43
[ 126 ]
To whom the Lord returns this word:
O wonderful deceits!
To cast off aw to Gods strict Law,
and fear mens wrath and threats.
To fear hell-fire and Gods fierce ire
less than the rage of men,
As if Gods wrath, could do less scath
than wrath of bretheren. They were
[ 127 ]
To use such strife, a temporal life,
to rescue and secure,
And be so blind as not to mind
that life that will endure:
This was your case, who carnal peace
more than true joyes did favour;
Who fed on dust, clave to your lust,
and spurned at my favour.
[ 128 ]
To please your kin, mens love to win,
to flow in worldly 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. Luke 9:23-25
[ 129 ]
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 to dye for ay,
Who death then life and rather:
Death is their due, that so value
the friendship of my Father. Luke 9:26
[ 130 ]
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 angers heat? Others plead for
Pardon both from
Gods mercy and
[ 131 ]
How can it be that God should see
his Creatures endless pain,
Or hear the groans and rueful moans,
and still his wrath retain?
Can it agree with Equitie?
can mercy have the heart
To recompence few years offence
with Everlasting smart? II Kings 14.26
[ 132 ]
Can God delight in such a sight
as sinners misery?
Or what great good can this our blood
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? Ps 30.9 <
[ 133 ]
Unto thy Name more glorious fame
would not such mercy bring?
Would not it raise thine endless praise,
more than our suffering?
With that they cease, holding their peace,
but cease not still to weep;
Grief ministers a flood of tears,
in which their words do steep.
[ 134 ]
But all too late, grief’s out of date,
when life is at an end.
The glorious King thus anwering,
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. They answered.
[ 135 ]
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 mens thought,
For such as those that were his foes
like wonders would have wrought. Mercy that now
shines forth in the
vessels of Mercy.
[ 136 ]
And none but he such lenitee
and patience would have shown
To you so long, who did him wrong,
and pull’d his judgments down.
How long a space (O stiff neck’d race)
did patience you afford?
How oft did love you gently move,
to turn unto the Lord? Did also long wait
upon such as
[ 137 ]
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 not therefore. Luke 13:34
The day of Grace
[ 138 ]
If into wrath God turned hath
his long long suffering,
And now for love you vengence prove,
it is an equal thing.
Your waxing worse, hath stopt the course
of wonted Clemency:
Mercy refus’d, and Grace misus’d,
call for severity. Luke 19:42-43
[ 139 ]
It’s now high time that ev’ry Crime
be brought to punishment:
Wrath long contain’d, and oft restrain’d,
at last must have a vent:
Justice nsevere cannot forbear
to plague sin any longer,
But must inflict with hand most strict
mischief upon the wronger. Rom 2:5-6
[ 140 ]
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 man whose ear refus’d to hear
the voice of Wisdoms cry,
Earn’d this reward, that none regard
him in his misery. Matt 25:3, 11-12
[ 141 ]
It doth agree with equity,
and with Gods holy Law,
That those should dye eternally
that death upon them draw.
The Soul that sins damnation wins,
for so the Law ordains;
Which Law is just, and therefore must
such suffer endless pain. Isa 5:18-19
[ 142 ]
Eternal 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. Rom 6:23
I Thess 1:8-9
[ 143 ]
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. Ezek 33:11
[ 144 ]
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 Gods Decree shut out from thee,
and sign’d to be destroy’d? Some pretend they
were shut out from
Heaven by Gods
[ 145 ]
Whom God ordains to endless pains,
by Law 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 grieve, nor yet believe,
that never were elected. Heb 22:17
[ 146 ]
Of Man’s fall’n Race, who can true Grace,
or Holiness obtain?
Who can convert or change his heart,
if God withhold the same?
Had we apply’d our selves, and try’d
as much as who did most
God’s love to gain, our busie pain
and labour had been lost.
[ 147 ]
Christ readily makes this Reply,
I damn you not because
You are rejected, or not elected,
but you have broke my Laws:
It is but vain your wits to strain,
the end and means to sever:
Men fondly seek to part or break
what God hath link’d together. Their pleas
I Pet 1:9-10
[ 148 ]
Whom God will save, such he will have,
the means of life to use:
Whom he’ll pass by, shall chuse to dy,
and ways of life refuse.
He that fore-sees, and foredecrees,
in wisdom order’d has,
That man’s free-will electing ill,
shall bring his will to pass. Acts 3:19
I Sam 2:15
II Thess 2:11-12
[ 149 ]
High God’s Decree, as it is free,
so doth it none compel
Against their will to good or ill,
it forceth none to Hell.
They have their wish whose Souls perish
with Torments in Hell-fire,
Who rather chose their Souls to lose,
than leave a loose desire. Ezek 33:11-13
Prov 8:33, 36
[ 150 ]
God did ordain sinners to pain
and I to Hell send none,
But such as swerv’d, and have deserv’d
destruction as their own,
His pleasure is, that none from bliss
and endless happiness
Be barr’d, but such as wrong’d him much
by wilful wickedness. Gen 2:17
[ 151 ]
You, sinful Crew, no other knew
but you might be elect;
Why did you then your selves condemn?
why did you me reject?
Where was your strife to gain that life
which lasteth evermore?
You never knock’d, yet say God Lock’d
against you Heav’ns door. II Pet 1:10
[ 152 ]
‘Twas vain task to knock, to ask,
whilst life continued.
Whoever sought heav’n as he ought,
and seeking perished?
The lowly meek who truly seek
for Christ, and for Salvation,
There’s no Decree whereby such be
ordain’d to Condemnation. Matt 7:7-8
[ 153 ]
You argue then: But abject men,
whom God resolves to spill,
Cannot repent, nor their hearts rent;
ne can they change their will.
Not for his Can is any man
adjudged unto Hell:
But for his Will to do what’s ill,
and nilling to do well. John 3:19
[ 154 ]
I often stood tend’ring my Blood
to wash away your Guilt:
And eke my Spright to frame you right,
lest your Souls should be spilt.
But you vile Race, rejected Grace,
when Grace was freely proffer’d:
No changed heart, no heav’nly part
would you, when it was offer’d. John 5:40
[ 155 ]
Who wilfully the Remedy,
and means of life contemned,
Cause have the same themselves to blame,
if now they be condemned.
You have your selves, you and none else,
your selves have done to dy.
You chose the way to your decay,
and perisht wilfully. John 15:22-24
[ 156 ]
These words appall and daunt them all;
dismai’d, and all amort,
Like stocks they stand at Christ’s left-hand,
and dare no more retort.
Then were brought near with trembling fear,
a number numberless
Of blind Heathen, and bruitish men,
that did Gods Laws transgress.
[ 157 ]
Whose wicked ways Christ open layes,
and makes their sins appear,
They making pleas their case to ease,
if not themselves to clear.
Thy written Word (say they) good Lord,
we never did enjoy:
We nor refus’d, nor it abus’d;
Oh, do not us destroy! Heathen men plead
want of the
[ 158 ]
You ne’r abus’d, nor yet refus’d
my written Word, you plead,
That’s true (quoth he) therefore shall ye
the less be punished.
You shall not smart for any part
of other mens offence,
But for your own transgression
receive due recompence. Matt 11:22
[ 159 ]
But we were blind, say they, in mind,
to dim was Natures Light,
Our only guide, as hath been try’d
to bring us to the sight
Of our estate degenerate,
and curst by Adam’s Fall;
How we were born and lay forlorn
in bondage and in thrall. I Cor 1:21
of the Light of
[ 160 ]
We did not know a Christ till now,
nor how faln man be saved,
Else would we not, right well we wot,
have so our selves behaved.
We should have mourn’d, we should have turn’d
from sin at they Reproof,
And been more wise through thy advice,
for our own Souls behoof. Matt 11:21
[ 161 ]
But Natures Light shin’d not so bright
to teach us the right way:
We might have lov’d it, and well improv’d
and yet have gone astray.
The Judge most High makes this Reply,
you ingorance pretend,
Dimness of sight, and want of light
your course Heav’nward to bend. They are
[ 162 ]
How came your mind to be so blind?
I once you knowledge gave,
Clearness of sight, and judgment right;
who did the same deprave?
If to your cost you have it lost,
and quite defac’d the same;
Your own desert hath caus’d the smart,
you ought not me to blame. Gen 1:27
[ 163 ]
Your selves into a pit of woe,
your own transgression led:
If I to none my Grace had shown,
who had been injured?
If to a few, and not to you,
I shew’d a way of life,
My Grace so free, you clearly see,
gives you no ground of strife. Matt 11:25
20 & 15
[ 164 ]
‘Tis vain to tell, you wot full well,
if you in time had known
Your Misery and Remedy,
your actions had it shown.
You, sinful Crew, have not been true
unto the Light of Nature,
Nor done the good you understood,
nor owned your Creator. Rom 1:20-22
[ 165 ]
He that the Light, because ’tis Light,
hath used to despize,
Would not the Light shining more bright,
be likely for to prize.
If you had lov’d, and well improv’d
your knowledge and dim sight,
Herein your pain had not been vain,
your plagues had been more light. Rom 2:12, 15
Rom 2:12, 15
[ 166 ]
Then to the Bar, all they drew near
who dy’d in Infancy,
And never had or good or bad
But from the womb unto the tomb
were straightway carried,
(Or at the last e’re they transgrest)
who thus began to plead: Reprobate Infants
plead for themselves
Rev 20:12, 15
Rom 5:12, 14
& 9:11, 13
[ 167 ]
If for our own transgression,
We here did stand at thy left-hand
just were the Recompence:
But Adam’s guilt our souls hath spilt,
his fault is charg’d on ut;
And that alone hath overthrown,
and utterly undone us. Ezek 18:2
[ 168 ]
Not we, but he, ate of the Tree,
whose fruit was interdicted:
Yet on us all of his sad Fall,
the punishment’s inflicted.
How could we sin that had not been,
or how is his sin our,
Without consent, which to prevent,
we never had a pow’r?
[ 169 ]
O great Creator, why was our Nature
depraved and forlorn?
Why so defil’d, and made so vild
whilst we were yet unborn?
If it be just, and needs we must
transgressors reck’ned be,
Thy Mercy, Lord, to us afford
which sinners hath set free. Ps 51:3
[ 170 ]
Behold we see Adam set free,
and sav’d from his trespass,
Whose sinful Fall hath spilt us all,
and broguht us to this pass.
Canst thou deny us once to try,
or Grace to us to tender,
When he finds grace before thy face,
that was the chief offender?
[ 171 ]
Then ansered the Judge most dread,
God doth such doom forbid,
That men should dye eternally
for what they never did.
But what you call old Adam’s Fall,
and only his Trespass,
You call amiss to call it his,
both his and yours it was. Their Argument
Rom 5:12, 19
[ 172 ]
He was design’d of all Mankind
to be a publick Head,
A common Root, whence all should shoot,
and stood in all their stead.
He stood and fell, did ill or well,
not for himself alone,
But for you all, who now his Fall,
and trespass would disown. I Cor 15:48-49
[ 173 ]
If he had stood, then all his brood
has been established
In Gods true love, never to move,
nor once awry to tread:
Then all his Race, my Father’s Grace,
should have enjoy’d for ever,
And wicked Sprights by subtile sleights
could them have harmed never.
[ 174 ]
Would you have griev’d to have receiv’d
through Adam so much good,
As had been your for evermore,
if he at first had stood?
Would you have said, we ne’r obey’d,
nor did thy Laws regard;
It ill befits with benefits,
us, Lord, so to reward?
[ 175 ]
Since then to share in his welfare,
you could have been content,
You may with reason share in his treason,
and in the punishment.
Hence you were born in state forlorn,
with Natures so depraved:
Death was your due, because that you
had thus your selves behaved. Rom 5:12
[ 176 ]
You think if we had been as he,
whom God did so betrust,
We to our cost would ne’re have lost
all for a paltry Lust.
Had you been made in Adam’s stead,
you would like things have wrought,
And so into the self-same wo,
Your selves and yours have brought. Matt 23:30-31
[ 177 ]
I May deny you once to try,
or Grace to you to tender,
Though he finds Grace before my face,
who was the chief offender:
Else should my Grace cease to be Grace;
for it should not be free,
If to release whom I should please,
I have no libertee. Rom 9:15, 18
The free gift.
[ 178 ]
If upon one what’s due to none
I frankly shall bestow,
And on the rest shall not think best,
compassions skirts to throw,
Whom injure I? will you envy,
and grudge at others weal?
Or me accuse, who do refuse
your selves to help and heal?
[ 179 ]
Am I alone of what’s my own,
no Master or no Lord?
Of if I am, how can you claim
what I to some afford?
Will you demand Grace at my hand,
and challenge what is mine?
Will you teach me whom to set free,
and thus my Grace confine? Matt 20:15
[ 180 ]
You sinners are, and such a share
as sinners may expect,
Such you shall have; for I do save
none but mine own Elect.
Yet to compare your sin with their,
who liv’d a longer time,
I do confess yours is much less,
though every sins’s a crime. Ps 58:3
[ 181 ]
A crime it is, therefore in bliss
you may not hope to dwell;
But unto you I shall allow
the easiest room in Hell.
The glorious King thus answering,
they cease, and plead no longer;
Their Consciences must needs confess
his Reasons are the stronger. Matt 11:22
The wicked all
put to silence.
[ 182 ]
Thus all mens Pleas the Judge with ease
doth answer and confute,
Until that all, both great and small,
are silenced and mute.
Vain hopes are cropt, all mouths are stopt,
sinners have nought to say,
But that ’tis just, and equal most
they should be damn’d for ay. Behold the formidable
estate of all the ungodly,
as they stand hopeless
& helpless before
an impartial Judge,
[ 183 ]
Now what remains, but that to pains
and everlasting smart,
Christ should condemn the Sons of men,
which is their just desert;
Oh, rueful plights of sinful wights!
Oh wretches all forlorn:
‘T had happy been they ne’re had seen
the Sun, or not been born.
[ 184 ]
Yea, now it would be good they could
And cease to be, themselves to free
from such a fearful state.
Oh happy Dogs, and Swine, and Frogs:
yea Serpents generation,
Who do not fear this doom to hear,
and sentence of Damnation!
[ 185 ]
This is their state so desparate:
their sins are fully known;
Their vanities and villanies
before the world are shown.
As they are gross and impious,
so are their numbers more
Than motes i’th’ Air, or then their hair,
or sands upon the shore. Ps 139:2-4
[ 186 ]
Divine Justice offended is
and Satisfaction claimeth:
God’s wrathful ire kindled like fire,
against them fiercely flameth.
Their Judge severe doth quite cashier
and all their Pleas off take,
That never a man, or dare, or can
a further Answer make. Matt 25:45
[ 187 ]
Their mouths are shut, each man is put
to silence and to shame:
Nor have they ought within their thought,
Christ’s Justice for to blame.
The Judge is just, and plague them must,
nor will he mercy shew
(For Mercies day is past away)
to any of this Crew. Matt 22:12
[ 188 ]
The Judge is strong, doers of wrong
cannot his power withstand:
None can by flight run out of sight,
nor scape out of his hand.
Sad is their state: for Advocate
to plead their Cause there’s none:
None to prevent their punishment,
or misery bemone. Matt 28:18
[ 189 ]
O dismal day! whither shall they
for help and succour flee?
To God above, with hopes to move
their greatest Enemee:
His wrath is great, whose burning heat
no floods of tears can slake:
His word stands fast, that they be cast
into the burning Lake.
[ 190 ]
To Christ their Judge, he doth adjudge
them to the Pit of Sorrow;
Nor will he hear, or cry, or tear,
nor respite them one morrow.
To Heav’n alas, they cannot pass,
it is against them shut;
To enter there (O heavy cheer)
they out of hopes are put.
[ 191 ]
Unto their Treasures, or to their Pleasures,
all these have them forsaken:
Had they full Coffers to make large offers,
their Gold would not be taken
Unto the place where whilome was
their Birth and Education?
Lo! Christ begins for their great sins
to fire the Earths Foundation: Luke 12:20
Ps 49:7, 17
[ 192 ]
And by and by the flaming Sky
shall drop like molten Lead
About their ears, t’increase their fears,
and aggravate their dread.
To Angels good that ever stood
in their integrity,
Should they betake themselves, and make
their sute incessantly? II Pet 3:10
[ 193 ]
They neither skill, nor do they will
to work them any ease:
They will not mourn to see them burn,
nor beg for their release.
To wicked men, their bretheren
in sin and wickedness,
Should they make mone? their case is one,
they’re in the same distress.
Rev 20:13, 15
[ 194 ]
Ah, cold comfort, and mean support
from such like Comforters!
Ah, little joy of Company,
Such shall increase their hearts disease,
and add unto their woe,
Because that they brought to decay
themselves and many moe. Luke 16:38
[ 195 ]
Unto the Saints with sad complaints
should they themselves apply?
They’re not dejected, nor ought affected
with all their misery.
Friends stand aloof, and make no proof
what Prayers or Tears can do:
Your godly friends are now more friends
to Christ than unto you. Rev 21:4
[ 196 ]
Where tender love mens hearts did move
unto a sympathy,
And bearing part of others smart
in their anxiety;
Now such sompassion is out of fashion,
and wholly laid aside:
No Friends so near, but Saints to hear
their Sentence can abide. I Cor 6:2
[ 197 ]
One natural Brother beholds another
in this astonied fit,
Yet sorrows not thereat a jot,
nor pitties him a whit.
The godly wife conceives no grief,
nor can she shed a tear
For the sad state of her dear Mate,
when she his doom doth hear. Compare
Prov 1:26 with
I John 3:2 &
II Cor 5:16
[ 198 ]
He that was erst a Husband pierc’t
with sense of Wives distress,
Whose tender heart did bear a part
of all her grievances,
Shall mourn no more as heretofore
because of her ill plight;
Although he see her now to be
a damn’d forsaken wight.
[ 199 ]
The tender Mother will own no other
of all her numerous brood,
But such as stand at Christ’s right hand
acquitted through his Blood.
The pious Father had now much rather
his graceless Son should ly
In Hell with Devils, for all his evils
burning eternally, Luke 16:25
[ 200 ]
Then God most high should injury,
by sparing him sustain;
And doth rejoyce to hear Christ’s voice
adjudging him to pain;
Who having all, both great and small,
convinc’d and silenced,
Did then proceed their Doom to read,
and thus it uttered: Ps 58:10
[ 201 ]
Ye sinful wights, and cursed sprights,
that work Iniquity,
Depart together from me for ever
to endless Misery;
Your portion take in yonder Lake,
where Fire and Brimstone flameth:
Suffer the smart, which your desert
as it’s due wages claimeth. The Judge
[ 202 ]
Oh, piercing words more sharp than swords!
what, to depart from Thee,
Whose face before for evermore
the best of Pleasures be!
What? to depart (unto our smart)
from thee Eternally:
To be for aye banish’d away,
with Devils company! The terrour of it.
[ 203 ]
What? to be sent to Punishment,
and flames of Burning Fire,
To be surrounded, and eke confounded
with Gods Revengful ire.
What? to abide, not for a tide
these Torments, but for Ever:
To be released, or to be eased,
not after years, but Never.
[ 204 ]
Oh, fearful Doom! now there’s no room
for hope or help at all:
Sentence is past which aye shall last,
Christ will not it recall.
There might you hear them rent and tear
the Air with their out-cries:
The hideous noise of their sad voice
ascendeth to the Skies.
[ 205 ]
They wring their hands, their caitiff-hands
and gnash their teeth for terrour;
They cry, they roar for anguish sore,
and gnaw their tongues for horrour.
But get away without delay,
Christ pitties not your cry:
Depart to Hell, there may you yell,
and roar Eternally. Luke 13:28
[ 206 ]
That word, Depart, maugre their heart,
drives every wicked one,
With mighty pow’r, the self-same hour,
far from the Judge’s Throne.
Away they’re chaste by the strong blast
of this Death-threatning mouth:
They flee full fast, as if in haste,
although they be full loath. It is put in
[ 207 ]
As chaff that’s dry, and dust doth fly
before the Northern wind:
Right so are they chased away,
and can no Refuge find.
They hasten to the Pit of Wo,
guarded by Angels stout;
Who to fulfil Christ’s holy will,
attend this wicked Rout. Matt 13:41-42
[ 208 ]
Whom having brought, as they are taught,
unto the brink of Hell,
(That dismal place far from Christ’s face,
where Death and Darkness dwell:
Where Gods fierce Ire kindleth the fire,
and vengeance feeds the flame
With piles of Wood, and Brimstone Flood,
that none can quench the same,) HELL.
[ 209 ]
With Iron bands they bind their hands,
and cursed feet together,
And cast them all, both great and small,
into that Lake for ever.
Where day and night, without respite,
they wail, and cry, and howl
For tort’ring pain, which they sustain
in Body and in Soul. Wicked Men
and Devils cast into
it for ever.
Matt 22:13 &
[ 210 ]
For day and night, in their despight,
their torments smoak ascendeth.
Their pain and grief have no relief,
their anguish never endeth.
There must they ly, and never dy,
though dying every day:
There must they dying ever ly,
and not consume away. Rev 14:10-11
[ 211 ]
Dy fain they would, if dy they could,
but Death will not be had;
God’s direful wrath their bodies hath
for ev’r Immortal made.
They live to ly in misery,
and bear eternal wo;
And live they must whilst God is just,
that he may plague them so.
[ 212 ]
But who can tell the plagues of Hell,
and torments exquisite?
Who can relate their dismal state,
and terrours infinite?
Who fare the best, and feel the least,
yet feel that punishment
Whereby to nought they should be brought,
if God did not prevent. The unsufferable
torments of the
[ 213 ]
The least degree of miserie
there felt’s incomparable,
The lightest pain they there sustain
more than intolerable.
But God’s great pow’r from hour to hour
upholds them in the fire,
That they shall not consume a jot,
nor by it’s force expire. Isa 33:14
[ 214 ]
But ah, the wo they undergo
(they more than all besides)
Who had the light, and knew the right,
yet would not it abide.
The sev’n-fold smart, which to their part,
and portion doth fall,
Who Christ his Grace would not imbrace,
nor hearken to his call. Luke 12:47
[ 215 ]
The Amorites and Sodomites
although their plagues be sore,
Yet find some ease, compar’d to these,
who feel a great deal more.
Almighty God, whose Iron Rod,
to smite them never lins,
Doth most declare his Justice rare
in plaguing these mens sins. Matt 11:24
[ 216 ]
The pain of loss their Souls doth toss,
and wond’rously distress,
To think what they have cast away
by wilful wickedness.
We might have been redeem’d from sin,
think they, and liv’d above,
Being possest of heav’nly rest,
and joying in God’s love. Luke 16:23, 25
[ 217 ]
But wo, wo, wo our Souls unto!
we would not happy be;
And therefore hear Gods Vengeance here
to all Eternitee.
Experience and woful sense
must be our painful teachers
Who n’ould believe, nor credit give,
unto our faithful Preachers. Luke 13:34
[ 218 ]
Thus shall they ly, and wail, and cry,
tormented, and tormenting
Their galled hearts with pois’ned darts
but now too late repenting.
There let them dwell i’the’ Flames of Hell;
there leave we them to burn,
And back agen unto the men
who Christ acquits, return. Mark 9:44
[ 219 ]
The Saints behold with courage bold,
and thankful wonderment,
To see all those that were their foes
thus sent to punishment:
Then do they sing unto their King
a Song of endless Praise:
They praise his Name, and do proclaim
that just are all his ways. The Saints rejoyce
to see Judgment
executed upon the
[ 220 ]
Thus with great joy and melody
to Heav’n they all ascent,
Him there to praise with sweetest layes,
and Hymns that never end,
Where with long Rest they shall be blest,
and nought shall them annoy:
Where they shall see as seen they be,
and whom they love enjoy. They ascend with
Christ into Heaven
I John 3:2
I Cor 13:12
[ 221 ]
O Glorious Place! where face to face
Jehovah may be seen,
By such as were sinners whilere
and no dark vail between.
Where the Sun shine, and light Divine,
of Gods bright Countenance,
Doth rest upon them every one,
with sweetest influence. Their Eternal
[ 222 ]
O blessed state of the Renate!
O wondrous Happiness,
To which they’re brought, beyond what thought
can reach, or words express!
Griefs water-course, and sorrows sourse,
are turn’d to joyful streams.
Their old distress and heaviness
are vanished like dreams. Rev 21:4
[ 223 ]
For God above in arms of love
doth dearly them embrace,
And fills their sprights with such delights,
and pleasures in his grace;
As shall not fail, nor yet grow stale
through frequency of use:
Nor do they fear Gods favour there,
to forfeit by abuse. Ps 16:11
[ 224 ]
For there the Saints are perfect Saints,
and holy ones indeed,
From all the sin that dwelt within
their mortal bodies freed:
Made Kings and Priests to God through Christs
dear loves transcendency,
There to remain, and there to reign
with him Eternally. Heb 12:23