“The Day of Doom; or a Poetical Description of the Great and Last Judgment” written in 1662, by By Michael Wigglesworth, (1631–1705), was once one of the most popular books in Puritan New England. Many, many children memorized this entire poem. From Wiki: 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”.
As late as 1828 it was stated that many aged persons were still alive who could repeat it, as it had been taught them with their catechism; and the more widely one reads in the voluminous sermons of that generation, the more fair will its representation of prevailing theology in New England appear.” The poem is the longest poem of the Colonial Period, with two hundred and twenty-four stanzas. I strongly recommend it to your careful reading, especially if you wish to understand the theological fervency and emphasis of this period. –MWP
THE DAY OF DOOM
1: Still was the night, serene and bright, The security of the World before Christ’s coming to judgement. Luke 12:19.
2: when all Men sleeping lay;
3: Calm was the season, and carnal reason
4: thought so ‘twould last for aye.
5: “Soul take thine ease, let sorrow cease,
6: much good thou hast in store;
7: This was their song their cups among
8: the evening before.
9: Wallowing in all kind of Sin,
10: vile Wretches lay secure;
11: The best of men had scarcely then
12: their Lamps kept in good ure.
13: Virgins unwise, who through disguise
14: amongst the best were number’d, Mat. 25.5.
15: Had clos’d their eyes; yea, and the Wise
16: through sloth and frailty slumber’d.
17: Like as of old, when men grew bold
18: God’s threat’nings to contemn,
19: Who stopt their ear, and would not hear
20: when Mercy warnéd them? Mat.24:37,38.
21: But took their course, without remorse,
22: till God began to pour
23: Destructi-on the world upon,
24: in a tempestuous show’r
25: Who put away the evil day 1 Thes. 5:3.
26: and drown’d their cares and fears,
27: Till drown’d were they, and swept away
28: by vengeance unawares;
29: So at the last, whilst men sleep fast
30: in their security,
31: Surpris’d they are in such a snare
32: As cometh suddenly.
33: For at midnight breaks forth a light, The suddenness, Majesty, and Terror of Christ’s appearing. Mat. 25:6. 2 Pet. 3:10.
34: which turns the night to day;
35: And speedily an hideous cry
36: doth all the World dismay.
37: Sinners awake, their hearts do ache,
38: trembling their loins surpriseth;
39: Amaz’d with fear, by what they hear,
40: each one of them ariseth.
41: They rush from beds with giddy heads,
42: and to their windows run,
43: Viewing this light, which shines more bright
44: than doth the noon-day Sun.
45: Straightway appears (they see’t with tears)
46: the Son of God most dread,
47: Who with his Train comes on amain Mat. 24: 29,30.
48: to judge both Quick and Dead.
49: Before his face the Heav’ns give place,
50: and Skies are rent asunder,
51: With mighty voice and hideous noise,
52: more terrible than Thunder.
53: His Brightness damps Heav’n’s glorious Lamps,
54: and makes them hide their heads;
55: As if afraid, and quite dismay’d, 2 Pet. 3:10.
56: they quit their wonted steads.
57: Ye sons of men that durst contemn
58: the Threat’nings of God’s Word,
59: How cheer you now? Your hearts, I trow,
60: are thrill’d as with a sword.
61: Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind
62: a God could never see,
63: Dost thou perceive, dost now believe
64: that Christ thy Judge shall be?
65: Stout Courages, (whose hardiness
66: could Death and Hell outface)
67: Are you as bold, now you behold
68: your Judge draw near apace?
69: They cry, “No, no: Alas! and woe!
70: our courage all is gone:
71: Our hardiness, (fool hardiness)
72: hath us undone, undone!”
73: No heart so bold, but now grows cold, Rev. 6:15.
74: and almost dead with fear;
75: No eye so dry but now can cry,
76: and pour out many a tear.
77: Earth’s Potentates and pow’rful States,
78: Captains and Men of Might
79: Are quite abasht, their courage dasht.
80: At this most dreadful sight.
81: Mean men lament, great men do rent Mat. 24:30.
82: their Robes, and tear their hair;
83: They do not spare their flesh to tear
84: through horrible despair.
85: All kindreds wail; all hearts do fail;
86: Horror the World doth fill
87: With weeping eyes and loud out-cries,
88: yet knows not how to kill.
89: Some hide themselves in Caves and Delves, Rev. 6:15,16.
90: in places under ground:
91: Some rashly leap into the Deep,
92: to ‘scape by being drown’d:
93: Some to the Rocks, (O sensless blocks!)
94: and woody Mountains run,
95: That there they might this fearful sight
96: and dreaded Presence shun.
97: In vain do they to Mountains say,
98: “Fall on us, and us hide
99: From Judges ire, more hot then Fire,
100: For who may it abide?”
101: No hiding place can from his Face
102: sinners at all conceal,
103: Whose flaming Eye hid things doth spy,
104: and darkest things reveal.
105: The Judge draws nigh, exalted high Mat. 25:21.
106: upon a lofty Throne,
107: Amidst the throng of Angels strong,
108: lo, Israel’s Holy One!
109: The excellence of whose Presence,
110: and awful Majesty,
111: Amazeth Nature, and every Creature
112: doth more than terrify.
113: The Mountains smoke, the Hills are shook, Rev. 6:14.
114: the Earth is rent and torn,
115: As if she should be clean dissolv’d,
116: or from her center born.
117: The Sea doth roar, forsakes the shore,
118: and shrinks away for fear;
119: The wild beasts flee into the sea
120: so soon as he draws near,
121: Whose Glory bright, whose wond’rous Might,
122: whose Power Imperial,
123: So far surpass whatever was
124: in Realms Terrestrial;
125: That tongues of men (nor Angel’s pen)
126: Cannot the same express;
127: And therefore I must pass it by,
128: lest speaking should transgress. Thes. 4:16.
129: Before his Throne a Trump is blown, Resurrection of the Dead. John 5:28.29.
130: proclaiming th’Day of Doom;
131: Forthwith he cries, “Ye dead arise
132: and unto Judgement come.”
133: No sooner said, but ’tis obey’d;
134: Sepulchers open’d are;
135: Dead bodies all rise at his call,
136: and’s mighty Power declare.
137: Both Sea and Land at his command,
138: their Dead at once surrender;
139: The Fire and Air constrainéd are
140: also their dead to tender.
141: The mighty Word of this great Lord
142: links Body and Soul together,
143: Both of the Just and the unjust,
144: to part no more for ever.
145: The same translates from Mortal states The living changed. Luke 20:36. 1 Cor. 15:52.
146: to Immortality,
147: All that survive and be alive,
148: in th’ twinkling of an eye;
149: That so they may abide for aye
150: to endless weal or woe:
151: Both the Renate and Reprobate
152: are made to die no moe.
153: His wingéd Hosts fly through all coasts, All brought to Judgment. Mat. 24:31.
154: together gathering
155: Both good and bad, both Quick and Dead,
156: and all to Judgement bring.
157: Out of their holes those creeping Moles,
158: that hid themselves for fear,
159: By force they take, and quickly make
160: before the Judge appear.
161: Thus every one before the Throne 2 Cor. 5:10. The Sheep separated from the Goats. Mat. 25:32.
162: of Christ the Judge is brought,
163: Both rightéous and impious,
164: that good or ill hath wrought.
165: A separation and diff’ring station
166: by Christ appointed is
167: (To sinners sad) ‘twixt good and bad,
168: ‘twixt Heirs of woe and bliss.
169: At Christ’s right hand the Sheep do stand,
170: his holy Martyrs, who
171: For his dear Name suffering shame,
172: calamity and woe,
173: Like Champions stood, and with their Blood Who are Christ’s Sheep. Mat. 5:10,11.
174: their Testimony séaled;
175: Whose innocence without offence
176: to Christ their Judge appealéd.
177: Next unto whom there find a room,
178: all Christ’s afflicted ones,
179: Who being chastis’d, neither despis’d,
180: nor sank amidsts their groans;
181: Who by the Rod were turn’d to God, Heb. 12:5-7
182: and loved him the more,
183: Not murmuring nor quarrelling
184: when they were chast’ned sore.
185: Moreover, such as lovéd much,
186: that had not such a trial,
187: As might constrain to so great pain,
188: and such deep self-denial, Luke 7:41,47
189: Yet ready were the Cross to bear,
190: when Christ them call’d thereto,
191: And did rejoice to hear his voice,
192: they’re counted Sheep also.
193: Christ’s flock of Lambs there also stands,
194: whose Faith was weak, yet true, John 21:15. Mat. 19:14. John 3:3
195: All sound Believers (Gospel receivers)
196: whose Grace was small, but grew.
197: And them among an Infant throng
198: of Babes, for whom Christ died;
199: Whom for his own, by ways unknown
200: to Men, he sanctified.
201: All stand before their Savi-or,
202: in long white Robes yclad,
203: Their countenance full of pleasance, Rev. 6:11. Phil. 3:21.
204: appearing wond’rous glad.
205: O glorious sight! Behold how bright
206: dust-heaps are made to shine,
207: Conforméd so their Lord unto,
208: whose Glory is Divine.
209: At Christ’s left hand the Goats do stand, The Goats described, or the several sorts of Reprobates on the left hand. Mat. 24:51.
210: all whining Hypocrites
211: Who for self-ends did seem Christ’s friends,
212: but foster’d guileful sprites;
213: Who Sheep resembled, but they dissembled
214: (their hearts were not sincere)
215: Who once did throng Christ’s Lambs among;
216: but now must not come near.
217: Apostates base and run-aways, Luke 11:24 Heb. 6:4-6 Heb. 10:29
218: such as have Christ forsaken,
219: Of whom the the Devil, with seven more evil,
220: hath fresh possession taken;
221: Sinners ingrain, reserv’d to pain
222: and torments most severe
223: Because ‘gainst light they sinn’d with spite,
224: are also placéd there.
225: There also stand a num’rous band,
226: that no profession made
227: Of Godliness, nor to redress Luke 12:47 Prov. 1:24,26 Job 3:19
228: their ways at all essay’d;
229: Who better knew, but (sinful Crew)
230: Gospel and Law despiséd,
231: Who all Christ’s knocks withstood like blocks,
232: and would not be adviséd.
233: Moreover, there with them appear
234: a number, numberless, Gal. 3:10 1 Cor. 6:9 Rev. 21:8
235: Of great and small, vile wretches all,
236: that did God’s Law transgress;
237: Idolaters, false worshippers,
238: Profaners of God’s Name,
239: Who not at all thereon did call,
240: or took in vain the same.
241: Blasphemers lewd, and Swearers shrewd, Exod. 20:7,8.
242: scoffers at Purity,
243: That hated God, contemn’d his Rod,
244: and lov’d Security;
245: Sabbath-polluters, Saints-persecuters, 2 The. 1:6-8
246: presumptuous men, and proud,
247: Who never lov’d those that reprov’d;
248: all stand amongst this crowd.
249: Adulterers and Whoremongers
250: were there, with all unchast; Heb.13:4 1 Cor. 6:10
251: There Covetous and Ravenous,
252: that Riches got too fast:
253: Who us’d vile ways themselves to raise
254: t’Estates and worldly wealth,
255: Oppression by or knavery,
256: by force, or fraud, or stealth.
257: Moreover, there together were
258: Children flagiti-ous,
259: And Parents who did them undo
260: by nature vici-ous. Zac. 5:3,4 Gal. 5:19-21
261: False-witness-bearers and self-forswearers,
262: Murd’rers and Men of Blood,
263: Witches, Enchanters, and Ale-house haunters,
264: beyond account there stood.
265: Their place there find all Heathen blind
266: that Nature’s light abus’d,
267: Although they had no tidings glad Rom. 2:13
268: of Gospel grace refus’d.
269: There stand all Nations and Generations
270: of Adam’s Progeny,
271: Whom Christ redeem’d not, whom he esteem’d [ not]
272: throught Infidelity.
273: Who no Peace-maker, no undertaker
274: to shroud them from God’s ire
275: Ever obtain’d; they must be pain’d Acts 4:12
276: with everlasting fire.
277: These num’rous bands, wringing their hands,
278: and weeping all stand there,
279: Filléd with anguish, whose hearts do languish,
280: through self-tormenting fear.
281: Fast by them stand at Christ’s left hand
282: the Lion fierce and fell,
283: The Dragon bold, that Serpent old,
284: that hurried Souls to Hell. 1 Cor. 6:3
285: There also stand, under command,
286: legions of Sprites unclean,
287: And hellish Fiends, that are no friends
288: to God, nor unto Men.
289: With dismal chains and strong reins,
290: like Prisoners of Hell, Jude 6.
291: They’re held in place before Christ’s face,
292: till He their Doom shall tell.
293: These void of tears, but fill’d with fears,
294: and dreadful expectation
295: Of endless pains and scalding flames,
296: stand waiting for Damnation.
297: All silence kept, both Goats and Sheep,
298: before the Judge’s Throne;
299: With mild aspect to his Elect
300: then speaks the Holy One;
301: “My Sheep draw near, your Sentence hear,
302: which is to you no dread,
303: Who clearly now discern and know
304: your sins are pardonéd.
305: “‘Twas meet that ye should judgéd be,
306: that so the world may spy
307: No cause of grudge, when as I judge 2 Cor. 5:10. Eccl. 3:17. John 3:18.
308: and deal impartially.
309: Know therefore all both great and small,
310: the ground and reason why
311: These Men do stand at my right hand,
312: and look so cheerfully.
313: “These men be those my Father chose
314: before the World’s foundation,
315: And to me gave, that I should save Job 17:6. Eph. 1:4.
316: from Death and Condemnation;
317: For whose dear sake I flesh did take,
318: was of a Woman born,
319: And did inure myself t’endure
320: unjust reproach and scorn.
321: “For them it was that I did pass
322: through sorrows many a one;
323: That I drank up that bitter Cup
324: which made me sigh and groan.
325: The Cross’s pain I did sustain; Rev. 1:5.
326: yea more, my Father;s ire
327: I underwent, my Blood I spent
328: to save them from Hell-fire.
329: “Thus I esteeméd, thus I redeeméd
330: all these from every Nation,
331: That they might be (as now you see) Eph. 2:1,3
332: a chosen Generation.
333: What if ere while they were as vile
334: and bad as any be,
335: And yet from all their guilt and thrall
336: at once I set them free?
337: “My grace to one is wrong to none;
338: none can Election claim;
339: Amongst all those their souls that lose, Mat. 23:13,15. Rom. 9:20,21.
340: none can Rejection blame.
341: He that may choose, or else refuse,
342: all men to save or spill,
343: May this Man choose, and that refuse,
344: redeeming whom he will.
345: “But as for those whom I have chose
346: Salvation’s heirs to be, Isa. 53:4,5,11.
347: I underwent their punishment,
348: and therefore set them free.
349: I bore their grief, and their relief
350: by suffering procur’d,
351: That they of bliss and happiness
352: might firmly be assur’d.
353: “And this my grace they did embrace,
354: believing on my Name; Acts 1:3,48. Jam. 2:18. Heb. 12:7. Mat. 19:29.
355: Which Faith was true, the fruits do shew
356: proceeding from the same; —
357: Their Penitence, their Pati-ence,
358: their Love and Self-denial;
359: In suff’ring losses and bearing Crosses,
360: when put upon the trial; —
361: “Their sin forsaking, their cheerful taking
362: my Yoke, their Charity
363: Unto the Saints in all their wants,
364: and in them unto me; —
365: These things do clear, and make appear 1 John 3:3. Mat. 25:39,40.
366: their Faith to be unfeignéd,
367: And that a part in my desert
368: and purchase they have gainéd.
369: “Their debts are paid, their peace is made,
370: their sins remitted are;
371: Therefore at once I do pronounce, Isa. 53:11,12. Rom. 8:16,17,33,34. John 3:18.
372: and openly declare,
373: That Heav’n is theirs, that they be Heirs
374: of Life and of Salvation;
375: Nor ever shall they come at all
376: to Death or to Damnation.
377: “Come blessed Ones and sit on Thrones,
378: judging the World with me;
379: Come and possess your happiness,
380: and bought felicity; Luke 22:29,30.
381: Henceforth no fears, no care, no tears, Mat. 19:28.
382: no sin shall you annoy,
383: Nor any thing that grief doth bring:
384: Eternal Rest enjoy.
385: “You bore the Cross, you suffer’d loss Mat. 25:34. They are placed on Thrones to join with Christ in judging the wicked.
386: of all for my Name’s sake;
387: Receive the Crown that’s now your own;
388: come, and a Kingdom take.”
389: Thus spake the Judge: the wicked grudge,
390: and grind their teeth in vain;
391: They see with groans these plac’d on Thrones
392: which addeth to their pain:
393: That those whom they did wrong and slay,
394: must now their Judgement see!
395: Such whom they slighted and once despited,
396: must now their Judges be!
397: Thus ’tis decreed, such is their meed,
398: and guerdon glorious; 1 Cor. 6:2.
399: With Christ they sit, judging it fit
400: to plague the Impious.
401: The wicked are brought to the Bar.
402: like guilty Malefactors, The wicked are brought to the Bar. Rom. 2:3,6,11.
403: That oftentimes of bloody Crimes
404: and Treasons have been Actors.
405: Of wicked Men, none are so mean
406: as there to be neglected;
407: Nor none so high in dignity
408: as there to be respected.
409: The glorious Judge will privilege
410: nor Emperor nor King;
411: But every one that hath misdone
412: doth into judgement bring. Rev. 6:15.16. Isa. 30:33.
413: And every one that hath misdone,
414: the Judge impartially
415: Condemneth to eternal woe,
416: and endless misery.
417: Thus one and all, thus great and small,
418: the Rich as well as Poor,
419: And those of place, as the most base,
420: do stand the Judge before.
421: They are arraign’d, and there detain’d
422: before Christ’s Judgement seat
423: With trembling fear their Doom to hear,
424: and feel his Anger’s heat.
425: There Christ demands at all their hands
426: a strict and straight account
427: Of all things done under the Sun;
428: whose number far surmount Eccl. 11:9,12,14.
429: Man’s wit and thought: yet all are brought
430: unto this solemn Trial;
431: And each offence with evidence,
432: so that there’s no denial.
433: There’s no excuse for their abuse,
434: since their own Consciences
435: More proof give in of each Man’s sin;
436: than thousand Witnesses.
437: Though formerly this faculty
438: had grossly been abuséd,
439: (Men could it stifle, or with it trifle,
440: when as it them accuséd.)
441: Now it comes in, and every sin
442: unto Men’s charge doth lay;
443: It judgeth them and doth condemn,
444: though all the World say nay.
445: It so stingeth and tortureth,
446: it worketh such distress,
447: That each Man’s self against himself,
448: is forcéd to confess.
449: It’s vain, moreover, for Men to cover Secret sins and works of darkness brought to light. Ps. 139:2,4,12. Rom. 2:16.
450: the least Iniquity;
451: The Judge hath seen and privy been
452: to all their villany.
453: He unto light and open sight
454: the work of darkness brings;
455: He doth unfold both new old,
456: both known and hidden things.
457: All filthy facts and secret acts,
458: however closely done,
459: And long conceal’d, are there reveal’d Eccl. 12:14.
460: before the mid-day Sun.
461: Deeds of the night, shunning the light,
462: which darkest corners sought,
463: To fearful blame, and endless shame,
464: are there most justly brought.
465: And as all facts, and grosser acts,
466: so every word and thought,
467: Erroneous notion and lustful motion, Mat. 12:36. Rom. 7:7.
468: are into Judgement brought.
469: No Sin so small and trivial,
470: but hither it must come;
471: Nor so long past but now at last
472: it must receive a doom.
473: At this sad season, Christ asks a Reason An account demanded of all their actions. John 5:40 and 3:19. Mat. 25:19,27.
474: (with just austerity)
475: Of Grace refus’d, of light abus’d
476: so oft, so wilfully;
477: Of Talents lent, by them misspent,
478: and on their Lust bestown;
479: Which if improv’d as it behoov’d,
480: Heav’n might have been their own;
481: Of times neglected, of means rejected,
482: of God’s long-suffering
483: And Pati-ence, to Penitence
484: that sought hard hearts to bring; Rom. 2:4,5.
485: Why chords of love did nothing move,
486: to shame or to remorse?
487: Why warnings grave, and counsels have
488: nought chang’d their sinful course?
489: Why chastenings, and evil things,
490: why judgments so severe, Isa. 1:5.
491: Prevailéd not with them a jot,
492: nor wrought an awful fear?
493: Why promises of Holiness,
494: and new Obedience, Jer. 2:20.
495: They oft did make, but always break
496: the same, to God’s offense?
497: Why still Hell-ward, without regard,
498: they bold venturéd, John 3:19, etc. Prov. 8:36. Luke 12:20,21.
499: And chose Damnation before Salvation
500: when it was offeréd?
501: Why sinful pleasures and earthly treasures,
502: like fools, they prizéd more
503: Than Heav’nly wealth, Eternal health,
504: and all Christ’s Royal store?
505: Why, when he stood off’ring his Blood
506: to wash them from their sin, Luke 13:34. John 5:40, and 15:22.
507: They would embrace no saving Grace,
508: but liv’d and died therein?
509: Such aggravations, where no evasions,
510: nor false pretences hold,
511: Exaggerate and cumulate
512: guilt more then can be told.
513: They multiply and magnify
514: Men’s gross Iniquities;
515: They draw down wrath (as Scripture saith)
516: out of God’s treasuries.
517: Thus all their ways Christ open lays
518: to Men and Angels’ view,
519: And as they were makes them appear
520: in their own proper hue.
521: Thus he doth find of all Mankind
522: that stand at his left hand Rom. 3:10,12.
523: No mother’s son but hath misdone,
524: and broken God’s command.
525: All have transgress’d, even the best,
526: and merited God’s wrath,
527: Unto their own perditi-on
528: and everlasting scath.
529: Earth’s dwellers all, both great and small,
530: have wrought iniquity, Rom. 6:23.
531: And suffer must (for it is just)
532: Eternal misery.
533: Amongst the many there come not any,
534: before the Judge’s face,
535: That able are themselves to clear,
536: of all this cursed Race.
537: Nevertheless they all express,
538: (Christ granting liberty,)
539: What for their way they have to say,
540: how they have liv’d, and why.
541: They all draw near and seek to clear
542: themselves by making plea’s;
543: There Hypocrites, false-hearted wights,
544: do make such pleas as these:
545: “Lord, in thy Name, and by the same
546: we Devils dispossess’d; Mat. 7:21-23.
547: We rais’d the dead, and minist’red
548: succour to the distress’d.
549: Our painful teaching and pow’rful preaching,
550: by thine own wondrous might,
551: Did throughly win to God from sin
552: many a wretched wight.”
553: “All this,” quoth he, “may granted be,
554: and your case little better’d, The Judge replyeth. John 6:70. 1 Cor. 9:27.
555: Who still remain under a chain
556: and many irons fetter’d.
557: You that the dead have quickenéd,
558: and rescu’d from the grave,
559: Your selves were dead, yet ne’er needéd
560: a Christ your souls to save.
561: “You that could preach, and others teach
562: what way to life doth lead, Rom. 2:19-23.
563: Why were you slack to find that track,
564: and in that way to tread?
565: How could you bear to see or hear
566: of others freed at last
567: From Satan’s paws, whilst in his jaws
568: yourselves were held more fast?
569: “Who though you knew Repentance true,
570: and faith is my great Name, John 9:41. Rev. 2:21,22.
571: The only mean to quit you clean,
572: from punishment and blame,
573: Yet took no pain true Faith to gain,
574: such as might not deceive,
575: Nor would repent with true intent,
576: your evil deeds to leave.
577: “His Masters will how to fulfil
578: the servant that well knew, Luke 12:47 Mat. 11:21-24.
579: Yet left undone his duty known,
580: more plagues to him are due.
581: You against light perverted right;
582: wherefore it shall be now
583: For Sidon and for Sodom’s Land
584: more easie then for you.”
585: “But we have in thy presence been,”
586: say some, “and eaten there. Another plea of the Hypocrites. Luke 13:20.
587: Did we not eat thy Flesh for meat,
588: and feed on Heav’nly Cheer?
589: Whereon who feed shall never need,
590: as thou thyself dost say,
591: Nor shall they die eternally,
592: but live with Christ for aye.
593: “We may allege, thou gav’st a pledge
594: of thy dear Love to us
595: In Wine and Bread, which figuréd
596: thy Grace bestowéd thus.
597: Of strength’ning Seals, of sweetest Meals
598: have we so oft partaken;
599: And shall we be cast off by thee,
600: and utterly forsaken?”
601: To whom the Lord thus in a word The answer. Luke 13:27. Mat. 22:12.
602: returns a short reply:
603: “I never knew any of you
604: that wrought Iniquity.
605: You say you’ve been my Presence in;
606: but then, how came you there
607: With Raiment vile that did defile
608: and quite disgrace my Cheer?
609: “Durst you draw near without due fear
610: Unto my holy Table?
611: Durst you profane and render vain,
612: so far as you were able,
613: Those Mysteries, which whoso prize,
614: and carefully improve,
615: Shall savéd be undoubtedly,
616: and nothing shall them move?
617: “How durst you venture bold guests to enter
618: in such a sordid hue,
619: Amongst my guests unto those Feasts
620: that were not made for you? 1 Cor. 11:27,29.
621: How durst you eat for spir’tual meat
622: your bane, and drink damnation,
623: Whilst by your guile you render’d vile
624: so rare and great Salvation?
625: “Your fancies fed on heav’nly Bread,
626: your hearts fed on some Lust;
627: You lov’d the Creature more then th’ Creator,
628: your souls clove to the dust.
629: And think you by Hypocrisy,
630: and cloakéd Wickedness, Mat. 6:21,24. Rom. 1:25.
631: To enter in laden with sin,
632: to lasting Happiness?
633: “This your excuse shews your abuse
634: of things ordain’d for good; 1 Cor. 11:27,29.
635: And doth declare you guilty are
636: of my dear Flesh and Blood.
637: Wherefore those Seals and precious Meals
638: you put so much upon
639: As things Divine, they Seal and Sign
640: you to Perditi-on.”
641: Then forth issue another Crew
642: (those being silencéd)
643: Who drawing nigh to the Most High
644: adventure thus to plead:
645: “We sinners were,” say they, “’tis clear,
646: deserving condemnation;
647: But did not we rely on thee,
648: O Christ, for whole Salvation?
649: “We did believe, and oft receive
650: thy gracious Promises; Acts 8:13. Isa. 58:2,3. Heb. 6:4,5.
651: We took great care to get a share
652: in endless Happiness.
653: We pray’d and wept, and Fast-days kept,
654: lewd ways we did eschew;
655: We joyful were thy Word to hear;
656: we form’d our lives anew.
657: “We thought our sin had pardon’d been,
658: that our Estate was good, 2 Pet. 2:20.
659: Our debts all paid, our peace well made,
660: our Souls wash’d with thy Blood.
661: Lord, why dost thou reject us now,
662: who have not thee rejected,
663: Nor utterly true sanctity
664: and holy life neglected?”
665: The Judge incens’d at their pretens’d
666: self-vaunting Piety, The Judge uncaseth them. John 2:24,25.
667: With such a look as trembling strook
668: unto them made reply:
669: “O impudent, impenitent,
670: and guileful generation!
671: Think you that I cannot descry
672: your hearts’ abomination?
673: “You nor receiv’d, nor yet believ’d
674: my Promises of Grace, John 6:64. Psal. 50:16. Mat. 15:26.
675: Nor were you wise enough to prize
676: my reconciléd Face;
677: But did presume that to assume
678: which was not yours to take,
679: And challengéd the Children’s Bread,
680: yet would not sin forsake.
681: “Being too bold you laid fast hold
682: where int’rest you had none, Rev. 3:17. Mat. 13:20.
683: Yourselves deceiving by your believing,
684: all which you might have known.
685: You ran away but ran astray
686: with Gospel Promises,
687: And perishéd, being still dead
688: in sins and trespasses.
689: “How oft did I Hypocrisy
690: and Hearts’ deceits unmask
691: Before your sight, giving you light Mat. 6:2,4,24. Jer. 8:5-8.
692: to know a Christian’s task?
693: But you held fast unto the last
694: your own conceits so vain,
695: No warning could prevail; you would
696: your own Deceits retain.
697: “As for your care to get a share
698: in Bliss; the fear of Hell,
699: And of a part in endless smart,
700: did thereunto compel. Psal. 78:34-37.
701: Your holiness and ways redress,
702: such as it was, did spring
703: From no true love to things above,
704: but from some other thing.
705: “You pray’d and wept, you Fast-days kept, Zach. 7:5,6. Isa. 58:3,4. 1 Sam. 15:13,21. Isa. 1:11,15.
706: but did you this to me?
707: No, but for sin you sought to win
708: the greater liberty.
709: For all your vaunts, you had vile haunts,
710: for which your Consciences
711: Did you alarm, whose voice to charm
712: you us’d these practises.
713: “Your Penitence, your diligence
714: to Read, to Pray, to Hear, Mat. 6:2,5. John 5:44.
715: Were but to drown the clam’rous sound
716: of Conscience in your Ear. |
717: If light you lov’d, vain glory mov’d
718: yourselves therewith to store,
719: That seeming wise men might you prize,
720: and honor you the more.
721: “Thus from yourselves unto yourselves
722: your duties all do tend; Zech. 7:5,16. Hos. 10:1.
723: And as self-love the wheels doth move,
724: so in self-love they end.”
725: Thus Christ detects their vain projects,
726: and close Impiety,
727: And plainly shews that all their shows
728: were but Hypocrisy.
729: Then were brought nigh a Company
730: of Civil honest Men, Civil honest men’s pleas. Luke 18:11.
731: That lov’d true dealing and hated stealing,
732: ne’er wrong’d their Brethren;
733: Who pleaded thus: “Thou knowest us
734: that we were blameless livers;
735: No Whoremongers, no Murderers,
736: no quarrellers nor strivers.
737: “Idolaters, Adulterers,
738: Church-robbers we were none;
739: Nor false dealers, nor cozeners,
740: but paid each man his own.
741: Our way was fair, our dealing square,
742: we were no wasteful spenders,
743: No lewd toss-pots, no drunken sots,
744: no scandalous offenders.
745: “We hated vice, and set great price
746: by virtuous conversation;
747: And by the same we got a name, 1 Sam. 15:22.
748: and no small commendation.
749: God’s Laws express that righteousness
750: is that which he doth prize;
751: And to obey, as he doth say,
752: is more then sacrifice.
753: “Thus to obey hath been our way;
754: let our good deeds, we pray, Eccl.7:20.
755: Find some regard and some reward
756: with thee, O Lord, this day.
757: And whereas we transgressors be;
758: of Adam’s race were none,
759: No, not the best, but have confess’d
760: themselves to have misdone.”
761: Then answeréd unto their dread,
762: the Judge: “True Piety Are taken off and redered invalid. Deut. 10:12. Tit. 2:12. Jam. 2:10.
763: God doth desire and eke require
764: no less then honesty.
765: Justice demands at all your hands
766: perfect Obedience;
767: If but in part you have come short,
768: that is a just offence.
769: “On earth below, where men did owe
770: a thousand pounds and more,
771: Could twenty pence it recompence?
772: Could that have clear’d the score?
773: Think you to buy Felicity
774: with part of what’s due debt?
775: Or for desert of one small part
776: the whole should off be set?
777: “And yet that part whose great desert
778: you think to reach so far, Luke 18:11,14.
779: For your excuse doth you accuse,
780: and will your boasting mar.
781: However fair, however square
782: your way and work hath been
783: Before Men’s eyes, yet God espies
784: iniquity therein.
785: “God looks upon th’affecti-on
786: and temper of the heart;
787: Not only on the acti-on, 1 Sam. 16:7. 2 Chron. 25:2.
788: and the external part.
789: Whatever end vain men pretend,
790: God knows the verity,
791: And by the end which they intend
792: their words and deeds doth try.
793: “Without true Faith, the Scripture saith,
794: God cannot take delight
795: In any deed that doth proceed Heb. 11:6. 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
796: from any sinful wight.
797: And without love all actions prove
798: but barren empty things;
799: Dead works they be and vanity,
800: the which vexation brings.
801: “Nor from true Faith, which quencheth wrath
802: hath your obedience flown;
803: Nor from true Love, which wont to move
804: Believers, hath it grown.
805: Your argument shews your intent
806: in all that you have done;
807: You thought to scale Heav’n’s lofty Wall,
808: by Ladders of your own.
809: “Your blinded spirit hoping to merit
810: by your own Righteousness,
811: Needed no Saviour but your behavior
812: and blameless carriages. Rom. 10:3.
813: You trusted to what you could do,
814: and in no need you stood;
815: Your haughty pride laid me aside,
816: and trampled on my Blood.
817: “All men have gone astray, and done
818: that which God’s Laws condemn; Rom. 9:30,32. Mat. 11:23,24 and Mat. 21:41.
819: But my Purchase and offer’d Grace
820: all men did not contemn.
821: The Ninevites and Sodomites
822: had no such sin as this;
823: Yet as if all your sins were small,
824: you say, ‘All did amiss.’
825: “Again you thought and mainly sought
826: a name with men t’acquire;
827: Pride bare the Bell that made you swell,
828: and your own selves admire.
829: Mean fruit it is, and vile, I wiss, Mat. 6:5.
830: that springs from such a root;
831: Virtue divine and genuine
832: wonts not from pride to shoot.
833: “Such deeds as your are worse then poor;
834: they are but sins gilt over Prov. 26:23. Mat. 23:27.
835: With silver dross, whose glist’ring gloss
836: can them no longer cover.
837: The best of them would you condemn,
838: and ruin you alone,
839: Although you were from faults so clear,
840: that other you had none.
841: “Your gold is brass; your silver dross,
842: your righteousness is sin;
843: And think you by such honesty Prov.15:8. Rom. 3:20.
844: Eternal life to win?
845: You much mistake, if for it’s sake
846: you dream of acceptation;
847: Whereas the same deserveth shame,
848: and meriteth damnation.”
849: A wondrous crowd then ‘gan aloud Those that pretend want of opportunity to repent. Prov. 27:1. Jam. 4:13.
850: thus for themselves to say:
851: “We did intend, Lord, to amend,
852: and to reform our way.
853: Our true intent was to repent
854: and make our peace with thee;
855: But sudden death stopping our breath,
856: left us no liberty.
857: “Short was our time, for in its prime
858: our youthful pow’r was cropt;
859: We died in youth before full growth,
860: so was our purpose stopt.
861: Let our good will to turn from ill,
862: and sin to have forsaken,
863: Accepted be, O Lord, by thee,
864: and in good part be taken.”
865: To whom the Judge: “Where you allege
866: the shortness of the space, Are confuted and convinced. Eccl. 12:1. Rev. 2:21.
867: That from your birth you liv’d on earth,
868: to compass saving Grace;
869: It was Free Grace, that any space
870: was given you at all
871: To turn from evil, defy the Devil,
872: and upon God to call.
873: “One day, one week wherein to seek
874: God’s face with all your hearts,
875: A favor was that far did pass Luke 13:24. 2 Cor. 6:2. Heb. 3:7-9.
876: the best of your deserts.
877: You had a season; what was your reason
878: such precious hours to waste?
879: What could you find, what could you mind
880: that was of greater haste?
881: “Could you find time for vain pastime,
882: for loose, licentious mirth?
883: For fruitless toys and fading joys, Eccl. 11:9. Luke 14:18-20.
884: that perish in the birth?
885: Had you good leisure for carnal Pleasure
886: in days of health and youth?
887: And yet no space to seek God’s face,
888: and turn to him in truth?
889: “In younger years, beyond your fears,
890: what if you were surprizéd? Amos 6:3-6. Eph. 5:16. Luke 19:42.
891: You put away the evil day,
892: and of long life deviséd.
893: You oft were told, and might behold,
894: that Death no Age would spare;
895: Why then did you your time foreslow,
896: and slight your soul’s welfare?
897: “Had your intent been to repent,
898: and had you it desir’d,
899: There would have been endeavours seen Luke 13:24,etc. Phil. 2:12.
900: before your time expir’d.
901: God makes no treasure nor hath he pleasure
902: in idle purposes;
903: Such fair pretences are foul offences,
904: and cloaks for wickedness.”
905: Then were brought in and charg’d with sin
906: another Company,
907: Who by Petition obtain’d permission Some plead examples of their betters. Mat. 18:7.
908: to make Apology.
909: They arguéd, “We were misled,
910: as is well known to thee,
911: By their example that had more ample
912: abilities than we;
913: “Such as profess’d we did detest
914: and hate each wicked way;
915: Whose seeming grace whil’st we did trace,
916: our Souls were led astray.
917: When men of Parts, Learning and Arts, John 7:48.
918: professing Piety,
919: Did thus and thus, it seem’d to us
920: we might take liberty.”
921: The Judge replies: “I gave you eyes, Who are told that examples are no Rules. Psal. 19:8,11. Exod. 23:2. Psal. 50:17,18.
922: and light to see your way,
923: Which had you lov’d and well improv’d
924: you had not gone astray.
925: My Word was pure, the Rule was sure;
926: why did you it forsake,
927: Or thereon trample, and men’s example
928: your Directory make?
929: “This you well knew: that God is true,
930: and that most men are liars,
931: In word professing holiness, 2 Tim. 3:5.
932: in deed thereof deniers.
933: O simple fools! that having Rules,
934: your lives to regulate,
935: Would them refuse, and rather choose
936: vile men to imitate.”
937: “But Lord,” say they, “we went astray,
938: and did more wickedly,
939: By means of those whom thou hast chose
940: Salvation’s heirs to be.”
941: To whom the Judge: “What you allege
942: doth nothing help the case,
943: But makes appear how vile you were,
944: and rend’reth you more base.
945: “You understood that what was good, 1 Cor. 11:1. Phil. 4:8.
946: was to be followéd,
947: And that you ought that which was naught
948: to have relinquishéd.
949: Contrariwise it was your guise,
950: only to imitate
951: Good men’s defects, and their neglects
952: who were regenerate.
953: “But to express their holiness, Psal. 32:5. 2 Chron. 32:26. Mat. 26:75. Prov. 1:24,25.
954: or imitate their grace,
955: Yet little car’d, nor once prepar’d
956: your hearts to seek my Face.
957: They did repent and truly rent
958: their hearts for all known sin;
959: You did offend, but not amend,
960: to follow them therein.”
961: “We had thy Word,” say some, “O Lord, Some plead the Scriptures’ darkness, and difference among Interpreters. 2 Pet. 3:16.
962: but wiser men then we
963: Could never yet interpret it,
964: but always disagree.
965: How could we fools be led by Rules
966: so far beyond our ken,
967: Which to explain did so much pain
968: and puzzle wisest men?”
969: “Was all my Word abstruse and hard?” They are confuted. Prov. 14:6. Isa. 35:8. Hos. 8:12.
970: the Judge then answeréd;
971: “It did contain much Truth so plain
972: you might have run and read.
973: But what was hard you never car’d
974: to know, nor studiéd;
975: And things that were most plain and clear
976: you never practiséd.
977: “The Mystery of Piety
978: God unto Babes reveals, Mat. 11:25. Prov. 2:3-5.
979: When to the Wise he it denies,
980: and from the world conceals.
981: If to fulfill God’s holy Will
982: had seeméd good to you,
983: You would have sought light as you ought,
984: and done the good you knew.”
985: Then came in view another crew,
986: and ‘gan to make their pleas;
987: Amongst the rest, some of the best
988: had such poor shifts as these: Others the fear of persecution. Acts 28:22.
989: “Thou know’st right well, who all canst tell,
990: we liv’d amongst thy foes,
991: Who the Renate did sorely hate,
992: and goodness much oppose.
993: “We holiness durst not profess,
994: fearing to be forlorn John 12:42,43.
995: Of all our friends, and for amends
996: to be the wicked’s scorn.
997: We knew their anger would much endanger
998: our lives and our estates;
999: Therefore, for fear, we durst appear
1000: no better than our mates.”
1001: To whom the Lord returns this word:
1002: “O wonderful deceits! They are answered. Luke 12:4,5. Isa. 51:12,13.
1003: To cast off awe of God’s strict law,
1004: and fear men’s wrath and threats;
1005: To fear hell-fire and God’s fierce ire
1006: less than the rage of men;
1007: As if God’s wrath could do less scath
1008: than wrath of bretheren!
1009: “To use such strife, a temp’ral life
1010: to rescue and secure,
1011: And be so blind as not to mind
1012: that life that will endure!
1013: This was your case, who carnal peace
1014: more then true joys did savor;
1015: Who fed on dust, clave to your lust,
1016: and spurnéd at my favor.
1017: “To please your kin, men’s love to win,
1018: to flow in worldly wealth, Luke 9:13-25. and 16:2.
1019: To save your skin, these things have been
1020: more than Eternal health.
1021: You had your choice, wherein rejoyce;
1022: it was your porti-on,
1023: For which you chose your souls t’expose
1024: unto Perditi-on.
1025: “Who did not hate friends, life, and state,
1026: with all things else for me, Luke 9:26. Prov. 8:36. John 3:19,20.
1027: And all forsake and’s Cross up-take,
1028: shall never happy be.
1029: Well worthy they to die for aye,
1030: who death than life had rather;
1031: Death is their due that so value
1032: the friendship of my Father.”
1033: Others argue, and not a few, Others plead for pardon both from God’s Mercy and Justice. Psal. 78:38. 2 Kin. 14:26.
1034: is not God graci-ous?
1035: His Equity and Clemency,
1036: are they not marvellous?
1037: Thus we believ’d; are we deceiv’d?
1038: Cannot his Mercy great,
1039: (As hath been told to us of old)
1040: assuage his anger’s heat?
1041: “How can it be that God should see
1042: his Creatures’ endless pain,
1043: Or hear their groans and rueful moans,
1044: and still his wrath retain?
1045: Can it agree with Equity,
1046: can Mercy have the heart,
1047: To recompence few years’ offence
1048: with everlasting smart?
1049: “Can God delight in such a sight
1050: as sinners’ misery?
1051: Or what great good can this our blood Psal. 30:9. Mic. 7:18.
1052: bring unto the most High?
1053: O thou that dost thy Glory most
1054: in pard’ning sin display,
1055: Lord, might it please thee to release
1056: and pardon us this day!
1057: “Unto thy name more glorious fame
1058: would not such Mercy bring?
1059: Would not it raise thine endless praise,
1060: more than our suffering?”
1061: With that they cease, holding their peace,
1062: but cease not still to weep;
1063: Grief ministers a flood of tears,
1064: in which their words do steep.
1065: But all too late; grief’s out of date,
1066: when Life is at an end.
1067: The glorious King thus answering,
1068: all to his voice attend:
1069: “God gracious is,” quoth he, “like his,
1070: no mercy can be found:
1071: His Equity and Clemency
1072: to sinners do abound,
1073: “As may appear by those that here Mercy now shines forth in the vessels of Mercy. Mic. 7:18. Rom. 9:23.
1074: are plac’d at my right hand;
1075: Whose stripes I bore, and clear’d the score,
1076: that they might quitted stand.
1077: For surely none but God alone,
1078: whose Grace transcends men’s thought,
1079: For such as those that were his foes
1080: like wonders would have wrought.
1081: “And none but he such lenity Did also wait upon such as abused it. Rom. 2:4. Hos. 11:4.
1082: and patience would have shown
1083: To you so long, who did him wrong,
1084: and pull’d his Judgment down.
1085: How long a space, O stiff-neck’d race!)
1086: did patience you afford?
1087: How oft did love you gently move,
1088: to turn unto the Lord?
1089: “With chords of love God often strove
1090: your stubborn hearts to tame; Luke 13:34. the day of Grace now past
1091: Nevertheless your wickedness
1092: did still resist the same.
1093: If now at last Mercy be past
1094: from you for evermore,
1095: And Justice come in Mercy’s room,
1096: yet grudge you not therefore.
1097: “If into wrath God turnéd hath
1098: his long, long-suffering,
1099: And now for love you vengeance prove, Luke 19:42,43. Jude 4.
1100: it is an equal thing.
1101: Your waxing worse hath stopt the course
1102: of wonted Clemency,
1103: Mercy refus’d and Grace misus’d
1104: call for severity.
1105: “It’s now high time that ev’ry Crime
1106: be brought to punishment; Rom. 2:5,6. Isa. 1:24. Amos 2:13. Gen. 18:25.
1107: Wrath long contain’d and oft restrain’d,
1108: at last must have a vent.
1109: Justice severe cannot forbear
1110: to plague sin any longer,
1111: But must inflict with hand most strict
1112: mischief upon the wronger.
1113: “In vain do they for Mercy pray, Mat. 25: 1-3. Prov. 12:8,29,30.
1114: the season being past,
1115: Who had no care to get a share
1116: therein, while time did last.
1117: The men whose ear refus’d to hear
1118: the voice of Wisdom’s cry,
1119: Earn’d this reward, that none regard
1120: him in his misery.
1121: “It doth agree with Equity Isa. 5:18,19. Gen. 2:17. Rom. 2:8,9.
1122: and with God’s holy Law,
1123: That those should die eternally,
1124: that Death upon them draw.
1125: The Soul that sins Damnation wins,
1126: for so the Law ordains;
1127: Which Law is just; and therefore must
1128: such suffer endless pains.
1129: “Eternal smart is the desert
1130: ev’n of the least offense;
1131: Then wonder not if I allot Rom. 6:23. 2 Thes. 1:8,9.
1132: to you this Recompense;
1133: But wonder more that since so sore
1134: and lasting plagues are due
1135: To every sin, you liv’d therein,
1136: who well the danger knew.
1137: “God hath no joy to crush or ‘stroy, Ezek. 33:11. Exod. 34:7 and 14:17.
1138: and ruin wretched wights;
1139: But to display the glorious Ray
1140: of Justice he delights.
1141: To manifest he doth detest
1142: and throughly hate all sin,
1143: By plaguing it as is most fit — Rom. 9:22.
1144: this shall him Glory win.”
1145: Then at the Bar arraignéd are Some pretend they were shut out of Heaven by God’s Decree. Rom. 9:18,19.
1146: an impudenter sort,
1147: Who to evade the guilt that’s laid
1148: upon them, thus retort:
1149: “How could we cease thus to transgress?
1150: how could we Hell avoid,
1151: Whom God’s Decree shut out from thee,
1152: and sign’d to be destroy’d?
1153: “Whom God ordains to endless pains
1154: by Laws unalterable,
1155: Repentance true, Obedience new, Heb. 22:17. Rom. 11:7,8.
1156: to save such are unable.
1157: Sorrow for sin no good can win,
1158: to such as are rejected;
1159: Nor can they grieve nor yet believe,
1160: that never were elected.
1161: “Of Man’s fall’n race, who can true Grace
1162: or Holiness obtain?
1163: Who can convert or change his heart,
1164: if God withhold the same?
1165: Had we applied our selves and tried
1166: as much as who did most,
1167: God’s love to gain, our busy pain
1168: and labor had been lost.”
1169: Christ readily makes this Reply: Their pleas taken off. Luke 13:27. 2 Pet. 1:9,10 compared with Mat. 19:16.
1170: “I damn you not because
1171: You are rejected, nor yet elected;
1172: but you have broke my Laws.
1173: It is in vain your wits to strain
1174: the end and means to sever;
1175: Men fondly seek to part or break
1176: what God hath link’d together.
1177: “Whom God will save, such he will have Acts 3:19, and 16:31. 1 Sam. 2:15. John 3:19. Job 5:40. 2 Thes. 2:11,12.
1178: the means of life to use;
1179: Whom he’ll pass by shall choose to die,
1180: and ways of life refuse.
1181: He that fore-sees and fore-decrees,
1182: in wisdom order’d has,
1183: That man’s free-will, electing ill,
1184: shall bring his Will to pass.
1185: “High God’s Decree, as it is free, Ezek. 33:11, 12. Luke 13:34. Prov. 8:33,36.
1186: so doth it none compel
1187: Against their will to good or ill;
1188: it forceth none to Hell.
1189: They have their wish whose Souls perish
1190: with Torments in Hell-fire;
1191: Who rather choose their souls to lose,
1192: than leave a loose desire.
1193: “God did ordain sinners to pain, Gen. 2:17.Mat. 25:41,42. Ezek. 18:20.
1194: and he to Hell send none,
1195: But such as swerv’d and have deserv’d
1196: destruction as their own.
1197: His pleasure is, that none from Bliss
1198: and endless happiness
1199: Be barr’d, but such as wrong’d him much,
1200: by willful wickedness.
1201: “You, sinful Crew! no other knew
1202: but you might be elect; 2 Pet. 1:10. Acts 13:46. Luke 13:24.
1203: Why did you then yourselves condemn?
1204: Why did you me reject?
1205: Where was your strife to gain that life
1206: which lasteth evermore?
1207: You never knock’d, yet say God lock’d
1208: against you Heaven’s door.
1209: “‘Twas no vain task to knock and ask, Mat. 7;7,8.
1210: whilst life continuéd.
1211: Who ever sought Heav’n as he ought,
1212: and seeking perishé?
1213: The lowly, meek, who truly seek
1214: for Christ and for Salvation,
1215: There’s no decree whereby such be Gen. 5:22,23.
1216: ordain’d to condemnation.
1217: “You argue then: ‘But abject men,
1218: whom God resolves to spill,
1219: Cannot repent, nor their hearts rent;
1220: nor can they change their will.’
1221: Not for his Can is any man
1222: adjudgéd unto Hell;
1223: But for his Will to do what’s ill, John 3:19.
1224: and nilling to do well.
1225: “I often stood tend’ring my Blood
1226: to wash away your guilt,
1227: And eke my Sprite to frame you right,
1228: lest your Souls should be spilt.
1229: But you, vile Race, rejected Grace, John 5:40.
1230: when Grace was freely proffer’d,
1231: No changéd heart, no heav’nly part
1232: would you, when it was offer’d.
1233: “Who willfully the remedy,
1234: and means of life contemnéd,
1235: Cause have the same themselves to blame, John 15:22,24. Heb. 2:3. Isa. 66:34.
1236: if now they be condemnéd.
1237: You have yourselves, you and none else,
1238: to blame that you must die;
1239: You chose the way to your decay,
1240: and perish’d willfully.”
1241: These words appall and daunt them all,
1242: dismay’d and all amort,
1243: Like stocks they stand at Christ’s left hand
1244: and dare no more retort.
1245: Then were brought near with trembling fear,
1246: a number numberless
1247: Of Blind Heathen and brutish men,
1248: that did God’s Law transgress;
1249: Whose wicked ways Christ open lays,
1250: and makes their sins appear,
1251: They making pleas their case to ease,
1252: if not themselves to clear.
1253: “Thy Written Word,” say they, “good Lord,
1254: we never did enjoy;
1255: We ne’er refus’d, nor it abus’d;
1256: Oh, do not us destroy!”
1257: “You ne’er abus’d, nor yet refus’d
1258: my Written Word, you plead;
1259: That’s true,” quoth he, “therefore shall ye
1260: the less be punishéd. Mat.11:22. Luke 12:48.
1261: You shall not smart for any part
1262: of other men’s offense,
1263: But for your own transgressi-on
1264: receive due recompense.”
1265: “But we were blind,” say they, “in mind;
1266: too dim was Nature’s Light,
1267: Our only guide, as hath been try’d,
1268: to bring us to the sight 1 Cor. 1:21, Insufficiency of the light of Nature.
1269: Of our estate degenerate,
1270: and curs’d by Adam’s Fall;
1271: How we were born and lay forlorn
1272: in bondage and in thrall.
1273: “We did not know a Christ till now,
1274: nor how fall’n man he saved,
1275: Else would we not, right well we wot,
1276: have so ourselves behavéd.
1277: We should have mourn’d, we should have turn’d
1278: from sin at thy Reproof,
1279: And been more wise through thy advice,
1280: for our own soul’s behoof. Mat. 11:22.
1281: But Nature’s light shin’d not so bright
1282: to teach us the right way:
1283: We might have lov’d it and well improv’d it,
1284: and yet have gone astray.”
1285: The Judge most High makes this Reply:
1286: “You ignorance pretend,
1287: Dimness of sight, and want of light,
1288: your course Heav’nward to bend;
1289: “How came your mind to be so blind?
1290: I once you knowledge gave,
1291: Clearness of sight and judgement right: Gen. 1:27. Eccl. 7:29. Hos. 13:9.
1292: who did the same deprave?
1293: If to your cost you have it lost,
1294: and quite defac’d the same,
1295: Your own desert hath caus’d the smart;
1296: you ought not me to blame.
1297: “Yourselves into a pit of woe,
1298: your own transgression led; Mat. 11:25 compared with 20:15.
1299: If I to none my Grace had shown,
1300: who had been injuréd?
1301: If to a few, and not to you,
1302: I shew’d a way of life,
1303: My Grace so free, you clearly see,
1304: gives you no ground of strife.
1305: “‘Tis vain to tell, you wot full well,
1306: if you in time had known
1307: Your misery and remedy,
1308: your actions had it shown:
1309: You, sinful Crew, have not been true Rom. 1:20-22.
1310: unto the Light of Nature,
1311: Nor done the good you understood,
1312: nor ownéd your Creator.
1313: “He that the Light, because ’tis slight,
1314: hath uséd to despise,
1315: Would not the Light shining more bright, Rom. 2:12,15 and 1:32. Mat. 12:41.
1316: be likely for to prize.
1317: If you had lov’d, and well improv’d
1318: your knowledge and dim sight,
1319: Herein your pain had not been vain,
1320: your plagues had been more light.”
1321: Then to the Bar all they drew near Reprobate Infants plead for themselves. Rev. 20:12,15, compared with Rom. 5:12,14 and 9:11,13. Ezek. 18:2.
1322: Who died in infancy,
1323: And never had or good or bad
1324: effected pers’nally;
1325: But from the womb unto the tomb
1326: were straightway carriéd,
1327: (Or at the least ere they transgress’d)
1328: who thus began to plead:
1329: “If for our own transgressi-on,
1330: or disobedience,
1331: We here did stand at thy left hand,
1332: just were the Recompence;
1333: But Adam’s guilt our souls hath spilt,
1334: his fault is charg’d upon us;
1335: And that alone hath overthrown
1336: and utterly undone us.
1337: “Not we, but he ate of the Tree,
1338: whose fruit was interdicted;
1339: Yet on us all of his sad Fall
1340: the punishment’s inflicted.
1341: How could we sin that had not been?
1342: or how is his sin our,
1343: Without consent, which to prevent
1344: we never had a pow’r?
1345: “O great Creator why was our Nature
1346: depravéd and forlorn?
1347: Why so defil’d, and made so vil’d
1348: whilst we were yet unborn?
1349: If it be just, and needs we must
1350: transgressors reckon’d be,
1351: Thy Mercy, Lord, to us afford, Psal. 51:5.
1352: which sinners hath set free.
1353: “Behold we see Adam set free,
1354: and sav’d from his trespass,
1355: Whose sinful Fall hath split us all,
1356: and brought us to this pass.
1357: Canst thou deny us once to try,
1358: or Grace to us to tender,
1359: When he finds grace before thy face,
1360: who was the chief offender?
1361: Then answeréd the Judge most dread:
1362: “God doth such doom forbid, Their arguments taken off. Ezek. 18:20. Rom. 5:12,19.
1363: That men should die eternally
1364: for what they never did.
1365: But what you call old Adam’s Fall,
1366: and only his Trespass,
1367: You call amiss to call it his;
1368: both his and yours it was.
1369: “He was design’d of all Mankind
1370: to be a public Head,
1371: A common Root, whence all should shoot, 1 Cor. 15:48,49.
1372: and stood in all their stead.
1373: He stood and fell, did ill or well,
1374: not for himself alone,
1375: But for you all, who now his Fall
1376: and trespass would disown.
1377: “If he had stood, then all his brood
1378: had been establishéd
1379: In God’s true love never to move,
1380: nor once awry to tread;
1381: Then all his Race my Father’s Grace
1382: should have enjoy’d for ever,
1383: And wicked Sprites by subtile sleights
1384: could them have harméd never.
1385: “Would you have griev’d to have receiv’d
1386: through Adam so much good,
1387: As had been your for evermore,
1388: if he at first had stood?
1389: Would you have said, ‘We ne’er obey’d
1390: nor did thy laws regard;
1391: It ill befits with benefits,
1392: us, Lord, to so reward?’
1393: “Since then to share in his welfare,
1394: you could have been content,
1395: You may with reason share in his treason,
1396: and in the punishment. Rom. 5:12. Psal. 51:5. Gen. 5:3.
1397: Hence you were born in state forlorn,
1398: with Natures so depravéd;
1399: Death was your due because that you
1400: had thus yourselves behavéd.
1401: “You think ‘If we had been as he,
1402: whom God did so betrust,
1403: We to our cost would ne’er have lost
1404: all for a paltry lust.’
1405: Had you been made in Adam’s stead, Mat. 20:15.
1428: what I to some afford?
1429: Will you demand Grace at my hand,
1430: and challenge what is mine?
1431: Will you teach me whom to set free,
1432: and thus my Grace confine?
1433: “You sinners are, and such a share Psal. 58:8. Rom. 6:23. Gal. 3:10. Rom. 8:29,30 and 11:7. Rev. 21:27. Luke 12:14,8. Mat. 11:22.
1434: as sinners may expect,
1435: Such you shall have, for I do save
1436: none but mine own Elect.
1437: Yet to compare your sin with their
1438: who liv’d a longer time,
1439: I do confess yours is much less,
1440: though every sin’s a crime.
1441: “A crime it is, therefore in bliss The wicked all convinced and put to silence. Rom. 3:19. Mat. 22:12.
1442: you may not hope to dwell;
1443: But unto you I shall allow
1444: the easiest room in Hell.”
1445: The glorious King thus answering,
1446: they cease, and plead no longer;
1447: Their Consciences must needs confess
1448: his Reasons are the stronger.
1449: Thus all men’s pleas the Judge with ease Rev. 21:4. Psal. 58:10. Behold the formidable estate of all the ungodly as they stand hopeless and helpless before an impartial Judge, expecting their final Sentence. Rev. 6 : 16, 17.
1450: doth answer and confute,
1451: Until that all, both great and small,
1452: are silencéd and mute.
1453: Vain hopes are cropt, all mouths are stopt,
1454: sinners have naught to say,
1455: Bit that ’tis just and equal most
1456: they should be damn’d for aye.
1457: Now what remains, but that to pains
1458: and everlasting smart,
1459: Christ should condemn the sons of men,
1460: which is their just desert?
1461: Oh rueful plights of sinful wights!
1462: Oh wretches ali forlorn !
1463: ‘T had happy been they ne’er had seen
1464: the sun, or not been born.
1465: Yea now it would be good they could
1466: themselves annihilate,
1467: And cease to be, themselves te free
1468: from such a fearful state.
1469: 0 happy Dogs, and Swine, and Frogs,
1470: yea, Serpent’s generation !
1471: Who do not fear this doom te bear,
1472: and sentence of Damnation !
1473: This is their state so desperate ;
1474: their sins are fully known ;
1475: Their vanities and villanies
1476: before the world are shown. Psal. 139 : 2, 3, 4.
1477: As they are gross and impious, Eccl. 12 : 14.
1478: so are their numbers more
1479: Than motes in th’ Air, or than their hair,
1480: or sands upon the shore.
1481: Divine lustice offended is,
1482: and satisfaction claimeth;
1483: God’s wrathful ire, kindled like fire,
1484: against them fiercely flameth. Mat. 25 : 45.
1485: Their Judge severe doth quite cashier,
1486: and all their pleas off take,
1487: That ne’er a man, or dare, or can
1488: a further answer make.
1489: Their mouths are shut, each man is put
1490: to silence and to shame, Mat. 22 : 12.
1491: Nor have they aught within their thought, Rom.2 : 5, 6.
1492: Christ’s Justice for to blame. Luke 19 : 42.
1493: The Judge is just, and plague them must,
1494: nor will Le Mercy shew,
1495: For Mercy’s day is past away
1496: to any of this Crew.
1497: The Judge is strong, doers of wrong
1498: cannot his pow’r withstand ; Mat. 28 : 18.
1499: None can by flight run out of sight,
1500: nor’scape out of his hand.
1501: Sad is their state ; for Advocate,
1502: to plead their cause, there’s none; Psal. 137 : 7
1503: None to prevent their punishment,
1504: or mis’ry to bemoan.
1505: 0 dismal day ! whither shall they
1506: for help and succor flee ?
1507: To God above with hopes to move
1508: their greatest Enemy? Isa. 33 : 14. Psal. 11 : 6. Num. 25 : 19.
1509: His wrath is great, whose burning heat
1510: no floods of tears can slake ;
1511: His Word stands fast that they be cast
1512: into the burning Lake.
1513: To Christ their Judge? He doth adjudge Mat. 25 : 41, and 25 : 10, 11, 12.
1514: them to the Pit of Sorrow;
1515: Nor will he hear, or cry or tear,
1516: nor respite them one morrow.
1517: To Heav’n, alas! they cannot pass,
1518: it is against them shut ;
1519: To enter there (0 heavy cheer)
1520: they out of hopes are put.
1521: Unto their Treasures, or to their Pleasures? Luke 12 : 20. Psal. 49 : 7, 17. Deut. 32 : 2.
1522: All these have them forsaken;
1523: Had they full coffers to make large offers,
1524: their gold would not be taken.
1525: Unto the place where whilom was
1526: their birth and Education?
1527: Lo! Christ begins for their great sins,
1528: to fire the Earth’s Foundation;
1529: And by and by the flaming Sky
1530: shall drop like molten Lead
1531: About their ears, t’ increase their fears,
1532: and aggravate their dread. 2 Pet. 3 : 10.
1533: To Angel’s good that ever stood
1534: in their integrity,
1535: Should they betake themselves, and make
1536: their suit incessantly?
1537: They’ve neither skill, nor do they will
1538: to work them any ease;
1539: They will not mourn to see them burn,
1540: nor beg for their release. Mat.13 : 41, 42
1541: To wicked men, their bretheren Rev. 20: 13, 15
1542: in sin and wickedness,
1543: Should they make moan? Their case is one;
1544: they’re in the same distress.
1545: Ah! cold comfort and mean support,
1546: from such like Comforters !
1547: Ah! little joy of Company,
1548: and fellow-sufferers ! Luke 16 : 28.
1549: Such shall increase their heart’s disease,
1550: and add unto their woe;
1551: Because that they brought to decay
1552: themselves and many moe.
1553: Unto the Saints with sad complaints
1554: should they themselves apply ?
1555: They’re not dejected nor aught affected Rev. 21 : 4. Psal. 58 : 10.
1556: with all their misery.
1557: Friends stand aloof and make no proof
1558: what Prayers or Tears can do;
1559: Your Godly friends are now more friends
1560: to Christ than unto you.
1561: Where tender love men’s hearts did move
1562: unto a sympathy,
1563: And bearing part of others’ smart
1564: in their anxiety, 1 Cor. 6:2.
1565: Now such compassion is out of fashion,
1566: and wholly laid aside;
1567: No friends so near, but Saints to hear
1568: their Sentence can abide.
1569: One natural Brother beholds another
1570: in his astonied fit,
1571: Yet sorrows not thereat a jot, Compare Prov. 1:26. with 1 John 3:2, and 2 Cor. 5:16.
1572: nor pities him a whit.
1573: The godly Wife conceives no grief,
1574: nor can she shed a tear
1575: For the sad state of her dear Mate,
1576: when she his doom doth hear.
1577: He that was erst a Husband pierc’d
1578: with sense of Wife’s distress,
1579: Whose tender heart did bear a part
1580: of all her grievances,
1581: Shall mourn no more as heretofore,
1582: because of her ill plight,
1583: Although he see her now to be
1584: a damn’d forsaken wight.
1585: The tender Mother will own no other
1586: of all her num’rous brood,
1587: But such as stand at Christ’s right hand,
1588: acquitted through his Blood. Luke 16:25.
1589: The pious Father had now much rather
1590: his graceless Son should lie
1591: In Hell with Devils, for all his evils
1592: burning eternally,
1593: Than God most High should injury
1594: by sparing him sustain;
1595: And doth rejoice to hear Christ’s voice Psal 58:10.
1596: adjudging him to pain.
1597: Thus having all, both great and small,
1598: convinc’d and silencéd,
1599: Christ did proceed their Doom to read,
1600: and thus it utteréd:
1601: “Ye sinful wights, and curséd sprights, The Judge pronounceth the sentence of condemnation. Mat. 25:41.
1602: that work iniquity,
1603: Depart together from me for ever
1604: to endless Misery;
1605: Your portion take in yonder Lake,
1606: where Fire and Brimstone flameth;
1607: Suffer the smart which your desert,
1608: as its due wages claimeth.”
1609: Oh piercing words, more sharp then swords!
1610: What! to depart from Thee,
1611: Whose face before for evermore
1612: the best of Pleasures be!
1613: What! to depart (unto our smart),
1614: from thee Eternally!
1615: To be for aye banish’d away
1616: with Devils’ company!
1617: What! to be sent to Punishment,
1618: and flames of burning Fire!
1619: To be surrounded, and eke confounded
1620: with God’s revengeful Ire!
1621: What! to abide, not for a tide,
1622: these Torments, but for Ever!
1623: To be releas’d, or to be eas’d,
1624: not after years, but Never!
1625: Oh fearful Doom! now there’s no room
1626: for hope or help at all;
1627: Sentence is past which aye shall last;
1628: Christ will not it recall.
1629: Then might you hear them rend and tear
1630: the Air with their out-cries;
1631: The hideous noise of their sad voice
1632: ascendeth to the Skies.
1633: They wring their hands, their caitiff-hands,
1634: and gnash their teeth for terror; Luke 13:38. Prov. 1:26.
1635: They cry, they rore for anguish sore,
1636: and gnaw their tongues for horror.
1637: But get away without delay,
1638: Christ pities not your cry;
1639: Depart to Hell, there may you yell
1640: and roar Eternally.
1641: That word “Depart,” maugre their heart;
1642: drives every wicked one, It is put in Execution. Mat. 25:46.
1643: With mighty pow’r, the self-same hour,
1644: far from the Judge’s Throne.
1645: Away they’re chas’d by the strong blast
1646: of his Death-threat’ning mouth;
1647: They flee full fast, as if in hast,
1648: although they be full loath.
1649: As chaff that’s dry, as dust doth fly
1650: before the Northern wind, Mat. 13:41,42.
1651: Right so are they chaséd away,
1652: and can no Refuge find.
1653: They hasten to the Pit of Woe,
1654: guarded by Angels stout;
1655: Who to fulfil Christ’s holy Will
1656: attend this wickéd Rout;
1657: Whom having brought as they are taught,
1658: unto the brink of Hell, HELL. Mat. 25:30. Mark 9:42. Isa. 30:33. Rev. 21:8.
1659: (That dismal place, far from Christ’s face,
1660: where Death and Darkness dwell,
1661: Where God’s fierce Ire kindleth the fire,
1662: and vengeance feeds the flame
1663: With piles of Wood, and Brimstone Flood,
1664: that none can quench the same,)
1665: With Iron bands they bind their hands Wicked men and Devil’s cast into it forever. Mat. 22:13 and 25:46.
1666: and curséd feet together,
1667: And cast them all, both great and small,
1668: into that Lake forever,
1669: Where day and night, without respite,
1670: they wail, and cry and howl,
1671: For tort’ring pain which they sustain
1672: in Body and in Soul.
1673: For day and night, in their despite, Rev. 14:10,11.
1674: their torment’s smoke ascendeth,
1675: Their pain and grief have no relief,
1676: their anguish never endeth.
1677: There must they lie and never die,
1678: though dying every day;
1679: There must they dying ever lie,
1680: and not consume away.
1681: Die fain they would if die they could,
1682: but Death will not be had;
1683: God’s direful wrath their bodies hath
1684: forev’r immortal made.
1685: They live to lie in misery,
1686: and bear eternal woe;
1687: And live they must whilst God is just,
1688: that he may plague them so.
1689: But who can tell the plagues of Hell, The unsufferable torments of the Damned. Luke 16:24. Jude 7.
1690: and torments exquisite?
1691: Who can relate their dismal state,
1692: and terrors infinite?
1693: Who fare the best and feel the least,
1694: yet feel that punishment
1695: Whereby to nought they would be brought,
1696: if God did not prevent.
1697: The least degree of misery
1698: there felt is incomparable,
1699: The lightest pain they there sustain Isa. 33:14. Mark 9:43,44.
1700: more than intolerable.
1701: But God’s great pow’r from hour to hour
1702: upholds them in the fire,
1703: That they shall not consume a jot
1704: nor by its force expire.
1705: But ah, the woe they undergo
1706: (they more then all beside)
1707: Who had the light, and knew the right,
1708: yet would not it abide! Luke 12:47.
1709: The sev’n fold smart which to their part
1710: and porti-on doth fall,
1711: Who Christ’s free Grace would not embrace,
1712: nor hearken to his call.
1713: The Amorites and Sodomites,
1714: although their plagues be sore, Mat. 11:24.
1715: Yet find some ease, compar’d to these,
1716: who feel a great deal more.
1717: Almighty God, whose Iron Rod
1718: to smite them never lins,
1719: Doth most declare his Justice rare
1720: in plaguing these men’s sins.
1721: The pain of loss their souls doth toss,
1722: and wond’rously distress, Luke 16:23,25, and 13:28.
1723: To think what they have cast away
1724: by willful wickedness.
1725: “We might have been redeem’d from sin,”
1726: think they, “and liv’d above,
1727: Being possesst of Heav’nly rest,
1728: and joying in God’s love.
1729: “But woe, woe, woe our souls unto!
1730: we would not happy be;
1731: And therefore bear God’s vengeance here Luke 13:24.
1732: to all Eternity.
1733: Experience and woful sense
1734: must be our painful teachers,
1735: Who’d not believe, nor credit give
1736: unto our faithful Preachers.”
1737: Thus shall they lie and wail and cry,
1738: tormented and tormenting;
1739: Their galléd hearts with poison’d darts,
1740: but now too late repenting.
1741: There let them dwell in th’ Flames of Hell:
1742: there leave we them to burn,
1743: And back again unto the men
1744: whom Christ acquits, return.
1745: The Saints behold with courage bold The Saints rejoice to see Judgment executed upon the Wicked World. Psal. 58:10. Rev. 10:1-3.
1746: and thankful wonderment,
1747: To see all those that were their foes
1748: thus sent to punishment.
1749: Then do they sing unto their King
1750: a Song of endless Praise;
1751: They praise his Name and do proclaim,
1752: that just are all his ways.
1753: Thus with great joy and melody They ascend with Christ into Heaven triumphing. Mat. 25:46.
1754: to Heav’n they all ascend,
1755: Him there to praise with sweetest lays,
1756: And Hymns that never end;
1757: Where with long rest they shall be blest,
1758: and naught shall them annoy,
1759: Where they shall see as seen they be,
1760: and whom they love enjoy.
1761: O glorious Place! where face to face 1 John 3:2. 1 Cor. 13:12. Their eternal happiness and incomparable glory there.
1762: Jehovah may be seen,
1763: By such as were sinners while here,
1764: and no dark veil between!
1765: Where the Sunshine and light Divine
1766: of God’s bright countenance,
1767: Doth rest upon them every one
1768: with sweetest influence!
1769: Oh blessed state of the Renate!
1770: Oh wond’rous happiness,
1771: To which they’re brought beyond what thought
1772: can reach or words express! Rev. 21:4.
1773: Grief’s watercourse and sorrow’s source
1774: are turn’d to joyful streams;
1775: Their old distress and heaviness
1776: are vanishéd like dreams.
1777: For God above in arms of love
1778: doth dearly them embrace,
1779: And fills their sprights with such delights Psal. 16:11.
1780: and pleasures in his Grace,
1781: As shall not fail, nor yet grow stale,
1782: through frequency of use;
1783: Nor do they fear God’s favor there
1784: to forfeit by abuse.
1785: For there the Saints are perfect Saints,
1786: and holy ones indeed;
1787: From all the sin that dwelt within Heb. 12:23.
1788: their mortal bodies freed;
1789: Made Kings and Priests to God through Christ’s
1790: dear Love’s transcendency,
1791: There to remain and there to reign Rev. 1:6, and 22:5.
1792: with him Eternally.