Page images

Be peace by each implor'd on thee,
O Salem, while with bended knee

To Jacob's God we pray:
How blest who calls himself the friend !
Success bis labours shall attend,

And safety guard his way.

O mayst thou, free from hostile fear,
Nor the loud voice of tumult hear,

Nor war's wild wastes deplore :
May plenty nigh thee take her stand,
And in the courts with lavish hand

Distribute all her store.

Seat of my friends and brethren hail!
How can my tongue, o Salem, fail

To bless thy lov'd abode ?
How cease the zeal that in me glows
Thy good to seek, whose walls inclose

The mansions of my God.


(BAXTER.] HB that by faith sees not the world of spirits, Which Christ with his blest family inherits ; The sense of Providence can never know, Nor judge aright of any thing below.

Things seem confused and neglected here, Because in broken parcels they appear; Who knows a work in arras by one piece ? Small parcels shew not workmen's artifice.

The beauty of a picture is not known,
When one small part, or limb alone is shewn;
They that on some few letters only look,
Can never know the meaning of God's book.
Who knows a stately building by one post ?
It's but short scraps that one age sees at most.

Heav'n seeth all, and therefore knows the sense
Of the whole beauteous frame of Providence.
His judgment of God's kingdom needs must fail,
Who knows no more of it than this dark gaol:
If Heav'n and Hell were open to men's sight,
Most men of pleasant things would judge aright.

Who would be griev'd at prosperous sinners' reign,
Who did foresee their everlasting pain ?
Who would grudge pride and rage so short a'pow'r,
Who did foresee its fall, and dismal hour?
Who'd grudge God's patience to the greatest crime, -
Which will 'scape vengeance for so short a time?
Who'd grudge at any wrong or suffering here,
Who saw the world of happiness so near?

If that one sun a thousand-fold excel
This earth in bigness, where we sinners dwell;
(And what's one sun to all the Heav'n beside ?)
Is not God's kingdom glorious and wide ?
Who then dare say, God's work is not well done,
Because an ant-hill is not made a sun ?
Or because sin and devilish rage do dwell,
In this vile prison which is next to Hell ?
Who'd measure God's great kingdom or his love,
By us poor prisoners who in fetters move?

God placed man in earthly paradise,
Heav'n's outward court, the way to highest bliss.

A man himself doing what God forbade,
His house a Bedlam and a bridewell made;
Man turn'd it by his sinful base defection,
Into God's prison and house of correction.
God's wondrous mercies wbich do never fail,
Fetch many sons to Heav'n out of this gaol.

If the rest finally neglect God's grace,
And choose no better than this sinful place,
The dream of pleasure which will end in shame,
They had their choice, and whom else can they blame?

Who'd censure God for one poor Bedlam's sake,
But such as of his madness do partake ?
And though he rage, and sober men disdains,
Who loves his case, or longeth for his chains ?

Who envy wicked men their hurting power,
Who do believe their sad approaching hour?
Who the toad's hurtful venom envieth,
Who'd have the basilisk's pernicious breath ?
Who longs to be a serpent for the sting ?
It's worse to be a great, but hurtful king.
Christians by patience win a better crown,
Than all the bloody conquerors' renown.
True Christian kings, who rule in peace and love
A better kingdom have with Christ above.
Our king may with more peace and safety rule,
Than the great Turk, Tartarian, or Mogul.

No king so mighty as the devil is,
Nor hath dominion so large as his.
Yet would no wise man such a devil be,
That he might be as powerful as he ;
If any would be such, his own desire
Makes him a devil fitted for hell-fire.

Madness called wisdom is, and rules in chief,
With all that cannot see beyond this life :
To them that see not beyond flesh and blood,
And taste no better than these senses' food;
That know not the true everlasting good,
Nothing on earth is rightly understood.
The heavenly light must open sinners' eyes,
Before they ever will be truly wise :
One real prospect of the life to come.
A true belief whither men's souls are gone,
Would more felicitating wisdom give,
Than foolish, sensual men will now believe.
Call not that wisdom which will end in shame,
Which undoes him who by it wins the game:
A wit that can deceive himself and others,
Wit to destroy his own soul, and his brother's :
Wit that can prove that sin's a harmless thing,
That sin's no sin, or no great hurt will bring;
That with the serpent can give God the lie,
And say, believe not God, you shall not die.
Wit that can prove that God speaks but in jest,
That fleshly pleasure is man's best.

Wit that can prove God's wisdom is deceiv'd,
And Sacred Scriptures should not be receiv'd.
Wit to confute God's word, reject his grace,
Lose time, sin boldly, post towards Hell apace ;
Defend the devil's cause, his own damnation,
Slight God, neglect a Saviour and salvation.
Call not that wisdom, which men would disown,
And wish at last that they had never known.
To go with honour, ease, and sport to Hell,
And there with shame and late repentance dwell!
Truth is for goodness, wisdom's use and end,
To which true learning, and just studies tend,

Is that this may be th'roughly understood,
• To be good, do good, and get endless good.'
False wit employ'd in hurting other men,
Writes its own death in blood, with its own pen :
It forceth many to their self-defence,
Who fain would live in quiet innocence.

Kites, foxes, wolves, have wit to catch their prey,
Yet barmless sheep live quieter than they ;
Men keep their flocks that they may multiply,
So that but few by wolves and lions die;
But hurtful rav'nous beasts all men pursue,
While all destroy them, there remains but few.

Some slight God's word because weak men abuse i
What's law or reason then, when all misuse it?
Men will not despise God, nor sin, nor die,
But they will give a learned reason why.
What is so false, which wit cannot defend,
And that by volumes confidently penn'd?
Reason can justify the greatest wrong,
The basest lie can hire a learned tongue.
What cause so vile, that cannot wit suborn ?
Men will not without reason be forsword.
Reason can make rogues of the best of men,
And make a church of saints a serpent's den;
Can make usurping Lucifer a saint,
And holy martyrs like to devils paint.

Even reverend wit, can by transforming skill,
Make beretics, and schismatics at will;
It can prove white is black, and black is white;
That night is day, and grossest darkness light.
Say what you will, reason can prove it true,
What is't that drunken reason cannot do!

« PreviousContinue »