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Man slights his Maker when familiar grown,
And sets up laws to pull his honor down.
This God foresaw and when slain by the crowd Under that stately and mysterious cloud
Which his death scatter'd, he foretold the place
And form to serve him in should be true grace,
And the meek heart; not in a mount, nor at
Jerusalem, with blood of beasts and fat.
A heart is that dread place, that awfull cell,
That secret ark, where the milde Dove doth dwell,
When the proud waters rage: when heathens rule
By God's permission, and man turns a mule,
This little Goshen, in the midst of night,
And Satan's seat, in all her coasts hath light;
Yea, Bethel shall have tithes, saith Israel's stone,
And vows and visions, though her foes crye, None.
Thus is the solemn temple sunk agen
Into a pillar, and conceal'd from men.
And glory be to his eternal Name,
Who is contented that this holy flame
Shall lodge in such a narrow pit, till he
With his strong arm turns our captivity!
But blessed Jacob, though thy sad distress Was just the same with ours, and nothing less; For thou a brother, and blood-thirsty too,
Didst flye, whose children wrought thy children's Yet thou, in all thy solitude and grief,
On stones didst sleep, and foundst but cold relief; * Obadiah, i. 10. Amos, i. 11.
Thou from the day-star a long way didst stand,
And all that distance was law and command.
But we a healing Sun by day and night,
Have our sure Guardian, and our leading light.
What thou didst hope for and believe we finde
And feel, a friend most ready, sure, and kinde.
Thy pillow was but type and shade at best;
But we the substance have, and on him rest.
I WROTE it down. But one, that saw
And envyed that record, did since
Such a mist over my minde draw,
It quite forgot that purpos'd glimpse.
I read it sadly oft, but still
Simply believ'd 'twas not my quill.
At length my life's kinde angel came,
And with his bright and busie wing
Scatt'ring that cloud shewd me the flame,
Which strait like morning-stars did sing,
And shine, and point me to a place
Which all the year sees the Sun's face.
O beamy book! O my mid-day
Exterminating fears and night!
The mount, whose white ascendents may
Be in conjunction with true light!
My thoughts, when towards thee they move,
Glitter and kindle with thy love.
Thou art the oyl and the wine-house;
Thine are the present healing leaves,
Blown from the tree of life to us
By His breath whom my dead heart heaves.
Each page of thine hath true life in't,
And God's bright minde exprest in print.
Most modern books are blots on thee,
Their doctrine chaff and windy fits,
Darken'd along, as their scribes be,
With those foul storms, when they were writ;
While the man's zeal lays out and blends
Onely self-worship and self-ends.
Thou art the faithful, pearly rock;
The hive of beamy, living lights;
Ever the same, whose diffus'd stock
Entire still wears out blackest nights.
Thy lines are rays the true Sun sheds;
Thy leaves are healing wings he spreads.
For until thou didst comfort me,
I had not one poor word to say: Thick busie clouds did multiply, And said I was no childe of day;
They said my own hands did remove
That candle given me from above.
O God! I know and do confess
My sins are great and still prevail, (Most heynous sins and numberless!) But thy compassions cannot fail.
If thy sure mercies can be broken,
Then all is true my foes have spoken.
But while time runs, and after it
Eternity which never ends,
Quite through them both, still infinite,
Thy covenant by Christ extends;
No sins of frailty, nor of youth,
Can foil his merits, and thy truth.
And this I hourly finde, for thou
Dost still renew, and purge and heal:
Thy care and love, which joyntly flow,
New cordials, new cathartics deal.
But were I once cast off by thee,
I know, my God! this would not be.
Wherefore with tears, tears by thee sent,
I beg my faith may never fail!
And when in death my speech is spent,
O let that silence then prevail !
O chase in that cold calm my foes,
And hear my heart's last private throes!
So thou, who didst the work begin,
For I till drawn came not to thee,*
Wilt finish it, and by no sin
Will thy free mercies hindred be.
For which, O God! I onely can
Bless thee, and blame unthankful man.
O DAY of life, of light, of love!
The onely day dealt from above!
A day so fresh, so bright, so brave,
Twill shew us each forgotten grave,
And make the dead, like flowers, arise
Youthful and fair to see new skies.
All other days, compar'd to thee,
Are but light's weak minority;
They are but veils, and cyphers drawn.
Like clouds, before thy glorious dawn.
O come! arise! shine! do not stay,
Dearly lov'd day!
The fields are long since white, and I
With earnest groans for freedom cry;
My fellow-creatures too say, Come!
And stones, though speechless, are not dumb.
When shall we hear that glorious voice
Of life and joys?