Printed by R. Bishop.1653Anno Dom. 1653
To the Reader
I inform you, that by divine Providence, I have been restrained from bodily employments, suting with my disposicion, which enforced me to a retired Course of life; Wherin it pleased God to give me such inlargednesse of mind, and activity of spirit, so that this seeming desolate condicion, proved to me most delightfull: To be breif, I became affected to Poetry, insomuch that I proceeded to practise the same; and though the helps I had therein were small, yet the thing it self appeared unto me so amiable, as that it enflamed my faculties, to put forth themselvs, in a practice so pleasing.
Now the furtherances I had herein, was what I could gather (by the benifit of hearing,) at first from prophane Histories; which gave not that satisfactory contentment, before mencioned; but it was the manifestacion of Divine Truth, or rather the Truth it self, that reduced my mind to a 4 A2v peacefull temper, and spirituall calmnesse, taking up my thoughts for Theologicall employments.
Witnesse here of, this Discourse, Songs and Meditacions, following; which I have set forth (as I trust) for the benefit, and comfort of others, Cheifly for those Christians who are of disconsolat Spirits, who may perceive herein, the Faithfullnesse, Love, & Tender Compassionatnesse of God to his people, in that according to his gracious Promise, He doth not leave nor forsake them. Heb. 13.5. But causeth all things to work for theyr good. Rom. 8.28. This I doubt not, but most Saints in som measure, do experimentally know, therefore I will not seek by argument, to prove a thing so perspicuous. And now (Courteous Reader) I have delivered unto you, what I intended, onely it remaines that I tell you, That with my Labours, you have my Prayers to God through Jesus Christ; whose I am, and in him,
Being through weakness to the house confin’d,
My mentall powers seeming long to sleep,
were summond up, by want of wakeing mind
Their wanted course of exercise to keep,
And not to waste themselves in slumber deep;
Though no work can bee so from error kept
But some against it boldly will except:
Yet sith it was my morning exercise
The fruit of intellectuals to vent,
In Songs or counterfets of Poesies,
And haveing therein found no small content,
To keep that course my thoughts are therefore bent,
And rather former workes to vindicate
Than any new concepcion to relate.
Our glorious God his creatures weaknesse sees,
And therefore deales with them accordingly,
Giveing the meanes of knowledg by degrees,
Unfoulding more and more the Mystery,
Rev. 6. And opening the Seales successively,
So of his goodnesse gives forth demonstracions,
To his Elect in divers Dispensacions.A3 6 A3v
In legall wise hee did himself expresse
To be the only Lord Omnipotent
A just avenger of all wickednesse,
A jelous God in power emminent,
Which terror workes, and pale astonishment;
Sith plagues for sin are holden forth thereby,
But with no strength to crush inniquity.
Now with the Law the Gospell oft appeares,
But under vailes, perspicuous unto few
Who were as those which of good tydings heares,
Rejoyceing much at the report or show
Of that the Saints now by possessing know;
Oft spake the Prophets Evangelicall,
Whose words like kindly drops of rain did fall.
But when the plenerie of time was come
The springs of grace their pleasant streams out deald
Felicitie did evidence on her same
Salvacion and the way thereto reveald,
Who wounded were in spirit, might be heald;
Here God declares the Beauties of his Face,
Great Love, rich Mercy, free Eternall Grace.
This time was when the Sonne of Righteousnesse
His Luster in the world began to spread,
Which more and more to his he doth expresse
In tearms so large that they run may read,
And to himselfe he doth the weaker lead;
He to his bosum will his Lambs collect,
Isa.40.II And gently those that feeble are direct.7 A4r
And so in them a life of grace instill
Whereby they shall be able to obay
All Gospell precepts suting with his will,
And that without regard of servill pay,
But with free hearts, where Christ alone doth sway
Causing the apprehensions of his love,
To gender love, which still doth active prove.
Where Christ thus ruleth, I suppose remaines
No heart that hankers after Novelties
Whose ground is but the Scum of frothy braines
Perhaps extracted from old Heresies,
New form’d with Glosses to deceive the eyes
Of those who like to Children, do incline
To every new device that seemes to shine.
I am perswaded they that relish right,
The Dainties of Religion, Food divine,
Have therby such a permanent delight,
And of best Treasures, such a lasting mine,
As that their hearts to change do not incline,
I therfore think theyr tastes of Truth is ill,
Who Truths profession, quickly alter will.
I speak not this to manifest despight
To tru Religions growth or augmentacion,
Nor do I take offence of greater Light
Which brings probatum est, or commendacion
From Truth it selfe, having therto relacion,
But rather with the Saints I doe rejoyce,
When God appeares to his in Gospel-voyce.Now 8 A4v
Now touching that I hasten to expresse
Concerning these, the offspring of my mind,
Who though they here appeare in homly dresse
And as they are my works, I do not find
But ranked with others, they may go behind,
Yet for theyr matter, I suppose they bee
Not worthlesse quite, whilst they with Truth agree,
Indeed I grant that sounder judgments may
(Directed by a greater Light) declare
The ground of Truth more in a Gospel-way,
But who time past with present will compare
Shall find more mysteries unfolded are,
So that they may who have right informacion
More plainly shew the path-way to Salvacion.
Yet this cannot prevayl to hinder me
From publishing those Truths I do intend,
As strong perfumes will not concealed be,
And who esteemes the favours of a Freind,
So little, as in silence let them end,
Nor will I therfore only keep in thought,
But tell what God still for my Soule hath wrought.
When Clouds of Melancholy over-cast
My heart, sustaining heavinesse therby,
But long that sad condicion would not last
For soon the Spring of Light would blessedly
Send forth a beam, for helps discovery,
Then dark discomforts would give place to joy,
Which not the World could give or quite destroy.
So sorrow serv’d but as springing raine
To ripen fruits, indowments of the minde,
Who thereby did abillitie attaine
To send forth flowers, of so rare a kinde,
Which wither not by force of Sun or Winde:
Retaining vertue in their operacions,
Which are the matter of those Meditacions.
From whence if evill matter be extracted
Tis only by a spider generacion,
Whose natures are of vennom so compacted,
As that their touch occasions depravacion
Though lighting in the fragrantest plantacion:
Let such conceale the evill hence they pluck
And not disgorg themselves of what they suck.
So shall they not the humble sort offend
Who like the Bee, by natures secret act
Convert to sweetnesse, fit for some good end
That which they from small things of worth extract,
Wisely supplying every place that lackt,
By helping to discover what was meant
Where they perceive there is a good intent.
So trusting that the only Sov’rain Power
Which in this work alwaies assisted mee,
Will still remain its firme defensive Tower,
From spite of enemies the same to free
And make it useful in some sort to bee,
That Rock I trust on whom I doe depend,
Will his and all their works for him defend.
You that indeared are to pietie,
And of a gracious disposicion are,
Delighting greatly in sinceritie
As your respects to godly ones declare;
For whose society you only care:
Dain to survay her works that worthlesse seem,
To such as honnest meanings dis-esteem.
But those that in my love I have preferd
Before all creaturs in this world beside,
Me works, I hope, will never dis-regard,
Though some defects here in may be espide;
Which those that have their judgments rectifide:
Can but discern, yet not with scornfull eye,
As their mild censures cheefly testifie.
Unto the publick view of every one
I did not purpose these my lines to send,
Which for my private use were made alone:
Or as I said, if any pious friend
Will once vouchsafe to read them to the end:
Let such conceive if error here they find,
Twas want of Art, not true intent of mind.
Some may desirous bee to understand
What moved mee, who unskilfull am herein,
To meddle with, and thus to take in hand,
That which I cannot well, end or begin;
But such may first resolve themselves herein,
If they consider, tis not want of skill,
Thats more blame worthy, than want of good will
1Then know, I cheefly aim that this should bee
Unto the praise of Gods most blessed name,
For by the mouths of sucking babes doth he,
Psal. 8. Reveal his power, and immortall fame;
Permitting Children to extall the same:
When those that were profound, and worldly wise
In ignominious sort did him dispise.
2Next in respect of that I have receiv’d
Is nothing to that some have, I do confesse,
Yet he to whom one Tallent was bequeath’d,
Was cald to strict account, nevertheless;
Mat. 25. As well as he that many did possess,
From which I gather, they have no excuse,
Which of ability will make no use.
3Moreover this is thirdly in respect
Of some neare Kindred, who survive mee may,
The which perhaps do better works neglect,
Yet this, they may be pleased to survay
Through willingnesse to heare what I could say,
Whereby they may bee haply drawn to look,
And read the Scriptures touched in this book.
4And lastly in regard of any one,
Who may by accident hereafter find,
This, though to them the Auther bee unknown,
Yet seeing here, the image of her mind;
They may conjecture how she was inclin’d:
And further note, that God doth Grace bestow,
Upon his servants, though hee keeps them low.
Even in my Cradle did my Crosses breed,
And so grew up with me, unto this day,
Whereof variety of Cares proceed,
Which of my selfe, I never could alay,
Nor yet their multiplying brood destray,
For one distemper could no sooner dy,
But many others would his roome supply,
Yea like the messengers of Job, they hast,
One comes before another can be gon,
All mocions of delight were soon defast,
Finding no matter for to feed upon,
They quickly were disperced every one,
Whereat my minde it self, would much torment,
Upon the rack of restless discontent.
The summers day, though chearfull in it selfe,
Was wearisom, and tedious, unto me,
As those that comfort lack content or health,
To credit this may soon’st perswaded be,
For by experience truth hereof they see,
Now if the summers day, cause no delight,
How irksome think you was the winters night.
’Twere to no end, but altogether vain,
My several crosses namely to express,
To rub the scar would but encrease the pain,
And words of pitty would no griefe release,
But rather aggrevate my heaviness,
Who ever chose my crosses to conseale
Till to my griefe they would themselves reveale
So (to be briefe) I spent my infantcy,
And part of freshest yeares, as hath been sayd
Partaking then of nothing cheerfully
Being through frailty apt to be affraid,
And likely still distempered or dismaid,
Through present sence of some calamity,
Or preconceipt of future misery.
But as the longest winter hath an end
So did this fruitlesse discontent expire,
And God in mercy some refreshing send,
whereby I learn’d his goodnesse to admire,
And also larger blessings to desire;
For those that once, have tasted grace indeed,
Will thirst for more, and crave it till they speed.
But that I may proceed Method call,
When first the restlesse wanderings of my minde,
Began to settle, and resolve with all
No more to bee desturb’d with every winde
It such a pleasing exercise did finde,
Which was to ponder what Worth ech day,
The sence of Heareing should to it convay.
But liveing where profanenesse did abound,
Where little goodnesse might be seen or heard;
Those consolacions, could be but unfound
Haveing to godlinesse no great regard:
Because that of the means I was debard,
Through ignorance of better exercise
I then delighted plesant histories
Whereof the most part were but fain’d I knew
Which not-with-standing I no whit dispised,
Imagining although they were not true,
They were convenient being moralized;
Such vanities I then too highly prized:
But when profane discourses pleasd mee best
Obscenities I allwaies did detest
But all this while, the fumes of vanities
Did interpose betwen my soules week fight,
And heavenly blisse, devine felicities;
Untill that morning starr so matchlesse bright
The Sun of righteousnesse reveald his light
Unto my soule, which sweet refreshings brings,
Ma] 4 2 Because he coms with healing in his wings.
Whose blessed beames my mind eradiates
And makes it sensible of pietie,
And so by consequence communicates
Celestiall health to ev’ry faculty:
Expeling palpable obscurity;
Which made my soule uncapable of grace,
Which now she much desires for to imbrace.
Perceiving well that nothing can afford
Her either finall rest, or full content,
But saveing Graces, and Gods holy word,
Which is a means those Graces to augment;
With Praier, and the blessed Sacrament:
Which means with reverence my soul affects
And former pleasing vanities rejects.
Together with unnecesary griefe,
Whose ill effects can hardly bee exprest,
For certainly it argues unbeleife
Which hinders many from eternall rest,
Heb. 3. 19 who do not seek in time to be redrest;
Therefore I would establish inward peace,
How-ever out-ward crosses doe increase.
If cross disgrace or dismall accident,
Indignity or loss, befalleth mee,
Immediately distempers to prevent,
I cald to mind how all things orderd bee,
Appointed, and disposed, as we see.
By Gods most gracious providence, which is,
I am perswaded, for the good of his.
Yet am I not so firm I must confess
But many times discomforts will intru’d,
Which oft prevailes to hinder quietness,
And by that means, some sorrows are teneu’d;
Which hope will help mee quickly to exclu’d:
Psal. 30. 5 So though distress continu for a night,
Yet joy returneth by the morning light.
With confidence these favours will increase
My soule hath recolected all her powers,
To praise the auther of this blissfull peace,
Which no untimely crosse event devouers;
So permanent are the celestiall Flowers:
Those graces which are ever conversent,
Where holyness combinds with true content.
O! what transcendant ravishing delights
What bliss unspeakable they doe posesse,
Whose merth to holy praises them excites,
And cheers them to go on, in godlynesse,
The very quintisence of happinesse,
As is attainable, or may be had
In this life present, which were elce but bad.
There is a kind of counterfet content,
Wherwith some are deceivd, tis to be feard,
Who think they need not sorrow, or lament,
Being to sensuall pleasures so indeard;
Whose minds are stupid, & their concience ceard
Elce might they see all Earthly delectation,
Eccl. 2. To be but vanity, and hearts vexacion.
To lightniung, carnall merth we may compare,
For as a flash it hastes and soon is gon,
Foretelling of a Thunder-clap of care,
It also blastes the heart it lighteth on;
Makes it to goodnesse, senceless as a ston:
Disabling every part, and faculty,
Of soul and body unto piety.
But sacred joy is like the Sunnes clear light,
Which may with clouds, be sometimes overcast,
Yet breaks it forth anon, and shines more bright,
Whose lively force continually doth last;
And shews most Orient, when a storm is past:
So true delight may bee eclips’d we see,
But quite extinguisht, can it never bee.
So now I will go on with my Discourse,
When knowledg, plesant to my soul became,
Unto Gods word, I often had recourse,
Being informed rightly that the same;
Would bee as fuell to encreace the flame
Of holy Zeal, which must with knowledg dwell,
Rom. 10 For without other, neither can do well,
Then sought I carefully to understand,
The grounds of true Religion, which impart
Divine Discreshion, which goes far beyand,
All civill policy or humane Art;
Which sacred principles I got by heart:
Which much enabled me to apprehend,
The sence of that whereto I shall attend.
First touching God, there is one God I know,
Rom. I. 20. who hath his being of himself alone,
I’a. I 17 The fountain whence al streams of goodnesse flow
But body, parts, or passions hath he none;
I Cor. 8. 4. And such a Diety, there is but one;
I Iohn. 5. 7. Eternall, Infinite, alone is hee,
One perfect Essence, distinct Persons Three.
The first whereof for order, is the Father,
The Glorious Fountain of the Trinity,
Having his being, nor begining neither
Of no one but himselfe, undoubtedly;
Begets his Sonne, from all eternity,
And with his Sonne, the Holy-Ghost forth sends
From ever-lasting which for aye extends.
The Sonne, the second Glorious person is,
For Power, Substance, and Eternity,
Alone as is the Father, who it is,
Of whom he hath his being, too, only;
Yea the whole being of his Father, by
A Sacred and Eternall Genneracion,
Isaiah. 53. 8 A mistrey past all imaginacion.
In Trinity the Holy-Ghost is third,
Iohn I 5. 7. Proceeding and so sent forth equally,
Iohn I. I Both from the father & the son or word,
Being of their Power, Substance, Magisty;
And thus distinguished are the Trinity:
By whom were all things made, that ever were,
And by whose Providence preserved are.
What hath been sayd of God shall now suffice,
Of whom I frame no Image in my mind,
But I conceive him by his properties,
Hee is incomprehensible I find;
Filling all places, in no place confind;
I will therefore his wondrous works admire,
Not vainly after secret things inquire.
Next unto God, my selfe I sought to know,
A thing not so facile, as some suppose,
But that I may the faster forward goe,
I leave to speak, what may bee said of those,
And haste to that I purpose to disclose:
Which being well considered may convert,
To lowest thoughts, the proudest haughty heart.
Touching my selfe and others I conceive,
Eph. 2. I. That all men are by nature dead in sin,
And Sathans slaves; not able to receive,
The things of God, which brings true comfort in:
Good accions still they faile in managing;
But apt they are to every vanity,
As vowed servants to inniquity.
Doe but observe the carnallist how he
Neglects all calings, fitt to be profest,
Waits all occasions, ill implyd to be,
Consumes his wealth, deprives himself of rest;
To please that darling sinn that likes him best:
Judg what a hellish bondage he is in,
That’s Sathans slave, and servant unto sin;
As all men in the state of nature be,
And have been ever since mans wofull fall,
Who was created first, from bondage free,
Untill by sinn he thrust himself in thrall;
By whose transgression we were stained all,
Not only all men, but all parts of man,
Corrupted was: since sin to reign began.
The Soul who did her makers Image bear,
Which made her amiable fair and bright,
Right Orient and illustrious to appear,
To his omniscient eye and pure sight,
Who doth the inward Purity delight,
Lost all her beauty, once so excellent,
As soon as unto sinn she did consent.
The eye of understanding was so bleared,
That no spirituall thing it could behold,
The will corrupted, and the conscience ceared,
And all th’affections were to goodness cold,
But hot to evill, not to be contrould;
The members of the body then proceeds
As instruments to execute bad deeds.
But see what was the consequence of this,
The curse of God which did the fault ensue,
Thus man by sin deprived was of bliss,
The thought hereof might cause us to eschew
That bitter root whence all our sorrows grew:
Sickness of body, and distresse of mind,
With all afflictions layd upon mankind.
Whether in body goods or name it be,
And which is worce, the soules perplexity,
Whose conscience is awake, from deadnesse free
When she considers what felicity,
She hath exchang’d for endlesse misery;
Can but torment her selfe with bootlesse care,
Fore-see-ing that her pains eternall are.
If this be so, the vilest liveing creature
Is in a better case then man; for why?
When this life ends with such by course of nature,
There with is ended all his misery;
But man tormented is eternally;
Twere so, but that our God we gracious find,
Who sent a Saviour to restore mankind.
Iohn. I. I. The second person of the Trinity,
The only Son of God omnipotent,
Who being God from all eternity,
Heb. 2.16. To take our nature freely did assent,
With all afflictions thereto insident:
In all things, like to othermen was he,
Save that from sins he still remained free.
So that two whole and perfect natures were,
In the same person joyned really.
And neither of them both confounded are,
Nor doth the Humane of it selfe rely;
But it subsisteth in the Deity,
Nor can these natures seperated be,
Both perfect God, and perfect man was he.
This much touching our Saviours person; Now,
His Offices we ought to know likewise,
And what he hath performd for us, and how
He freed us from the foresaid miseries,
And how Gods dreadfull wrath he satisfies;
His Offices shall briefly named be,
A Priest, a Prophet, and a King, is he.
A Priest, for that he hath for mans transgression
Heb. 7.15. Full satisfaction made to God the father,
And likewise makes continuall intercession,
For those who to his fould he means to gather;
Or to eternall heavenly mancions, rather:
The means wherby Gods wrath he satisfies,
Was his obedience and his sacrifice.
The Law of God he perfectly fulfild,
With full obedience and integrity,
As God had pre-ordained, then did he yeild
A painfull ignominious death to dy,
The wrath of God appeased was thereby,
Which in full measure came upon him then,
Even what was due unto the sins of men.
A Prophet to instruct his Church he is,
Which doth him honour by sinceare profession,
His Spirit qualifies the hearts of his,
And makes them pliable to such profession,
His word doth take when grace shall have posses[sion,
For by the word no good efect is wrought
But where the heart is by Gods spirit taught.
Our Saviour is a King undoubtedly,
Although he seemes to have no Kingdoms here,
Yet in their hearts he means to Glorify,
A Kingdome he erects of grace, and there
Hee raignes, and by his spirit rule doth beare,
But here appears his machlesse dignity
Hee King of Glory is Eternally.
For when he by his death had finished
The work of our redemcion, freed from paines,
He took his body that before was dead,
With all that to a perfect man pertaines;
With which he gloriously ascends and reignes:
At the right hand of God he doth remain
Untill to Judgment he returns again.
Christ sufferings are sufficient for to free,
2 Thes. 3.2 All men from wo and endlesse misery,
But all men have not faith, and therfore be,
Unlikely to have benefit thereby,
For it is Faith with which we must apply,
The merrits of our blessed Redeemer
And to our selves each in particuler.
Faith is a Grace which doth the sould refine,
Wrought by the Holy-Ghost in contrite hearts,
And grounded on Gods Promises divine,
Things superexcellent this same imparts,
To those that have it planted in their hearts:
But ere this faith is wrought, the heart must be,
Made capable of it, in some degree.
First God doth take the hammer of his Law,
And breaks the heart which he for Grace will fitt
Then the seduced soul is brought in aw,
And doth immediatly it selfe submitt,
When sight of sinne, and sorrowing for it,
Hath wrought humility, a vertu rare
Which truly doth the soul for Grace prepare.
The Law of God is most exact and pure
Psal. 19.I. Requireing of us perfect holinesse,
To which is life eternall promis’d sure,
But curses unto them that it transgresse,
Whether by frailty or by wilfullnesse;
Though none but Christ, and Adam ere his fall
Could keep this Law, yet it may profit all.
For here we may perceive how much we fail,
With all what danger we incur thereby,
Then if we can our own defects bewail,
We may for sucour to our Saviour fly,
Whose Righteousnesse will all our wants supply:
Then here are Rules set down for Gods Elect
Whereby they will their course of life direct.
This Law by Gods most skillfull Hand was wrot,
And placed in two Tables orderly,
Shewing what’s to be done, and what is not;
Withall what good or evill coms thereby,
In Ten Commandements so distinctly,
Wherewith as with a Touch stone try we may,
How we offend our God, or him obay.
1They sin against the first who think or say,
As doth the fool, there is no God at all,
So they that through profanenesse disobay,
And want of knowledg is a breach not small,
Who loves or fears a creature most of all,
And puts trust therein and seeks there-to
Makes that their God, and so break this they do.
2The second violated is by those
That Images erect, or them adore,
By such also who in devocion goes
To Saint or Angell, succor to implore,
Who set by superstitious Reliques store,
And worship God after mens fantasies,
And not as he commands, breaks this likewise
3When those that seem religious prove profane,
Gods name is much dishonoured therby;
Even so likewise their error is the same,
Who use his word, or works, or Titles high,
For evill ends, or elce unreverently:
By witchcraft, cursing, swearing, blasphemy,
This violated is undoubtedly.
4Whoso by preparation doth not fit
Himselfe to keep the Sabbath, breaks the same,
As those that holy exercise omit,
Or come thereto only for fear of blame,
Nor have delight or profit by the same;
So it is broke by carnall recreations,
By worldly works, by speech, or cogitacions.
5When that inferiors disobedient are,
Ungratefull, stubborn, saucy, impudent,
Fayling in reverence, love, respective care,
To their superiors, hating Government,
Such grossly break this Fift Commandement:
As those superiors whose bad Disciplin
Or ill example, makes inferiors sin.
6This is transgrest by murther, or debate,
By being mindfull of revenge likewise,
By sinfull anger, envy, malice, hate;
By vexing words, and scornfull mockeries,
Which are occasions of extreamities,
Distresse of mind, heart-griefe, perplexity,
And life hath often prejudice thereby,
7All thought impure this Cōommandment breaks,
So lewd pastimes, light gesture, wanton lookes,
Wearing apparell contrary to Sex,
Ill company, vain talk, lacivious books,
And all that may entice like baites or hooks,
To Fornication or Adultery,
Which breakes this Precept most apparently.
8This is trangrest by any kind of stealing,
By coveting our nighbours goods also,
By fraud oppression, or deceitfull dealing,
By not disposing well of that we ow,
Refusing honest works to undergoe,
By being not content with our estate,
Not helping those we should commiserate.
9This violated is by false witnesse bearing,
Likewise by any Lie we break the same,
By raiseing false reports, or gladly hearing
Ill of our nighbour, touching his good name,
By not maintaining his deserved fame,
By speaking truth of him maliciously
And not exhorting him in secresie.
10This is trangrest by lusts, and mocions vain
Ro. 7.7 Though we thereto give no consent at all,
As the rebellion of the flesh, or stain
And blot, we have by sinne Originall,
Corrupsion of our nature we it call;
From which because that no one can be free,
Then all transgressors of the Law must be.
Who by the morall Law beholds his sin
And sees withall ther’s left him no defence,
To sorrow therefore now he doth begin,
His Conscience being toucht with lively sence
Of Gods displeasure for his great offence,
Dispairing of salvation, in respect
Of ought that by himselfe he can effect.
The curse contain’d in this exquiset Law,
Doth work this sorrow so effectually,
For truly he alone is brought in aw,
Whose Conscience is inform’d of this hereby;
Who breaks but one commandement only
In all his life, and that in coggitacion,
Is not-with-standing subject to damnacion.
Thus when the heart is fitted and prepard,
The seeds of Faith foth-with are cast therein,
Which in their orders briefly are declard:
The first is when one wearied under sinne,
To feel the wiaaight thereof doth now begin
And thereupon acknowledgeth with speed
That of a Saviour much he stands in need:
The second is a vehement desire,
Or ardent longing to participate
Of Christ, and eke his benefits entire
And nothing else can this desire abate,
Consume or limit, quench or mittigate:
As doth the Hart the water brook desire,
So humble Souls a Saviour doth require.
The third is flying to the Throne of grace,
Even from the sentence of the Law so strict,
Which doth profane security deface,
Because that thereby the Conscience is prict,
Which doth the humble man for good afflict
By shewing such the danger of their case,
And for a cuer, sending them to grace.
Now this is done by fervent supplications,
By constant prayer, most prevailing known,
Exprest with hearty strong ejacculacions,
For Gods especiall grace in him alone,
In the forgivenesse of his sins each one;
And in his prayer, persevear will hee
Untill the thing peticion’d, granted bee.
Then God, as he hath promised, will prove
Propicious to the sinner penitent,
And let him feel th’assurance of his Love,
His Favour, Grace, and Mercy Excellent
The which in Christ, appears most emminent:
A lively Faith this full assurance is,
Wrought by Gods Spirit, in the hearts of his.
But there are divers measures or degrees
Of Saving Faith, the least whereof is this,
When he that hath a humble Spirit sees
He cannot feel, his Faith so little is,
As yet the full assurance, inward bliss,
Of the forgivenesse of his sinnes so free,
Yet pardonable findeth them to bee.
And therefore, prayeth they may be pardoned,
And with his heart the same of God requires,
Recals himself, as formerly misled,
Giveing no rest unto his large desires,
His Soul it faints not, nor his Spirit tires,
Although he be delayd yet still he praies,
On God he waites, and for an answer staies.
That such a man hath Faith it doth appeare
For these desires doe plainly testifie,
He hath the Spirit of his Saviour dear,
For tis his speciall work or property,
To stir up longings after purity:
Now where his Spirit is there Christ resides,
And where Christ dwels true Faith though weak abides
Of saveing Faith the largest quantity,
Is when a man comes on in Faith untill,
He finds the full assurance happily
Of Gods free mercy, favour, and good will,
To him in Christ, which doth his joy fulfill:
Finding he hath obtained free remission,
And that he’s safe in Gods divine tuision.
This full assurance of his grace and love,
The Lord vouchsafes his servants true who he,
Doth for their inward sanctity approve,
Whose outward doeings also righteous be,
For such alone the evidence may see,
Of his inheritance, true happinesse,
Which for Christs merits sake they shall possesse.
A Christian in his infantcy in grace
Finds not this full assurance usually,
Untill he hath been practis’d for a space
By sound Repentance with Sincerity:
And finds Gods Love to him abundantly
Then shall his soul this full perswasion see,
Which is the strength of Faith or highest degree.
By Faith in Christ much profit we do gain,
For thereby only are we justifide,
At peace with God free from eternall pain,
And thereby only are we sanctifide,
Where faith is, by those fruits, it may be tride:
True faith being by fruits discovered
A barren faith must deeds be false and dead.
Now to be justifide, is to be freed,
From gilt and punishment of sin likewise,
To be accepted as for just indeed,
With God, whose grace it is that justifies;
And not our works, as vainly some surmise:
But that we may still orderly proceed,
It followeth next how we from sin are freed.
The sins of those that God will justifie,
Were by Christs sufferings so abolished,
As that they cannot hurt them finally,
Esay 16.16 Were they as Scarlet or the Crimson Red,
They shall be white as Snow and cleared,
Even by Christs Blood, the wch to free was spent
The faithfull, from deserved punishment.
Now comes to be considered how they may
With God, for Perfect-just, accepted be,
Who of them-selves by nature (truth to say)
Are in no part from sinnes corruption free,
How such are tane for just, here may we see,
Christs righteousnesse is theirs, by imputacion,
And so esteem’d by gracious acceptacion.
The true beleevers benifits are great,
Which they by being justifide possesse
For such shall stand before Gods judgment seat,
As worthy of Eternall Happinesse,
Even by the merits of Christs Righteousnesse,
For of themselves, they cannot merit ought,
Who are not able to think one good thought.
Then far from doing any work whereby
They might deserve Salvation on their part,
For God whose only perfect purity,
Will find in our best works no true disart,
But rather matter of our endlesse smart:
For in Christs Blood the Saints wch are most dear
Must wash their Robes before they can be clear.
Though by good works we do not gain Salvacion
Yet these good Duties that our God requires,
We must perform in this our conversacion,
With all our might, endevours, and desires,
Before this short uncertain time expires,
And at perfection must we allwaies aime,
Though in this life we reach not to the same.
For he that by his Faith is justifide,
It followeth also necessarily,
That such by Faith are likwise Sanctifide,
Corrupcion of our nature is thereby
Disabled so, as that inniquity
No longer rules, being by grace subdude,
Whereby the heart to goodnesse is renude.
Corrupcion of our nature purged is,
By vertue of Christ Precious Blood only
Which when by Saving Faith applyed is,
Serves as a corrasive to mortifie
And kill the power of inniquity,
Whence tis that those who Sanctified bee,
From sins dominion, happily are free.
The other part of true Sanctificacion,
Is life or quickenning to holinesse,
And may therefore be called renovacion,
Like a Restorative it doth redresse,
And him revive, that is dead in trespasse;
Tis by the power of Christs Resurrection,
That we are rais’d from sinne to such perfection.
Sanctificacion must be then entire,
Not for the present, perfect in degree,
Yet in respect of parts and true desire,
Each part and power Sanctified must bee,
Although no part from all Corruption’s free;
Yet every power must with goodnesse sute,
Though in this life no part be absolute,
Like as a Child new born without defect,
A perfect man he may be sayd to bee,
Because his body’s perfect, in respect
Of parts, though not in stature or degree
Of grouth, untill of perfect age he bee;
So have the faithfull imperfections some,
Till to a perfect age in Christ they come.
The graces of the Spirit will appeare,
And spring up in his heart thats Sanctifide,
And these the fruits of Righteousnesse will beare
Which in his conversacion are discride,
These graces hath he that is Sanctifide,
A detestacion of inniquity,
And love to goodnesse, Zeale and Purity,
Whereof Repentance blessedly proceeds,
Which is endeavour, purpose or intent
To leave all sin which causefull sorrows breeds
And not to give allowance or consent
To break Gods Law, or least Commandement:
But ever walk exactly there-unto,
Though to the flesh it seemes too much to doe.
So that continuall combates will arise,
Between Gods image, on the soul renewde,
And Sathans image, greatest contraries
Which ever seek each other to exclude,
Though in the end, the worst shall be subdude:
Yet in this life it will in no wise yeeld;
Against whose force, Faith is the only sheild.
Now when a man hath got the victory,
In such a conflict or extream temptacion
He sees Gods love to him abundantly,
By reason of his speciall conservacion,
Which of his favour is a demonstracion;
Now this increaseth peace of conscience most
Together with joy in the Holy-Ghost.
But if the wicked do so far prevaile,
By Gods permission by some provocacion
To over-come the faithfull being fraile,
And subject to be snar’d with temptacion
When not suspecting such abominacion;
But this their fall is through infirmity
Who shall not be forsaken utterly.
For soon a Godly sorrow will arise
And over-flow the heart of such a one,
Which blessedly the same so mollifies,
That it relents for haveing so mis-gone
Which godly griefe or sorrow is all one
For haveing so displeased God by sinne,
Who hath to him a loveing Father been.
Yea he for this abhors himselfe as vile
Acknowledging his execrable case,
Till he be reconcil’d to God, that while
Himselfe by lowest thoughts he doth abase,
As far unworthy to find any grace;
Yet cries to God in this humiliacion
For the return of wonted consolacion.
And when he hath attain’d recovery,
The breach without delay he fortifies
With stronger resolucion manfully,
And with a Watch impregnable likewise,
Against assaults of this his enimies,
And all assaies of their re-entery
Through which so many perish finally.
This much touching the ground of Truth I hold,
Which sith at first they rectified my mind,
I will not cast them off, as worn and old,
Nor will be so alone to them confind
As not admit of things of higher kind;
But will as God shall light dispence to mee,
(By ayd divine) walk up to each degree.
A Song expressing their happinesse who have Communion with Christ.
When scorched with distracting care,
My minde findes out a shade
Which fruitlesse Trees, false fear, dispair
And melancoly made,
Where neither bird did sing
Nor fragrant flowers spring,
Nor any plant of use:
No sound of happynesse.
Had there at all ingresse,
Such comforts to produce,
But Sorrow there frequents,
The Nurce of Discontents,
And Murmering her Mayd
Whose harsh unpleasant noise
All mentall fruits destroyes
Whereby delight’s convayd.
Whereof my judgment being certifide
My mind from thence did move,
For her concepcion so to provide,
That it might not abortive prove,
Which fruit to signifie
It was conceaved by
Most true intelligence
Of this sweet truth divineWho 29 C7r 29
Esay. 54.5. Who formed thee is thine,
Whence sprang this inference;
He too, thats Lord of all,
Will thee beloved call,
Though all else prove unkind;
Then chearfull may I sing
Sith I enjoy the Sp ring,
Though Sesterns dry I find.
For in our Union with the Lord alone,
Consists our happinesse,
Certainly such who are with Christ at one
He leaves not comfortlesse,
But come to them he will
Their Souls with joy to fill,
And them to Fortifie
Their works to undergo
And beare their Crosse also,
With much alacrity:
Who his assisting grace
Do feelingly imbrace,
With confidence may say,
Through Christ that strengthens me
Phil 4.14 No thing so hard I see
But what perform I may.
But when the Soul no help can see
Through sins interposicion,
Then quite forlorn that while is she,
Bewailling her condicion;
In which deplored casedamaged 30 C7v 30
Now such a Soul hath space,
To think how she delayd
Her Saviour to admit
Who shu’d to her for it,
And to this purpose sayd,
Open to me my Love,
Can. 5. My Sister, and my Dove,
My Locks with dew wet are
Yet she remissive grew,
Till he himselfe with-drew
Before she was aware.
But tasting once how sweet he is,
And smelling his perfumes,
Long can she not his presence misse,
But griefe her strainth consumes:
For when he visits one
He cometh not alone,
But brings abundant grace
True Light, and Holynesse
And Spirit to expresse
Ones wants in every case;
For as he wisedome is,
So is he unto his
I Cor. I.30 Wisedome and Purity,
Which when he seemes to hide,
The soul missing her guide,
Must needs confused lie.
Then let them know, that would enjoy
The firme fruition,damaged 31 C8r 31
Of his Sweet presence, he will stay
With single hearts alone,
Who[butt] their former mate,
Doe quite exterminate:
With all things that defile
They that are Christs, truly,
The Flesh do Crucifie
Gal. 5. With its affections vile
Then grounds of truth are fought
New Principles are wrought
Of grace and holinesse,
Which plantings of the heart
Will spring in every part,
And so it selfe expresse.
Then shall the Soul like morning bright
Can.6. 10 Unto her Lord appeare,
And as the Moone when full of Light
So fayr is she and cleare,
With that inherent grace
Thats darted from the Face
Of Christ, that Sunne divine,
Which hath a purging power
Corruption to devour,
And Conscience to refine;
Per fection thu s begun
As pure as the Sunne,
The Soul shall be likewise
With that great Blessednesse,
Which freely Justifies.damaged 32 C8v 32
They that are thus compleat with Grace
And know that they are so,
For Glory must set Sayle apace
Whilst wind doth fitly blow,
Now is the tide of Love,
Now doth the Angell move;
If that there be defect
That Soul which sin doth wound,
Here now is healing found,
If she no time neglect;
To whom shall be reveald
What erst hath been conceald,
When brought unto that Light,
Which in the Soul doth shine
When he thats most divine,
Declares his presence bright.
Then he will his beloved shew
The reason wherefore she
Is seated in a place so low,
Not from all troubles free;
And wherefore they do thrive
That wicked works contrive;
Christ telleth his also
For who as friends he takes
He of his Councell makes,
Iohn 15.15 And they shall secrets know:
Such need not pine with cares
Seeing all things are theirs,
Cor. 3.21. If they are Christs indeed;
Therefore let such confessedamaged 33 D1r 33
They are not comfortlesse,
Nor left in time of Need.
A Song shewing the Mercies of God to his people, by interlacing cordiall Comforts with fatherly Chastisments.
As in the time of Winter
The Earth doth fruitlesse and barren lie,
Till the Sun his course doth run
Through Aries, Taurus, Gemini;
Then he repayres what Cold did decay,
Drawing superfluous moistures away,
And by his luster, together with showers,
The Earth becoms fruitful & plesant with flowers
That what in winter seemed dead
Thereby the Sun is life discovered.
So though that in the Winter
Of sharp Afflictions, fruits seem to dy,
And for that space, the life of Grace
Remayneth in the Root only;
Yet when the Son of Righteousnesse clear
Shall make Summer with us, our spirits to chear,
Warming our hearts with the sense of his favour,
Then must our flowers of piety savour,
And then the fruits of righteousuesse
We to the glory of God must expresse.
And as when Night is passed,
The Sun ascending our Hemisphear,
Ill fumes devouers, and opes the powers
Which in our bodies are, and there
He drawes out the spirits of moving and sence
As from the center, to the circumference;
Sothat the exterior parts are delighted,
And unto mocion and action excited,
And hence it is that with more delight
We undergo labor by day then by night.
So though a Night of Sorrows
May stay proceedings in piety
Yet shall our light like morning bright
Arise out of obscurity,
Then when the Sun that never declines
Shall open the faculties of our mindes,
Stirring up in them that spirituall mocion
Whereby we make towards God with devocion
When kindled by his influence
Our Sacrifice is as pleasing incense.
Now when we feel Gods favour
And the communion with him we have,
Alone we may admit of joy
As having found what we most crave
Store must we gathor while such gleams do last
Against our tryalls sharp winterly blasts
So dispairacion shall swallow us never,
Who know where God once loves, there he loves [ever
Though sence of it oft wanting is
Yet still Gods mercies continue with his.
So soon as we discover
Our souls benummed in such a case,
We may not stay, without delay
W e must approach the Throne of Grace,
First taking words to our selves to declare
How dead to goodnesse by nature we are,
Then seeking by him who for us did merit
To be enliv’d by his quickening Spirit,
Whose flame doth light our Spark of Grace,
Whereby we may behold his pleased face.
From whence come beams of comfort,
The chiefest matter of tru Content,
Who tast and see, how sweet they be,
Perceive they are most excellent,
Being a glimce of his presence so bright,
Who dwelleth in unapproachable light:
Whoso hath happily this mercy attayned,
Earnest of blessednesse endlesse hath gayned,
Where happinesse doth not decay
There Spring is eternall, and endlesse is day.
A Song declaring that a Christian may finde tru Love only where tru Grace is.
No Knot of Friendship long can hold
Save that which Grace hath ty’d,
For other causes prove but cold
When their effects are try’d;D2 For 36 D2v 36
For God who loveth unity
Doth cause the onely union,
Which makes them of one Family
Of one mind and communion.
Commocions will be in that place,
Where are such contraries,
As is inniquity and grace,
The greatest enimies,
Whom sin doth rule shee doth command
To hold stiff opposicion
Gainst grace and all the faithfull band
Which are in her tuision.
This is the cause of home debates,
And much domestick woes,
That one may find his household mates
To be his greatest foes,
That with the Wolfe the Lamb may bide
As free from molestacion,
As Saints with sinners, who reside
In the same habitacion.
By reason of the Enmity
Between the womans Seed
And mans infernall enimy,
The Serpent and his breed,
The link of consanguinity
Could hold true freindship never,
Neither hath neare affinity
United friends for ever.
For scoffing Ishmael will scorn
His onely true born brother:
Rebeckahs sonns together born
Contend with one another,
No bond of nature is so strong
To cause their hearts to tarry
In unity, who do belong
To masters so contrary.
The wicked ordinarily
Gods dearest children hate,
And therfore seek (though groundlesly)
Their credits to abate,
And though their words and works do show
No colour of offences
Yet are their hearts most (they trow)
For all their good pretences.
And those that strongest grace attain,
Whereby sin is vanquished,
By Sathan and his cursed train
Are most contraried;
Because by such the Serpent feeles,
His head to be most bruised,
He turnes and catches at their heeles,
By whom he is so used.
His agents he doth instigate,
To vex, oppose, and fret,
To slander and calumniate,
Those that have scap’t his net,D3 Who 38 D3v 38
Who servants are so diligent,
That like to Kain their father
They whose works are most excellent
They mischiefe will the rather.
Yet there are of the gracelesse crew
Who for some private ends
Have sided with prefessors tru
As truly pious friends,
But to the times of worldly peace
Their friendship was confined.
Which when some crosses caus’d to cease
The thred of league untwined.
Such friends unto the Swallow may
Be fitly likened,
Who all the plesant Summer stay
But are in Winter fled:
They cannot ’bide their freind to see,
In any kind of trouble,
So pittyfull (forsooth) they bee
That have the art to double.
Such will be any thing for one
Who hath of nothing need,
Their freindship stands in word alone,
And none at all in deed,
How open mouth’d so e’re they are,
They bee as closely handed,
Who will (they know) their service spare,
They’re his to be commanded.
Therefore let no true hearted one
Releife at need expect,
From opposits to vertue known,
Who can him not afect:
For his internall ornaments,
Will ever lovely make him
Though all things pleasing outward sence
Should utterly forsake him.
In choise of Freinds let such therefore
Prefer the godly wife,
To whom he may impart the store
That in his bosome lies:
And let him not perniciously
Communicate his favours,
To all alike indifferently,
Which shewes a mind that wavers.
Gods children to each other should
Most open hearted bee;
Who by the same precepts are rul’d,
And in one Faith agree,
Who shall in true felicity,
Where nothing shall offend them
Together dwell eternally,
To which I do commend them.
A Song demonstrating The vanities of Earthly things.
Shall Sadnesse perswade me never to sing
But leave unto Syrens that excellent thing,
No that may not be, for truely I find,
The sanguin complexion to mirth is enclin’d.
Moreover, they may who righteousnesse love,
Be soberly merry, and sorrows remove,
They only have right to rejoycing allwaies
Whose joy may be mixed with prayer and praise.
Wherefore rejoyceth the epicure?
As though his fadeing delights would endure,
Whereas they are ended, as soon as begun,
For all things are vanity under the Sun.
Riches and Honour, Fame and Promocion,
Idols, to whom the most do their devocion;
How fadeing they are, I need not to show,
For this by experience, too many doe know.
They that delight in costly attire,
If they can compasse the things they desire,
Have onely obtained, what sin first procured,
And many to folly are therby alured.
Learning is sure an excellent thing,
From whence all Arts and Sciences spring,
Yet is it not from vanity free,
For many great Scholars prophane often be.
Whoso hath studied Geometry,
Or gained experience in Geography,
By tedious labour much knowledge may gain,
Yet in the conclusion, hee’l find all is vain.
He that hath studied Astronomy,
Though his meditacion ascend to the Sky
He may mis of heaven and heavenly blis,
If that he can practise no studdy but this,
But they that delight in Divinity,
And to be exquisit in Theology,
Much heavenly comfort in this life may gain,
And when it is ended their joyes shall remain.
What should I speak more of vanities,
To use many words when few may suffice,
It argueth folly, therfore I have don,
Concluding, all’s vanity under the Sun.
A Song manifesting The Saints eternall Happinesse
Sound is the Minde
Which doth that Hope possesse
Whose object is Eternall joy
Or Heavens Happinesse;
Such healthfull hearts
Their spirits doe sustain,
In thinking on the Rest which for
Gods peeple doth remain,
A Treasure inaccessible,
Or Everlasting Life,
A blessed State which never shall
Heb. 4.6 be cumbered with strife
2 Tim. 2.10 With endlesse glory cleare,
And each good thing to be desir’d
Are in their Fountain there;
Flowers are here,
Together with the weeds
Exposed to all kinde of stormes,
Which much confusion breeds:
Some for weaknesse are dismaid,
And some are comfortlesse,
Because of some defect of sence,
Or want of comlinesse.
Grant some may have
Proporcion so compleat,
That correspondency of parts
Declares Perfections seat
Yet doubtles such
Their burthen have also
By reason of their travell which
They must needs undergo,
For in every calling is
A tedious wearinesse
Which whoso followes carefully
Is driven to confesse
One might be freed from all
Afflictions which externall are,
Or crosses corporall
Yet if the soule
Be sencible of sin
It cannot be but such will have
Enough to do within:
For to Preserve the heart and waies
From being over grown
With fruits of that contagious seed
That’s in our nature sown.
Doubting some times
The Soul with anguish tires,
Who must anon encounter with
inordinate desires:Luſt 44 D6v 44
Lust oft prevailes,
And then the consequence,
Will be a great ecclips of grace,
And losse of comfort sence,
In striving to recover peace,
The soule is oft opprest.
As he that’s conscious of his sin,
Hath here but little rest.
From all those woes
And many more that bee,
The Saint that finisht hath his course
Shall be for ever free,
And likewise have
For ever to posesse
A most exquisit Diadem,
2. Tim. 4.8. The Crown of righteousnesse,
Of that divine inheritance
I.Pet. I.5. Which fadeth not away,
They shall be really posest,
And ever it enj oy.
Bodies which here
Are matter thick and grosse,
Attaining to this happinesse,
Are freed from their drosse:
And as the Sunn
Mat. 13.43. Appeares in brightest Sky,
So every body glorifi’d
Shall be for clarity,And 45 D7r 45
And likewise be impassible,
Uncapable of pain
Having agility to move.
Whose vigour shall remain.
Are fild with all delight,
Because the spring of Beuty is
The object of their sight:
Also they have,
(Their joy to amplify)
Immediat sweet c ommunion with
The blessed Trinity.
Which satisfies appetite,
Which else were empty still,
Because no finite c omfort can
Content the mind and will.
Briefly a word
Of place and company
Which Saints in G lo ry shall enjoy,
Heb. 12. The place is heavenly
The citty of the Lord:
Rev. 21. Discover’d by such precious things
As pleasure most affo rd,
The consorts, Angells numberlesse,
Heb. 12. The whole Assembly
Of Saints, who shall for ever dwell
With Christ Eternally.
Why hath the Lord
For his, such Joyes prepar’d
Because their pacient sufferings
He richly will reward,
2 Cor. 4.17. This light distresse
Which for a moment dures
An excellent eternall waight
Of Glory his procures,
Rom. 8.18. But our afflictions merit not
This Glory that exceeds
But it, as Gods all other gifts,
Rom. 6.23. Of his free-Love proceeds.
Now they that have
This Hope of Heaven sure,
Shew it by striving to be cleane
I Iohn :3.3. As Christ our Lord is pure,
Also they take
Their croses chearfully
Because a substance they expect,
Heb. 10.34. Eternall heavenly,
To which my Soule aspired still
And cannot setled be,
Till shee returns againe to him
Ecl. 12.7. That gave her unto me.
A Song exciting to spirituall Alacrity.
Discomforts will the heart contract
And joy will cause it to dilate;
That every part its part may act,
A heart enlarg’d must animate.
Unfruitfull ones therfore they are
That planted be in sorrows shade,
Sith by the blasts of cloudy care
They are unfit for action made.
The ill effects of fruitlesse greife
Are in this place no further shown,
Because the meanes of true releife
Is more convenient to be known.
Col. I.9. Now he in whom all fullnesse dwels
All good and meanes of good must bee,
His presence Sathans rule expells
Gal. 3.13. And doth from Legall terror free.
So that their Soules which are so blessed
His sacred presence to enjoy,
Can never be so much distressed
But consolacion find they may.
Isay. 32.I.2 Having a hiding place so secure,
And covert from the stormy wind,
And streames of water perfect pure
To vivify and cheare the mind.
If scorched with afflictions heat
They to their shady rock may fly,
And be in safties bosome seat
And lap of true felicity.
Where are delights Angelicall,
The quintisence of all good things,
Reifned wine to cheare withall
And food which life eternall brings.
Which though the Saints by faith posesse,
Doe not suppose it solace give,
But truly reall happinesse,
As they that feele alone beleeve.
Who thence abundant strength collect,
In all condicions to support,
No troubles can them much deject,
Who have this soules defensive Fort.
Suppose temptacion sist them sore,
2 Cor. 12.9. Sufficient grace will them releive,
And make their Faith appeare the more,
Which will to them the Conquest give.
Or be their Scourge some outward Crosse,
As causelesse hate, or poverty,
Decay of parts, disease, or losse
Of Credit, Freinds, or Liberty.
Nay were their state compos’d of woes,
In whom the Morning Star doth shine,
Whose lively luster will disclose,
To his a heritage divine,
Which he of Love did them procure,
With freedom, not to Adam dain’d
To tast the Tree of Life most pure,
Whereby the soule alone’s sustain’d
The sence of Love-Eternall, doth
with Love, Obedience still produce,
Which active is, and passive both,
So sufferings are of speciall use.
Bearing the soule with joy and peace,
Through true beleeving, evermore,
Whose sweet contentments take encrease,
From heavens never-fayling store.
Another Song exciting to spirituall Mirth.
The Winter being over
In order comes the Spring,
Which doth green Hearbe discover
And cause the Birds to sing;
The Night also expired,
Then comes the Morning bright,
Which is so much desired
By all that love the Light;
This may learn
Them that mourn
To put their Griefe to flight.
The Spring succeedeth Winter,
And Day must follow Night.
He therefore that sustaineth
Affliction of Distresse,
Which ev’ry member paineth,
And findeth no relesse;
Yet such therefore despaire not,
But on firm Hope depend
Whose Griefes immortall are not,
And therefore must have end:
They that faint
With complaintTherefore 51 E2r 51
Therefore are too blame,
They ad to their afflictions,
And amplify the same.
For if they could with patience
A while posesse the minde,
By inward Consolacions
They might refreshing finde,
To sweeten all their Crosses
That little time they ’dure;
So might they gain by losses,
And harp would sweet procure;
But if the minde
That only may be called
The worst of all Distresse.
He that is melancolly
Detesting all Delight,
His Wits by sottish Folly
Are ruinated quite:
Sad Discontent and Murmors
To him are insident,
Were he posest of Honors
He could not be content:
Sparks of joy
Floods of Cares arise,
And all delightfull Mocions
In the consention dies.
But those that are contented
However things doe fall,
Much Anguish is prevented,
And they soon freed from all:
They finish all their Labours
With much felicity,
Theyr joy in Troubles savours
Of perfect Piety,
A setled pious minde
Which is not prone to grudging
From murmoring refinde.
Lascivious joy I prayse not,
Neither do it allow,
For where the same decayes not
No branch of peace can grow;
For why, it is sinister
As is excessive Griefe,
And doth the Heart sequester
From all good: to be briefe,
The bounds of modesty,
And makes one apt to nothing
This Song showeth that God is the strength of his People, whence they have support and comfort.
MGy straying thoughts, reduced stay,
And so a while retired,
Such observacions to survay
Which memory hath registred,
That were not in oblivion dead.
In which reveiw of mentall store,
One note affordeth comforts best,
Cheifly to be preferd therfore,
As in a Cabinet or Chest
One jewell may exceed the rest.
God is the Rock of his Elect
In whom his grace is incoate,
This note, my soule did most affect,
It doth such power intimate
To comfort and corroberate.
God is a Rock first in respect
He shadows his from hurtfull heat,
Then in regard he doth protect
His servants still from dangers great
And so their enimies defeat.
In some dry desart Lands (they say)
Are mighty Rocks, which shadow make,
Where passengers that go that way,
May rest, and so refreshing take,
Their sweltish Wearinesse to slake.
So in this world such violent
Occasions, find we still to mourn,
That scorching heat of Discontent
Would all into combustion turn
And soon our soules with anguish burn,
Did not our Rock preserve us still,
Whose Spirit, ours animates,
Iohn. 3.8 That wind that bloweth where it will
Sweetly our soules refrigerates,
And so distructive heat abates.
From this our Rock proceeds likewise,
Those streames, which graciously
Releives the soule which scorched lies,
Through sence of Gods displeasure high,
Due to her for inniquity.
So this our Rock refreshing yeelds,
To those that unto him adhere,
Whom likewise mightily he sheilds,
So that they need not faint nor fear
Though all the world against them were.
Because he is their strength and tower,
Whose power none can equalize,
Which onely gives the use of power
Which justly he to them denies,
Who would against his servants rise.
Not by selfe power nor by might,
Zach. 4. But by Gods spirit certainly,
Men compasse amd attain their right,
For what art thou, O mountain high!
Thou shalt with valleys, evenly.
Happy was Israell, and why,
Deu. 33.29 Jehovah was his Rock alone,
The Sword of his Excellency,
His sheild of Glory mighty known,
In saving those that are his own.
Experience of all ages shewes,
That such could never be dismayd
Who did by Faith on God repose,
Confessing him their onely ayd,
Such were alone in safty stayd.
One may have freinds, who have a will
To further his felicity,
And yet be wanting to him still,
Because of imbecility,
In power and ability.
But whom the Lord is pleasd to save,
Such he is able to defend,
His grace and might no limmits have,
And therefore can to all extend
Who doe or shall on him depend.
Nor stands he therefore surely,
Whose Freinds most powerfull appeare,
Because of mutabillity
To which all mortalls subject are,
Whose favours run now here, now there.
But in our Rock and mighty Fort,
Of change no shadow doth remain,
His favours he doth not Transport
As trifles movable and vain,
His Love alone is lasting gain.
Therfore my soule do thou depend,
Upon that Rock which will not move,
When all created help shall end
Any Rock impregnable will prove,
Whom still embrace with ardent Love.
The Winter of my infancy being over-past
Then supposed, suddenly the Spring would hast
Which useth every thing to cheare
With invitacion to recreacion
This time of yeare.
The Sun sends forth his radient beames to warm- the ground
The drops distil, between the gleams delights abound,
Ver brings her mate the flowery Queen,
The Groves shee dresses, her Art expresses
On every Green.
But in my Spring it was not so, but contrary,
For no delightfull flowers grew to please the eye,
No hopefull bud, nor fruitfull bough,
No moderat showers which causeth flowers
To spring and grow.
My Aprill was exceeding dry, therfore unkind;
Whence tis that small utility I look to find,
For when that Aprill is so dry,
(As hath been spoken) it doth betoken
Thus is my Spring now almost past in heavinesse
The Sky of pleasure’s over-cast with sad distresse
For by a comfortlesse Eclips,
Disconsolacion and sore vexacion,
My blossom nips.
Yet as a garden is my mind enclosed fast
Being to safety so confind from storm and blast
Apt to produce a fruit most rare,
That is not common with every woman
That fruitfull are.
A Love of goodnesse is the cheifest plant therin
The second is,(for to be briefe) Dislike to sin.damaged 58 E5v 58
These grow in spight of misery,
Which Grace doth nourish and cause to flourish
But evill mocions, currupt seeds, fall here also
wWhenc springs prophanesse as do weeds where flowers grow
Which must supplanted be with speed
These weeds of Error, Distrust and Terror,
Lest woe succeed
So shall they not molest, the plants before exprest
Which countervails these outward wants, & purchase rest
Which more commodious is for me
Then outward pleasures or earthly treasures
Enjoyd would be.
My little Hopes of worldly Gain I fret not at,
As yet I do this Hope retain; though Spring be lat
Perhaps my Sommer-age may be,
Not prejudiciall, but beneficiall
Enough for me.
Admit the worst it be not so, but stormy too,
Ile learn my selfe to undergo more then I doe
And still content my self with this
Sweet Meditacion and Contemplacion
Of heavenly blis,
Which for the Saints reserved is, who persevere
In Piety and Holynesse, and godly Feare,
The pleasures of which blis divine
Neither Logician nor Rhetoriciandamaged
Having restrained Discontent,
The onely Foe to Health and Witt,
I sought by all meanes to prevent
The causes which did nourish it,
Knowing that they who are judicious
Have alwaies held it most pernicious.
Looking to outward things, I found
Not that which Sorrow might abate,
But rather cause them to abound
Then any Greife to mittigate
Which made me seek by supplicacion
Internall Peace and Consolacion
Calling to mind their wretchednesse
That seem to be in happy case
Having externall happinesse
But therewithall no inward grace;
Nor are their minds with knowledg pollisht
In such all vertues are abollisht
For where the mind’s obscure and dark
There is no vertu resident,
Of goodnesse there remaines no spark;
Distrustfullnesse doth there frequent
For Ignorance the cause of error
May also be the cause of terror
As doth the Sun-beames beutify
The Sky, which else doth dim appeare
So Knowledg doth exquisitly
The Mind adorn, delight and cleare
Which otherwise is most obscure,
Full of enormities impure.
So that their Soules polluted are
That live in blockish Ignorance,
Which doth their miseries declare
And argues plainly that their wants
More hurtfull are then outward Crosses
Infirmities, Reproach, or Losses.
Where saving Knowledg doth abide,
The peace of Conscience also dwels
And many Vertues more beside
Which all obsurdities expels,
And fils the Soule with joy Celestiall
That shee regards not thing Terrestiall.
Sith then the Graces of the Mind
Exceeds all outward Happinesse,
What sweet Contentment do they find
Who are admitted to possesse
Such matchlesse Pearles, so may we call them:
For Precious is the least of all them.
Which when I well considered
My greife for outward crosses ceast,
Being not much discouragedAlthough 61 E7r 61
Although afflictions still encreast,
Knowing right well that Tribulacion
No token is of Reprobacion.
Excessive worldy Greife the Soule devouers
And spoyles the activnesse of all the Powers,
Through indisposing them to exercise
What should demonstrate their abilities,
By practicall improvment of the same
Unto the Glory of the givers name.
Though Envy wait to blast the Blossoms green
Of any Vertu soon as they are seen,
Yet none may therfore just occasion take
To shun what Vertu manifest should make,
For like the Sun shall Vertu be beheld
When Clouds of Envy shall be quite dispeld;
Though there be some of no disart at all
Who no degree in worth can lower fall,
Prefer’d before the Verteous whom they taunt
Onely because of some apparent want,
Which is as if a Weed without defect
Before the Damask Rose whould have respect,Becauſe 62 E7v 62
Because the Rose a leafe or two hath lost,
And this the Weed of all his parts can boast;
Or elce as if a monstrous Clout should be
Prefer’d before the purest Lawn to see,
Because the Lawn hath spots and this the Clout
Is equally polluted thoroughout
Therefore let such whose vertu favours merit,,
Shew their divinly magnanimious spirits
By disregarding such their approbacion
Who have the worthlesse most in estimacion,
For who loves God above all things, not one
Who understands not that in him alone
All causes that may move affection are,
Glimpses wherof his creatures doe declare,
This being so, who can be troubled
When as his gifts are undervalued,
Seeing the giver of all things likewise
For want of knowledg many underprise.
A Song composed in time of the Civill Warr, when the wicked did much insult over the godly.
With Sibells I cannot Devine
Of future things to treat,
Nor with Parnassus Virgins Nine
Compose in Poems neat
Such mentall mocions which are free
Concepcions of the mind,
Which notwithstanding will not be
To thoughts alone confind
With Deborah twere joy to sing
When that the Land hath Rest,
And when that Truth shall freshly spring,
Which seemeth now deceast,
But some may waiting for the same
Go on in expectacion
Till quick conceipt be out of frame,
Or till Lifes expiracion.
Therefore who can, and will not speak
Betimes in Truths defence,
Seeing her Foes their malice wreak,
And some with smooth pretenceAnd 64 E8v 64
And colours which although they glose
Yet being not ingraind,
In time they shall their luster lose
As cloth most foully staind.
See how the Foes of Truth devise
Her followers to defame.
First by Aspersions false and Lies
To kill them in good Name;
Yet here they will in no wise cease
But Sathans course they take
To spoyl their Goods and Wealths increase,
And so at Life they make.
Such with the Devill further go
The Soule to circumvent
In that they seeds of Error sow
And to false Worships tempt,
And Scriptures falsly they apply
Their Errors to maintain,
Opposing Truth implicitly
The greater side to gain.
And to bind Soul and Body both
To Sathans service sure
Therto they many ty by Oath,
Or cause them to endure
The Losse of lightsom Liberty
And suffer Confiscacion,
A multitude they force therby
To hazard their Salvacion.
Another sort of Enimies
To Lady Verity,
Are such who no Religion prise,
But Carnall Liberty
Is that for which they doe contest
And venture Life and State,
Spurning at all good meanes exprest,
The force of Vice to bate.
Yet these are they, as some conceit,
Who must again reduce,
And all things set in order strait
Disjoynted by abuse,
And wakeing witts may think no lesse
If Fiends and Furies fell,
May be suppos’d to have successe
Disorders to expell.
How-ever Truth to fade appeare,
Yet can shee never fall,
Her Freinds have no abiding here,
And may seem wasted all;
Yet shall a holy Seed remain
The Truth to vindicate,
Who will the wrongeds Right regain
And Order elevate.
What time Promocion, Wealth, and Peace,
The Owners shall enjoy,
Whose Light shall as the Sun encrease
Unto the perfect DayF Then 66 F1v 66
Then shall the Earth with blessings flow,
And Knowledge shall abound,
The Cause that’s now derided so,
Shall then most just be found.
Prophanenesse must be fully grown,
And such as it defend
Must be ruind or overthrown,
And to their place desend,
The Sonns of strife their force must cease,
Having fulfild their crime,
And then the Son of wished peace
Our Horizon will clime.
That there are such auspicious dayes
To come, we may not doubt,
Because the Gospels splendant rayes
Must shine the World throughout:
By Jewes the Faith shall be embrac’t
The Man of Sin must fall,
New Babell shall be quite defac’t
With her devices all.
The Truth will spread and high appeare,
As grain when weeds are gon,
Which may the Saints afflicted cheare
Oft thinking hereupon;
Sith they have union with that sort
To whom all good is ty’d
They can in no wise want support
Though most severely try’d.
Time past we understood by story
The strength of Sin a Land to waste,
Now God to manifest his Glory.
The truth hereof did let us taste,
For many years, this Land appears
Of usefull things the Nursery,
Refresht and fenc’d with unity.
But that which crown’d each other Blessing
Was evidence of Truth Divine,
The Word of Grace such Light expressing,
Which in some prudent Hearts did shine,
Whose Flame inclines those noble minds
To stop the Course of Prophanacion
And so make way for Reformacion.
But He that watcheth to devour,
This their intent did soon discry,
For which he strait improves his power
This worthy work to nullify
With Sophistry and Tiranny,
His agents he forthwith did fill
Who gladly execute his will.
And first they prove by Elocution
And Hellish Logick to traduce
Those that would put in execucion,
Restraint of every known abuse;F2 damaged 68 F2v 68
They seperate and ’sturb the State,
And would all Order overthrow,
The better sort were charged so.
Such false Reports did fill all places,
Corrupting some of each degree,
He whom the highest Title graces
From hearing slanders was not free,
Which Scruple bred, and put the Head
With primest members so at bate
Which did the Body dislocate.
A Lying Spirit mis-informed
The common people, who suppose
If things went on to be reformed
They should their ancient Customs lose,
And be beside to courses ty’d
Which they nor yet their Fathers knew,
And so be wrapt in fangles new.
Great multitudes therefore were joyned
ToSathans plyant instruments,
With mallice, ignorance combined,
And both at Truth their fury vents;
Test Piety as Enimy
They persecute, oppose, revile,
When Freind as well as Foe they spoyle.
The beuty of the Land’s abollisht,
Such Fabericks by Art contriv’d,
The many of them quite demollisht,
And many of their homes depriv’dSome 69 F3r 69
Some mourn for freinds untimely ends,
And some for necessaries faint,
With which they parted by constraint.
But from those storms hath God preserved
A people to record his praise,
Who sith they were therefore reserved
Must to the heigth their Spirits raise
To magnify his lenity,
Who safely brought them through the fire
To let them see their hearts desire
Which many faithfull ones deceased
With teares desired to behold,
Which is the Light of Truth professed
Without obscuring shaddowes old,
When spirits free, not tyed shall be
To frozen Forms long since compos’d,
When lesser knowledg was disclos’d.
Who are preserv’d from foes outragious,
Noteing the Lords unfound-out wayes,
Should strive to leave to after-ages
Some memorandums of his praise,
That others may admiring say
Unsearchable his judgments are,
As do his works alwayes declare.
The first Meditacion.
The Morning is at hand, my Soule awake,
Rise fron the sleep of dull security;
Now is the time, anon ’twill be to late,
Now hast thou golden opportunity
For to behold thy naturall estate
And to repent and be regenerate.
Delay no longer though the Flesh thee tell,
Tis time enough hereafter to repent,
Strive earnestly such mocions to expell,
Remember this thy courage to augment
The first fruits God requir’d for sacrifice,
The later he esteemed of no price
First let’s behold our natural estate
How dangerous and damnable it is,
And thereupon grow to exceeding hate
With that which is the onely cause of this;
The which is Sin, yea Disobedience
Even that which was our first parents offence.
The reasonable Soule undoubtedly
Created was at first free from offence,
In Wisdom, Holinesse, and Purity,
It did resembleth the Divine Essence,
Which being lost, the Soule of man became
Like to the Serpent, causer of the same.
The Understanding, Will, Affections cleare,
Each part of Soule and Body instantly
Losing their purity, corrupted were
Throughout as by a loathsom Leprocy
The rayes of Vertu were extinguisht quite
And Vice usurpeth rule with force and might.
This sudden change from sanctitude to sin
Could but prognosticat a fearfull end,
Immediatly the dollour did begin,
The Curse that was pronounc’d, none might defend,
Which Curse is in this life a part or some,
The fulnesse thereof in the life to come.
The Curse that to the Body common is
The sence of Hunger, Thirst, of Sicknes, Pain:
The Soules Callamities exceedeth this,
A Tast of Hell shee often doth sustain,
Rebukes of Conscience, threatening plagues for sin,
A world of Torments oft shee hath within.
Unlesse the Conscience dead and seared be,
Then runs the soule in errors manifold,
Her danger deep she can in no wise see,
And therefore unto every sin is bold,
The Conscience sleeps, the Soule is dead in sin,
Nere thinks of Hell untill shee comes therein.
Thus is the Conscience of the Reprobate,
Either accusing unto desperacion,
Or else benummed, cannot instigate
Nor put the Soule in mind of reformacion;
Both work for ill unto the castaway,
Though here they spent their time in mirth and play.
Yet can they have no sound contentment here,
In midst of laughter oft the heart is sad:
This world is full of woe & hellish feare
And yeelds forth nothing long to make us glad
As they that in the state of nature dy
Passe but from misery to misery.
Consider this my soule, yet not despaire,
To comfort thee again let this suffice,
There is a Well of grace, whereto repaire,
First wash away thy foul enormities
With teares proceeding from a contrite heart,
With thy beloved sins thou must depart.
Inordinate affections, and thy Will,
And carnall wisdom, must thou mortify,
For why, they are corrupt, prophane and ill,
And prone to nothing but impiety,
Yet shalt thou not their nature quite deface,
Their ruines must renewed be by grace.
If that thou canst unfainedly repent,
With hatred therunto thy sins confesse,
And not because thou fearest punishment
But that therby thou didst Gods Laws transgress
Resolving henceforth to be circumspect,
Desiring God to frame thy wayes direct.
Each member of thy body thou dost guide,
Then exercise them in Gods service most
Let every part be thoroughly sanctifide
As a meet Temple for the Holy Ghost;
Sin must not in our mortall bodies raign
It must expelled be although with pain
Thou must not willingly one sin detain,
For so thou mayst debarred be of blis,
Grace with inniquity will not remain,
Twixt Christ and Belial no communion is,
Therefore be carefull every sin to fly,
And see thou persevere in piety.
So mayst thou be perswaded certainly,
The Curse shall in no wise endanger thee,
Although the body suffer misery
Yet from the second death thou shalt be free;
They that are called here to Holinesse
Are sure elected to eternall blisse.
A Taste of blessednesse here shalt thou say,
Thy Conscience shall be at Tranquility,
And in the Life to com thou shalt enjoy
The sweet fruicion of the Trinity,
Society with Saints then shalt thou have,
Which in this life thou didst so often crave.
Let this then stir thee up to purity,
Newnesse of life, and speedy Conversion,
To Holinesse and to integrity,
Make conscience of impure thought unknown
Pray in the Spirit with sweet Contemplacion
Be vigilant for to avoid Temptacion.
Amid the Oceon of Adversity,
Neare whelmed in the Waves of sore Vexacion,
Tormented with the Floods of Misery,
And almost in the Guise of Despairacion,
Neare destitute of Comfort, full of Woes,
This was her Case that did the same compose:
At length Jehovah by his power divine,
This great tempestious Storm did mittigate.
And cause the Son of Righteousnesse to shine
Upon his Child that seemed desolate,
Who was refreshed, and that immediatly,
And Sings as follows with alacrity.
The Second Meditacion.
The storm on Anguish being over-blown,
To praise Gods mercies now I may have [space
For that I was not finally orethrown,
But was supported by his speciall grace;
Psal. 19.I The Firmament his glory doth declare,
Psal, 145.9 Yet over all his works, his mercies are.
The Contemplacion of his mercies sweet,
Hath ravished my Soule with such delight
Who to lament erst while was onely meet,
Doth now determine to put griefe to flight,
Being perswaded, hereupon doth rest,
Shee shall not be forsaken though distrest.
Gods Favour toward me is hereby proved,
For that he hath not quite dejected me;
Why then, though crosses be not yet removed
Yet so seasoned with pacience they be,
As they excite me unto godlinesse,
The onely way to endlesse happinesse.
Wch earthly muckworms can in no wise know
Being of the Holy Spirit destitute,
They savour onely earthly things below;
Who shall with them of saving Grace dispute,
Shall find them capable of nothing lesse
Though Christianity they do professe.
Let Esaus porcion fall unto these men,
The Fatnesse of the Earth let them possesse
No other thing they can desire then,
Having no taste of Heavens happinesse,
They care not for Gods Countenance so bright,
Their Corn and Wine and Oyle is their delight.
To compasse this and such like is their care,
But having past the period of their dayes,
Bereft of all but miseries they are,
Their sweet delights with mortall life decayes,
Tim. 6.6 But godlinesse is certainly great gain,
Immortall blisse they have, who it retain.
They that are godly and regenerate,
Endu’d with saving Knowledg, Faith, and Love,
When they a future blisse premeditate,It 77 F7r 77
It doth all bitter passion quite remove;
Though oft they feel the wane of outward things
Their heavenly meditacions, comfort brings.
They never can be quite disconsolate,
Because they have the onely Comforter
Which doth their minds alway illuminate,
And make them fleshly pleasures much abhorr,
For by their inward light they plainly see
How vain all transitory pleasures bee.
Moreover, if they be not only voyd
Of earthly pleasures and commodities,
But oftentimes be greivously annoyd
With sundry kinds of great Calammities,
Whether it be in Body, Goods, or Name,
With pacience they undergo the same.
And why? because they know and be aware
That all things work together for the best,
Ro. 8 28. To them that love the Lord and called are,
According to his purpose, therefore blest
Doubtlesse they be, his knowledg that obtain,
No Losse may countervail their blessed Gain.
Which makes them neither murmor nor repine
When God is pleas’d with Crosses them to try,
2 Cor 4.6. who out of darknesse caused light to shine,
Can raise them Comfort out of Misery
They know right well and therefore are content
To beare with patience any Chastisment.
This difference is betwixt the good and bad;
When as for sin the godly scourged are,
And godly Sorrow moves them to be sad,
These speeches or the like they will declare:
O will the Lord absent himselfe for ever?
Will he vouchsafe his mercy to me never?
What is the cause I am afflicted so?
The cause is evident I do perceive.
My Sins have drawn upon me all this woe,
The which I must confesse and also leave,
Pro. 28.13 Then shall I mercy find undoubtedly,
And otherwise no true prosperity.
Whilst sin hath rule in me, in vain I pray,
Or if my Soule inniquity affects,
If this be true, as tis, I boldly say,
8 Pro. 15, The prayer of the wicked, God rejects;
If in my heart I wickednesse regard
Psal. 66 How can I hope my prayer shall be heard.
If I repent, here may I Comfort gather,
Though in my prayers there be weaknesse much
Christ siteth at the right hand of his Father
Rom. 8. 33 To intercede and make request for such,
Who have attained to sincerity,
Though somthing hindered by infirmity.
I will forthwith abandon and repent,
Not onely palpable inniquities,
But also all alowance or consentTo 79 F8r 79
To sinfull mocions or infirmities;
And when my heart and wayes reformed be,
God will with-hold nothing that’s good from me
So may I with the Psalmist truly say,
Tis good for me that I have been afflicted,
Psal 119 Before I troubled was, I went astray,
But now to godlinesse I am adicted;
If in Gods Lawes I had not took delight,
I in my troubles should have perisht quite.
Such gracious speeches usually proceed
From such a Spirit that is Sanctifide,
Who strives to know his own defects and need
And also seekes to have his wants supplide;
But certainly the wicked do not so
As do their speeches and distempers show.
At every crosse they murmor, vex and fret,
And in their passion often will they say,
How am I with Calamities beset!
I think they will mee utterly destray,
The cause hereof I can in no wise know
But that the Destinies will have it so
Unfortunate am I and quite forlorn,
Oh what disastrous Chance befalleth me!
Under some hurtfull Plannet I was born
That will (I think) my Confusion be,
And there are many wickeder then I
Who never knew the like adversity.
These words do breifly show a carnall mind
Polluted and corrupt with Ignorance,
Where godly Wisdom never yet hath shin’d
For that they talk of Destiny or Chance;
For if Gods Power never can abate,
He can dispose of that he did create
If God alone the True Almighty be
As we beleive, acknowledge, and confesse,
Then supream Governor likewise is he
Disposing all things, be they more or lesse;
The eyes of God in every place do see
The good and bad, and what their actions bee.
The thought hereof sufficeth to abate
My heavinesse in great’st extremity,
When Grace unto my Soul did intimate
That nothing comes by Chance or Destiny,
But that my God and Saviour knowes of all
That either hath or shall to me befall
Who can his servants from all troubles free
And would I know my Crosses all prevent,
But that he knowes them to be good for me
Therefore I am resolv’d to be content,
For though I meet with many Contradictions
Yet Grace doth alwayes sweeten my Afflictions.
The third Meditacion.
Faint not my Soule, but wait thou on the- Lord
Though he a while his answer may suspend,
Yet know (according to his blessed word)
He will vouchsafe refreshing in the end,
Yea though he seen for to withdraw his grace,
And doth not alwaies show his pleasing face.
As by the Sun, though not still shining bright,
We do enjoy no small Commodity,
Whilst that the day is govern’d by his Light,
And other works of Nature testify
His wonderfull and rare Effects alwayes,
Though often vayled be his shinging rayes.
So it is no small mercy, though we see
Gods Countenance not alwaies shinging bright,
That be the same our minds enlightned be,
And our affections guided by that Light,
And whilst the winter-fruits as it were we find
In Pacience, Sufferings, and Peace of mind.
Then let it not be told in Ashkelon,
Neither in Gath let it be published,
That thos that seek the Lord and him alone
In any case should be discouraged,
Lest it rejoyce the wicked this to see,
Who think the wayes of grace unpleasant be.
Where-as they are most pleasant, sweet, and fair
Yeilding delights which onely satisfy
Our minds, which else transported are with care
And restlesse wandrings continually,
But those that do no taste hereof attain
Seek rather for content in pleasures vain.
When Kain had lost the happy harmony,
He by a peace full Concience might enjoy
His nephew Juball then most skillfully
Invented Musick, thereby to convey
Unto the outward eare some melody,
But no true joy comes to the heart thereby.
For it is onely a Certificate
Brought by Gods Spirit from the Throne of Grace.
That may delight the Soule Regenerate,
Which certifies her of her happy case,
That shee’s already in a gracious state,
Which will in endlesse glory consummate.
Again, the blessed Soule may take delight,
To think on Sions great prosperity,
In that the Gospell long hath shined bright,
Sustaining no Eclips by Heresy,
So that the meanes of knowledg is so free,
Gods Worship rightly may performed be.
If then my Soule, the Lord thy Porcion be
Delight’st his Word and sacred Covenants
Wherby his Graces are conveyed to thee,
As Earnests of divine inheritance,And 83 G2r 83
And which may cause tru comfort to abound
Thy Lot is fallen in a pleasant ground,
Then let not any trouble thee dismay
Seeing the Light of Grace to thee hath shone
The sable Weed of Sadnesse lay away,
And put the Garment of Salvacion on,
With chearfullnesse, Gods blessings entertain
Let not the object of thy mirth be vain,
Which as a true Cloud would stop the influence
Of that true Light that doth the Soule refine
And predisposeth it through lively sence
To that eternall brightnesse most divine;
Then cheifly to admit that joy, accord,
Which commeth by the Favour of the Lord.
God’s Favour ever highly estimate,
As the prime motive of tru happinesse,
Whereof, since that thou didst participate,
In Life or Death, feare no kind of distresse;
When humane help shall fayl thee utterly
Then is Gods saving opportunity.
Deadnesse of spirit that thou mayst avoyd,
The lively means of godlynesse embrace,
And cease not seeking though thou be delayd,
But wait till God do manifest his grace,
For thy deliverance, prefix no day,
But paciently the Lords due leisure stay.
The fourth Meditacion.
Alas my Soule, oft have I sought thy Peace,
But still I find the contrary encrease,
Thou being of a froward disposicion,
Perceivest not thy mercyfull Physician
Doth give thee for thy health these strong purgacions
So may we call our daily molestacions,
Which how to beare, that thou mayst understand
Take heed of two extreams under Gods hand,
The one is, too light takeing thy Distresse,
The other’s, hopelesse Greife or Pensivenesse;
Between these two, observe with heedfull eye
A middle course or mediocrity;
Consider for the first, if one correct
His Child, who seemeth it to disrespect,
Warding the blow or setting light therby,
How is he beat again deservedly;
So if that thou should’st seem to disregard,
The Chastisments of God, or seek to ward
The same by wayes or meanes impenitent,
How just shall God renew thy punishment:
If Physick for our Bodies health be tane,
We hinder not the working of the same,
Strong Physick if it purge not, putrifies,
And more augments then heales our malladies,
And as is sayd, our manifold Temptacions,
Are nothing but thy scouring Purgacions,Wherein 85 G3r 85
Wherin a dram too much, hath not admission,
Confected by so Skilfull a Physician
Who will not have their bitternesse abated,
Till thy ill humors be evacuated;
Then loose it down for thy Humilliacion,
And hinder not its kindly Opperacion,
As thou mayst by untimely voyding it
By vain contentments, which thou mayst admit,
Which makes us drive repentant thought away,
And so put far from us the Evill day;
But that content which is by such meanes got
Is like cold water, tane in fevers hot,
Which for the present, though it seem to ease,
Yet after it encreaseth the disease;
But thou dost rather unto Grief incline,
At Crosses therfore, subject to repine,
Supposing oft, thy present troubles are
Intolerable, and thy bane declare;
Whilst thou for this, thy selfe dost miserate
Dispair unto thee doth intimate,
That none hath been afflicted like to thee,
Unparaleld thy visitacions bee;
The by-waies being thus discovered,
Endeavour in the right way to be led,
With tru Repentance, hope of pardon joine,
Deny thy selfe, and trust for help divine,
Seek first with God in Christ to be at peace,
Who onely can thy Tribulacion cease,
For he that laid the Rod (affliction) on,
The power hath to pull it off alone;G3 Twere 86 G3v 86
Twere but in vain for one that were in debt,
To see the Officers a discharg to get,
Till with his Creditor he doth agree
He cannot walk out of his danger free;
So vain are they, which think their course is sure,
When in the use of meanes they rest secure,
Whereas if God his blessing doth restrain
We by the creature can no help attain:
Though it hath pleased God out of his grace,
Naturall causes over things to place,
Yet keeps he to himselfe, (blest be his name)
The staffe and operacion of the same;
Then do not think my Soule to find redresse
By meanes of Freinds, or by self Skilfullnesse,
But rather all created helps deny,
Save as they serve for God to work thereby:
Now forasmuch as God is just alone,
Know, without cause he hath afflicted none,
Sith without doubt, his wayes so equall be,
For som great fault he thus correcteth thee,
Therfore to lowest thoughts thy self retire,
To seek the cause that moved God to ire,
Which when thou findest, whatsoere it be
As thy right hand or eye so dear to thee,
Resolve for ever to abandon it,
Be watchfull lest the same thou recommit,
Renew thy Covenant with God, and vow
In the remainder of thy dayes, that thou
Wilt walk before him with an upright heart
If for that end his grace be on thy part,If 87 G4r 87
If when hereto thou dost thy forces try,
In them thou find a disability,
Then look to Christ, who doth thy weaknesse veiw
And of compassion will thy strength renew,
From him alone thou mayst that grace derive
Which like a Cordiall or Restorative,
Will strengthen and repair thy faculties,
Which else are dead to holy exercise,
Twill make thy Understanding apprehend
God as a Father, who in Love doth send
Correction to his Children when they stray,
When without check the wicked take their sway;
This grace once tasted, so affects the will,
As it forsaketh that which cannot fill;
The well of living waters, to frequent,
Can onely fill the Soule with tru content;
The memory it doth corroberate,
To keep a store, the Soule to animate,
Gods precious promises the treasures be,
Which memory reserves to comfort thee;
The over-flowings of this grace divine
To goodnesse the affections will encline,
Turning the hasty current of thy love
From things below, unto those things above,
Seeing it is the grace of Christ alone,
Which makes the Soule to be with God at one,
Endeavour for it give thy selfe no rest,
Till feelingly thereof thou be possest.
The fifth Meditacion.
Such is the force of each created thing,
That it no solid happinesse can bring,
Which to our minds may give contentments sound
For like as Noahs Dove no succour found,
Till shee return’d to him that sent her out,
Just so the Soule in vain may seek about,
For rest or satisfaction any where,
Save in his presence, who hath sent her here.
Gods omnipresence I do not deny,
Yet to the Faithfull he doth spec’ally,
Alone his gracious presence evidence,
Who seeing all true blessings flow from thence,
Are troubled onely when he hides his Face,
Desiring still to apprehend his Grace,
This Grace of God is taken diversly
And first it doth his Favour signify,
That independent Love of his so free,
Which mov’d him to his mercyfull Decree,
His Merum beneplacitum it is
That’s motive of all good conferd on his:
The fruits of this his Love or Favour deare,
Are likewise called Graces everywhere,
Election and Redempcion, graces are,
And these his Favour cheifly do declare.Faith, 89 G5r 89
Faith, Hope, Repentance, Knowledge, and the rest,
Which do the new Creac’on manifest,
Now these are counted Grace habituall.
And lastly, this the Grace of God we call,
His actuall Assistance on our side,
Wherby we overcome when we are tride;
How ever then the word is understood
Grace is the cheif desirable good.
Tis Summum bonum; is it so? for why?
Because without it no Prosperity,
Or earthly Honours, in the high’st degree,
Can make one truly happy sayd to be,
For as we might their miseries condole
Who should inhabit neare the Northern-Pole,
Though Moon & Stars may there apear most bright
Yet while the Sun is absent, still tis night,
And therfore barren, cold, and comfortlesse,
Unfit for humane creatures to possesse:
More fruitlesse, empty comfort is the Mind,
Who finds the Sun of Righteousnesse declind.
Yea, though all earthly glories should unite
Their pomp and splendor, to give such delight,
Yet could they no more sound contentment bring
Then Star-light can make grasse or flowers spring;
But in that happy Soule that apprehends
His Loving kindnesse, (which the Life transcends)
There is no lack of any thing that may
Felicity or tru delight convey;
As whilst the Sun is in our Hemisphere,
We find no want of Moon nor Star-light cleare,So 90 G5v 90
So where the Fountain of tru Light displayes
His beames, there is no need of borrow’d joyes,
For where he is who made all things of nought,
There by his presence still fresh joyes are wrought
Nor need he help to make a happy one,
Sith all perfection is in him alone,
Grant then his Grace is most to be desir’d
And nothing else to be so much requir’d;
But here a carnall crew are to be blam’d,
By whom the Grace of God so much is nam’d
Who are experienc’d in nothing lesse
As do their course and practises expresse,
For though they say the Grace of God’s worth all
Yet will they hazzard it for Trifles small,
Hereof they’ll put you out of all suspicion
When Gods Grace coms with mens in competicion
For holy duties lightly such neglects,
Whereby Gods Love is felt with its effects,
The favour of a mortall man to gain
Though but a shew thereof he do attain,
And that perhaps for some employment base
Which one cannot perform and keep tru Grace,
Therefore tis probable, how ere they prate,
Gods Grace they value at too low a rate
For to be purchast by them, sith they leave
Their hold of it, a shaddow to receave;
But they that do in truth of heart professe
That they have found this Pearle of Blessednesse
Will not adventure it for any thing,
Whatever good it promiseth to bring.Becauſe 91 G6r 91
Because they know the choisest quintesence
Of earthly pleasures greatest confluence,
Cannot procure that sweet blissefull peace
Which from Gods Favour ever takes encrease;
Yet many times it comes to passe we see,
That those who have tru grace so senselesse be
Of it, that they in seasons if distresse,
Abundance of impacience do expresse,
But tis their sin, and brings an ill report
Upon their cheifest Comfort, Strength, and Fort;
Such therefore should endeavour paciently,
To beare whatever crosse upon them ly,
And that by strength of this consideracion
I Pet. I.6. That they have need of this theyr tribulacion
It may be to mind them of some offence
Which they committed have (perhaps) long since
Yet they remaine unhumbled for it,
Or elce (may be) some Duty they omit,
In which remissive course they will remain,
Till with a Rod they be brought home again;
Or if they would consider how they prove
The Lords great Pacience towards them, and Love
In wayting for theyr turning to his wayes,
They would not think so greivous of delayes,
Of restitucion to that solace sound,
Which in the sence of Grace is ever found,
Which whoso will in Heart and Life preserve,
These following directions must observe;
The first is, to purge out inniquities
With all that might offend Gods puer eyes,The 92 G6v 92
The next is, to have Faith in Christ, and Love
Of God, and that which he doth best approve;
Humility must likewise have a place
Iam. 4.6 In them that will be sure of tru Grace,
Then there must be sincear Obedience
To all Jehovah’s just Commandements,
For God will manifest himself to those,
Ioh. 14 Who by Obedience, Love to him disclose.
Now lastly, that which fits one to embrace
The sence of God’s exceeding Love and Grace
Is skilfulnesse in that most blessed Art
Of walking with the Lord with upright heart,
That is to manage all things heedfully,
As in the veiw of Gods omniscient eye,
And so, by consequence, by Faith to joyne
In union with the Trinity divine;
This is the very life of happynesse,
Which may feel far better then expresse:
But lest whilst being wrapt above my sphere,
With sweetnesse of the Theame, I should appeare
Quite to forget the nature of a Song,
And to some this might seem over-long,
My thoughts theyr workings, speedily suspends,
And at this time my Meditacion ends.
Verses on the twelvth Chapter of Ecclesiastes.
All Earthly Glories to theyr periods post,
As those that do possesse them may behold,
Who therfore should not be at too much cost,
With that which fades so soon, dies & growes old
But rather minde him in their youthfull dayes,
Who can give glory which shall last alwayes.
Ere Light of Sun or Moon or Stars expire,
Before the outward sence eclipsed be,
Which doth direct the heart for to admire
These works of God which obvious are to see,
The Fabrick of the Earth, the Heavens high,
Are to the mind discoverd by the eye.
Again, before the strong men, low shall bow,
And they that keep the house shall tremble sore,
Ere natures force be spent, or quite out-flow;
And wonted courage shall be found no more,
When weaknesse shall each part emasculate
And make the stoutest heart effeminate.
Moreover, ere the grinders shall be few
Which for concoction doth the food prepare,
And Dames of musick shall be brought so low
That for their melody none much shall care;
Harsh and unpleasant, then the voyce shall bee
The breast being not from obstructions free.
Also before that, causlesse feares arise,
By reason of much imbecility,
Conceit of harmes will in the way surprise
Such feeble ones, which would from shadowes fly
When chilling Frost of sad decrepid age,
The force of vitall vigour shall aswage.
The Almond Tree shall blossoms then declare,
Gray hairs presage to them the end is nigh,
Naturall heat having no more repaire,
Desires fayle, as flames wanting fuell, dy,
Nothing remayning, wherby strengths suppli’d
The marrow wasted, and the moysture dri’d.
And ere the silver cord be loose and weak,
Before the veins be stopt, and sinews shrink
And ere the golden Bowl or Pitcher break,
Before the heart for want of spirit shrink
The head whereas the animals reside,
Now full of maladies, and stupyfide.
The Body thus out-worn and quite decayd,
The dust returneth to the Earth again;
To God who gave it, is the Soul convayd
Who doth with it as he did preordain,
However som to vent their falacy
Conclude the Soul doth with the Body dy.
Which if were truth why did our Saviour say?
Mat.10 28. Feare him not which the Body kils alone,
And hath no might the Soul for to destray,
If with the one the other must be gone;
But that they may declare impostors skill
Twixt Soul and Spirit they distinguish will.
The Soul (say they) doth with the Body dy,
Then there’s a thrid part which they Spirit call,
Who doth return to God immediatly
Leaving the Dead till judgment-generall,
And then returning, breathing doth infuse
In Soul and Body, wherby life ensues.
For which they have no Scripture (I suppose)
Save what they wrest unto theyr own Perdicion,
As this, where ’tis said, the word with power goes
Heb. 4. 12. Twixt Soul & Spirit by divine commission
Twixt joynts and marow it doth penetrate,
Seeing all secrets, heart can meditate.
The joynts and marrow of the Body be
Not sev’rall species, but of kind the same,
The Body to support, each part agree,
And ev’ry member hath its sev’rall name;
So Soul and Spirit is one entire thing,
Immortall by the vertue of its Spring.
More texts of Scripture these Deceivers wrest,
Which should be answered, Truth for to defend;
But seeing here I have so long digrest,
What I begun, I hasten now to end,
Which is to stir up youth their God to mind,
Before effects of evill dayes they find
All here is vanity the Preacher sayes,
Yea use of many books are wearisome,
If cheifly don for self-respect or prayse
It doubtlesse will to such a snare become:
Of all the matter, then the End let’s hear,
Keep Gods commandements with son-like fear.