of John Calvin
upon the Songe
that Ezechias made after
he had bene ſicke, and
afflicted by the hand of
conteyned in the 38. Chapiter
Tranſlated out of Frenche
the order appointed in the Queenes Maieſties
Imprinted at London, ouer Alderſgate,
by John Day.
And are there to be ſolde at his ſhoppe
vnder the Gate.
B-G8; pp. 1-79 + 3 unnumbered pagesexcerpt
I have added this meditation folowyng unto the ende of this boke, not as parcell of maiſter Calvines worke, but for that it well agreeth with the ſame argument, and was delivered me by my frend with whom I knew I might be ſo bolde to uſe ; publiſhe it as pleaſed me.
The preface, expreſſing the paſſioned minde of the penitent ſinner.
The hainous gylt of my forſaken ghoſt
So threates, alas, unto my febled ſprite
Deſerved death, and (that me greveth moſt)
Still ſtand ſo fixt before my daſeld ſight
The lotheſome filthe of my diſteined life,
The mighty wrath of myne offended Lorde,
My Lord whos wrath is ſharper than the knife,
And deper woundes than dobleedged ſworde,
That, as the dimmed and fordulled eyen
Full fraught with teares ; more ; more oppreſt
With growing ſtreames of the diſtilled bryne
Sent from the fornace of a gretefull breſt,
Can not enjoy the comfort of the light,
Nor finde the waye wherin to walke aright:
So I blinde wretch, whome Gods enflamed ire
With pearcing ſtroke hath throwne unto the groūund,
Amidde my ſinnes ſtill groveling in the myre,
Finde not the way that other oft have found,
Whome cherefull glimſe of gods abounding grace
Hath oft releved and oft with ſhyning light
Hath brought to joy out of the ugglye place,
Where I in darke of everlaſting night
Bewayle my woefull and unhappy caſe,
And fret my dyeng ſoule with gnawing paine,
Yet blinde, alas, I groape about for grace.
While blinde for grace I groape about in vaine,
My fainting breath I gather up and ſtraine,
Mercie, mercie to crye and crye againe.
But mercy while I found with ſhreking crye
For graūunt of grace and pardon while I pray,
Even then deſpeir before my ruthefull eye
Spredes forth my ſinne ; ſhame, ; ſemes to ſaye
In vaine thou brayeſt forth thy bootleſſe noyſe
To him for mercy, O refuſed wight,
That heares not the forſaken ſinners voice.
Thy reprobate and foreordeined ſprite,
For damned veſſell of his heavie wrath,
(As ſelfe witnes of the beknowyng hart,
And ſecrete gilt of thine owne conſcience ſaith)
Of his ſwete promiſes can claime no part:
But thee, caytif, deſerved curſe doeth draw
To hell, by juſtice, for offended law.
This horror whēen my trēembling ſoule doth heare,
When markes and tokens of the reprobate,
My growing ſinnes, of grace my ſenſleſſe cheare,
Enforce the profe of everlaſtyng hate,
That I conceive the heavens king to beare
Againſt my ſinfull and forſaken ghoſt:
As in the throte of hell, I quake for feare,
And then in preſent perill to be loſt
(Although by conſcience wanteth to replye,
But with remorſe enforcing myne offence,
Doth argue vaine my not availyng crye)
With woefull ſighes and bitter penitence
To him from whom the endleſſe mercy flowes
I cry for mercy to releve my woes.
And then not daring with preſuming eye
Once to beholde the angry heavens face,
From troubled ſprite I ſend confuſed crye,
To crave the crummes of all ſufficing grace.With 87 Aa3r
With foltring knee I fallyng to the ground,
Bendyng my yelding handes to heavens throne,
Poure forth my piteous plaint with woefull ſound,
With ſmoking ſighes ; oft repeted grone,
Before the Lord, the Lord, whom ſynner I,
I curſed wretch, I have offended ſo,
That dredyng, in his wrekefull wrath to dye,
And damned downe to depth of hell to go,
Thus toſt with panges and paſſions of deſpeir,
Thus crave I mercy with repentant chere.
A Meditation of a penitent ſinner, upon the 51. Pſalme.
Have mercy, God, for thy great mercies ſake.
O God: my God, unto my ſhame I ſay.
Beynge fled from thee, ſo as I dred to take
Thy name in wretched mouth, and feare to pray
Or aſke the mercy that I have abuſde.
But, God of mercy, let me come to thee:
Not for juſtice, that juſtly am accuſde:
Which ſelfe word Juſtice ſo amaſeth me,
That ſcarce I dare thy mercy ſound againe.
But mercie, Lord, yet ſuffer me to crave.
Mercie is thine: Let me not crye in vaine,
Thy great mercie for my great fault to have.
Have mercie, God, pitie my penitence
With greater mercie than my great offence.Have mercie upon me (o God) after thy great merci
My many ſinnes in nomber are encreaſt,
With weight wherof in ſea of depe deſpeire
My ſinking ſoule is now ſo ſore oppreſt,
That now in peril and in preſent fere,
I crye: ſuſteine me, Lord, and Lord I pray,
With endleſſe nomber of thy mercies take
The endleſſe nomber of my ſinnes away.So 89 Aa4r
So by thy mercie, for thy mercies ſake,
Rue on me, Lord, releve me with thy grace.
My ſinne is cauſe that I ſo nede to have
Thy mercies ayde in my ſo woefull caſe:
My ſynne is cauſe that ſcarce I dare to crave
Thy mercie manyfolde, whiche onely may
Releve my ſoule, and take my ſinnes away.And according unto the multitude of thy mercies do away myne offences.
So foule is ſinne and lotheſome in thy ſighte,
So foule with ſinne I ſee my ſelfe to be,
That till from ſinne I may be waſhed white,
So foule I dare not, Lord, approche to thee.
Ofte hath thy mercie waſhed me before,
Thou madeſt me cleane: but I am foule againe.
Yet waſhe me Lord againe, and waſhe me more.
Waſhe me, O Lord, and do away the ſtaine
Of uggly ſinnes that in my ſoule appere.
Let flow thy plēentuous ſtreames of clenſing grace.
Waſhe me againe, yea waſhe me every where,
Bothe leprous bodie and defiled face.
Yea waſhe me all, for I am all uncleane,
And from my ſin, Lord, cleanſe me ones againe.Waſh me yet more from my wickednes, and clenſe me from my ſinne.
Have mercie, Lord, have mercie: for I know
How muche I nede thy mercie in this caſe.
The horror of my gilt doth dayly growe,
And growing weares my feble hope of grace.
I fele and ſuffer in my thralled breſt
Secret remorſe and gnawing of my hart.
I fele my ſinne, my ſinne that hath oppreſt
My ſoule with ſorrow and ſurmounting ſmart.
Drawe me to mercie: for ſo oft as IPreſume 90 Aa4v
Preſume to mercy to direct my ſight,
My Chaos and my heape of ſinne doth lie,
Betwene me and thy mercies ſhining light.
What ever way I gaze about for grace,
My filth and fault are ever in my face.For I knowledge my wickednes, and my ſinne is ever before me.
Graunt thou me mercy, Lord: thee thee alone
I have offended, and offendyng thee,
For mercy loe, how I do lye and grone,
Thou with allpearcing eye beheldeſt me,
Without regard that ſinned in thy ſight.
Beholde againe, how now my ſpirite it rues,
And wailes the tyme, when I with foule delight
Thy ſwete forbearing mercy did abuſe.
My cruell conſcience with ſharpned knife
Doth ſplat my ripped hert, and layes abrode
The lotheſome ſecretes of my filthy life,
And ſpredes them forth before the face of God.
Whōom ſhame frōom dede ſhameleſſe cold not reſtrain,
Shame for my dede is added to my paine.Againſte thee onelye have I ſinned, ; don evill in thy ſight.
But mercy Lord, O Lord ſome pitie take,
Withdraw my ſoule from the deſerved hell,
O Lord of glory, for thy glories ſake:
That I may ſaved of thy mercy tell,
And ſhew how thou, which mercy haſt behight
To ſighyng ſinners, that have broke thy lawes,
Performeſt mercy: ſo as in the ſight
Of them that judge the juſtice of thy cauſe
Thou onely juſt be demed, and no moe,
The worldes unjuſtice wholy to confound:
That damning me to depth of during woe
Juſt in thy judgement ſhouldeſt thou be found:
And from deſerved flames relevyng meJuſt 91 Aa5r
Juſt in thy mercy mayſt thou alſo be.That thou mighteſt be founde juſt in thy ſayinges, and maieſt overcome when thou art judged.
For lo, in ſinne, Lord, I begotten was,
With ſede and ſhape my ſinne I toke alſo,
Sinne is my nature and my kinde alas,
In ſinne my mother me conceived: Lo
I am but ſinne, and ſinfull ought to dye,
Dye in his wrath that hath forbydden ſinne.
Such bloome and frute loe ſinne doth multiplie,
Such was my roote, ſuch is my juyſe within.
I plead not this as to excuſe my blame,
On kynde or parentes myne owne gilt to lay:
But by diſcloſing of my ſinne, my ſhame,
And nede of helpe, the plainer to diſplaye
Thy mightie mercy, if with plenteous grace
My plenteous ſinnes it pleaſe thee to deface.For loe, I was ſhapen in wickednes, and in ſinne my mother cōonceived me.
Thou loveſt ſimple ſooth, not hidden face
With trutheles viſour of deceiving ſhowe.
Lo ſimplie, Lord, I do confeſſe my caſe,
And ſimplie crave thy mercy in my woe.
This ſecrete wiſedom haſt thou graunted me,
To ſe my ſinnes, ; whence my ſinnes do growe:
This hidden knowledge have I learnd of thee,
To fele my ſinnes, and howe my ſinnes do flowe
With ſuch exceſſe, that with unfained hert,
Dreding to drowne, my Lorde, lo howe I flee,
Simply with teares bewailyng my deſert,
Releved ſimply by thy hand to be.
Thou loveſt truth, thou taughteſt me the ſame.
Helpe, Lord of truth, for glory of thy name.But lo, thou haſte loved trueth, the hidden and ſecrete thinges of thy wiſedome thou haſte opened unto me.
With ſwete Hyſope beſprinkle thou my ſprite:
Not ſuch hyſope, nor ſo beſprinkle me,As 92 Aa5v
As law unperfect ſhade of perfect lyght
Did uſe as an apointed ſigne to be
Foreſhewing figure of thy grace behight.
With death and bloodſhed of thine only ſonne,
The ſwete hyſope, cleanſe me defyled wyght,
Sprinkle my ſoule. And when thou ſo haſte done,
Bedeawd with droppes of mercy and of grace,
I ſhalbe cleane as cleanſed of my ſynne.
Ah waſh me, Lord: for I am foule alas:
That only canſt, Lord, waſh me well within,
Waſh me, O Lord: when I am waſhed ſoe,
I ſhalbe whiter than the whiteſt ſnowe.Sprinkle me, Lorde, with hiſope and I ſhalbe cleane: waſhe me and I ſhalbe whiter then ſnow.
Long have I heard, ; yet I heare the ſoundes
Of dredfull threates and thonders of the law,
Which Eccho of my gylty minde reſoundes,
And with redoubled horror doth ſo draw
My liſtening ſoule from mercies gentle voice,
That louder, Lorde, I am conſtraynde to call:
Lorde, pearce myne eares, ; make me to rejoyſe,
When I ſhall heare, and when thy mercy ſhall
Sounde in my hart the goſpell of thy grace.
Then ſhalt thou geve my hearing joy againe,
The joy that onely may releve my caſe.
And then my brooſed bones, that thou with paine
Haſt made to weake my febled corps to beare,
Shall leape for joy, to ſhewe myne inward chere.Thou ſhalt make me heare joye and gladneſſe, and the bones which thou haſt broken ſhal rejoyſe
Loke on me, Lord: though trēembling I beknowe,
That ſight of ſinne ſo ſore offendeth thee,
That ſeing ſinne, how it doth overflowe
My whelmed ſoule, thou canſt not loke on me,
But with diſdaine, with horror and deſpite.
Loke on me, Lord: but loke not on my ſinne.Not 93 Aa6r
Not that I hope to hyde it from thy ſight,
Which ſeeſt me all without and eke within.
But ſo remove it from thy wrathfull eye,
And from the juſtice of thyne angry face,
That thou impute it not. Looke not how I
Am foule by ſinne: but make me by thy grace
Pure in thy mercies ſight, and, Lord, I pray,
That hateſt ſinne, wipe all my ſinnes away.Turne away thy face from my ſinnes, and do away all my miſdedes.
Sinne and deſpeir have ſo poſſeſt my hart,
And hold my captive ſoule in ſuch reſtraint,
As of thy mercies I can fele no part,
But ſtill in languor do I lye and faint.
Create a new pure hart within my breſt:
Myne old can hold no liquour of thy grace.
My feble faith with heavy lode oppreſt
Staggring doth ſcarcely creepe a reeling pace,
And fallen it is to faint to riſe againe.
Renew, O Lord, in me a conſtant ſprite,
That ſtayde with mercy may my ſoule ſuſteine,
A ſprite ſo ſetled and ſo firmely pight
Within my bowells, that it never move,
But ſtill uphold thaſſurance of thy love.Create a cleane hart within me, O God: and renew a ſtedfaſt ſpirit within my bowels.
Loe proſtrate, Lorde, before thy face I lye,
With ſighes depe drawne depe ſorow to expreſſe.
O Lord of mercie, mercie do I crye:
Dryve me not from thy face in my diſtreſſe,
Thy face of mercie and of ſwete relefe,
The face that fedes angels with onely ſight,
The face of comfort in extremeſt grefe.
Take not away the ſuccour of thy ſprite,
Thy holy ſprite, which is myne onely ſtay,
The ſtay that when deſpeir aſſaileth me,In 94 Aa6v
In fainteſt hope yet moveth me to pray,
To pray for mercy, and to pray to thee.
Lord, caſt me not from preſence of thy face,
Nor take from me the ſpirite of thy grace.Caſt me not away from thy face, and take not thy holy ſpirit from me.
But render me my wonted joyes againe,
Which ſinne hath reft, and planted in theyr place
Doubt of thy mercy ground of all my paine.
The taſt, that thy love whilome did embrace
My chearfull ſoule, the ſignes that dyd aſſure
My felyng ghoſt of favor in thy ſight,
Are fled from me, and wretched I endure
Senſleſſe of grace the abſence of thy ſprite.
Reſtore my joyes, and make me fele againe
The ſwete retorne of grace that I have loſt,
That I may hope I pray not all in vayne.
With thy free ſprite confirme my feble ghoſt,
To hold my faith from ruine and decay
With faſt affiance and aſſured ſtay.Reſtore to me the comforte of thy ſaving helpe, ; ſtabliſhe me with thy free ſpirit.
Lord, of thy mercy if thou me withdraw
From gaping throte of depe devouring hell,
Loe, I ſhall preach the juſtice of thy law:
By mercy ſaved, thy mercy ſhall I tell.
The wicked I wyll teache thyne only way,
Thy wayes to take, and mans deviſe to flee,
And ſuche as lewd delight hath ledde aſtray,
To rue theyr errour and returne to thee.
So ſhall the profe of myne example preache
The bitter frute of luſt and foule delight:
So ſhall my pardon by thy mercy teache
The way to finde ſwete mercy in thy ſight.
Hyave mercy, Lorde, in me example make
Of lawe and mercy, for thy mercies ſake.I ſhal teach thy waies unto the wicked, ; ſinnes ſhall be touruned unto thee.
O God, God of my health, my ſaving God,
Have mercy Lord, and ſhew thy might to ſave,
Aſſoile me, God, from gilt of giltleſſe blod,
And eke from ſinne that I ingrowing have
By fleſhe and bloud and by corrupted kinde.
Upon my bloud and ſoule extende not, Lorde,
Vengeance for bloud, but mercy let me finde,
And ſtrike me not with thy revengyng ſworde.
So, Lord, my joying tong ſhall talke thy praiſe,
Thy name my mouth ſhall utter in delight,
My voice ſhall ſounde thy juſtice, and thy waies,
Thy waies to juſtifie thy ſinfull wight.
God of my health, from bloud I ſaved ſo
Shall ſpred thy prayſe for all the world to know.Deliver me from bloud o God, God of my helth ; my tong ſhall joyfullye talke of thy juſtice.
Lo ſtraining crampe of colde deſpeir againe
In feble breſt doth pinche my pinyng hart,
So as in greateſt nede to cry and plaine
My ſpeache doth faile to utter thee my ſmart.
Refreſhe my yeldyng hert, with warming grace,
And looſe my ſpeche, and make me call to thee.
Lord open thou my lippes to ſhewe my caſe,
My Lord, for mercy Loe to thee I flee.
I can not pray without thy movyng ayde,
Ne can I ryſe, ne can I ſtande alone.
Lord, make me pray, ; graūunt whēen I have praide.
Lord looſe my lippes, I may expreſſe my mone,
And findyng grace with open mouth I may
Thy mercies praiſe, and holy name diſplay.Lord, open thou my lippes, and my mouth ſhal ſhewe thy praiſe.
Thy mercies praiſe, inſtede of ſacrifice,
With thankfull minde ſo ſhall I yeld to thee.
For if it were delitefull in thine eyes,
Or hereby mought thy wrath appeaſed be,Of 96 Aa7v
Of cattell ſlayne and burnt with ſacred flame
Up to the heaven the vaprie ſmoke to ſend:
Of gyltleſſe beaſtes, to purge my gilt and blame,
On altars broylde the ſavour ſhold aſcend,
To peaſe thy wrath. But thy ſwete ſonne alone,
With one ſufficing ſacrifice for all
Appeaſeth thee, and maketh the at one
With ſinfull man, and hath repaird our fall.
That ſacred hoſte is ever in thine eyes.
The praiſe of that I yeld for ſacrifice.If thou haddeſt deſired ſacrifice, I wold have geven thou delyteſt not in burnt offringes.
I yeld my ſelf, I offer up my ghoſte,
My ſlayne delightes, my dyeng hart to thee.
To God a trobled ſprite is pleaſing hoſte.
My trobled ſprite doth drede like him to be,
In whome taſtleſſe languor with lingring paine
Hath febled ſo the ſtarved appetite,
That foode to late is offred all in vaine,
To holde in fainting corps the fleing ſprite.
My pining ſoule for famine of thy grace
So feares alas the faintneſſe of my faithe,
I offre up my trobled ſprite: alas,
My trobled ſprite refuſe not in thy wrathe.
Such offring likes thee, ne wilt thou deſpiſe
The broken humbled hart in angry wiſe.The ſacrifice to God is a trobled ſpirit: a broken and an humbled hart, o god, thou wilt not deſpiſe.
Shew mercie, Lord, not unto me alone:
But ſtretch thy favor and thy pleaſed will,
To ſprede thy bountie and thy grace upon
Sion, for Sion is thy holly hyll:
That thy Hieruſalem with mighty wall
May be encloſed under thy defenſe,
And bylded ſo that it may never fall
By myning fraude or mighty violence.Defende 97 Aa8r
Defend thy chirch, Lord, and advaunce it ſoe,
So in deſpite of tyrannie to ſtand,
That trēembling at thy power the world may know
It is upholden by thy mighty hand:
That Sion and Hieruſalem may be
A ſafe abode for them that honor thee.Shew favour, o lord in thy good will unto Sion, that the walles. of Hieruſalem may be bylded.
Then on thy hill, and in thy walled towne,
Thou ſhalt receave the pleaſing ſacrifice,
The brute ſhall of thy praiſed name reſoune
In thankfull mouthes, and then with gentle eyes
Thou ſhalt behold upon thine altar lye
Many a yelden hoſt of humbled hart,
And round about then ſhall thy people crye:
We praiſe thee, God our God: thou onely art
The God of might, of mercie, and of grace.
That I then, Lorde, may alſo honor thee,
Beleve my ſorow, and my ſinnes deface:
Be, Lorde of mercie, mercifull to me:
Reſtore my feling of thy grace againe:
Aſſure my ſoule, I crave it not in vaine.Then ſhalt thou accept the ſacrifice of righteouſneſſe, burnt offringes and oblations. then ſhall they offre yonge bullockes upon thine altare.