Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

A part whereof my Saviour empted hath,
Even unto death : since he died for my good,

O do not kill me !

But 0, reprieve me ! For thou hast life and death at thy command; Thou art both Judge and Saviour, feast and rod, Cordial and Corrosive: put not thy hand Into the bitter box; but, O my God,

My God, relieve me.

LIX. THE WORLD,

Love built a stately house; where Fortune came:
And spinning fancies, she was heard to say,
That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,
Whereas they were supported by the same :
But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.

Then Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion,
Began to make Balconies, Terraces,
Till she had weaken'd all by alteration :
But reverend laws, and many a proclamation
Reformed all at length with menaces.

Then enter'd Sin, and with that Sycamore, (dew,
Whose leaves first shelter'd man from drought and
Working and winding slily evermore,
The inward walls and summers cleft and tore :
But Grace shored these, and cut that as it grew.

G

Then Sin combined with Death in a firm band,
To raze the building to the very floor :
Which they effected, none could them withstand;
But Love and Grace took Glory by the hand,
And built a braver Palace than before.

LX. COLOSS. III. 3.

OUR LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD.

My words and thoughts do both express this notion,
That LIFE hath with the sun a double motion.
The first is straight, and our diurnal friend ;
The other HID, and doth obliquely bend.
One life is wrapt in flesh, and tends to earth :
The other winds towards him, whose happy birth
Taught me to live here so, THAT still one eye
Should aim and shoot at that which is on high;
Quitting with daily labour all my pleasure,
To gain at harvest an eternal TREASURE.

LXI. VANITY.

THE fleet Astronomer can bore And thred the spheres with his quick-piercing mind: He views their stations, walks from door to door,

Surveys, as if he had design'd To make a purchase there : he sees their dances,

And knoweth long before, Both their full-ey'd aspects, and secret glances.

The nimble Diver with his side
Cuts through the working waves, that he may fetch
His dearly-earned pearl, which God did hide

On
purpose

from the venturous wretch; That he might save his life, and also hers,

Who with excessive pride
Her own destruction and his danger wears.

The subtile Chymic can divest And strip the creature naked, till he find

The callow principles within their nest :

There he imparts to them his mind, Admitted to their bed-chamber, before

They appear trim and drest To ordinary suitors at the door.

What hath not man sought out and found, But his dear God? who yet his glorious law Embosoms in us, mellowing the ground

With showers and frosts, with love and awe; So that we need not say, Where's this command ?

Poor man ! thou searchest round To find out death, but missest life at hand.

LXII. LENT.

Welcome, dear feast of Lent: who loves not thee, He loves not Temperance, or Authority,

But is composed of passion. The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says, now: Give to thy Mother what thou wouldst allow

To every Corporation.

The humble soul composed of love and fear,
Begins at home, and lays the burden there,

When doctrines disagree:
He says, in things which use hath justly got,
I am a scandal to the church, and not

The Church is so to me.

True Christians should be glad of an occasion
To use their temperance, seeking no evasion,

When good is seasonable ;
Unless Authority, which should increase
The obligation in us,

make it less,
And Power itself disable.

Besides the cleanness of sweet abstinence,
Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense,

A face not fearing light:
Whereas in fulness there are sluttish fumes,
Sour exhalations, and dishonest rheums,

Revenging the delight.

Then those same pendent profits, which the spring
And Easter intimate, enlarge the thing,

And goodness of the deed.
Neither ought other men's abuse of Lent
Spoil the good use ; lest by that argument

We forfeit all our Creed.

'Tis true, we cannot reach Christ's fortieth day ; Yet to go part of that religious way

Is better than to rest :
We cannot reach our Saviour's purity;
Yet are we bid, “ Be holy e'en as he.”

In both let's do our best.

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone, Is much more sure to meet with him, than one

That travelleth by-ways.
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn, and take me by the hand, and more,

May strengthen my decays.
Yet, Lord, instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin, and taking such repast

As

may our faults control: That

every man may revel at his door, Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,

And among those his soul.

LXIII. VIRTUE.

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky,
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;

For thou must die.

Sweet rose,

whose hue

angry

and brave Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye, Thy root is ever in its grave,

And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,
My music shows

ye
have

your closes,
And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives ;
But though the whole world turn to coal,

Then chiefly lives.

« ForrigeFortsett »