Elizabeth Major (fl. 1650s)

For a biographical summary of the life and writings of Elizabeth Major, click here.

Honey on the Rod:

Or a comfortable

CONTEMPLATION

For one in

AFFLICTION;

With Sundry

POEMS

On several

SUBJECTS.


By the unworthiest of the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, Elizabeth Major.


Rom. 8. 18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be

compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.


London, Printed by Tho: Maxey, in Thames-street, near Baynards Castle, 1656.

October 8, 1655.

Imprimatur,

Joseph Caryl.

Courteous Reader,

It hath been said and found more then once, and in this ensuing Treatise (compiled by an afflicted Gentlewoman) it is found once more, That the School of the Crosse, is the School of light; or, that the Lord gives instruction with correction. It is a strong Argument, that they have received Light or Instruction who readily give it.

Reader, Unity and peruse this bundle of Meditations knit together by a heart and hand long exercised under a heavy crosse, and thou wilt soon perceive, That as Christ hath dropt honey into her soul from the Rod, so her pen drops honey into thy soul; take but a little of it (the All is not much) and taste it, as Jonathan did the honey upon the end of the rod that was in his hand (I Sam. 14) and be thy eyes, as his, may possibly be inlightned if thou art in darkness, and thy heart comforted if thou art in sadnesse.

JOSEPH CARYL

SIN and MERCY

Briefly Discovered:


Or


The vail taken a little

from before both.


Together with the AUTHORS

Accusation, Confession, and Belief.

With Deaths Progress.


And a particular Application of the

Book of Jonas.

————————————————

By the unworthiest of the servants of the

Lord Jesus Christ, Elizabeth Major

————————————————

Rom. 13.12,13,14. The night is past, and the day is

at hand, let us therefore cast away the works of

darkness, and let us put on the armor of light, so

that we walk honestly as in the day, not in gluttony

and drunkenness, neither in chambering and wan-

tonness, nor in strife and envying; but put ye on

the Lord Jesus Christ and take no thought for the

flesh, to fulfil the lusts of it.

————————————————

London, Printed by Tho: Maxcy. 1656.

————————————————

Place this before the Poems.

Courteous Readers,

You that will not judge, nor condemn before you read and consider, nor value so much from whence it came, as what it is that is come to your view; to you I say, that Nature and Grace hath made tender in judging, if you please so far to descend, as to cast an eye upon these poor Lines presented to you: You may behold in it a little (but a full) Hive. I intreat thee not to be offended, if thou finde in it more wax then honey, and more dross then either: the honey (the Divine part) I commend to thee, and the wax (the moral part) being clarified from the dross (that is, the faults and failings through weakness) is usefull in its place; nay, the faults and failings are not to be past over without making some use of them, for they may make thee double thy watch upon all occasions, knowing that if but a crevise of our hearts lie open, sin stands ready to enter, and so to soil our best actions (probatum est.) Therefore I confess if there be any thing in these poor worthless Lines, worthy thy commendation, know, it is the Lord my teachers (but what is faulty is mine) who is pleased to give me my experiences this drop from his Ocean, & I humbly desire to return it into the Ocean of his praises. And now to shew in some measure his dealings with me, that others might be incouraged to trust him in all conditions; Know that he was pleased in the prime of my years to taken me, as it were, from a Palace to a Prison, from liberty to bondage, where I have served some Apprentiships, so much I exceeded others in a dead and dull blockishness: O how uncapable of learning the trade driven in Heaven am I! not a secret it can understand without a knock, though I confess done with much tenderness; for he was pleased to own me as one of the poor Scholars in the School, of the lowest Form, and according to my weakness he dealt with me: He was likewise pleased for some years to exercise me with much trouble, so that I seldom saw the day, before I saw or heard of some cause of sorrow nearly related to me, from the sound of which I would fain have fled: O how exceedingly I strove, for gladly would I have been released, by means used, without being beholding to a God, such actings, I confess, as became not one who would be owned as a servant to such a Master; for while I had either means or friends to procure advice, the great Physician was neglected; for the reins being in some measure laid in my neck, I did like the Prodigal, run my self out of all before I looked back: But alas, when I had seen and considered what a gulf of misery I had plunged my self in, and what power it was that had blasted me in all that I had used, and against which I had acted; then, O then I feared, lest that power being backed by Justice should have consumed me; and it is the desire of my soul, ever to love and admire it because it did not.

Likewise, I considered his wisdom to be so great, in opposing me in the use of means, that I would not for a thousand Worlds but have been so opposed: and for his free mercy I am silenced into a holy admiration, that never such a Majesty to offend, should please to afflict, when he might with so much justice have consumed me: Therefore these three attributes, his Power, Wisdom and Mercy, did for some time take up the thoughts of my heart; and sure God was pleased in mercy thus to exercise me, that so it might divert and take off my thoughts from that, that might have been prejudicial to the glory of his free mercy and my eternal good.

And for the making it publique, know, the kind acceptance I knew it would finde from some, and the good it might do to others, prevented my looking upon it as waste Paper, choosing rather to adventure it abroad upon these hopes, then out of fear, dreading the censures of others conceal it; onely this may cause some trouble in me, I think it will finde none of so low a birth as it self, therefore may want a companion, and peradventure may meet with disdain for the Parents sake; but for this there is a comfort, for the subject will be the honor of it, being a comfortable Contemplation for a poor sin besmearched soul, shewing ( though weakly) that there is a precious Fountain set open for sin and for uncleanness; and the way to obtain a washing in it, is by a true Faith (a precious gift) in the Spring or Head of this Fountain Jesus Christ, for all our Springs are in him; it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell: for of him, and through him, and for him are all things: To him be the glory for ever. Amen.

Thine in Christ Jesus,

Elizabeth Major.



Courteous Reader,

The writing of these Lines, in to shew the occasion of the insuing discourse: therefore I shall declare the first of my going out into the world: I was, till the fifteenth or sixteenth year of my age, brought up by a godly and careful Father (my Mother being taken from me in my infancy) from whom I went to a great and honorable Family, where no vice I think was tolerated; and under a wise and vertuous Governess, I lived nere ten years, til God was pleased to visit me with Lameness, by the taking of a great heat and cold; which weakness did not violently seize on me, but my degrees deprived me of my strength, and in a short time made me almost unable to go or help my self: Then was I forc’t to repair home to my Father again, where I was persued with an inordinate desire of recovery; and having some money in my own hands, I endeavored the accomplishing of that desire, without an humble and obedient submission to the will of God in it ( and this, O this was my great evil( therefore he was pleased to let me take my course in the search of it, but blasted me in all I used, so that I spent all, and was much worse.

Now it often hapned in my resort to those that pretended skill in lameness (with whom I sometimes lodged) that they were such a people, as I did not know (by experience) had been in the world, vertue being at such a distance from them, and vice tolerated in their habitation, and such evils as I could not think had been in a Gospel-age.

Therefore being returned home, where upon serious consideration I saw my folly, and found that I had lost much time, in which I had offended God, and deprived my self of that little health I enjoyed, spent my money, and onely gaining a sight and knowledge of those things, I humbly desire my soul may never abhor; therefore I had no rest in me, till I had shewed my indignation against what so much offended me.

Now for my writing against some sins, know (they were the fruits of some sad hours) in the particularing of some, all are included: But it may be some will say, There are sins named, that your blushing Sex should want confidence to mention. To this I answer, Sure I am, that fewer ever writ against them, then committed them: O I fear, I fear there is no sin under the Sun, but some one or other of my Sex have been stained with the guilt of it ( I wish my judgement failed in this;) therefore I desire to put on a holy confidence, and not to blush to declare the hatred of my soul against any of them.

For when I had in my thoughts in some measure unmasked sin, and saw the ugly deformity of it, and how there was no sin but might in some kind be owned by me, the seed of all by nature being in me, free grace onely making the difference; I thought I might, without offence to any, shew how much I abhor the things I have seen and heart to be acted under the sun.

And now to you, O my friends, I present these poor and undrest lines, being as they came into the world, I not finding any hand to help me to put it into a better dress then what it brought with it.

For though I was not ambitious of a beautiful babe, yet I confess I would gladly have had it appear comely; therefore where you finde it harsh or uneven, know, it should not have come abroad so, had not my ignorance to finde the fault been the cause of it. Yet I beseech you, though faulty, to accept it, hoping that in it you shall finde truth and plainness; so that if it do no good in the world, yet it will do no hurt, still serving me here as my lesson to learn and practice, till summoned by death; and then I shall leave it as a Legacy to my friends, whose Prayers I beg, and shall by the help of my Savior return mine for them.

Elizabeth Major.



SIN and MERCY

Briefly Discovered.


Consolation.

What ailst O Soul, so sadly here to lie,

Besmear’d with grief? for oft I hear thee cry,

What shall I do, or whether shall I go,

To be reliev’d of this my heavy wo?


Soul.

O I am sick even ready now to die,

Yet none gives comfort to my misery.


Consolation.

Alas what is the cause of this thy grief?

Conceal it not, you may so finde relief:

Tell me, I pray, what is’t oppresseth you,

You thus complain? fear not, I will be true:

Doth this distemper from some humor grow?

Thy grief thou must to some Physician show:

Or doth it rise from the sad thoughts of sin,

Which a long season thou hast lived in?


Soul.

O that’s the cause for which I cry, I pray

To Christ for help, while her, while here I stay,

From my sad eyes a brinish shower may fall;

And beg for pardning mercy, even for all.

The sins that ever I committed have,

Upon my bended knees, lo here I crave:

Therefore if comfort you to me can give,

I pray conceal it not, that I may live

To bless the time I you did meet withal,

And to assist you, on the most high call.


Consolation

Is this the cause, O soul, thou moan dost make?

Why then weep on; and let thy heart still ake

At every thought of sin, let none pass by;

Not thy beloved ones, but for all cry,

And sue for mercy: O sure thou needst not fear,

But humbly wait, thee in his time he’l hear,

And answer too; look thorow that deep died glass

Of his blest wounds, let them not slightly pass

Thy serious thought: There view the price he paid,

By faith behold the satisfaction made

By his blest self: for know his gift is free,

As well as full, out of love did he

Give his blest Son: In steps of mercy trace

Thy righteous God, unto the throne of Grace,

Where humbly lay thy self as low as dust,

Beholding nought below a Christ that must

Afford thee comfort: O raise thy thoughts to him,

And let his love constrain thee to hate sin.

Let dearest love, I say, unite thee still

To thy Lord Christ; submit unto his will

In thy requests: Believe with him you shall

Injoy a God, for with a Christ comes all:

Then ponder well, my soul, the thing you’d have,

And humbly wait, as well as humbly crave.


Soul.

’Tis reconcilement to my offended God

(Whose sins deserv’d a sword, although a rod

He pleas’d to take) a free discharge from all

My sad offences, under the which I fall:

If he help not that’s mighty, alas my crimes

Are hainous, behold the place, the times

Come in against me; O where then can I haste?


Consolation.

I say again, unto the throne of Grace.

Believe God is, and that reward he will

The faithful seekers, believe, believe him still;

’Tis life eternal to know thy God to be

The onely very God, and Christ to see

As sent from him, a Savior unto thee;

Believ’t for truth, the work that he begins

By his blest Spirit, he to perfection brings:

Conversion then’s his work, O seek, O pray,

And humbly wait, seek him, seek him, I say,

That’s found of them that sought him not: O he

That’s hight and lofty, inhabiting Eternity,

Rest no, till born again, thy heart new fram’d,

Old things to hate; O blush, O be asham’d

To feed on husks, when childrens bread is free.

Are crums for dogs, and yet but husks for thee?

There’s milk for babes, and meat for stronger men

At thy Fathers Table; leave husks for them

That live Swine like, the fare’s too low, too mean

For high born souls, as thine being born again;

For gracious souls relish no meaner fare

Then lovely Christ his service is their care;

For he’s a tender Lord, and will not break

A bruised reed, though impotent and weak:

A torrent of corruptions shall not drown,

The kindled spark that mercy doth surround:

What then if gifts be small, droop not, for they

Deck not for Heaven. grace onely wins the day.

Therefore Saint Pauls advice I with thee take,

Let him that stole, that filthy sin forsake:

Hast thou unjustly the goods of any got?

It felt ’Twill waste with it a well gain’d stock.

Alas, be careful, keep it not, make speed,

Restore the same, make peace; for know the deed

Which thou hast done is naught, alas thy God

Thou hast offended, believ’t he with his rod

Will thee correct: If thou repent not now,

His wrath may kindle, and his angry brown

He’l bend against thee; I wish thee not to stay;

Hast for a pardon, Believe, believe and pray:

And then for comfort, if thou of Thieves wert chief,

Thy Savior once had mercy on a thief.


Soul.

Lord, unto thee I come, who onely art

Able to pay my debt, and inrich my heart

With saving Grace. O empty’t of all dross,

I, with Saint Paul count all, save thee, but loss,

And with Zaccheus restore; then maist thou say,

Into this soul salvations come this day:

For none directs the heart to good, I see,

But thy blest self; therefore I halte to thee,

Humbly desiring, that though my store be small,

My love and prayers may extend to all.

Assist me Lord, to do what good I may,

And where I would but cannot, let love, I pray,

Still hover there, for all I want is thee,

And thou badst ask, therefore I haste to thee:

If Lord thou be my Pilot, my ship to steer,

Though tost with tempests, yet no wrack I fear;

Keep then this Bark from roving, and let it be,

Fill’d with thy gales and mounted up to thee.



On Pride caused by Wealth.


Consolation.

Or is it pride? Alas, how low’s the rate

The soul’s at, whom an angry God doth hate?

What is’t transports thee thus beyond thy self;

Is’t honor, beauty, strength, wisdom or wealth?

If wealth that puffs thee, stay and take a view,

For in the day of wrath wealth will not do

Thee any good, ‘Tis righteousness prevails;

Experience shews, abused wealth oft fails:

What secret unseen ways to waste a store,

A God offended hath? he can make poor.

For soon the Giver can thy treasures turn

Into flame, them and thy self to burn:

The moth can eat thy garments, and cankred rust

Thy bags of treasure, if once accurst;

Besides, wealth and content we often see

At variance, where wealth is, content wont be.

Again, they have Eagles wings, and will obey

Their Lords commission, and halt away:

Or if death come, while you in wealth do flow,

No gifts can stay him, no riches here below

Regardeth he; he’l not esteem thee more

Because thou art rich, nor slight thee, being poor:

All that that wise rich King could ever see

Under the Sun, he calls but vanity;

Yet I confess the rich hath larger powers

To do good, and to be so; for their hours

Are not consum’d with sweaty toil; I say,

The poor mans labor scarce ends with the day:

Therefore if rich, desire, desire to be

A wise rich man, a danger to foreseee:

Prosperity in Religion, I have heard say,

As Ivy is to th’ Oak, ’Twill suck away

The heart and life, but makes the Oak decay.

O then if rich, shun pride, relieve the poor,

Praise God for wealth, pray him to bless thy store;

If poor, despair not, Gods providence you see

Extends to Sparrows, believe, and ’Twill to thee:

If betwixt both, thy state I hold the best,

Who hath to give, and wants not, lives at rest:

Yet, O my soul, be thou obedient still,

In all estates submit unto his will:


Soul.

Is wealth unconstant, is danger hid therein?

Is love of it the root of every sin?

Is here nought then, but vain and empty shows?

Is nothing here wherewith the soul can close?

Is here one great? hath another riches store?

Are some in th’ mean? do others live but poor?

Is wealth so various as oft to take a flight,

To inrich at noon, forsake before’t be night?

Then, O my soul, away, and sees true wealth,

That rust nor moth can’t eat, nor thief by stealth

Deprive thee of; away, hie to the brest

From whence it flows, and where’s eternal rest.

And Lord, while here I stay, grant me content

And grace to praise thee, what-ever here is sent:

O give me, Lord, true faith, then shall I flie

From all that’s earth, and mount to thee on high.



On Pride caused by Honor.


Consolation

Or is’t with honors airy wings you flie?

If’t be usurp’d, or else abus’d, ’Twil lie

As low as dust, thy self with it shall fall,

For presidents to minde the stories call

Of Absalom, lo through by ways he try’d

To get a Crown, in which attempt he dy’d.

Remember Herod, who took more then his due,

For which presumption, the silly worms him slew.

And that proud King, who’ld not confess that God

Was King of Kings, until he felt his rod;

Who then his throne must quit, he, he alas

Must like a beast, even with beast eat grass;

The fields his Palace, his Canopy the skies,

The earths his pallet, where his body lies;

Which body must be wet with heavens dew,

His hair like eagles feathers on him grew,

And nails like to birds claws, all honor’s split,

Where now’s great Babel he for’s honor built?

From men he’s driven, he with beasts must grase,

Till he confesseth God, and gives him praise:

His kingdoms then restor’d, his former grace

He then receives; the proud, God can abase:

The wise man doth the truest way descry,

Before true honor goes humility:

If through a vertuous life thou fitted be

For honor, and honor be fit for thee;

Climb not that hill through by-ways. God will see,

And take his time to make a search for thee:

What if in Egypts Prison? he’l take thee thence,

And make of thee an high Egyptian Prince.

What if a shepherd? thy God thy same can bring,

Unto the Court, anoint thee Israels King:

What if a Captive? at Court thou shalt be seen,

Be lik’d and lov’d, and made a glorious Queen.

Let worthless brambles for a Kingdom cry,

Let thy care be, to reign eternally:

It is his promise, he will a Kingdom give

Unto his own, to reign with him and live.


Soul.

I see all honor’s vain, decay it must,

To day mount high to morrow as low as dust:

’Tis others actions, and their airy breath

Must give the honor, as vain it is as earth:

Therefore the honor I on earth do crave,

Is here to serve my Lord; that while I have

A Pilgrimage on earth, my care may be

In all my acts, to praise and honor thee.

That life being finish’d. all past that transitory,

I be partaker in thy eternal glory.



On Pride caused by Beauty.


Consolation

Or is it beauty that delighteth thee,

That one days’s flower? for beauty that we see

In most perfection, may blasted be ere night,

A Cherub face that pleas’d, now may affright,

Being liable to change while here it is:

Or if it escape, old age it cannot miss:

Or say it flourish, it may prove a snare

Unto the owners, beauty requires care;

It draws most eyes, yet it with vertue deck,

And vertue will give to those eyes a check

That dare to send a tainted look to harm,

Or wrong her honor that by vertu’s arm’d;

All eqyal welcome finde such ill suits bring,

The poor as rich, the beggar as the King.

’Twill shun all places where such Serpents dwell,

Or flee the nest before it break the shell;

Corrupted breaths it loathes: an outward grace

Goes with the inward, both waiting on the face

That’s truly beauteous; the grace that is Divine

Makes it more lovely, and with more luster shine.

Sure beauty void of grace is but a trap

To catch fond fools, the wise regard not that.

I have seen vertue lov’d through’t hath been set

But in an ordinary Cabinet;

And beauty loath’d when given to excess,

Or else corrupted with lasciviousness;

Therefore I’le value beauty where I finde,

It is adorned with a vertuous minde.


Soul.

Make me, O Lord, like the Kings Daughter, which

That beauty hath that’s truly called such;

And with thy grace, O deck my naked soul,

Then own thy own, in mercy me beheld:

O make me lovely, frame my heart aright,

That thou mayest like, and then be my delight:

For ‘Tis that beauty, ‘Tis that (Lord) I crave

That is within, that beauty I would have;

For that’s the beauty thou (my beautious Lord)

Art pleased with, that beauty me afford.



On Pride caused by Strength.


Consolation.

Or is it strength thou boast’st of? it can’t afford

Thee help in need, ’Tis weakness with the Lord.

If thou on it presume, he soon can turn

It into weakness, but said with him, and done:

Witness Goliath, who David did reject,

Who slang a stone, which stone God did direct

Into his fore-head, which fell’d him there to lie

Till David came, then must this Giant die:

Yet not of strength or weapons, David boasts,

His hope was in his God, the Lord of hosts:

If he but to his weakest Creatures say,

Go seize that strength, they suddenly obey

His voice, and bring that strength unto the grave:

Us they exceed, they’l do what he would have.

Suppose a fiery feaver press thy heart,

’Twill soon send weakness into every part;

Or if some anguish fits thy strong limbs shake,

How wil’t infeeble thee, and thy strength break?

Or if thy Maker please to melt away

Thy strength by secret ways, what a decay

Of nature grows? but by what means, or when,

Thou canst not tell; so wastes the strength of men.

What strange unheard of ways God brings about,

Strength to suppress, when once the word is out.

Experience tells, we almost daily see,

Some well man sick, some strong man weak to be:

They fall like leaves, strength goes when he doth call,

And the weak conquers, if he but say they shall.

Gideons three hundred made an Army flie,

Whose multitude like Grashoppers did lie:

Then, O my soul, request him to increase,

And strengthen faith, and give thee his true peace.


Soul.

O great Jehovah, everlasting strength, I know,

Abides with thee, all’s weakness here below:

All strength but thine is vain, to thee I cry

For strength in weakness, help in misery;

And grant that strength wherein I glory most,

May be in thee the mighty Lord of host.

O give me thy true grace, that never I

May swallow mercies here unthankfully:

But look on those, who better, yet lower be,

And let thy mercy raise my heart to thee.



On Pride caused by Wisdom.


Consolation.

Or art thou proud of Wisdom? alas ’Twill fail,

If in the common stream thou hoist thy sail,

And stear thy course but with Ahithophel,

The Haven to expect, must needs be hell:

‘Tis Gods own word, mans wisdom is with me

But foolishness, their wise men fools shall be;

Those that with worldly wisdom most abound,

God can by foolish things their wit confound.

Not many wise, nor mighty men are chose,

Nor many noble, the richest prize they lose:

What will our rich, wise Politicians say,

When all their Hell-fetch’d wisdom faileth, nay,

Shall never fail to to tice them still along,

To hear their doom, Depart from me, be gone,

I know you not, you fools, my love I say

You fold, for naught, depart, depart away?

They’l curse the wisdom then that made them lay

Their souls at stake, nay curse the very day

They their own counsel took, in which they toil

Their souls to ruine, and of true joy beguile.

True wisdom hath a far more beautious face,

Though oft with wants obscur’d, yet hath a grace

That far out-shines all painted wisdom here,

That is esteem’d of most, but comes not near

True wisdom, which is the true fear of God,

This hath a Crown, the other hath a rod:

True wisdom hateth pride, all evil ways

She doth abhor, no lewdness in her stays;

She doth exceed the gold of Ophir far,

And precious stones are of no price to her:

The Kings and Princes her inferiors be,

And stand amazed at her Majesty.

Blest is the man that in his search shall gain

This noble princess, who’s known by her train,

Wisdom and Prudence house-companions be,

Counsel and strength within her Courts I see:

The waiting-women that on this Princess tends,

Are the true glory, and time that never ends:

Knowledge and justice in her Courts resides,

And lasting pleasures in her Palace bides:

Riches and Honor her commands attend,

Joy and delights upon her friends descend:

And those that to her Palace of delight

Will please to come, she’l honor with her fight;

Though mean she’l love them, if they’l her imbrace,

She’l them preserve, with favors them she’l grace;

She will intract them in the ways of peace,

And from her labor she will never cease,

Until she bring thy soul into her rest,

Casting it safely in thy Saviors brest:

This is true wisdom, that makes a soul to see

Itself as nothing, its all in Christ to be:

Now in my pilgrimage I cannot finde,

Under the Sun, one thing to proud the minde;

Yet where these do exceed, or stem to smile,

Oft prove but Traytors, and with pride they’l soil

Ungarded hearts. O then resist, keep in

Aspiring thoughts, they’l blaze else into sin:

And when that flame is broke about thy ears,

What is’t can quench it, but repenting tears?

Tears from a heart opprest with sense of sin,

Streams to the Fountain that’s open to bath it;

Then like sad Jeremy thou’l act a part,

And weep in secret for the pride of heart:

Then you’l consider what’s lent, improv’d must be

To the givers glory; for know ’Tis he, ’Tis he

Will call thee to a reckoning, and if thou show

No good account, a Sentence then of wo

Must pass, and thou to utter darkness go:

O then, my soul, be humble, of low estate

In thy own eyes, shun pride at any rate.


Soul.

O righteous Lord, what ere my talent be,

Give me a heart, directed Lord, by thee

How it to use, to sute best with thy will,

For thy assistance grant I may beg still:

Lord, if it be wealth, give with it such a heart,

That for thy sake the poor may have a part:

Lord if’t be honor, give with’t humility,

Counting my chiefest honors, to honor thee:

Lord, if’t be beauty, give with’t a vertuous soul

In it thee to admire, thy name t’ extol:

Lord, if’t be strength, then sanctifie the same

Unto thy service, thereby to praise thy name:

Lord, if’t be wisdom, grant it be in thee,

To search thy will, and do it, O bless’t to me;

Ground it, I beg, upon the rock that’s sure,

To ride out storms, and to the end endure.

What ere’s the gift inrich my heart with grace,

I may with joy behold thy glorious face:

Then give, O Lord, what talent thou shalt like,

So thou hast glory, I grace to use it right.



On Immodesty.


Consolation.

Or is’t immodesty, that dark sin of night?

A night-Owl fiend, whose black guilt hates the light.

For if a modest tongue the dark deeds name,

Acted by some, a crimson blush should stain

Their innocence; yet God’s All-seeing eye

Those deeds of darkness he doth see, and pry

Into the heart, beholding with what love

This sin is here committed; although above,

Yet over-sees the ill chose ways we trudge,

And for the same in the last day he’l judge:

For England sure doth Sodom pass in sins,

O here’s committed unseen, unheard of things,

To former ages: by my own Sex are done,

Things but to name, would taint a modest tongue:

Therefore my self I’ll silence, since tongue nor ear,

Of a chast soul can’t it describe, nor hear:

For certainly, ’Tis scarce unknown to any,

With grief I speak, ill’s acted by too many:

But hear thy sentence, of whatere degree,

Gods face with comfort never look to see:

But as an angry Judge (who judgeth true,

Although he crow’d thee with a damned crew)

Unless thou now repent, lost time thou’lt rue;

Know late repentance is not always true:

Therefore flie sin, with speed hast to thy God,

Behold, he frowns, O look he shakes his rod:

Turn then from sin, that makes a God unkinde,

With speed repent, with faith seek Christ and finde;

Perhaps he’l own thy debt, make known thy fame,

That thou art one for whom to die he came:

Who knows but he in thy distress may cry,

Doth none condemn thee? believ’t neither do I.

But go not hence with half an arrant, sure

If now acquitted, thou must sin no more.

O then, my soul, sue in that blessed Name,

Believe that he to die for sinners came,

To lose sins fetters, from Prison set thee free,

And of a slave to make a Prince of thee:

O then be humble, repent without delay,

For time hath wings, see how it posts away.


Soul.

Away all wanton thoughts, flie hence, be gone,

I you abhor, for your dark deeds too long

I favored, I’le your inchantings flie,

And post to Christ, beg faith on him to lie;

I’le lay before him body, soul, and sin,

And beg his righteousness to cover them:

Even at his feet, I’le fall, his mercy crave.

By faith make known, his favor I would have;

And though great clouds of sins my self can see,

Yet hold loves banner between them and thee:

And grant, O savior, I thee no more offend,

But in thy service my time on earth I spent.



On Drunkenness.


Consolation.

Or is it Drunkenness thou wallowest in,

That Beast-like Monster, that sense-bereaving sin?

That reason doth unhouse, gives vice the place,

Provokes thy God, brings thee in deep disgrace:

It thee despots, the bravest spirits then

Stand as despised, being more beasts then men:

There’s many humors, which I can’t descry,

Some I observ’d even as a stander by;

Some silent in that humor, and being come,

Unto themselves, do grieve for what is done:

Others are over-kinde, then if you crave

A high priz’d thing, ‘Tis then but ask and have:

Some are immodest, contentious, bent on ill,

Abusing all that seem to cross their will,

Others are stupid, sensless, nay, for a time,

Seem dead, their Spirits are so soak’d in wine:

Others are raging mad, blaspheme and kill;

Their Maker, and their friends then suffer ill

From them that reason flies, ‘Twont take thy part,

As loath to lodge within a Drunkards heart:

Thou fit’st thy self a subject for the fiend

Who hates thy good, seducing thee to sin;

Therefore beware, left in that hot carere,

Upon the wall a hideous hand appear,

Writing thy doom, ’Twill make thy knees to shake,

Thy joints ’Twill loosen, send far to every part:

Go weep an Ocean, go sale to Christ therein,

For a sea of tears can’t wash away one sin;

Make sighs the gales of wind to wast thee on

That brinish sea, go sigh, go weep alone:

If that wont do, if possible it might,

Weep tears of blood, go weep, weep day and night.

But yet remember tears are indifferent

And can’t admit of audience, unless they are sent

From troubled souls, ’Tis not all tears that flow,

But godly tears, that must for current go;

Sail in that sea, to him commands the storms,

Perchance he’l keep thee safe from farther harms,

The tempest still, and make the winds to cease,

Dry up thy tears, and bring thee to his peace;

If thou no time neglect, but humbly crave

Admittance through a Christ, thou maist it have:

For he can grant what-ever you request,

And he shall like, and bring thee to his rest.

Old counts he’l clear, sins past he’l never view,

If thou hast faith, and thy repentance true:

Then leave that loathsom path, let none I say,

Intice thee further in that steepy way.


Soul.

Lord, I confess, that reason, sense, and all

Thou dost bestow (save grace) too little shall

Be to resist temptations, sometimes that we

Are tempted with; Alas, then how can he

Resist the last, that robs himself of those,

Which in that day should help him to oppose:

O no, all’s not enough, Lord, to withstand

Temptations that assault on either hand.

And now, O Lord, I do confess, that part

Of all corrupted seed is in my heart;

And when ill seed shall fall upon ill ground,

What fruit is there, but rotten and unsound?

Corrupted works are strong, alas I say,

’Tis easie to walk in a desired way:

And if this sin, or others, don’t act in me,

The praise to thy preventing mercies be:

I do beseech thee, increase my hate to this,

And other sins, O pardon what’s amiss:

And Lord, thy grace I do most humbly crave

All ill to flie, and do as thou would’st have,

That to the rule of a new creature I

On earth may walk that when thou call’st to die,

Mercy and peace may on my soul attend,

And with my Lord have joys that never end.



On Covetousness.


Consolation.

Or is it covetousness, that golden Divel

As many use it? that ground and root of evil,

Which like a Christmas Box, till brok’t has been,

Can’t vent the treasure that’s inclosed within:

Thy sins and bags being full, suspect with fear,

Lest thou art broke, and what is held most dear

Abroad be scattered, for wealth hath made thee poor,

Thou wantst in plenty, thy sins increase the more

For his lent treasure, ungrateful thou hast been,

And for thy wealth, rewarded him with sin:

Thou hast not learn’d that art to get a living,

To feed the poor, and to grow rich by giving.

When thou shalt on thy restless death-bed lie,

How wouldst thou make thy earthen angels flie,

To gain assurance of eternity?

But hark what once was said, Thy coyn and