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Michael Wigglesworth

A Prayer unto Christ

The Judge Of The World

O Dearest Dread, most glorious King,
I'le of thy justest Judgements sing:
So thou my head and heart inspire,
To Sing aright, as I desire.
Thee, thee alone I'le invocate,
For I do much abominate
To call the Muses to mine aid:
Which is th' Unchristian use, and trade
Of some that Christians would be thought,
And yet they worship worse then nought.
Oh! what a deal of Blasphemy,
And Heathenish Impiety,
In Christian Poets may be found,
Where Heathen gods with praise are Crown'd,
They make Jehovah to stand by,
Till Juno, Venus, Mercury,
With frowning Mars, and thundering Jove
Rule Earth below, and Heaven above.

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To The Christian Reader

Reader, I am a fool;
And have adventured
To play the fool this once for Christ,
The more his fame to spread.
If this my foolishness
Help thee to be more wise,
I have attained what I seek,
And what I onely prize.

Thou wonderest perhaps,
That I in Print appear,
Who to the Pulpit dwell so nigh,
Yet come so seldome there.
The God of Heaven knows
What grief to me it is,
To be with-held from Serving Christ:
No sorrow like to this.

This is the sorest pain
That I have felt of feel:

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The Day Of Doom

Still was the night, Serene & Bright,
when all Men sleeping lay;
Calm was the season, & carnal reason
thought so 'twould last for ay.
Soul, take thine ease, let sorrow cease,
much good thou hast in store:
This was their Song, their Cups among,
the Evening before.

Wallowing in all kind of sin,
vile wretches lay secure:
The best of men had scarcely then
their Lamps kept in good ure.
Virgins unwise, who through disguise
amongst the best were number'd,
Had closed their eyes; yea, and the wise
through sloth and frailty slumber'd.

For at midnight brake forth a Light,
which turn'd the night to day,

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Vanity of Vanities

A Song of Emptiness
To Fill up the Empty Pages Following

Vain, frail, short liv'd, and miserable Man,
Learn what thou art when thine estate is best:
A restless Wave o'th' troubled Ocean,
A Dream, a lifeless Picture finely drest:

A Wind, a Flower, a Vapour, and a Bubble,
A Wheel that stands not still, a trembling Reed,
A rolling Stone, dry Dust, light Chaff, and Stubble,
A Shadow of Something, but nought indeed.

Learn what deceitful Toyes, and empty things,
This World, and all its best Enjoyments bee:
Out of the Earth no true Contentment springs,
But all things here are vexing Vanitee.

For what is Beauty, but a fading Flower?
Or what is Pleasure, but the Devils bait,

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A Short Discourse on Eternity

[ 1 ]

What Mortal man can with his Span
mete out Eternity?
Or fathom it by depth of Wit,
or strength of Memory?
The lofty Sky is not so high,
Hells depth to this is small:
The World so wide is but a stride,
compared therewithall.

Isa. 57:15
Mark. 3:29
Matt. 25:46

[ 2 ]

It is a main great Ocean,
withouten bank or bound:
A deep Abyss, wherein there is

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A Postscript unto the Reader

And now good Reader, I return again
To talk with thee, who hast been at the pain
To read throughout, and heed what went before;
And unto thee I'le speak a little more.
Give ear, I pray thee, unto what I say,
That God may hear thy voice another day.
Thou hast a Soul, my friend, and so have I,
To save or lose; a Soul that cannot die,
A soul of greater price than God and Gems;
A Soul more worth than Crowns and Diadems;
A Soul at first created like its Maker,
And of Gods Image made to be partaker:
Upon the wings of Noblest faculties,
Taught for to soar above the Starry Skies,
And not to rest, until it understood
It self possessed of the chiefest good.
And since the Fall, thy Soul retaineth still
Those Faculties of Reason and of Will,
But Oh, how much deprav'd, and out of frame,
As if they were some others, not the same.

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