Verse > Lucy Hutchinson > Order and Disorder
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Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681).  Order and Disorder.  1679.
 
Meditations on the Creation,
As recorded in the First Chapter of Genesis.
 
MY ravisht soul, a pious ardour fires,
To sing those mystick wonders it admires,
Contemplating the Rise of every thing
That, with Times birth, flow’d from th’ eternal spring:
And the no less stupendious Providence        5
By which discording Natures ever since
Have kept up universal Harmonie;
While in one joynt obedience all agree,
Performing that to which they were design’d
With ready inclination; But Mankind        10
Es. 10.5,6,7, &c.Alone rebels against his Makers will,
Which tho’ opposing he must yet fulfill.
And so that wise Power, who each crooked stream
Most rightly guides, becomes the glorious theam
Of endless admiration, while we see,        15
Whatever mortals vain endeavours be,
Eccl. 6.10.They must be broken who with Power contend,
Es. 27.4.And cannot frustrate their Creators End,
Gen. 45.4,5.Whose Wisdom, Goodness, Might and Glory shines
Act. 2.23.In guiding mens unto his own designs.        20
Gen. 50.20.    In these outgoings would I sing his praise,
But my weak sense with the too glorious rays
Is struck with such confusion, that I find
Only the worlds first Chaos in my mind,
Where Light and Beauty lie wrapt up in seed,        25
And cannot be from the dark prison freed,
Except that Power, by whom the world was made,
My soul in her imperfect strugglings aid,
Her rude conceptions into forms dispose,
And words impart, which may those forms disclose.        30
    O thou eternal spring of glory, whence
Jam. 1.17.All other streams derive their excellence,
From whose Love issues every good desire,
Quicken my dull earth with celestial fire,
And let the sacred theam that is my choice,        35
Give utterance and musick to my voice,
Rom. 1.15.Singing the works by which thou art reveal’d.
What dark Eternity hath kept conceal’d
From mortals apprehensions, what hath been
Before the race of Time did first begin,        40
Deut. 29.29.It were presumptuous folly to enquire.
Let not my thoughts beyond their bound aspire,
Time limits mortals, and Time had its birth,
Gen. 1.1.In whose Beginning God made Heaven and Earth.
    God, the great Elohim, to say no more,        45
Whose sacred Name we rather must adore
Job 11.7.Than venture to explain; for He alone
1 Tim. 6.16.Dwells in himself, and to himself is known,
& 1.17.And so, even that by which we have our sight,
Ps. 104.2.His covering is, He clothes himself with light.        50
Easier we may the winds in prison shut,
The whole vast Ocean in a nut-shell put,
Es. 40.12.The Mountains in a little ballance weigh,
And with a Bullrush plumm the deepest Sea,
Than stretch frail humane thought unto the height        55
Of the great God, Immense, and Infinite,
Job 38.Containing all things in himself alone,
Being at once in all, contain’d in none.
Yet as a hidden spring appears in streams,
The Sun is seen in its reflected beams,        60
Whose high embodied Glory is too bright,
Too strong an object for weak mortal sight;
Rom. 1.20.So in Gods visible productions, we
Heb. 11.27.What is invisible, in some sort see;
While we considering each created thing,        65
Are led up to an uncreated spring,
And by gradations of successive Time,
Esai. 44.6.At last unto Eternity do climb,
As we in tracks of second causes tread
Unto the first uncaused cause are led;        70
And know, while we perpetual motion see
There must a first self-moving Power be,
Rom. 11.26.To whom all the inferiour motions tend,
Act. 17.24,In whom they are begun, and where they end.
26,28.This First eternal Cause, th’ Original        75
Of Being, Life, and Motion, GOD we call;
In whom all Wisdome, Goodness, Glory, Might,
Whatever can himself or us delight
Unite, centring in his Perfection,
Eph. 4.5.Whose Nature can admit but only One:        80
Divided Soveraignty makes neither great,
Wanting what’s shar’d to make the summ compleat.
The Tri-    And yet this soveraign sacred Unitie
nity.Is not alone, for in this one are three,
1 Joh. 5.7.Distinguisht, not divided, so that what        85
Mat. 28.19.One person is, the other is not that;
Mat. 3.16,17.Yet all the three, are but one God most High,
One uncompounded, pure Divinity,
Wherein subsist so, the Mysterious three,
That they in Power and Glory equal be;        90
Joh. 14.10.Each doth himself, and all the rest possess
Prov. 8.22,30.In undisturbed joy and blessedness.
Jo. 1.1.There’s no Inferiour, nor no Later there,
Phil. 2.6.All Coeternal, all Coequal, are,
Joh. 5.18.And yet this Parity Order admits.        95
The Father first, eternally begets,
Joh. 1.14.Within himself, his Son, substantial Word
1 Cor. 1.14.And Wisdom, as his second, and their third
Joh. 16.13,14.The ever blessed spirit is, which doth
Joh. 15.16.Alike eternally proceed from both.        100
These three, distinctly thus, in one Divine,
Pure, Perfect, Self-supplying Essence shine:
Joh. 5.17.And all cooperate in all works done
Exteriourly, yet so, as every one,
In a peculiar manner suited to        105
Heb. 12.19.His Person, doth the common action do.
Es. 42.4.Herein the Father is the Principal,
Joh. 5.26.Whose sacred counsels are th’ Original
1 Cor. 8.6.Of every Act; produced by the Son,
Joh. 5.19.By’the Spirit wrought up to perfection.        110
Eph. 1.11.I’the Creation thus, by’the Fathers wise decree,
2 Tim. 1.9.Such things should in such time, and order be,
Jo. 1.3.The first foundation of the world was laid.
Heb. 1.2.The Fabrique, by th’ Eternal Word, was made
Joh. 5.19, &c.Not as th’ instrument, but joynt actor, who        115
Joy’d to fulfill the counsels which he knew.
Gen. 1.2.By the concurrent Spirit all parts were
Job 26.13.Fitly dispos’d, distinguisht, rendred fair,
In such harmonious and wise order set,
As universal Beauty did compleat.        120
This most mysterious Triple Unitie,
In Essence One, and in subsistence Three,
Was that great Elohim, who first design’d,
Then made the Worlds, that Angels and Mankind
Rev. 4.11.Him in his rich out-goings might adore,        125
Psal. 147, & 148.And celebrate his praise for evermore;
Act. 17.24.Who from Eternity himself supplied,
And had no need of any thing beside,
Nor any other cause that did him move
To make a World, but his extensive Love,        130
It self delighting to communicate;
Its Glory in the creatures to dilate,
While they are led by their own excellence
Job 33.12.T’ admire the first, pure, high Intelligence,
Psal. 95.3.By all the Powers and vertues which they have,        135
Rev. 19.6.To that Omnipotence who those Powers gave;
By all their glories and their joys to his,
Ps. 16.11.Who is the fountain of all joy and bliss;
Gen. 17.10.By all their wants and imbecillities,
To the full magazine of rich supplies,        140
Where Power, Love, Justice, and Mercy shine
In their still fixed heights, and ne’re decline.
No streams can shrink the self-supplying spring,
Job 35.2[?].No retributions can more fulness bring
Psal. 16.2.To the eternal fountain, which doth run        145
Rev. 1.8.In sacred circles, ends where it begun,
Esa. 41.4.And thence with inexhausted life and force
Begins again a new, yet the same course
It instituted in Times infant birth,
Gen. 1.1.When the Creator first made Heaven and Earth.        150
  Time.    Time though it all things into motion bring
Be reshethIs not it self any substantial thing,
In Capite,But only Motions measure; As a twin
Principio.Born with it; and they both at once begin
With the existence of the rolling sphere,        155
Before which neither time nor motion were.
Time being a still continued number, made
By the vicissitude of Light and Shade,
By the Moons growth, and by her waxing old,
By the successive Reign of heat and cold,        160
Thus leading back all ages to the womb
Of vast Eternity from whence they come,
And bringing new successions forth, until
Heaven its last revolutions shall fulfil,
And all things unto their first state restore,        165
Rev. 10.6.When Motion ceasing, Time shall be no more;
But with the visible Heavens shall expire
2 Pet. 3.12.While they consume in the worlds funeral fire;
Heb. 12.27,28.Th’ invisible Heavens begin still the same,
Shall not be toucht by the devouring flame.        170
Treating of which, let’s wave Platonick dreams
Of Worlds made in Idea, fitter theams
For Poets fancies, than the reverent view
Of Contemplation, fixt on what is true
And only certain, kept upon record        175
In the Creators own revealed word,
Which when it taught us how our world was made,
Wrapt up th’ invisible in mystique shade.
Heaven.    Yet through those clouds we see, God did create
A place his presence doth irradiate.        180
Heb. 11.10.Where he doth in his brightest lustre shine;
Es. 66.1.Yet doth not his own Heaven, him confine:
Mat. 5.34.Although the Paradise of the fair world above,
1 King. 8.27.Each where perfum’d with sweet respiring Love,
Luk. 23.43.Refresht with Pleasures never shrinking streams,        185
Illustrated with Lights unclouded beams,
1 Cor. 13.13.The happy land of peace and endless Rest
1 Joh. 4.16.Which doth both soul and sense with full joys feast,
Psal. 16.11.Feasts that extinguish not the appetite
Rev. 20.5.Which is renew’d to heighten the delight.        190
Heb. 4.9.Here stands the Tree of life, deckt with fair fruit,
Rev. 14.13.Whose leaves health to the nations contribute.
Rev. 22.2.The spreading, true celestial Vine
Joh. 15.1.Where fruitful grafts and noble clusters shine.
Here Majesty and Grace together meet;        195
The Grace is glorious, and the Glory sweet.
Rev. 21.25,26.Here is the Throne of th’ universal King
To which the suppliant world addresses bring.
Here next him doth his Son in triumph fit,
Ps. 110.1.Waiting till all his foes lie at his feet.        200
Ex. 15.17,18.Here is the Temple of his Holiness,
Rev. 7.17.The Sanctuary for all sad distress.
1 Pet. 1.4.Here is the Saints most sure inheritance
Col. 3.1,2,24.To which they all their thoughts and hopes advance.
Here their rich recompence and safe rest lies,        205
Heb. 12.2.For this they all th’ inferiour world despise;
Yet not for this alone, though this excel,
But for that Diety who here doth dwell;
Psal. 73.25.For heaven it self to Saints no heaven were
Did not their God afford his presence there;        210
But now, as he inhabits it, it is
2 Tim. 4.8.The treasure-house of everlasting bliss,
Joh. 14.2.The Fathers house, the Pilgrims home, the Port
Heb. 11.Of happiness, th’ illustrious Regal Court,
Psal. 15.1.The City that on the worlds summit stands,        215
& 122.3.United in it self, not made with hands;
Heb. 12.22.Whose Citizens, Walls, Pavements are so bright
2 Cor. 5.1.They need no Sun in Gods more radiant Light.
Rev. 21.23.The pure air being not thickned with dark clouds,
No sable night the constant glory shrowds;        220
Nor needs there night, when no dull lassitude
Doth into the unwearied soul intrude;
New vigour flowing in with that dear joy
Whose contemplation doth their lives employ.
2 Cor. 12.2.This heaven, the third to us within,        225
The first, if from the outside we begin,
Is incorruptible, and still the same,
1 Pet. 1.4.Confirm’d by him who did its substance frame:
No time its strong foundations can decay,
Its renew’d glory fadeth not away.        230
Joel 2.30.The other heavens which it doth enfold,
Esa. 34.4.In tract of time as garments shall wax old,
Ps. 102.26.And all their outworn glory shall expire
1 Pet. 3.7,12.In the worlds dreadful last devouring fire;
But this shall still unchangeable remain,        235
While all the rolling Spheres which it contains
Shall be again into their Chaos whirl’d
At the last dissolution of the world.
For God, who made this blessed place to be
The habitation of his Sanctitie,        240
Rev. 21.27.Admitting nothing into it that’s vile,
Nothing that can corrupt, or can defile,
Never withdraws his gracious presence thence
Es. 4.5.But is on all the Glory a defence.
Nor are his Gates ere shut by night or day,        245
His only dread keeps all foes far away.
    He not for need, but for Majestick state,
Angels.Innumerable hosts of Angels did create
To be his outguards, in respect of whom
Esa. 48.2.He doth his name El-tzeboim assume.        250
Mat. 26.53.These perfect, pure Intelligences be,
2 Sam. 14.17.Excel in Might, and in Celeritie,
2 Thes. 1.7.Whose sublime natures, and whose agile powers,
Dan. 9.21.Are vastly so superiour unto ours,
Es. 6.6.Our narrow thoughts cannot to them extend,        255
Col. 2.18.And things so far above us comprehend,
As in themselves, although in part we know,
Some scantlings by appearances below,
And sacred Writ, wherein we find there be
Rom. 8.38.Distinguisht Orders in their Hierarchie;        260
1 Thes. 4.16.Arch-Angels, Cherubims, and Seraphims,
Ps. 103.20,21.Who celebrate their God with holy Hymns.
Gen. 3.24.Ten thousand thousand vulgar Angels stand
Dan. 7.10.All in their ranks, waiting the Lords command,
Mat. 6.10.Which with prompt inclination of their will,        265
And chearful, swift obedience they fulfil;
Whether he them to save poor men employ,
Psal. 91.11,12.Or send them arm’d, proud rebels to destroy;
2 King. 19.35.Whether he them to mighty Monarchs send,
Gen. 32.1.Or bid them on poor Pilgrim Saints attend,        270
Luk. 2.13,14.Whether they must in heavenly lustre go,
Gen. 32.1,2.Or walk in mortal mean disguise below:
Gen. 19.1.So kind, so humble are they, though so high,
Psa. 104.4.They do it with the same alacrity.
Lu. 16.20.Why blush we not at our vain pride, when we        275
Such condescension in Heavens Courtiers see,
That they who sit on heavenly thrones above,
Scorn not to serve poor worms with fervent Love?
And joyful praises to th’ Almighty sing,
Mat. 13.39.When they a mortal to their own home bring?        280
How gracious is the Lord of all, that He
Should thus consider poor mortalitie,
Such powers for us, into those powers diffuse,
Such glorious servants, in our service, use?
Who whether they, with Light, or Heaven, had        285
Creation, were within the six days made.
But leave we looking through the vail, nor pry
Too long on things wrapt up in mystery,
Heb. 12.22.Reserv’d to be our wonder at that time,
When we shall up to their high mountain climb.        290
Besides th’ Empyrean heaven we are told
Of divers other heavens which we behold
Only by Reasons eye, yet were not they
If made at least distinguisht the first day.
Then from the height we cannot comprehend,        295
Let us to our inferiour world descend.
Earth’s    The Earth at first was a vast empty place,
Chaos.A rude congestion without form or grace,
Gen. 1.2.A confus’d mass of undistinguisht seed,
Darkness the deep, the Deep the solid hid:        300
Where things did in unperfect Causes sleep,
Until Gods Spirit mov’d the quiet deep,
Brooding the creatures under wings of Love,
As tender birds hatcht by a Turtle Dove.
    Light first of all its radiant wings display’d,        305
Gen. 1.3,4,5.God call’d forth Light: that word the creature made.
Whether it were the natures more divine,
Or the bright mansion where just souls must shine,
Or the first matter of those Tapers which
The since-made firmament do still enrich,        310
It is not yet agreed among the wise:
But thus the day did out of Chaos rise,
And casts its bright beams on the floating world,
O’re which soon envious night her black mists hurl’d,
Damping the new-born splendour for a space,        315
Till the next morning did her shadows chace:
With restor’d beauty and triumphant force,
Returning to begin another course,
An emblem of that everlasting feud
Joh. 3.19,20,21.’Twixt sons of light, and darkness still pursued;        320
Col. 1.12,13.And of that frail imperfect state wherein
The wasting lights of mortal men begin;
1 Pet. 1.24.Whose comforts, honours, lives, soon as they shine
Must all to sorrows, changes, death resign;
Even their wisdomes and their vertues light        325
Are hid by envies interposing night.
But though these splendors all in graves are thrown,
Psa. 97.11.Whereever the true seed of light is sown,
The Powers of Darkness may contend in vain,
It shall a conquerour rise and ever reign.        330
For when God the victorious morning view’d,
Approving his own work he said ’twas good:
And of inanimate creatures sure the best,
As that which shews and beautifies the rest,
Those melancholy thoughts which night creates        335
And seeds in mortal bosomes, dissipates:
In its own nature subtile, swift and pure,
Which no polluted mirrour can endure.
By it th’ Almighty Maker doth dispence
To earthy creatures, heavenly influence;        340
By it with angels swiftness are our eyes,
Exalted to the glory of the skies,
In whose bright character the light divine,
Which flesh cannot behold, doth dimly shine.
Thus was the first Day made; God so call’d Light,        345
Sever’d from Darkness, Darkness was the Night.
 
 
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