Verse > Lucy Hutchinson > Order and Disorder

Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681).  Order and Disorder.  1679.
Canto III
NOW was the glorious Universe compleat
And every thing in beauteous order set,
When God, about to make the King of all,
Did in himself a sacred council call;
Not that he needed to deliberate,        5
But pleas’d t’ allow solemnity and state,
To wait upon that noble creatures birth
Psal. 8.6.For whom he had design’d both heaven and earth:
Gen. 1.26, &c.Let us, said God, with soveraign power indued
Make man after our own similitude,        10
Eph. 4.24.Let him our sacred imprest image bear
Psal. 8.Ruling o’re all in earth, and sea, and air.
    Then made the Lord a curious mold of clay,
Which lifeless on the earths cold bosome lay,
When God did it with living breath inspire,        15
A soul in all, and every part entire,
Where life ris’ above motion, sound and sense
To higher reason and intelligence;
And this is truly termed life alone,
Which makes lifes fountain to the living known.        20
This life into it self doth gather all
The rest maintain’d by its original,
Which gives it Being, Motion, Sense, Warmth, Breath,
And those chief Powers that are not lost in death.
    Thus was the noblest creature the last made,        25
As he in whom the rest perfection had,
In whom both parts of the great world were joyn’d,
Earth in his members, Heaven in his mind;
Whose vast reach the whole Universe compriz’d,
Eccl. 3.11.And saw it in himself epitomiz’d,        30
Yet not the Centre nor circumference can
Fill the more comprehensive soul of Man,
Whose life is but a progress of desire,
Which still enjoy’d, doth something else require,
Unsatisfied with all it hath pursued        35
Mat. 11.25.Until it rest in God, the Soveraign Good.
    The earthly mansion of this heavenly guest
Peculiar priviledges too possest.
Whereas all other creatures clothed were
In Shells, Scales, guady Plumes, or Woolls, or Hair,        40
Only a fair smooth skin o’re man was drawn,
Like Damask roses blushing through pure Lawn.
The azure veins, where blood and spirits flow,
Like Violets in a field of Lillies show.
As others have a down bent countenance,        45
He only doth his head to heaven advance,
Ps. 144.12.Resembling thus a Tree whose noble root
In heaven grows, whence all his graces shoot.
He only on two upright columns stands,
He only hath, and knows the use of hands,        50
Which Gods rich bounties for the rest receive,
And aid to all the other members give.
He only hath a voice articulate,
Varied by joy, grief, anger, love and hate,
And every other motion of the mind        55
Which hereby doth an apt expression find.
Hereby glad mirth in laughter is alone
By man exprest; in a peculiar groan,
His grief comes forth, accompanied with tears,
Peculiar shrieks utter his suddain fears.        60
Herein is Musick too, which sweetly charms
Prov. 15.1.The sense, and the most savage heart disarms.
The Gate of this God in the head did place,
The head which is the bodies chiefest grace,
The noble Palace of the Royal guest        65
Within by Fancy and Invention drest,
With many pleasant useful Ornaments
Which new Imagination still presents,
Adorn’d without, by Majesty and Grace,
O who can tell the wonders of a face!        70
In none of all his fabriques more than here
Doth the Creators glorious Power appear,
That of so many thousands which we see
All humane creatures like, all different be;
If the Front be the glory of mans frame,        75
Those Lamps which in its upper windows flame,
Illustrate it, and as days radiant Star,
In the clear heaven of a bright face are.
1 Joh. 2.26.Here Love takes stand, and here ardent Desire
Mat. 5.28.Enters the soul, as fire drawn in by fire,        80
1 Pet. 2.14.At two ports, on each side, the Hearing sense
Still waits to take in fresh intelligence,
But the false spies both at the ears and eyes,
Conspire with strangers for the souls surprize,
Jam. 5.11.And let all life-perturbing passions in,        85
Which with tears, sighs and groans issue again.
Nor do those Labyrinths which like brest-works are,
About those secret Ports, serve for a Bar
To the false Sorcerers conducted by
Pro. 1.10,11,12.Mans own imprudent Curiosity.        90
There is an Arch i’the middle of the face
Of equal necessary use and grace,
For there men suck up the life-feeding air,
And panting bosomes are discharged there;
Beneath it is the chief and beauteous gate,        95
About which various pleasant graces wait,
When smiles the Rubie doors a little way
Unfold, or laughter doth them quite display,
And opening the Vermillion Curtains shows
The Ivory piles set in two even rows,        100
Before the portal, as a double guard,
Pro. 25.11.By which the busie tongue is helpt and barr’d;
Eccl. 12.11.Whose sweet sounds charm, when love doth it inspire,
And when hate moves it, set the world on fire.
Jam. 3.6.Within this portals inner vault is plac’t        105
The palate where sense meets its joys in tast;
On rising cheeks, beauty in white and red
Strives with it self, white on the forehead spread
Its undisputed glory there maintains,
And is illustrated with azure veins.        110
The Brows, Loves bow, and beauties shadow are,
A thick set grove of soft and shining hair
Adorns the head, and shews like crowning rays,
While th’airs soft breath among the loose curls plays.
Besides the colours and the features, we        115
Admire their just and perfect Symmetrie,
Whose ravishing resultance is that air
That graces all, and is not any where;
Whereof we cannot well say what it is,
Yet Beauties chiefest excellence lies in this;        120
Which mocks the Painters in their best designs,
And is not held by their exactest lines.
But while we gaze upon our own fair frame
Let us remember too from whence it came,
And that by sin corrupted now, it must        125
Job 4.19.Return to its originary dust.
How undecently doth pride then lift that head
On which the meanest feet must shortly tread?
Eccl. 7.29.Yet at the first it was with glory crown’d,
Till Satans fraud gave it the mortal wound.        130
This excellent creature God did Adam call
To mind him of his low Original,
Whom he had form’d out of the common ground
Which then with various pleasures did abound.
    The whole Earth was one large delightful Field,        135
That till man sin’d no hurtful briars did yield,
Gen. 2.8.But God enclosing one part from the rest,
A Paradise in the rich spicie East
Had stor’d with Natures wealthy Magazine,
Where every plant did in its lustre shine,        140
But did not grow promiscuously there,
They all dispos’d in such rich order were
As did augment their single native grace,
And perfected the pleasure of the place,
To such a height that th’ apelike art of man,        145
Licentious Pens, or Pencils never can
With all th’ essays of all persuming wit,
Or form or feign ought that approaches it.
Whether it were a fruitful Hill or Vale,
Whether high Rocks, or Trees did it impale,        150
Or Rivers with their clear and kind embrace
Into a pleasant Island form’d the place,
Whether its noble seituation were
On Earth, in the bright Moon, or in the Air,
In what forms stood the various trees and flowers,        155
The disposition of the walks and bowers,
Whereof no certain word, nor sign remains,
We dare not take from mens inventive brains.
We know there was pleasant and noble shade
Which the tall growing Pines and Cedars made,        160
Gen. 3.8.And thicker coverts, which the light and heat
Gen. 2.10.Ev’n at noon day could scarcely penetrate,
A crystal River on whose verdant banks
The crowned fruit-trees stood in lovely ranks,
His gentle wave thorough the garden led,        165
And all the spreading roots with moysture fed.
But past th’ enclosure, thence the single stream
Parted in four, four noble floods became;
Gen. 2.11.Pison whole large arms Havilah enfold;
A wealthy land enricht with finest gold,        170
Where also many precious stones are found;
ver. 13.The second river Gihon, doth surround
All that fair land where Chus inhabited,
Where Tryanny first rais’d up her proud head,
And led her blood-hounds all along the shore,        175
Polluting the pure stream with crimson gore.
Edens third river Hiddekell they call,
Whose waters Eastward in Assiria fall.
ver. 14.The fourth Euphrates whose swift stream did run
About the stately walls of Babylon;        180
And in the revolution of some years
Swell’d high, fed with the captiv’d Hebrews tears.
God in the midst of Paradise did place
.Two trees, that stood up drest in all the grace,
The verdure, beauty, sweetness, excellence,        185
With which all else could tempt or feast the sense:
On one apples of knowledge did abound,
And life-confirming fruit the other crown’d.
    And now did God the new created King
Into the pleasures of his earthly palace bring:        190
The air, spice, balm, and amber did respire,
His ears were feasted by the Sylvan Quire,
Like country girls, grass flowers did dispute
Their humble beauties with the high born fruit;
Both high and low their gawdy colours vied,        195
As Courtiers do in their contentious pride,
Striving which of them should yield most delight,
And stand the finest in their Soveraigns sight.
The shrubs with berries crown’d like precious gems,
Offer’d their supreme Lord their Diadems        200
Which did no single sense alone invite,
Courting alike the eyes and appetite.
Among all these the eye-refreshing green,
Sometimes alone, sometimes in mixture seen,
O’re all the banks and all the flat ground spread,        205
Seem’d an embroider’d, or plain velvet bed.
And that each sense might its refreshment have,
The gentle air soft pleasant touches gave
Unto his panting limbs, whenever they
Upon the sweet and mossie couches lay.        210
    A shady Eminence there was, whereon
ver. 19, &c.The noble creature fate, as on his throne,
When God brought every Fowl, and every Brute,
That he might Names unto their natures suit,
Whose comprehensive understanding knew        215
How to distinguish them, at their first view;
And they retaining those names ever since,
Are monuments of his first excellence,
And the Creators providential grace,
Who in those names, left us some prints to trace;        220
Nature, mysterious grown, since we grew blind,
Whose Labyrinths we should less easily find
If those first appellations, as a clue,
Did not in some sort serve to lead us through,
And rectifie that frequent gross mistake,        225
Which our weak judgements and sick senses make,
Since man ambitious to know more, that sin
Brought dulness, ignorance and error in.
Society.    Though God himself to man did condescend,
Though his knowledge to all natures did extend;        230
Though heaven and earth thus centred in his mind,
Yet being the only one of his whole kind,
He found himself without an equal mate,
To whom he might his joys communicate,
And by communication multiply.        235
Too far out of his reach was God on high,
Too much below him bruitish creatures were,
God could at first have made a humane pair,
But that it was his will to let man see
The need and sweetness of societie;        240
Who, though he were his Makers Favourite,
Feasted in Paradise with all delight,
Though all the creatures paid him homage, yet
Was not his unimparted joy compleat,
While there was not a second of his kind,        245
Indued with such a form and such a mind,
As might alike his soul and senses feast:
He saw that every bird and every beast
Its own resemblance in its female viewed,
And only union with its like pursued.        250
Hence birds with birds, and fish with fish abide,
Nor those with beasts, nor beasts with these reside:
According to their several species too,
As several housholds in one City do,
So they with their own kinds associate:        255
The Kingly eagle hath no buzzard mate;
The ravens, more their own black feather love,
Than painted pheasants, or the fair-neck’d dove.
So Bears to rough Bears rather do encline
Than to majestick Lions, or fair kine.        260
If it be thus with brutes, much less then can
The bruitish conversation suit with man.
’Tis only like desires like things unite:
In union likeness only feeds delight.
Where unlike natures in conjunction are,        265
There is no product but perpetual war,
Such as there was in Natures troubled womb,
Until the sever’d births from thence did come,
For the whole world nor order had, nor grace
Till sever’d elements each their own place        270
Assigned were, and while in them they keep,
Heaven still smiles above, th’ untroubled deep
With kind salutes embraces the dry land,
Firm doth the earth on its foundation stand;
A chearful light streams from th’ ætherial fire,        275
And all in universal joy conspire.
But if with their unlike they attempt to mix,
Their rude congressions every thing unfix;
Darkness again invades the troubled skies,
Earth trembling, under angry heaven lies;        280
The Sea, swoln high with rage, comes to the shore
And swallows that, which it but kist before;
Th’ unbounded fire breaks forth with dreadful light,
And horrid cracks which dying nature fright,
Till that high power, which all powers regulates,        285
The disagreeing natures separates,
The like to like rejoyning as before,
So the worlds peace, joy, safety doth restore.
Yet if man could not find in bird or brute
That conversation which might aptly suit        290
His higher nature, was it not sublime
Enough, above the lower world to climb,
And in Angelick converse to delight,
Although it could not reach the supreme height?
No; for though man partake intelligence,        295
Yet that being joyn’d to an inferiour sense,
Dull’d by corporeal vapours, cannot be
Refin’d enough for angels company:
As strings screw’d up too high, as bows still bent
Or break themselves, or crack the instrument;        300
So drops neglected flesh into the grave,
If it no share in the souls pleasures have.
Man like himself needs an associate,
Who doth both soul and sense participate.
Not the swift Horse, the eager Hawk, or Hound,        305
Dogs, Parrots, Monkies ’mongst whom Adam found
No meet companion, thinking them too base
For the society of humane race,
Though his degenerate offspring chuse that now
Which his sound reason could not then allow,        310
But found himself amongst them all alone.
Whether he beg’d a mate it is not known,
Likely his want might send him to the spring;
For God who freely gives us every thing,
Mercy endears by instilling the desire,        315
Ez. 36.37.And granting that which humbly we require:
Howe’re it was, God saw his solitude
Gen. 2.18.And gave his sentence that it was not good.
Yet not a natural, nor a moral ill,
Because his solitude was not his will        320
Opposing his Creators End, as they
Who into caves and desarts run away,
Seeking perfection in that state, wherein
A good was wanting when man had so sin.
For without help to propagate mankind        325
Gods glory had been to one brest confin’d,
Which multiplied Saints, do now conspire
Heb. 12.23.Throughout their generations to admire.
Mans nature had not been the sacred shrine,
Partner and bride of that which is divine;        330
The Church, fruit of this union, had not come
To light, but perisht, stifled in the womb.
Again ’tis not particularly good
For man to waste his life in solitude,
Whose nature for society design’d        335
Can no full joy without a second find,
Eccl. 4.8, &c.To whom he may communicate his heart,
And pay back all the pleasures they impart;
For all the joys that we enjoy alone,
And all our unseen lustre, is as none.        340
If thus want of a partner did abate
Mans happiness in mans most perfect state,
Much more hath humane nature, now decay’d,
Need of a suitable and a kind aid:
It is not good, vertue should lie obscure,        345
That barren rocks, rich treasures should immure,
1 Cor. 12.5–12.Which our kind Lord to some, for all men gave,
That all might share of all his bounties have.
Mat. 5.16.Not good, dark Lanthorns should shut up the light
    15.Of fair example, made for the dark night.        350
Not good, experience should her candle hide,
When weak ones perish, wanting her bright guide.
Not good, to let unactive graces chill,
No lively warmth receive, no good instil
By quickning converse. Thus nor are the great,        355
The wise, and firm, permitted to retreat,
Betraying so deserted innocence,
To which God made them conduct and defence.
Nor may the simple and the weak expose
Themselves alone, to strong and subtile foes;        360
Men for each others mutual help were made,
The meanest may afford the highest aid.
The highest to necessity must yield,
Eccl. 5.9.Even Princes are beholding to the field.
He that from mortal converse steals away        365
Injures himself, and others doth betray,
Whom Providence committed to his trust,
And in that act, nor prudent is nor just.
For sweet friends both in pleasure and distress,
Augment the joy, and make the torment less.        370
Equal delight it is to learn and teach,
To be held up to that we cannot reach,
And others from the abject earth to raise
To merit, and to give deserved praise.
Wisdom imparted like th’ encreasing bread,        375
Mat. 15.36.Wherewith the Lord so many thousands fed,
By distribution adds to its own store,
And still the more it gives it hath the more.
Extended Power reaches it self a crown,
Gathering up those whom misery casts down.        380
Love raiseth us, it self to heaven doth rise,
By vertues varied mutual exercise.
Rom. 13.9,10.Sweet love, the life of life, which cannot shine,
But lies like Gold concealed in the Mine,
1 Cor. 13.Till it through much exchange a brightness take        385
And Conversation doth it current make.
God having shew’d his creature thus the need
Of humane helps, a help for man decreed:
I will, said he, the mans meet aid provide.
But that he from his waking view might hide        390
Such a mysterious work, the Lord did keep
Gen. 2.21,22.All Adam’s senses fast lock’d up in sleep.
Then from his open’d side took without pain
A cloathed rib, and clos’d the flesh again,
And of the bone did a fair virgin frame        395
Who, by her Maker brought, to Adam came
And was in matrimonial Union joyn’d,
By love and nature happily combin’d.
Adam’s clear understanding at first view
His wives original and nature knew;        400
His will, as pure, did thankfully embrace,
His fathers bounty, and admir’d his grace.
And as her sweet charms did his heart surprise
He spoke his joy in these glad ecstacies,
Thou art my better self, my flesh, my bone,        405
ver. 23,24.We late of one made two, again in one
Shall reunite, and with the frequent birth
Of our joynt issue, people the vast earth.
To shew that thou wert taken out of me
Isha shall be thy name; As unto thee        410
Ravisht with love and joy my soul doth cleave,
So men hereafter shall their fathers leave,
Eph. 5.31.And all relations else, which are most dear,
Mat. 19.5.That they may only to their wives adhere;
When marriage male and female doth combine        415
Children in one flesh shall two parents joyn.
    Lastly, God, who the sacred knot had tied,
With blessing his own Ordinance sanctified,
Encrease, said he, and multiply your race,
Gen. 1.28, &c.Fill th’ Earth allotted for your dwelling place,        420
I give you right to all her fruits and plants,
Dominion over her inhabitants;
The fish that in the floods deep bosome lie,
All Fowls that in the airy region flie,
Whatever lives and feeds on the dry land,        425
Are all made subject under your command.
The grass and green herbs let your cattle eat,
And let the richer fruits be your own meat,
Except the Tree of knowing good and ill,
That by the precept of my Soveraign will        430
You must not eat, for in the day you do,
Inevitable death shall seize on you.
    Thus God did the first marriage celebrate
Gen. 2.22.While man was in his unpolluted state,
Heb. 13.4.And th’ undefiled bed with honour deckt,        435
Though perverse men the Ordinance reject,
Prov. 18.22.And pulling all its sacred Ensigns down
To the white Virgin only give the crown.
Nor yet is marriage grown less sacred since
Man fell from his created excellence,        440
Necessity now raises its esteem,
Which doth mankind from deaths vast jaws redeem,
Who even in their graves are yet alive,
While they in their posterity survive.
In it they find a comfort and an aid,        445
In all the ills which humane life invade.
Psa. 127.3,4,5.This curbs and cures wild passions that arise,
Repairs times daily wasts, with new supplies;
When the declining mothers youthful grace
Lies dead and buried in her wrinkled face,        450
In her fair daughters it revives and grows,
And her dead Cinder in their new flames glows.
And though this state may sometimes prove accurst,
For of best things, still the corruption’s worst,
Sin so destroys an institution good,        455
Provided against death and solitude.
    Eve out of sleeping Adam formed thus
A sweet instructive emblem is to us,
Psa. 121.3,4,5.How waking Providence is active still
To do us good, and to avert our ill,        460
Job 33.15–17, &c.When we lock’d up in stupefaction lie,
Not dreaming that our blessings are so nigh.
Deut. 32.36.Blessings wrought out by providence alone
Without the least assistance of our own.
Rom. 4.19.Mans help produc’d in death-like sleep doth show,        465
Our choicest mercies out of dead wombs flow.
Joh. 19.34.    So from the second Adams bleeding side
1 Joh. 5.6.God form’d the Gospel Church, his mystique Bride,
Tir[?]. 5.5.Whose strength was only on his firmness made,
Phil. 4.13.His blood, quick spirits into ours convey’d:        470
2 Cor. 12.9.His wasted flesh our wasted flesh supplied,
Joh. 5.2.And we were then revived when he died.
Eph. 2.1, 5,6, &c.Who wak’d from that short sleep with joy did view
2 Tim. 1.10.The Virgin fair that out of his wounds grew,
Presented by th’ eternal Fathers grace        475
Es. 53.5.Unto his everlasting kind embrace:
Act. 20.28.My spouse, my sister, said he, thou art mine;
Eph. 5.25–27, &c.I and my death, I and my life are thine;
Rev. 5.19[?].For thee I did my heavenly Father quit
Joh. 17.9,10.That thou with me on my high throne mayst sit,        480
Psal. 2.8.My mothers humane flesh in death did leave
Cant. 2.16. & 4.10.For thee, that I to thee might only cleave,
1 Cor. 3.22,23.Redeem thee from the confines of dark hell,
And evermore in thy dear bosome dwell:
Joh. 6.38,39.From heaven I did descend to fetch up thee,        485
Rev. 5.9,10.Rose from the grave that thou mightst reign with me.
Phil. 2.9.Henceforth no longer two but one we are,
Joh. 19.27.Thou dost my merit, life, grace, glory share:
Col. 2.13–15.As my victorious triumphs are all thine,
1 Cor. 15.54,55,So are thy injuries and sufferings mine,        490
    21,22.Which I for thee will vanquish as my own,
Joh. 17.23,24.And give thee rest in the celestial throne:
& 14.3. Eph. 4.9,10, &c. Rom. 8.17,18. 2 Tim. 2.12. Col. 1. Eph. 1.
Joh. 1.16. Act. 9.4. Mat. 25.34. and forward.
Heb. 4.13.The Bride with these caresses entertain’d
& 10.19,20.In naked beauty doth before him stand,
1 Pet. 1.2.And knows no shame purg’d from all foul desire        495
Heb. 13.12.Whose secret guilt kindles the blushing fire.
1 Pet. 1.10–12.Her glorious Lord is naked too, no more
Conceal’d in types and shadows as before.
Eph. 3.9,10.So our first parents innocently did
Heb. 8.5.Behold that nakedness which since is hid,        500
2 Pet. 2.14.That lust may not catch fire from beauties flame
Mat. 5.28.Engendring thoughts which die the cheeks with shame,
Gen. 2.1.    Thus heaven and earth their full perfection had,
Thus all their hosts and ornaments were made,
Armies of Angels had the highest place,        505
Bright starry hosts the lower heaven did grace,
The Mutes encamped in the waters were,
The winged troops were quartered in the air,
The walking animals, as th’ infantry
Of th’ Universal Host, at large did lie        510
Spread over all the earths most ample face,
Each regiment in its assigned place.
Paradise the head quarter was, and there
ver. 15.The Emperour to his Victory did appear,
Him in his regal Office did install,        515
ver. 19.A general muster of his hosts did call,
Resigning up into his sole command
The numerous Tribes, that fill both sea and land.
As each kind severally had before
Blessing and approbation, so once more,        520
When all together God his works review’d,
Gen. 1.31.The blessing was confirmed and renew’d.
And with the sixth day the Creation ceast.
    The seventh day the Lord himself did rest,
Gen. 2.2,3.And made it a perpetual Ordinance then        525
Ex. 20.8.To be observ’d by every age of men,
That after six days honest labour they
His precept and example should obey,
As he did his, their works surcease, and spend
That day in sacred rest, till that day end,        530
And in its number back again return,
Still consecrated, till it have outworn
All other time, and that alone remain,
When neither toyl, nor burthen, shall again
The weary lives of mortal men infest,        535
Nor intermit their holy, happy rest.
    Nor is this Rest sacred to idleness,
God, a perpetual Act, sloth cannot bless.
He ceast not from his own celestial joy,
Pro. 8.22,Which doth himself perpetually employ        540
30,31.In contemplation of himself, and those
Mat. 3.17.Most excellent works, wherein himself he shows;
Joh. 5.17,He only ceast from making lower things,
20,21.By which, as steps, the mounting soul he brings
To th’ upmost height, and having finisht these        545
Jer. 9.24.Himself did in his own productions please,
Psal. 104.Full satisfied in their perfection,
& 147.Rested from what he had compleatly done;
& 145.And made his pattern our instruction,
That we, as far as finite creature may        550
Trace him that’s infinite, should in our way
Rest as our Father did, work as he wrought,
Eccl. 9.10.Nor cease till we have to perfection brought
Heb. 6.1.Whatever to his glory we intend,
Phil. 3.19.Still making ours, the same which was his end:        555
As his works in commands begin, and have
1 Cor. 10.30.Conclusion in the blessings which he gave,
1 Joh. 5.3.So must his Word give being to all ours;
Ps. 119.9.And since th’ events are not in our own powers,
We must his blessing beg, his great name bless,        560
And make our thanks the crown of our success.
As God first heaven did for man prepare,
Men last for heaven created were,
Mat. 6.33.So should we all our actions regulate,
Col. 3.1.Which heaven, both first and last, should terminate,        565
And in whatever circle else they run,
There should they end, there should they be begun,
There seek their pattern, and derive from thence
Their whole direction and their influence.
As when th’ Almighty this low world did frame,        570
Life by degrees to its perfection came,
Heb. 5.12–14.In Vegetation first sprung up, to sense
Ascended next, and climb’d to reason thence,
So we, pursuing our attainments, should
Press forward from what’s positively good,        575
Still climbing higher, until we reach the best,
And that acquir’d for ever fix our rest.
Our souls so ravisht with the joys divine
That they no more to creatures can decline.
As Gods Rest was but a more high retreat        580
From the delights of this inferiour feat,
So must our souls upon our Sabbaths climb,
Es. 58.13.Above the world, sequestred for that time,
From those legitimate delights, which may
Rejoyce us here upon a common day.        585
As God, his works compleated, did retire
To be ador’d by the Angelick Quire,
So when on us the seventh days light doth shine,
Should we our selves to Gods assemblies joyn,
Job 1.6.Thither all hearts, as one pure offring, bring        590
Heb. 10.25.And all with one accord adore our King.
This seventh day the Lord to mankind gave,
Mat. 2.27[?].Nor is it the least priviledge we have.
Ez. 20.12.And ours peculiarly. The Orbs above
Aswell the seventh as the sixth day move,        595
The rain descends and the fierce tempest blows,
On it the restless Ocean ebbs and flows:
Bees that day fill the hive, and on that day
Ants their provisions in their store-house lay,
All creatures plie their works, no beast        600
But those which mankind use, share in that rest:
Which God indulg’d only to humane race,
That they in it might come before his face
To celebrate his worship and his praise,
And gain a blessing upon all their days.        605
O wretched souls of perverse men, who slight
So great a grace, refuse such rich delight,
Which the inferiour creatures cannot share,
To which alone their natures fitted are,
Heb. 4.9.And whereby favour’d men admitted be        610
& 12.22.Into the angels blest societie.
Yet is this Rest but a far distant view
Of that celestial life which we pursue,
By Satan oft so interrupted here,
That little of its glory doth appear,        615
Nor can our souls sick, languid appetite
Feast upon such substantial, strong delight.
As musick pains the grieved aking head,
Am. 8.5.With which the healthful sense is sweetly fed;
So duties wherein sound hearts full joys find,        620
Fetters and sad loads are to a sick mind,
Till it thereto by force it self mure,
And from a loathing fall to love its cure.
    God for his worship kept one day of seven,
The other six to man for mans use given;        625
Adam, although so highly dignified,
Was not to spend in idle ease and pride
Nor supine sleep, drunk with his sensual pleasures,
Profusely wasting th’ Empires sacred treasures,
As now his faln sons do, that arrogate        630
His forfeited dominion, and high state;
But God his dayly Business did ordain
That Kings, hence taught, might in their Realms maintain
Fair order, serving those whom they command,
Rom. 13.3,4.As guardians, not as owners of the land,        635
Not being set there, to pluck up and destroy
Those plants, whose culture should their cares employ.
1 Thes. 4.11.Nor doth this precept only Kings comprize,
1 Tim. 5.8.The meanest must his little paradise
With no less vigilance and care attend        640
Than Princes on their vast enclosures spend.
All hence must learn their duty, to suppress
Pro. 19.15.Th’ intrusions of a sordid idleness.
& 10.26.Who form’d, could have preserv’d the garden fair.
Without th’ employment of mans busie care,        645
But that he will’d that our delight should be
The wages of our constant industrie,
That we his ever bounteous hand might bless
Crowning our honest labours with success,
And tast the joy men reap in their own fruit,        650
Loving that more to which they contribute
Either the labour of their hands or brains,
Than better things produc’d by others pains.
Led by desire, fed with fair hope, the fruit
Oft-times delights not more than the pursuit.        655
For man a nature hath to action prone,
That languishes, and sickens finding none.
As standing pools corrupt, water that flows,
More pure, by its continual current, grows,
So humane kind by active exercise,        660
Do to the heights of their perfection rise,
While their stock’d glory comes to no ripe growth,
Whose lives corrupt in idleness and sloth
Which is not natural, but a disease,
That doth upon the flesh-cloy’d spirit seize.        665
Where health untainted is, then the sound mind
In its employment doth its pleasure find.
But when death, or its representer sleep
Upon the mortals tired members creep,
This during its dull reign doth life suspend,        670
That ceasing action, puts it to an end.
Lastly since God himself did man employ
To dress up Paradise, that moderate joy
Which from this fair creation we derive,
Is not our sin but our prerogative,        675
1 Tim. 4.4,5.If bounded so, as we fix not our rest
1 Jon. 2.17.In creatures which but transient are at best,
1 Cor. 7.31,20.Yet ’tis sin to neglect, not use, or prize,
As well as ’tis to wast and idolize.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.