(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
See other formats

Full text of "The poetical fragments of Richard Baxter"






Dorset-street, Fleet-steet. 






Lincoln's jnn fields 


< / f 



X HESE Poetical Fragments, (except three heretofore 

printed) were so far from being intended for the Press, that 

they were not allowed the sight of many private friends, 

"or thought worthy of it. Only had I had time and heart 

have finished the first, (which itself, according to the 

atter and designed method, would have made a Volume 

r bigger than all this, being intended as a thankful, his- 

.rical commemoration of all the notable passages of my 

re) I should have published it as the most self-pleasing 

irt of my writings. But as they were mostly written in 

various passions, so passion hath now thrust them out into 

the world. God having taken away the dear companion 

of the last nineteen years of my life, as her sorrows and 

sufferings long ago gave being to some of these Poems (for 

reasons which the world is not concerned to know) so my 

grief for her removal, and the revived sense of former 

things, have prevailed with me to be passionate in the open 

sight of all. 

I confess that passion is oft such a hindrance of judg- 
ment, that a man should be very suspicious of himself till 
it be laid. But I am assured that God made it not in vain; 
and that reason is a sleepy half-useless thing, till some pas- 
sion excite it; and learning to a man asleep is no better for 


that time thun ignorance. And God usually beginneth the 
awakening of reason, and the conversion of sinners, by Um 
awakening of their useful passions, their fear, their grief, 
repentance, desire, &c. I confess, when God awakeneth 
in me those passions which I account rational and holy, I 
am so far from condemning them, that I think I was half 
a fool before, and have small comfort in sleepy reason. 
Lay by all the passionate part of love and joy, and it will 
be hard to have any pleasant thoughts of Heaven. 

In short, I am an adversary to their philosophy that 
vilify sense, because it is in brutes, and am past doubt 
that the noble spirits of sensitives are debased ignorantly, 
by pretending wits, that know not what they say or glory 
in; and human souls are not less sensitive for being ra- 
tional, but are eminently sensitive. Yea, reason hath in 
it more of eminent internal sensation, than those men think 
that debase sense. The Scripture that saith of God, that 
he is life and light, saith also, that he is love, and love is 
complacence, and complacence is joy; and to say God is 
infinite, essential love and joy, is abetter notion, than with 
Cartesians and Cocceians, to say that God, and angels, and 
spirits, are but a thought, or an idea. What is Heaven to 
us, if there be no love and joy ? 

I will do my wise friends, whose counsel I have much 
followed, that right, as to acquit them from all the guilt of 
the publication of these Fragments. Some of them say, 
that such work is below me; and those that I think speak 
wiselier, say, I am below such work. These I unfeignedly 
believe. I have long thought that a painter, a musician, 
and a poet, are contemptible, if they be not excellent : and 
that I am not excellent, I am satisfied: but I am more pa- 
tient of contempt than many are. Common painters serve 
for poor men's work ; and a fiddler may serve at a country 
wedding : such cannot aspire to the attainments of the 
higher sort; and the vulgar are the greater number. Dr. 
Stillingfleet saith, I seldom follow my friends' advice. In 
this I justify him; though in other things my advisers con- 
tradict him. 


I know that natural temper makes poetry savour to se- 
veral wise and learned men, as differently as meats do to 
various appetites. I know suck learned discreet men, that 
know not what a tune is, nor can difference one from ano- 
ther. I wonder at them, and oft doubt whether it be an 
accident, or an integral of humanity which they want. An- 
natus, the Jesuit, in his answer to Dr. Twisse, De Scientia 
Media, commends his poetry (for a Poem added in the 
end) in scorn, as if it were a disgrace to a School-Divine. 
I take one sign of an acumen of wit to make it likely 
that the man hath the same wit for other work. 

For myself, I confess that harmony and melody are the 
pleasure and elevation of my soul, and have made a Psalm 
of Praise in the Holy Assembly the chief delightful exer- 
cise of my religion and my life; and hath helped to bear 
down all the objections which I have heard against Church- 
music, and against the 149th and 150th Psalms. It was not 
the least comfort that I had in the converse of my late dear 
wife, that our first in the morning, and last in bed at night, 
was a Psalm of Praise (till the hearing of others interrupted 
it.) Let those that savour not melody, leave others to 
their different appetites, and be content to be so far stran- 
gers to their delights. 

These times have produced many excellent Poets; among 
whom, for strength of wit, Dr. Abraham Cowley justly bears 
the bell. I much value Mr. Woodford's paraphrase on the 
Psalms, though his genius (or somewhat else) expound 
some Psalms, so as the next age will confute. A woman's 
Poems, the Lady Katherine Philips's, are far above con- 
tempt. But that is best to me which is the most holy. 

I have known good men that were skilled in music, and 
much delighted in it, and yet had a conceit that it was un- 
lawful in a Psalm or holy exercise. I so much differed from 
them, that I scarce cared for it any where else; and if it 
might not be holily used, it should never have been used 
for me. 

Honest George Withers, though a rustic Poet, hath been 
very acceptable, as to some for his Prophecies, so to others 


for his plain country honesty. The vulgar were the more 
pleased with him for being so little courtly as to say, 

" If I should have been hung, I knew not how 

" To teach my body how to cringe and bow; 

" And to embra.ce a fellow's hinder quarters, 

" As if I meant to steal away his garters. 

" When any bow'd to me with congees trim, 

° All I could do, was stand and laugh at him. 

" Bless me, thought I, what will this coxcomb do? 

" When I perceiv'd one reaching at my shoe. 

Quarles yet out-wcnt him, mixing competent wit with 
piety (especially in his Poem against rest on earth). 

Silvester on Du Bartas seems to me to out-go them 

Sir Fulk Grevil, Lord Brook, (a man of great note in his 
age) hath a Poem lately printed for subject's liberty, which 
I greatly wonder this age would bear. There are no books 
that have been printed these twenty years, that I more 
wonder at, (that ever they were endured) than Richard 
Hooker's eight books of ecclesiastical polity, dedicated by 
Bishop Gauden to our present king, and vindicated by him ; 
and these Poems of Sir Fulk Grevil, Lord Brook. Davie's 
Nosce teipsum is an excellent Poem in opening the nature, 
faculties, and certain immortality of man's soul. But I 
must confess, after all, that next the Scripture-Poems, 
there are none so savoury to me as Mr. George Herbert's, 
and Mr. George Saiadys's. I know that Cowley and others 
far exceed Herbert in wit and accurate composure. But 
(as Seneca takes with me above all his contemporaries, be- 
cause he speaketh things by words, feelingly and seriously, 
like a man that is past jest, so) Herbert speaks to God like 
one that really believeth a God, and whose business in this 
world is most with God. Heart-work and Heaven-work 
make up his books. And Du Bartas is seriously divine. 
And George Sandy's 

Omne tulit punctum, dum miscuit utile dulci. 


His Scripture-Poems are an elegant and excellent para- 
phrase, but especially his Job, whom he hath restored to 
its original glory. O that he had turned the Psalms into 
metre fitted to the usual tunes. It did me good when Mrs. 
Wyat invited me to see Boxley-Abbey in Kent, to see upon 
the old stone wall in the garden, a summer-house with 
this inscription in great golden letters, that in that place 
Mr. G. Sandys, after his travels over the world, retired 
himself for his poetry and contemplations. And none are 
fitter to retire to God, than such as are tired with seeing 
all the vanities on earth. 

Sure there is gomewhat of Heaven in Holy Poetry. It 
charmeth souls into loving harmony and concord. We 
have two brothers in this city, of whom one hath written 
a book, called a Friendly Debate, to make those seem 
odious or contemptible who are against his way. It had 
too much success, and so far destroyed love and concord, 
as will not easily be recovered in this age. His brother 
(Mr. Patrike of the Charter-house) hath with pious skill 
and seriousness turned into a new metre many of David's 
Psalms, and the advantage for holy affections and harmony 
hath so far reconciled the nonconformists, that divers of 
them use his Psalms in their congregations, though they 
have their old ones, Rouse's, Bishop King's, Mr. White's, 
the New England's, Davison's, the Scots, (agreed on by two 
nations) in competition with it. But I digress too far. 

All that I have to say for these Fragments, is, I, That 
being fitted to women, and vulgar wits, which are the far 
greatest number, they may be useful to such, though con- 
temptible to those of higher elevation and expectation. 
2. And being suited to afflicted, sick, dying, troubled, sad, 
and doubting persons, the number of such is so great in 
these calamitous times, as may render them useful to more 
than I desire. 3. And if my present grief may but excuse 
the publication, he that needeth them not may let them 

Some of them need an exposition, which I must not 
give the world. 1 have added two or three printed here- 


tofore, that they may be altogether. The Lord by his mer- 
ciful providence and his grace, tune up our dull and droop- 
ing souls to such joy lid praises, as may prepare us for his 
everlasting praise in Heaven. Amen. 

London, at the Door of Eternity, 
Aug. 7, 1081. 





Eternal God ! this worm lifts up the head, 
And looks to thee, by thee encouraged. 
Cheer'd by thy bounty, it would speak thy praise, 
Whose wondrous love hath measured all my days : 
If thou vouchsafe to make a worm rejoice, 
Give him a thankful praising heart and voice. 
Thy shining glory blessed angels see : 
Angels must sing thy highest praise, not we 
But if thy warming beams cause worms to speak, 
Their baser part will not the concert break. 
When time was yet no measure, when the sun 
Its rapid motion had not yet begun ; 
When heaven, and earth, and sea were yet unframed, 
Angels and men, and all things else unnamed, 
When there did nothing else exist but thee, 
Thou wast the same, and still the same wilt be . 
When there was none to know or praise thy name, 
Thou wast in perfect blessedness the same. 
The Father, Word and Spirit, One in Three, 
Trinity doth with unity agree. 
Th' eternal life, that quickens all that lives : 
The soul of souls ; the light which all light gives 



Immense and boundless, present every where : 
Beyond all place and creatures, thou art there, 
Uncomprehended, comprehending all : 
Foreknowing whatsoever shall befal. 
Uncaused, thou causest all that hath a being : 
Unknown, thou knowest; unseen, thou art all-seeing 
Though necessary, yet without constraint ; 
Unmoved, yet moving all, dost never faint. 
All things depend on thee, and thou on none ; 
And changing all things, art unchanged alone. 
One in th' innumerable multitude ; 
Perfectly ordering things which seem most rode. 
Infinite Power, one accent of whose breath, 
Can sentence Heav'n and earth to life or death. 
Yea, by one act of efficacious will 
Canst make and unmake worlds ; give life, and kill. 
Reason transcending all created reason, 
Not only knowing all things in their season, 
But with a knowledge, perfect, infinite, 
Knowing thyself in thine eternal light. 
A knowledge which doth utterly excel 
The knowledge of the earth, the Heav'ns, and Hell; 
To know ten thousand worlds, were but to know 
The finite streams which from thy will do now i 
Existents, futures, all contingencies 
Conceal'd from man, are naked to thine eye> : 
Of every thing thou knowest the form and cause ; 
As giving all their nature and their laws. 
Nature's whole frame it but one piece to thee. 
The place and use of all things thou dost see. 
The globes of Heav'n and earth are in thy span ; 
Thou seest not things by parcels, like poor man. 

• Baxter's poems. 3 

Our narrow minds see here and there a letter, 
Not rightly placed, and therefore read no better 
We make the events of this day our sorrow, 
Because we know not what will be to-morrow. 
Things present, past, and future ; old and new, 
Thou seest entirely with one single view. 
Thou seest all at home that 's understood : 
Loving thyself thou lovest all that 's good. 
Goodness itself, and perfect excellence, 
Transcending human reason, will, and sense ; 
Good in thyself, and to thyself alone, 
Before thou wast to any creature known. 
Blest in thy own eternal pleasing sight ; 
Thy own eternal love, thy own delight. 
Those that can find in thee no greater good, 
Than that thou giv'st them life, and health, and food, 
And bountifully from thy ample treasure 
Blessest thy creatures with desired pleasure, 
Set up themselves and do the worst they can, 
To make themselves the Gods, and thee the man. 
They that can love thee but for loving them, 
Make thee the casket, and themselves the gem. 
To love thyself, is infinitely better, 
Than if love made a world of worlds its debtor. 
Thy own perfections by attraction move, 
As the chief formal object of man's love. 
Though our own good we may, and must intend ; 
Thy simple goodness is man's chiefest end. 
They that deny this, never knew love's force, 
Which to mere excellence hath its recourse 
Or never well considered love's end, 
Which unto good, for goodness' sake doth tend. 

4 Baxter's poems. 

To be man's end, is but to be most loved ; 

And good 's the loadstone by which love is moved ! 

What though to thee the creature nothing add, 

That proves thee perfect, neither weak nor bad ; 

And therefore fit to be the final cause, 

Which all hearts by attractive goodness draws : 

Love is the final and enjoying act ; 

Closing with thee by thy magnetic tract : 

Not as it mourneth for the good we want ; 

Nor as it after distant good doth pant ; 

But partly as it reacheth its desires : 

x\nd more, as it with pleasure thee admires. 

This love, besides its object, hath no end : 

It doth not to some higher virtue tend : 

But from a seed, grows up to higher stature 

Of divine complacence, which is its nature. 

All other grace is but the means to it : 

They draw the bow ; but love the mark doth hit. 

But sinners lost in self rise not above 

The lower region of their own self-love. 

Experience assures me that I can 

Love a most learned, wise, and holy man 

Unseen, my very heart is to him knit, 

Without respect to any benefit. 

Reason convinceth me that I should err, 

If the known best, my love should not prefer : 

Should I not rather choose myself alone 

To be annihilated, or undone, 

Than the whole world should bear the same distress, 

Or towns, or countries ; seeing I am less ? 

Or the Creator should take down the sun ? 

Destroy the earth, or rivers cease to run ? 

Baxter's poems. 

Reason taught heathens that their country's good 

Was worth the shedding of their vital hlood : 

A faithful subject thinks his life a thing 

Meet to be cast away to save his king. 

True soldiers would choose death, if so they may 

But save their captains' lives, or win the day. 

Many have chose to die through love of friends, 

Preferring them above all selfish ends. 

It is not reason but blind selfish passion, 

If one refuse to die to save a nation. 

A silly useless wretch should not refuse 

His death, before a useful man's, to choose. 

My neighbour as myself I must respect, 

And for my brethren must my life reject.* 

O doleful proof of man's unhappy fall ! 

That loves not God above himself and all ! 

And if I love him most, He is my end : 

Man's love above the lover must ascend ! 

'But O how wisely hast thou made the twist ! 
To love thee and myself do well consist. 
Love is the closure of con-naturals ; 
The soul's return to its originals : 
As every brook is towards the ocean bent ; 
And all things to their proper element • 
And as the inclination of the sight, 
How small soever, is unto the light : 
As the touch 'd needle pointeth toward the pole ; 
Thus unto thee inclines the holy soul ■ 
It trembleth and is restless till it come 
Unto thy bosom, where it is at home. 

* 1 John iii, 16, 


6 Baxter's poems. 

Yet no such union dare the soul desire 

As parts have with the whole, and sparks to fire ; 

But as dependent, low, subordinate, 

Such as thy will of nothing did create . 

As tendeth to the sun the smallest eye 

Of silly vermin, or the poorest fly. 

My own salvation when I make my end, 

Full mutual love is all that I intend. 

And in this closure though I happy be, 

It's by intending and admiring thee. 

O happy grace ! which feeds above the skies ! 

And causest man above himself to rise ! 

And saves what it denys ! when worldlings lose 

What they despised, and what they loved and chose! 

The more I do myself in love neglect, 

And only to thy goodness have respect, 

When most myself I from myself abstract, 

This is the sweetest and self-pleasing act ! 

Even when I seem to leave myself behind, 

Coming to thee, with thee myself I find. 

When I am least the object of my love, 

And unto thee do most entirely move, 

My soul, the willing agent, drawn by grace, 

Will rest in love, and vision of thy face. 

But in this wilderness and vale of tears, 
How is love damped by ignorance and fears ! 
For no man's love his knowledge can exceed : 
And guilty terrors disaffection breed. 
Mortals can know thee but as in a glass. 
True formal knowledge doth man's mind surpass. 
No thoughts or names are adequate to thee : 
They are but metaphors from what we see ; 


Which first thy works and image signify ; 
And thence to thee men's rising minds apply. 
As far as faith comes short of perfect sight, 
And this dark prison of the glorious light ; 
So far this distant mediate love 's below 
The heavenly love, which mortals cannot know. 
What will it be to love thee face to face, 
When thou appear'st so lovely in this glass ? 

Thy goodness is not to that world confined . 
To worthless, sinful mortals thou art kind : 
Thy mercies to the smallest are not small : 
To some more wonderful, but great to all. 
Thy matchless power doth itself express, 
Upon the smallest worm, or pile of grass. 
The methods of thy wisdom are profound : 
All must admire the depths which none can sound. 

When man from holy love, turn'd to a lie, 
Thy image lost, became thine enemy ; 
O what a seal did love and wisdom find 
To re-imprint thine image on man's mind ! 
Thou sent'st the signet from thine own right hand. 
Made man for them that had themselves unman'd. 
Th' eternal Son, who in thy bosom dwelt; 
Essential burning love, men's hearts to melt : 
Thy lively image : he that knew thy mind : 
Fit to illuminate and heal the blind. 
With love's great office thou didst him adorn : 
Redeemer of the helpless and forlorn : 
On love's chief work and message he was sent : 
Our flesh he took, our pain he underwent : 
Thy pardoning, saving love to man did preach : 
The Reconciler stood up in the breach : 

8 Baxter's poems. 

The uncreated Image of thy love, 

By his assumption, and the holy dove, 

On his own flesh thy image first imprest ; 

And by that stamp renews it on the rest. 

Love was his nature, doctrine, life and breath : 

Love flamed in his sufferings and death : 

Thus Love thine image, love on man doth print : 

This coin, thy Son, thy Word and Spirit mint. 

He that will have it true, must have it here ; 

Though love prepare its way by grief and fear : 

Yea, oft by these expresseth its desire ; 

They are sincere when kindled by its fire. 

These are love's methods, passing tongue and pen 

Wonders and joys, to angels, and to men. 


Love, which can make its object, did produce . 
This worm, in season, for its proper use : 
In the earth's garden, the most happy land, [maud: 
Where Christians dwell, and Christian kings com- 
Where plenteous streams of living waters flow ; 
Where the first-fruits of paradise do grow : 
Whence proud, dark, bloody popery was driven : 
To whom the opened book of God was given. 
Where sacred guides, and books, and helps abound; 
And all that will, may hear the joyful sound. 
My parents here thy skilful hand did plant, 
Free from the snares of riches and of want. 
Their tender care was us'd for me alone, 
Because thy Providence gave them but one : 


Their earthly precepts so possess'd my heart, 

That taking root, they did not thence depart. 

Thy wisdom so contrived my education, 

As might expose me to the least temptation. 

Much of that guilt thy mercy did prevent, 

In which my spring-time I should else have spent. 

Yet sin sprung up and early did appear ; 
In love of play, and lies produced by fear • 
An appetite pleased with forbidden fruit, 
A proud delight in literate repute ; 
Excess of pleasure in vain tales, romances ; 
Time spent in feigned histories and fancies : 
In idle talk, conform to company ; 
Childhood and youth had too much vanity. 
Conscience was oft resisted when it check'd, 
And holy duty I did much neglect. 

Yet patience bore, thy spirit still did strive, 
Restless convictions still were kept alive. 
Thou would'st not give me over, till thy grace 
Revived thy image which sin did deface. 
Thou strangely put'st such books into my hand, 
As caused me my case to understand : 
As touch'd my conscience, wakened my heart, 
And laid it under careful fears and smart. 
And made me question with a deeper sense, 
Whither my soul must go when it goes hence. 

Then did thy light detect the vanity 
Of all the joys and hopes below the sky. 
The fruitless bustle which the worldling makes, 
The madness of the course the sinner takes ; 
The wicked world I thought a Bedlam was ; 
And senseless sinners' hearts were stone or brass ; 
b 2 


I wondered men could live so carelessly, 
Ready to pass into eternity ! 
And O how easily could I confute 
All that against a holy life dispute ! 

I wondered at myself that staid so long, 
So little touch 'd with arguments so strong ! 
Laughing and playing, as if all were well, 
For aught I knew, near to the brink of Hell. 
I marvell'd at my former senselessness ! 
My sin and misery I did confess. 
And now what horrid darkness on my mind, 
Never before lamented, did I find ! 
Sin was like sickness in my flesh and bone, 
Which only by the book before was known. 

Christ's oflice now I better understood, 
The need my soul had of his cleansing blood . 
How insufficient of myself I was, 
To bring my own deliverance to pass : 
Now I began to feel as well as see, 
How near the word of grace concerned me : 
That all means else in Heaven and earth were vain, 
My peace with God, and pardon to obtain. 
To whom else should my sinful soul have gone ? 
But for my Saviour, I had been undone. 
Oh my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Thus thou prepar'st us for the life above. 

The heav'nly powers which made my heart to quaU c 
My prison bonds and doors did open shake. 
Sin now was folly, villany, and shame : 
God, Heav'n, Christ, holiness seem not the same : 
How thou would'st use me, yet I did not know, 
Whether my sin thou would'st forgive, or no: 

Baxter's poems. 11 

But well I saw there was no turning back . 
Nature is loth to go to Hell awake • 
Thy Gospel told me, I might mercy find : 
Nothing but Hell and darkness was behind . 
At last thy grace brought me to this conclusion, 
To hope and seek I fix'd my resolution. 

my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Thy griefs prepare us for the joys above. 

Yet these my wounds and smarts were not so great 

As many's who sat long in scorners' seat . 

Nor did the change so suddenly begin, 

As to make known when special grace came in 

In my young years thou hadst convinced my soul ; 

Conscience did childish vanity controul : 

1 liked thy ways as best : I honour'd those 
That folly shunn'd, and holy wisdom chose; 
Thou hadst prevented oaths and horrid crimes : 
And the enormous vices of the times : 
Preserving me from youthful lusts and rage : 
The thoughts of thee increasing with my age. 
This greatest change began when I was green, 
Having not much above three lustres seen : 
Therefore I doubted whether it were true, 
Because its entrance I no better knew. 

Long was I sadly questioning thy grace, 
Because thy Spirit's steps I could not trace. 
The difference is so great 'twixt Heav'n and Hell, 
That those must differ much who there must dwell . 
I fear'd the change which raised my soul no higher, 
Would not suffice to save me from Hell -fire. 
But above all, I thought so hard a heart 
Could not among the living have a part. 


I thought thy son would never heal my sore, 

Unless my tears and sorrow had been more. 

I wonder'd. at my great stupidity ! 

That could not weep when I deserved to die. 

I wonder'd things so great as Heav'n and Hell, 

Did on my heart with no more feeling dwell ' 

That words which such amazing things import, 

Did not sink deeper, and my soul transport ! 

That things of everlasting consequence 

Did not affect me with a deeper sense I 

And that a soul so near its final doom, 

Could give these worldly trifles any room ! 

That on these shadows I could cast an eye, 

While death and judgment, Heav'n and Hell stood by. 

1 wonder'd, when my odious sin was named, 

I was no more confounded and ashamed. 

Many a time I begg'd a tender heart, 

And never pray'd so much for joy, as smart. 

I could have kiss'd the place where I did kneel, 

If what my tongue had spoke, my heart could feel. 

These were my cries, when I to thee did speak, 

O that this heart of stone might melt or break ! 

These were my groans, this was my daily breath, 

save me from hard-heartedness and death. 
This was the title which I used to take, 
Senseless, hard-hearted wretch, that cannot wake. 
But as thy wisdom gives in fittest measure ; 

Not all at once ; it's meet we wait thy leisure. 

1 thought that things unseen should pierce and melt, 
With as great passion as things seen and felt. 

Hut now I find it is their proper part, 
To be most valued, to be next the heart ! 

Baxter's poems. 13 

To be the highest interest of the soul ; 

There to command, and all things else controul. 

Thus must the little spark of fire be blown, 
Or else it will not flame, nor scarce be Imown ; 
New-lighted candles, darken'd by the snuff, 
Are ready to go out with every puff : 
So it was long before the heav'nly spark 
Conquer'd my snuff, and shined in the dark i 
My feeble new-born soul began with crying : 
My infant-life did seem to me still dying : 
Betwixt supporting hope, and sinking fears, 
My doubting soul did languish many years. 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love I 
Thy troubling motions tend to rest above. 

Thus grace like nature entereth in a seed ; 
Which with man's labour, heav'nly dews must feed. 
Whose virtue and first motions no eye sees, 
But after comes to ripeness by degrees : 
Our father's tender love doth much appear, 
When he with useless crying babes can bear : 
When we the household's grief and trouble are ; 
He shews the more his patient nursing care. 
At first I wish'd that I could pray and weep : 
Thus when I could not go, I learn 'd to creep : 
Then thou began'st to loose my infant tongue ; 
And taught'st me, Abba, Father, when but young ; 
First by the book, and some un worded groans ; 
After by heart-endited words and moans. 
Thy diet first was milk, then stronger food : 
But always that which wholesome was and good. 
Though preachers were too often dry and dull, 
Thy holy word was quick and powerful; 

14 Baxter's poems. 

The many precious books of holy men, 

Thy spirit used on me as his pen : 

Perkins, Sibbs, Bolton, Whately, holy Dod, 

Hildersham, Preston, other men of God, 

How pertinently spake they to my case ? 

They open'd Heav'n and Hell before my face . 

They did unfold the Gospel mysteries, 

And set Christ crucified before my eyes : 

They shamed sin, they shewed me the snare, 

Opened the danger, charged me to beware. 

In every duty they did me direct ; 

Told me the sin and danger of neglect ; 

They search'd my heart, help'd me to try my state, 

My earthly mind they help'd to elevate. 

What strong and quick'ning motives did they brin^ 

To raise my heart, and wind the slack'ned spring ! 

These happy counsellors were still at hand ; 

The maps and landscapes of the holy land. 

This food was not lock'd from me ; but I could 

Go read a holy sermon when I would. 

How cheaply kept I many rare divines ! 

And for a little purchased golden mines ! 

My griefs they eased, my many doubts resolved : 

With great delight I daily them revolved. 

O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 

Are these thy candles ? what 's the sun above ? 

At last my fears became my greatest fear, 
Lest that my whole religion should lie there : 
No man hath more of holiness than love : 
Which doth free souls by complacency move. 
Common grace goes as far as fear alone ; 
This eateth not the meat, but gnaws the bone. 


A slavish fear desireth leave to sin ; 

It doth hut tie the hands and wash the skin. 

Hypocrites act a forced affected part : 

Where love is absent, God hath not the heart. 

He'll not accept what's done against men's will, 

That if they durst, had rather have done ill. 

Oh my dear God ! shall not my heart be thine ? 
Then I shall wish it never had been mine. 
Objects of sense do soonest move the passion : 
But sure thou hast my highest estimation ; 
My will's resolved, choice is to be thine 
My soul and body I to thee resign : 
To thee the motions of my soul do bend, 
Thou art the scope to which my life doth tend. 
The motions of the higher faculties, 
The ruling powers are chiefest in thine eyes ; 
Thou tak'st the love and homage which they pay ; 
Though rebel passion doth not them obey. 
What makes melaughmost, makes me not most glad; 
What made me weep most, made me not most sad; 
My love to one choice friend hath more of passion, 
Than my much greater love to church and nation. 
O had I all my powers at command ! 
As readily as tongue, or foot, or hand ! 
My eyes should empty first the serious store, 
Because I love, so good a God no more. 
And next some of the florid blood should spend, 
Because the God of love I did offend. 
The rest should serve for oil unto love's fire, 
Wasting in restless, vehement desire. 
At every mention of thy blessed name, 
My ravish 'd soul should mount up in love's flame. 

16 Baxter's poems. 

Each sermon should Elias' chariot be, 

To carry up iwy longing heart to thee. 

The saints' assemblies I would make more bright, 

Where many Heaven-aspiring flames unite. 

And when my Lord's love -sufferings I read, 

My pierced and love- wounded heart should bleed. 

Love should enforce each word when I do pray ; 

A flaming heart I 'd on thy altar lay : 

When halving hypocrites give thee a part, 

Love should present my whole, though broken, heart. 

When in thy world I read love's mysteries, 

There I would sweetly feed my greedy eyes. 

Each Sacrament should be an eucharist : [twist. 

There heart with heart, and love with love should 

My friends and I would in our daily walk 

Of love's delights and entertainments talk ; 

My working love should others love excite : 

In love I 'd be a burning shining light. 

Love through the lantern of my flesh should shine : 

Who heard me speak, should hear that I am thine. 

Remembring that in love I must be made 

Equal to angels ; I would learn their trade : 

Yea, I would reach up to a higher shelf, 

And as my copy, look to Christ himself. 

Love's work I'd do with all my diligence,* 

Though men should think I were beside my sense. t 

My daily love should rise before the sun, 

And it in speed and constancy out-run : 

Love as my life should fill up all my days ; 

Desire should be my pulse ; my breath thy praise. 

* Mark iii. 20, 21. t 2 Cor. 5, 13. 


And I would wind up all the strings as high 
As blessed Paul was in his ecstacy. 
Heav'nly love should all my words indite, 
And be the soul and sense of all I write : 
My heart of love's delight should sweetly think, 
I'd write with flaming fire instead of ink : 
And yet thy holy day should be my best, 
In it my thirsty soul should taste of rest ; 
My daily food should increase to a feast. 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 

could I mount thus to the flames above ! 
These are love's pantings after thee, my God ! 

Though with my soul imprison 'd in a clod ! 
My soul and love shall shortly be set free ; 
And then my soul, my love shall feast on thee. 
If thou would'st grant the very thing I crave, 
And give me leave to choose what I would have ; 
Should it be lusts, or sports, or fleshly pleasure ? 
Should it be lordly rule, or earthly treasure ? 
No' ; I could gladly leave this dirt to swine, 
And let the world be theirs, if thou be mine ! 
I would not thirst to taste of their delight. 
If lively faith might see the blessed sight ! 

1 would not be ambitious of a throne 1 
I could have full content in God alone. 

For men's esteem and praise I would not care : 
All other wit and knowledge I could spare : 
To know and love my God should be my choice : 
Give me but this, and how shall I rejoice ! 
Under my hand, Lord, this is it I choose : 
O give me this, whatever else I lose. 

18 Baxter's poems. 

Is there no spark of love in this desire, 

When a poor soul doth unto thee aspire ? 

To know and love thee is my thirst and strife 

Nothing more makes me weary of my life, 

Than that I feel no more the heav'nly fire ; 

But look and reach, and yet can reach no higher. 

Here lies my pain ! this is my daily sore : 

I hate my heart for loving God no more. 

Do I not love thee, when I love to love thee ? 

And when I set up nothing else above thee ? 

Next God himself, who is my end and rest, 

Love which stands next thee, I esteem my best ; 

And loving God shall be my endless feast. 

O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
These are thy earnests of the life above. 
Fear is to love, as was the law to grace : 

And as John Baptist goes before Christ's face, 

Preaching repentance ; it prepares his way ; 

It is the first appearing of the day ; 

The dawning light which comes before the sun ; 

As he that to Christ's sepulchre first run, 

Excites the loved disciple to do better ; 

The certain news of life comes by the later. 

Fear is love's harbinger ; it is the womb 

Where love doth breed till time of ripeness come ! 

No wonder if it be not seen till then ; 

The seed and embryo are hid from men. 

Though thou com'st in by love, fear draws the latch ; 

Fear makes the motion, tho' love makes the match ; 

Fear is the soil that cherisheth the seed, 

The nursery in which Heav'n's plants do breed. 

Baxter's poems. 19 

God first in nature finds self-love, and there 

He takes advantage to implant his fear. 

With some the time is long before the earth 

Disclose her young one by a springy birth. 

When Heav'n doth make our winter sharp and long, 

The seed of love lies hid, or seems but young : 

But when God makes it spring-time, his approach 

Takes from the barren soul its great reproach ; 

WTien Heav'n's reviving smiles and rays appear, 

Then love begins to spring up above fear : 

And if sin hinder not by cursed shade, 

It quickly shoots up to a youthful blade : 

And when Heav'n's warmer beams and dews succeed, 

That 's ripen'd fruit which e'en now was but seed 

Yet doth not flow'ring, fruitful love forget 

Her nursing fear, there still her root is set : 

In humble self-denial under-trod, 

While flower and fruit are growing up to God, 

After love's birth -day, holy fear and care 

The outward part of the new creature are. 

As mortal man consists of flesh and skull, 

So fear and love, on earth, do make one whole. 

Love, as the soul, unseen, yet bears the sway ; 

Fear, as the flesh, more felt, must it obey. 

By fear, love doth the daring flesh restrain, 

And keepeth men awake by threat'ned pain. 

This frame is mortal : not that love can die ; 

But leaving fears, will dwell alone on high : 

Yet will retain a reverent fear of God ; 

But not the terror of his wrath or rod. 

O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 

How wise thy methods to the life above ! 

20 Baxter's poems. 

Thou first appear'dst in lightning, as to Paul i 
My heat abated, at thy feet 1 fall. 
The voice with which thy call thou didst begin, 
Was to convince me and reprove my sin . 
I first enquired of thee, who thou art ? 
And then, what duty thou hadst made my part ? 
Thus fear and care began ; but the sweet name 
Of Jesus did reviving hope proclaim. 
And though long time it scarcely did appear, 
Yet sure some hidden spark of love was there. 
I loved thy holy word ; good books were sweet, 
Those that did with my own condition meet . 
Heart-searching ministers were my delight, 
Those that did most my drowsy soul excite. 
I dearly loved all in whom I saw 
A love to thee, and care to keep thy law : 
The speech and sight of holy men was sweet ; 
I honour 'd them, and could have kiss'd their feet, 
I felt their living words go to the quick, 
When common idle prating made me sick. 
I dearly loved my serious bosom-friend, 
Who did in love my failings reprehend ; 
That could my doubting troubled mind condole, 
And help to keep awake my sleepy soul ; 
Who could unfold the mysteries of grace, 
And speak particularly to my case ; 
Sweetly disclosing his experience ; 
Extolling mercy from his own deep sense ; 
One that had been instructed by the rod, 
And boiled over in the praise of God : 
Who early (and oft in the night) would rise, 
To offer Thee a thankful sacrifice : 


Who warm'd me with his zeal when I was cold ; 

And my remissness lovingly controul'd ; 

Who stirr'd me up, and taught me how to pray ; 

And friendly watch'd and warn'd me every day. 

And yet his piety did not exceed 

His charity to those that were in need. 

For such a friend I had, though after all, 

Himself became my warning by his fall ; 

As more than one or two have done since then ; 

Shewing when grace withdraws, we are but men. 

my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
These are the seeds ; what are the fruits above ? 

Yet did I scarce discern that it was thee, 
Whom in the glass my pleased mind did see. 
But though thine image more incur my sense, 

1 love it for the pourtray'd excellence : 

It 's not because the workmanship is fine, 
But good and holy ; and because it 's thine. 
I better know the map that's in my hand : 
But yet, by it, I better love the land. 
Sure when I loved thy books and every letter ; 
I loved the sense, and end, and author better. 
He loveth wisdom sure, who loves the wise ; 
It's like he loves the light, who loves his eyes. 
If one in prison had his life begun, 
Where he had never seen the shining sun ; 
Yet if he dearly love the candle-light, 
He 'd surely love the sun, which is more bright. 
Or if the sun had always clouded been, 
And men its scattered light alone had seen ; 
It 's true, our thoughts and love of that we see, 
Would more exact and satisfying be : 

22 Baxter's poems. 

But to the unseen cause, as it is better, 
Our love of estimation would be greater. 
And even a knowledge general and dark, 
Would be the chooser of our end and mark. 
That love's most sensible, which sense doth breed ; 
But that commands, which faith and reason feed. 
The country than the map, I must confess, 
Is much less known ; but is not known as less. 
A great and certain object should do more, 
Though darkly known, than trifles at my door : 
An unseen kingdom would with men prevail, 
To leave their native place and hoist up sail, 
And venture over stormy boisterous seas : (please. 
Which shews that great things, though unseen, most 
No wonder if the knowledge be most clear, 
Of little things which to the sense are near ; 
These narrow parcels we can comprehend, 
When unseen greatness doth the mind transcend : 
But yet this moves the wheels, and is the spring, 
Before the nearest sight of some small thing. 
That is most loved, which I make my end ; 
To which my great designs and actions tend ; 
For which I can all other treasure spend, 
Although I do it darkly apprehend. 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Unveiled fully to thy saints above ! 

As fire first kindleth on the nearest wood, 
My sense thus fixed on the nearest good : 
And where sense fixed, there with greatest sense, 
The mind did exercise its complacence. 
It seem'd more cold to that which distant was 
Yet still looks farther as I forward pass . 

Baxter's poems. 23 

And towards my end, the nearer Heav'n I go, 
My love abstracteth more from things before. 
Love seemeth to get ground, and fear decays, 
Doubting and grief give place to thanks and praise. 
And tho' fear wrought with greatest sense before, 
And was in bulk and violence much more ; 
Yet the least spark of love which is sincere 
Will save the soul tho' mix'd with greater fear : 
Who loves God somewhat, and the world above him, 
Loving not God as God, he doth not love him. 
Love must be so far tried by the measure, 
That God be loved above all earthly treasure : 
But that supposed the least degree of love, 
With greater doubts and fears will saving prove. 
Great bodies with small souls are animate : 
Great heads with little eyes, are oculate. 
Small candles lighten rooms that are more large : 
A steward may have spacious lands in charge. 
The kingdom may be bigger than the king" ; 
The diamond may be smaller than the ring : 
The house may bigger than the dweller be : 
Great fear and little love consistent be. 
But still true love to God and man are known, 
More by the fruits, than by the sense alone. 
It must be such a love, as when there's need, 
Will venture, suffer, visit, clothe and feed. 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Which gently leads me to the joys above ! 

Love still went on, and lined out my way, 
Hedging me in, lest I should go astray : 
Yet after this how oft did I trangress ! 
By light discourse, and wanton playfulness ; 

24 Baxter's poems. 

Eating to fullness : yea, even cards and dice, 

Began my mind with pleasure to entice. 

But providence did quickly interpose, 

And by a wonder take me off from those. 

Sin most ensnared by pleading lawfulness ; 

Though conscience often did the sin confess : 

That wounded deepest which by seeming small , 

Drew me to venture and resist thy call ; 

And knowingly the same oft to commit, 

Thinking all Christians had as great as it. 

Let all that would not be undone by sin, 

Fly the occasions where it doth begin. 

At first it 's safe and pleasant to resist. 

But O, how doleful is it to persist I 

Sin doth not open its design at first : 

Its first appearance sheweth not the worst : 

Flattering the sense, it seems to be a friend ; 

But it proves pain and poison in the end. 

Pray from temptation that you may be free, 

If from the evil you would saved be. 

Repentance must convince you that it's gall, 

Which first appeared innocent or small. 

O how it fills the soul with guilty fears ! 

Our filial evidences blasts and tears ! 

Disturbs our peace, and feeds the gnawing worm ! 

Turns our tranquillity into a storm ! 

It puts a piercing sting into the cross, 

And makes death dreadful as the greatest loss. 

Yet all my folly mercy did forgive, 

And did my guilty, wounded soul relieve. 

Oh my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 

Heal me and fit me for the joys above ! 


Thy love in order to its well known ends, 
Shew'd me great mercy in meet guides and friends : 
Antient and grave divines, solid and staid, 
Who from experience both preach'd and pray'd : 
Learned, yet counting Christianity 
The chiefest learning and philosophy. 
These, as the fathers of my untaught youth, 
Were willing to communicate the truth. 
Their help and fruitful converse Was my stay, 
And great encouragement in all my way ; 
More pleasant to me than my youthful games : 
My love doth grudgingly suppress their names. 
The company thou gav'st me was not vain, 
Not proud or factious, sensual or profane : 
But serious, sober, and obedient, 
Whose time was in their peaceful labours spent : 
Humble and meek, who made it their discourse, 
To stir up faith, and penitent remorse. 
Minding the lowest, and the highest things ; 
Not meddling busily with states and kings. 
Making the holy word their chief delight, 
And meditating on it day and night : 
Spending that day in works of holiness ; 
Hating profaneness, lewdness, and excess 
Content with little, yet aspiring high ; 
Sparing no pains for immortality i 
Low in the world ; but for salvation wise ; 
Though scorn'd by faithless fools as too precise. 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Such thou wilt take to dwell with thee above. 

Thy mercy did my younger studies guide : 
Sweet leisure and meet books thou didst provide ; 


And that I might thy love the better see r 
My tutor thou thyself was pleased to be : 
As honeycombs are made by patient bees, 
Who fetch the matter home by slow degrees, 
In many days, and from a thousand flowers, 
Not perfecting their work in a few hours : 
So taught'st thou me to wait the learning time, 
Not reaching first at matters too sublime ; 
Few to maturity of knowledge grow, 
Who think they know, before indeed they know. 
Thou didst improve the thirsty love of truth, 
Which thou hast given me even in my youth. 
My labours thou mad'st easy by delight . 
Each day's success did to the next invite. 
But O the happy method of thy grace ! 
Which gave my own salvation the first place ! 
And first resolved me of the utmost end, 
Which all my after-studies must intend : 
Shewing me first, why, and for what I must 
Lay out my studies, that they be not lost : 
Unhappy men ! who follow base designs, 
And are not Christians, when they are divines 1 
O that an impious divine were rare ! 
Although the terms a contradiction are. 
Alas in what a b^ind and trembling state, 
Should I all day have at my studies sate, 
And with how little joy, or hope of gains, 
K I had studied still in Satan's chains ! 
O foolish studies ! to consider how 
The earth is fixed, and the plants do grow ! 
What is each creature's specifying cause ? 
And what are all their orders and their laws : 

Baxter's poems. 27 

When thy own saving change is to begin 

And thou hast yet no pardon of thy sin ! 

When all the while thou art a son of wrath, 

Who to eternal life no title hath : 

When in thy flow'ring studies thou must die, 

And be undone to all eternity ? 

Who would be playing at a childish game, 

While his own house is in a burning flame ? 

What if I knew whether the earth or sun 

So swift and unperceived a course doth run ? 

Or knew the course and order of the spheres ? 

Or were best skilPd in numbering past years ? 

Knew all the houses of the starry sky ? i 

And things that are for common wits too high ? 

What if I knew all these never so well ? 

And knew not how to 'scape the flames of hell ? 

What gain or pleasure would my knowledge be, 

If I the face of God must never see ? 

Or what if I could fool away my time, 

In smooth and well -composed idle rhyme ? 

Or dreaming lovers' fancies could rehearse, 

In the most lofty and adorned verse ? 

While my unholy soul, in fleshly thrall 

Should be lamenting its own funeral ? 

But when my soul had fix'd on God her end, 
Then all my studies unto him did tend. 
They all were order'd in due place and season, 
Guided by faith, allowed by sound reason : 
Thou taught'st me first the only needful thing ; 
And all my studies harp'd still on that string: 
Judging the greatest knowledge to be vain, 
Which tendeth not to the immortal gain. 


There is a knowledge which increaseth sorrow, 

And such whose fruit will die before to-morrow : 

Yea, there 's a knowledge which occasions sin 

Desire of knowing did man's woe begin i 

All means are to be j udged of by their end : 

That's good which doth good, or doth good portend. 

Its end and objects which ennoble acts: 

Those that do glorious things are glorious facts. 

Who calls a self-condemning sinner, wise, 

That on a syllable can criticize ; 

Tli at can in mode and figure talk in vain ; 

Or learnedly his pride and sin maintain ; 

That's best at the resolving of a riddle, 

Or playing on a bag-pipe, or a fiddle : 

But hath not learned how to live and die, 

Nor where his soul must dwell eternally ? 

God and all wise men judge him but a fool, 

Who is not wise enough to save his soul. [good, 

When Heaven's made sure, all knowledge then is 

For faith and love can turn it into food: 

It's pleasant then to study any book, 

When we see God the sense, where'er we look : 

When as the way to Heav'n we know each place, 

And see God's beauty in each creature's face : 

And when we stick not in the form and letter, 

But all our knowledge tends to make us better. 

When still the more we know, the more we love, 

And draw more with us to the joys above. 

Fine fancies are not like clear minds ; nor those 

Like love, by which the soul with God doth close. 

Wisdom itself will make the mind most wise. 

He that ascends to God, doth highest rise. 


Sure Pisgah was Parnassus, or the mount 
Where three Apostles did three glories count : .. 
Christ's living streams are the true Helicon : 
None make true poets but Heav'n's springs alone. 
What poor, low, toyish work make frothy wits ! 
Like Bacchus' scholars in their pot-wise fits. 
Like children's poppets dress 'd with lace and pin ; 
Like handsome pictures ; something wants within: 
A painted feast, carved with a painted knife. 
A living soul can feel it wanteth life. 
Without a holy subject, end, and spirit, 
True wisdom's sacred titles none can merit. 

my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
These are the drops, what are the streams above ? 

Immortal thanks my soul doth owe my God, 
For his well-order'd, needful, healing rod: 
The book and rod do well befit thy school ; 
Correction is the portion of the fool: 
The rod itself will make the sluggard rise: 
The rod and book make foolish children wise. 

1 felt or fear'd no evil at the first, 

But my soul's misery, which is the worst. 

Whilst for a soul remedy I did look, 

Thy angry storm my body overtook: 

Languishing weakness shortens strength and breath ; 

Consumes my flesh, and threatens speedy death- 

And what I felt, revived the fears of more ; 

For now my judgment seemed at the door: 

I knew not but it might be a foretaste 

Of greater woe which I might feel at last: 

My new awakened soul amazed was, 

To think that unto judgment it must pass, 


And see the unseen world , and stand before 

The dreadful God whom Heav'n and Earth adore ! 

I was unready to behold thy face, 

Having no more assurance of thy grace ! 

Having but lately too familiar been, 

With my seducing flesh, and hateful sin: 

My thoughts of thee were terrible and strange ! 

And of so great and an untimely change 1 

The threatened ruin I did thus condole ; 

O must my scarce-born, unprepared soul 

Before my dreadful Judge so soon appear, 

And the decisive, final sentence hear ? 

And all my reckonings so soon bring in, 

And give account to God for every sin ? 

Before I do my soul's condition know, 

Or any sealed pardon have to shew. 

What if I prove an unconverted wretch ! 

And justice should my soul to torments fetch ? 

How know I but the endless flames of hell, 

May be the place where next my soul shall dwell ? 

Mercy would save me, but I did reject it: 

Christ's blood would cleanse me, but I did neglect it. 

And though I am not hopeless, who can bear 

To die uncertain under so great fear ? 

O that my time had all been better spent ! 

And that my early thoughts had all been bent 

In preparation for the life to come; 

That now I might have gone as to my horn e : 

And taken up my dwelling with the blest ! 

And past to everlasting joy and rest ! 

O that the pleasures of my sports and toys, 

Had all been turn'd to man-like holy joys ! 


And those delights which vanities engross'd, 
And spent on fleshly lust, were worse than lost : 
Had all been sweet rejoicings in the Lord ! 
And in his holy service and his word ! 
O that I could my wasted time call back ! 
Which now my soul for greater works doth lack ; 
What would I give now for those precious days, 
Which once run out in pleasures and delays ? 
O had I lived a strict and holy life, 
Though under hatred and malicious strife ! 
Though men's and devils' fury I had borne, 
And been the world's reproach , contempt, and scorn 
Then welcome death would but have quench'd my 
And bid the envious world now do their worst, [thirst 
Their malice would but to my joys accrue, 
And well-spent time be sweet to my review. 
happy men whose portion is above ! 
Whose hearts to God, and to his service clove! 
Who made him, and his word, their chief delight, 
And walk'd in uprightness, as in his sight! 
Approved their hearts and ways to him alone ! 
As ready to appear before his throne ! 
Now I had rather far be one of them, 
Than one of worldly wealth, or princely stem. 

now my undress'd soul is passing forth, 

1 see both what the world and Christ are worth. 
Thus did the face of death my soul awake ; 

The bonds of dead stupidity it brake ! 
Strict, holy truth I easily confess'd; 
I saw that godliness is not a jest. 
My late besotted mind is now past doubt, 
That folly's careless, wisdom is devout: 


1 saw more clearly than I did before, 

What lies on an ungodly sinner's score : 

For what man's powers were made, what is their use - y 

To what all means and mercies do conduce : 

What is man's business while he 's here below ; 

How much his creatures to their maker owe ; 

Whether the saint or brute be in the right ? 

Whether it 's best to live by faith or sight ; 

What is true wit, what learning's most sublime ; 

How I and all should value precious time ; 

I saw it's not a thing indifferent, 

Whether my soul to Heav'n or Hell be sent. 

Death also further taught me how to pray, 
And made me cry unto thee every day ; 
It set me on the trying of my state, 
Lest I should prove deceived when 'twas too late. 
Often and carefully I search'd my heart, 
Whether in Christ by faith I had a part . 
It shew'd me so much work to do at home, 
That alien, needless matters found small room. 
It curb'd my pride, and buried my ambition ; 
Made me not only bear a low condition, 
But. choose it ; and all things to estimate, 
As God, my soul, and Heav'n should set the rate. 
For now, as clearly as 1 saw the sun, 
f saw in lines which they may read that run, 
That endless things are all, when we compare, 
And transitory trifles nothing are : 
That worldlings in their sleep do talk and go, 
And all their lives are but a dreaming shew ; 
Only the true believer lives awake, 
And doth not spend his days in mere mistake . 


That all who are not saints, are worse than brutes. 
These, O my father! where thy rod's first-fruits. 

my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Thus we rebound up to the joys above. 

Long thus before my God I lay prostrate, 
Begging for healing mercy at his gate ! 
And for some longer time, to know his truth, 
And not unripe to wither in my youth ! 

1 begg'd that hasty death he would delay, 
And would not snatch me unprepared away. 
I promised his mercies to rehearse, 

If he the dreadful sentence would reverse. 
Could I have hoped for Hezekiah's years, 
I should no more than he, have spared tears. 
Yet hath thy mercy granted me since then, 
More than thrice five, yea more than four times ten. 
My moan thou pity'dst, and my cries didst hear : 
Delaying death ; not taking off my fear : 
The threat'ning malady thou didst abate ; 
And into many others didst translate ; 
Which gave me hope of some preparing space, 
But none that earth would prove a resting place; 
Appointing me to serve in gentle chains, 
In wholesome sickness, and in healing pains ! 
So great as might my headstrong thoughts restrain, 
From running after things terrene and vain . 
Yet were they not so great as to make less, 
My service, or my sober cheerfulness : 
O what a happy mixture didst thou make ! 
How meet a course did thy wise mercy take ! 
This was the pregnant blessing, kept for store, 
Which multiplied into a thousand more ! 
c 2 


Which hath run parallel with all my days; 
For which I ewe thee everlasting praise* 
Too great for volumes: too high for a verse, 
And therefore endless life must them rehearse. 

A life still near to death, did me possess, 
With a deep sense of time's great preciousness. 
To lose an hour I thought a greater loss, 
Than much of sordid worldlings golden dross. 
1 thought them mad that cast their time away, 
Being uncertain of another day. 
That idly prate, and play, and feast, and drink, 
So near eternity's most dreadful brink ! 
With filthy, guilty souls, unjustified; 
Undone for evermore if thus they died. 
O ! thought I , where are these men's brains and sense , 
Who care no n ore whither they go from hence? 
Pastime I thought worse than a Bedlam word: 
The name and thing my very soul abhorr'd. 

This methodized my studies to my gain ; 
Shamed the contending, jingling, formal vein: 
The greatest matters it did first impose . 
Necessity my book and lesson chose : 
I studied first to save myself and others ; 
What edified my own soul and my brothers- 
Thence to the branches I in order clime ; 
First few and great, next many, small, sublime. 
I here preferr'd to talk, before, to eat, 
Words, before things, the dish before the meat . 
And yet I love and value all the rest. 
My curious mind would fain have known the least 
Hut knowing life's too short to reach to all, 
1 left till last the needless things and small. 

Baxter's poems. 35 

The frequent sight of death's most awful face, 
Rebuked my sloth, and bid me mend my pace! 
Thou knew'st my dulness needed such a spur ; 
So prone was I to trifle and demur. 
Who dare his soul for gain or pleasure sell, 
That lives as in the sight of Heav'n and Hell ? 

This call'd me out to work while it was day; 
And warn poor souls to turn without delay : 
Resolving speedily thy word to preach, 
With Ambrose, I at once did learn and teach. 
Still thinking I h-id little time to live, 
My fervent heart to win men's souls did strive. 
I preach'd, as never sure to preach again, ♦ 
And as a dying man to dying men ! 
O how should preachers men's repenting crave, 
Who see how near the church is to the grave ! 
And see that while we preach and hear, we die, 
Rapt by swift time to vast eternity ! 
What statues, or what hypocrites i-.re they, 
Who between sleep and wake do preach and pray ! 
As if they feared wakening the dead I 
Or were but lighting sinners to their bed ! 
Who speak of Heav'n and Hell as on a stage ! 
And make the pulpit but a parrot's cage ? 
Who teach as men that care not much who learns ; 
And preach in jest to men that sin in earns. 
Surely God's messenger, if any man, 
Should speak with all the seriousness he can ; 
Who treateth in the name of the most high, 
About the matters of eternity ! 
Who must prevail with sinners now or never, 
As those that must be saved now, if ever- 


When sinners endless joy or misery, 

On the success of his endeavours lie ! 

Though God be free, he works by instruments r 

And wisely fitteth them to his intents. 

A proud, unhumbled preacher is unmeet 

To lay proud sinners humbled at Christ's feet: 

So are the blind to tell men what God saith, 

And faithless men to propagate the faith. 

The dead are unfit means to raise the dead : 

And enemies to give the children bread: 

And utter strangers to the life to come, 

Are not the best conductors to our home : 

They that yet never learn 'd to live and die, 

Will scarcely teach it others feelingly : 

Or if they should preach others to salvation, 

Unhappy men that preach their own damnation. 

How oft did I come down with shame and grief, 
Not that I was so homely or so brief; 
But that my own soul was no more awake, 
And felt no more the things of which I spake I 
That God was named with no more reverence, 
Nor sinners pitied with a deeper sense : 
That closer warnings did not pierce men's ears, 
Set home by greater fervency and tears ; 
And that my speeches were so cold and slight, 
About things of unutterable weight ; 
And that I spake with no more seriousness, 
When Heav'n or Hell attended the success : 
As oue that sees by faith the joys and woes, 
To which the godly and the wicked goes. 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
How should we prize and seek the joys above J 

Baxter's poems. 37 

Thy methods cross'd my ways : my young desire 
To academic glory did aspire : 
Fain I 'd have sat in such a nurse's lap, 
Where I might long have a sluggard's nap : 
Or have been dandled on her reverend knees ; 
And known by honour'd titles and degrees ; 
And there have spent the flower of my days, 
In soaring in the air of human praise: 
Yea, and I thought it needful to thy ends, 
To make the prejudiced world my friends ; 
That so my praise might go before thy grace, 
Preparing men the message to embrace ; 
Also my work and office to adorn, 
And to avoid prophane contempt and scorn. 
But these were not thy thoughts ; thou didst foresee 
That such a course would not be best for me: 
Thou mad'st me know that men's contempt and scorn 
Is such a cross as must be daily born : 
Thy mercy would not have me splendid dross; 
A minister of pomp ; but of the cross ; 
That cross which hypocrites may preach and hear ; 
But all that follow Christ must also bear. 
No honour must I have to bring to thee, 
But what thou first communicatest to me. 
In founding of thy church, thou didst declare 
How well all worldly honours thou could' st spare ! 
Both in the chief most blessed corner-stone, 
And in the most of those that built thereon : [then, 
And what great swelling names have done since 
Church-rents and ruins write without a pen: 
High titles as the first enchanting cup, 
Cast down the church by lifting of it up. 


Titles reflect on minds. These must be low. 

By humble love all must thy servants know. 

Yet I deny not but a perfect mind, 

May more advantage here than danger find : 

Thy soil is oft manured by such dung. 

I '11 honour give to whom it doth belong \ 

It may be safe to others ; but to me 

'Twas best from such temptations to be free : 

Let my preferment lie in serving all : 

Whilst I sit low, I have not far to fall. 

Keep me from the temptation of the devil ! 

For so thou dost deliver us from evil. 

My youthful pride and folly now I see, 

That grudged for want of titles and degree ; 

That blush'd with shame when this defect was known , 

And an inglorious name could hardly own, 

Attempting to have hid it twice or thrice, 

With vile equivocations next to lies. 

And to thy methods was unreconciled, 

Because I was not Rabbi, doctor, stiled. 

Forgive this pride ; and break the serpent's brain ; 

Pluck up the poisonous root, till none remain. 

Give ine the wisdom ; I '11 not beg the fame : 

Grant me the thing ; let others take the name. 

Give me the learning, and it is no harm, 

If thou shalt place me in the lowest form. 

Honours are shadows, which from seekers fly; 

But follow after those who them deny. 

I brought none with me to thy work ; but there 

I found more than I easily could bear ; 

Baxter's poems. 3Q 

Although thou would'st not give me what I would,* 
Thou gavest me the promised hundred-fold.f 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Thy ways, not our's, lead to the joys above. 


The wondrous mercy of my bounteous Lord, 
Which sent me forth to preach his sacred word, 
Prepared my way, and called me to the place, 
Where I must first proclaim his saving grace : 
All things thou suited'st fitly to my need, 
Giving me freedom, season, ground and seed: 
Poor thirsty souls, attend with greedy ear, 
Crowding in multitudes thy word to hear: 
Thy mercy opening so wide a door, 
Gave some first-fruits betimes, and hopes of more. 

The various places where my lot did fall, 
Were all appointed to me by thy call. 
I never was to any of them brought, 
By the direction of my own forethought : 
Much less was ever any by me sought ; 
And least of all, by price or bargain bought. 
1 ne'er found cause of one place to repent ; 
(Although my sins in all I must lament.) 
None were foreseen ; yet after seen to reason, 
To be the fittest for the work and season 

Matt. 20, 21. t Matt. 19, 29. 


But among all, none did so much abound 
With fruitful mercies, as that barren ground, 
Where I did make my best and longest stay, 
And bore the heat and burden of the day ; 
Mercies grew thicker there than summer-flowers, 
They over-numbered my days and hours : 
There was my dearest flock, and special charge. 
Our hearts in mutual love thou didst enlarge • 
'Twas there that mercy did my labours bless 
With the most great and wonderful success. 
Yet there were sons of Belial, whose rage 
Reason with truth and love could not assuage: 
Who loved and hated, just as Satan bid them- 
Ruled by the reins of lust by him that rid them •. 
In swinish drunkenness they drown'd their wits ; 
Most furious in their rude tumultuous fits. 
As boars or stags, at other times more tame, 
When lustful heats their blood and brains inflame, 
Fiercely assault such as stand in the way ; 
None's safe before them till their heats decay: 
So doth the love of re veilings and sport, 
Poor brutish fleshly sinners so transport, 
That ragingly they fly in that man's face, 
Who doth by sacred truth their sin disgrace • 
And as in armies drums and trumpets sound, 
The frightful cries of wounded men to drown ; 
And even the fearful in the furious crowd 
Are carried on to death through streams of blooch 
So those ensnared youths who formerly, 
Out of the rout retain'd some modesty, 
Conjoined witli the rabble, did as they, 
The common fury and their lusts obey : 


Run with the herd t mirth and the rabble's noise 
Drown reason's plea, and God's reclaiming voice : 
Death is forgot : Conscience cannot be heard, 
Hell and damnation now are little feared : 
They have their curse, and their own sentence pass E 
Away with Jesus ! give us Barabbas ! 
Away with preachers, who disturb our game ! 
Talk not of judgment : let us bear the blame ! 
Whilst grieved preachers can but wish and groan, 
O that your day of mercy you had known ! 
O my dear God ! how precious is thy love ! 
Which looks on such with pity from above ! 
Now England's horrid civil wars began, 
When God a sinful nation meant to fan. 
When sin, grown high and bold, outfaced the light ; 
When pride and faction pleaded divine right ; 
When moist their love, and some their patience lost; 
When proud malicious men must not be cross'd ; 
When wise men seemed fools, and fools seem'd wise, 
And when the worst were best in their own eyes ; 
When piety with Lazarus was loathed ; 
And sin with purple and fine linen clothed : 
And when the sacred tribe, despising souls, 
Through love of wealth and honour blow'd the coals ! 
When Demas for the world deserted Paul; 
And their own matters were first sought by all ; 
When they that sought their good things in this life 
Had banish'd love, andnU'd the church with strife I 
Where striving factions charity defied, 
And carnal councils did the church divide ! 
When swinish Gadarenes d'd Christ refuse, 
And the prophane his servants did abuse ^ 


When holiness the common foe was deem'd, 

And nothing more intolerable seem'd. 

When holy truth and preachers were despised ; 

And wicked means to cast them out devised. 

When sin presumed to make a mock of grace, 

And folly spit reproaches in Christ's face. 

When vulgar rage had found this common vent, 

And impious scorn on godliness was spent. 

When sin was not so much opposed as God, 

Then were we ready for the bloody rod. 

When those sins reign'dthat must not now be named 

But by Heaven's justice shall at last be shamed. 

When old condemned vanities and crimes 

Became the reverend virtues of the times, 

Then God in judgment sat to plead his cause, 

And judge the proud despisers of his laws. 

Banished love doth fester'd hearts forsake : 

Blindness, suspicions, wrath, possession take: 

Each man unto the fire his faggot brought, 

And each against another quarrels sought. 

The whirlwind in the north did first arise, 

And raise the dust which troubled English eyes. 

And though Heaven's mercy there prevented blood, 

The Irish fury shed a crimson flood. 

The French blood shew'd the temper of the nation, 

Their faith and faithfulness keep moderation, 

Their Bartholomews hot dog-days thirst had cost 

Thirty or forty thousand lives at most *. 

But Ireland's Romish zeal was hotter far, 

And in their preparation to a war, 

1 Thuanus Davila. 

Baxter's poems, 43 

Two hundred thousand they surprised and slew *, 
Not that their will so small a measure knew. 
But here God check 'd their power, and heard the cries 
Of dying innocents, which pierce the skies : 
England affrighted by her neighbour's harm, 
Threatened to be the next, takes the alarm; 
As citizens that see a raging flame 
Threaten the neighbours houses with the same, 
Do leave their trades, and altogether run, 
Trying to quench the fire where it begun ; 
And then pull down the houses which adjoin: 
Some seek to save the goods, some to purloin ; 
The well-built piles, and curious rooms must down, 
To buy the safety of the fearful town, 
A neighbour's house is used like a foe's, 
Because the fire, the hook, no diff'rence knows, 
Pear pulleth down the next, to save the most, 
And ruins more than needs lest all be lost. 
Smoke and confused crowds do blind men's eyes, 
All are amazed, with hideous flames and cries ; 
So England, too combustible before, 
Seeing so great a flame so near her door, 
Was frighted into such convulsion-fits, 
As first did break her peace, and next her wits. 
Dangers breed fears, and fears more dangers bring. 
The bees to save their honey use their sting ; 
Roused in angry swarm they seek their foe, 
The next they meet must feel the smarting blow. 

Caetera desunt, praesunt, adsunt. 

* Earl of Orrery's answer to a Petition. 

44 Baxter's poems. 

I proposed to have recited the most notable mer- 
cies Of my life, in continuing this hymn of thanks- 
giving to my gracious God ; but the quality of the 
subject, and the age's impatience stopped me here, 
and I could go no further, and my painful and spi- 
ritless age is now unfit for poetry : and the matter 
is so large, as would have made the volume bk r . 

Psalm 189, 96. 

Written when I was silenced and cast vut, £c. 

Lord, I have cast up the account 

What it will cost to come to thee : 
I find to what it will amount 

A serious Christian to be. 
When flesh was weighing, thou puts in 

Thy love, and the eternal crown, 
Against a feather, and a sin : 

And yet it thought these weigh'd thee down. 
Fool as I was, I took its word, 

And chose what flesh did recommend : 
How could I more have wrong' d my Lord ? 

Or more his love and name offend ? 
It had been wiser to have thought, 

The earth is weigh'd down by a fly : 
Than to prefer a thing of nought 

Before the love of the Most High. 
I see now what false scales can do, 

In a deceitful partial hand 

Baxter's poems. 45 

I will no more believe a foe ; 

But to the holy covenant stand. 
Will friends turn foes ? that cannot be : 

They were my greatest foes before, 
That would have kept my soul from thee, 

Their malice now can do no more. 
I '11 bid these cruel friends farewell ; 

Even Satan would be such a friend, 
He 'd please and natter me to Hell, 

And thither doth their friendship tend. 
He wants not friends that hath thy love, 

And may converse and walk with thee ; 
And with thy saints here and above ; 

With whom for ever I must be. 
In the communion of saints, 

Is wisdom, safety, and delight- 
And when my heart declines and faints, 

It's raised by their heat and light. 
Thy spirit in them speaks and prays ; 

Their speech is holy, clean, and quick; 
Dead -hearted fools talk but of toys : 

Their speech and mirth even make me sick. 
Must lies and slanders me defame, 

That innocence may not be known ? 
Must proud men's malice blot my name, 

With epithets that are their own? 
Thou justify'st when men accuse, 

Thou 'It answer all the spite of tongues, 
And do them right whom men abuse, 

And plenteously repair their Avrongs. 
It 's no great matter what men deem, 

Whether they count me good or bad ; 

46 Baxter's poems. 

la their applause and best esteem, 

There's no contentment to be had. 
I stand not to the bar of man ; 

It's thy displeasure makes me sad: 
My thoughts and actions thou wilt scan i 

If thou approve me, I am glad. 
Must I before the ruling power 

Be call'd with shame to plead my cause, 
And judged as an evil-doer, 

And as a breaker of their laws ? 
So was the Lord of life accused, 

Slander'd and scorn'd with cruel spite 
And as a malefactor used, 

And one that claimed Caesar's right. 
False witness cloud eth innocence : 

Truth seemeth conquer'd by a lie: 
Patience forbears a just defence ; 

And life itself is judged to die. 
Methinks I see thee clothed with scorn ; 

And spit upon, and buffeted, 
And crowned with the piercing thorn, 

Away to execution led. 
It most amazeth me to think 

Thou bearest the repute of sin ! 
The bitter cup which thou didst drink, 

Had nothing bitterer therein. 
The sun did well to hide his face, 

When sun did righteousness eclipse : 
And the most just is with disgrace 

A sinner judged by sinners' lips. 
Thy steps, Lord, in this dirt I *ee; 

And lest my soul from God should stray, 


I '11 bear my cross and follow thee. 

Let others choose the fairer way. 
My face is meeter for the spit ; 

I am more suitable to shame ; 
And to the taunts of scornful wit : 

It 's no great matter for my name. 
Must I be driven from my books, 

From house, and goods, and dearest friends? 
One of thy sweet and gracious looks, 

For more than this will make amends. 
The world 's thy book : there I can read, 

Thy power, wisdom, and thy love: 
And thence ascend by faith, and feed 

Upon the better things above. 
I '11 read thy works of providence : 

Thy spirit, conscience, and thy rod 
Can teach without book all the sense, 

To know the world, myself, and God. 
Few books may serve, when thou wilt teach. 

Many have stolen my precious time : 
I '11 leave my books to hear thee preach . 

Church-work is best when thou dost chime. 
As for my house, it was my tent, 

While there I waited on thy nock : 
That work is done ; that time is spent : 

There neither was my home nor stock. 
Would I in all my journey have 

Still the same inn and furniture, 
Or ease and pleasant dwellings crave, 

Forgetting what thy saints endure ? 
My Lord had taught me how to want 

A place wherein to put my head: 

48 Baxter's poems. 

While he is mine, I'll be content, 

To beg or lack my daily bread. 
Heav'n is my roof, earth is my floor . 

Thy love can keep me dry and warm. 
Christ and thy bounty are my store : 

Thy angels guard me from all harm. 
As for my friends they are not lost j 

The several vessels of thy fleet, 
Though parted now by tempests tost, 

Shall safely in the heav'n meet. 
Still we are centred all in thee ; 

Members tho' distant, of one head : 
In the same family we be, 

By the same faith and spirit led. 
Before thy throne we daily meet, 

As joint petitioners to thee : 
In spirit we each other greet, 

And shall again each other see. 
The heavenly hosts world without end 

Shall be my company above : 
And thou, my best and surest friend: 

Who shall divide me from thy love ? 
Must I forsake the soil and air, 

Where first I drew my vital breath ? 
That way may be as near and fair : 

Thence I may come to thee by death. 
All countries are my father's lands: 

Thy son, thy love doth shine on all : 
We may in all lift up pure hands, 

And with acceptance on thee call. 
Those banish'd are that go from thee, 

Strange to thy service, love, and grace: 

Baxter's poems. 4() 

And, lost in sin, do never see 

Thy kingdom, and thy pleased face. 
May but my soul dwell near my God, 

And walk with him in faith and love, 
No matter where be my abode, 

Till to his glory I remove. 
What if in prison I must dwell ? 

May I not there converse with thee ? 
Save me from sin, thy wrath, and hell, 

Call me thy child ; and I am free. 
No walls or bars can keep thee out : 

None can confine a holy soul : 
The streets of Heav'n it walks about; 

None can its liberty controul : 
Alas, my dark'ned mind is chain'd 

To earth and flesh through unbelief ' 
It looks and longs by distance pain'd : 

When wilt thou hear and send relief ? 
O loose these chains of sin and flesh ! 

Enlarge my heart in thy commands : 
Could I but love thee as I wish, 

How light would be all other bands ! 
Must I feel sicknesses and smart, 

And spend my days and nights in pain ? 
Yet if thy love refresh my heart, 
I need not overmuch complain. 
This flesh hath drawn my soul to sin ; 
If it must smart, thy will be done ' 
O fill me with thy joys within, 

And then I '11 let it grieve alone. 
Then to its sufferings I'll consent 
To be avenged on my foe, 



That pain may help me to repent, 

And sin may be consumed by woe. 
Pain will be short ; joys will be long. 

Yet, Lord, remember man is weak ! 
Drop in thy cordials : make me strong, 

Lest heart and hope, with flesh should break. 
I know my flesh must turn to dust, 

My parted soul must come to thee, 
And undergo thy judgment just, 

And in the endless world must be. 
In this there 's most of fear and joy, 

Because there's most of sin and grace, 
Sin will this mortal frame destroy, 

But Christ will bring me to thy face. 
Here 's faith's great trial : pain may force ; 

And pride may willingness pretend ; 
A stupid fool' die like his horse, 

And Heathens make a beast-like end. 
Frail sinful flesh is loath to die : 

Sense to the unseen world is strange : 
The doubting soul dreads the most High, 

And trembleth at so great a change. 
Vet faith can see beyond the skies, 

Where now our head in glory is ; 
And above flesh and sense can rise, 

Unto the world of saints in bliss. 
Cleansing the soul from flesh and sin, 

Abstracting it from things below ; 
U draws the veil, and entering in, 

Love's glorious mysteries can know. 
Put forth thy beams and hand of grace : 

Open mine eyes . take up my heart 


Acquaint it with the holy place, 

The joys and glory where thou art. 
O let me not be strange at home ! 

Strange to the sun, and life of souls: 
Choosing this low and dark'ned room ; 

Familiar with worms and moles ! 
Shall I be strange unto my head ? 

The world of knowledge, love, and joys ? 
Conversing here among the dead, 

And taken up with dreams and toys? 
And strange to angels, who attend 

On man, and in his good delight; 
And though unseen, do us defend ; 

Minist'ring for us day and night ? 
Am I the first that go this way ? 

How many saints are gone before ! 
How many enter every day 

Into thy kingdom by this door ! 
Christ was once dead, and in a grave- 

Yet conquer'd death, and rose again: 
And by this method he will save 

His servants that with him shall reign. 
Shall I draw back and fear the end 

Of all my sorrows, tears, and pain ? 
To which my life and labours tend ! 

Without which all had been in vain ? 
Can I for ever be content 

Without true happiness and rest ? 
Is earth become so excellent, 

That I should take it for my best ? 
Or can I think of finding here 
That which my soul so long had sought ? 


Should 1 refuse those joys^through fear, 

Which bounteous love so dearly bought ? 
All that doth taste of Heav'n is good : 

When heav'nly light doth me inform ; 
When heavenly life stirs in my blood ; 

When heavenly love my heart doth warm. 
No wonder if time's womb be streight, 

And souls through pain and strangeness go 
Into the glorious world of light, 

W r hich death translateth them unto. 
The strangeness will be quickly over, 

When once the heaven -born soul is there : 
One sight of God will it recover 

From all this backwardness and fear. 
To us Christ's lowest parts; his feet, 

Union and faith must yet suffice ; 
To guide and comfort us : It 's meet 

We trust our head who hath our eyes. 
Christ seeth all that I would see : 

The way and end to him are known : 
He hath prepared the place for me: 

He'll love and use me as his own. 
How many guiltless creatures die, 

To be a feast or food to me ; 
Who love their lives as well as I ? 

And hath not God more right to me ? 
Must I be privileged alone ? 

Or no man die until he please ? 
And God deposed from his throne, 

And human generation cease ? 
Though all the reasons I can see, 

Why I should willingly submit , 


And comfortably come to thee ; 

My God, thou must accomplish it. 
The love which fill'd up all my days, 

Will not forsake me to the end : 
This broken body thou wilt raise : 

My spirit I to thee commend. 

Decemb. 3, 1663. 


(Written on Herbert's Poems.) 

The am'rous needle knows: no othfer rest, 
But at its dear attractive loadstone Is breast. 
Though lying dead before the potent touch, 
Its object and affection were not such. 
The oily body married to a spark, 
Which some cold flint had lock'd up in the dark, 
By the unseen hot soul is made so bright, 
As if in it that soul appear'd to sight ; 
Which in revenge for its restraint and toil, 
Still working upwards, wastes the loving oil ; 
Having a higher love, is not content, 
Until it reach its proper element. 
Thus heav'n-born souls, but lately dead in sin ; 
By faith and love the heavenly life begin : 
And daily mounting upwards, take their flight, 
From flesh and earth unto the world of light ; 
Where darkness, sin, or grief shall never enter : 
Where all the saints are one in God, their centre. 
Where love reveals itself with open face, 
Ravishing souls prepared by saving grace. 


Love is their kingdom it 's a word of love, 

Which they were hatch'd for by the holy dove. 

Here he is kindling the celestial fire, 

Which knows its rise, and doth to God aspire; 

God who is all, shall there have all my store ; 

And yet my friends have not the less, but more: 

Love is now panting, groaning in my breast . 

Love will be then my soul's eternal feast. 

Love now salutes us in the gospel story : 

But then eternal love will be our glory. \ 

Up then, my soul, and swiftly heavenward tend, 

Where love shall have no check, no bounds, no end. 


My God ! since first thy love this heart did touch, 
It saith, I cannot love my God too much. 
It looketh up, and panteth for that grace, 
Which may exalt it, and unveil thy face. 
Darkness and distance are its grievous chains ; 
Sad doubts and fears do feed its griping pains. 
It sighs, and wonders thou canst be so strange ; 
Where thou hast freely made so great a change, 
Long it hath search'd in hope to find the art, 
To raise and warm a dull and heavy heart ; 
And now I find it practised by one, 
That now is praising thee before thy throne. 
Here are the sacred words : here 's David's lyre. 
But where 's the quick 'ning celestial fire ? 
I know the eye of Heav'n is on my heart : 
God looks my soul should bear the chiefest part. 


It's winged faith, and flaming love within, 

That must the pleasant melody begin : . 

The holy Spirit must tune and touch each string, 

Else smoothest verse will be a harsh dull thing ; 

Display thy love ; shoot down thy vital rays ! 

Teach this cold heart the works of love and praise ! 

O then, what life and joy these psalms will bring, 

When it 's thy spirit, and my soul that sing ! 

And though low strains with stops, are here my best 

Yet perfect love and praise shall be my rest. 


Prima dies hominem peperit, sanctumque secunda v 
Natalis; pariet Mors tertia glorificatum. v 

My firsjt birth-day brought forth a manV in sin : 

But one that could not work, por go, nor speak. 
My second did a life of grace begin, 

But such, alas ! as yet 's diseased and weak. 
The third from fleshly bonds will me release, 

And bring me to the world of glorious light : 
Where all my sins and vexing griefs shall cease ; 

And faith shall end in perfect love and sight. 
This death begins ; but 'tis the resurrection, 

That fully shall obliterate sin's story ; 
And state both soul and body in perfection, [glory. 

Where grace and nature shall be crown 'd with 
As nature taught me first complaining cries, 

Before it did acquaint me with delight : 
So grace with grief first fill'd my heart and eyes, 

Before it shewed me the joyful sight, 

b() Baxter's poems. 

Why should not death then be a straiter door, 
Than either that of nature or of grace ? 

Which brings us unto the eternal store, 
Of joy and glory in God's shining face ? 


A Dialogue between the Flesh and the Spirit. 

Flesh. What ! become nothing! ne'er persuade 
me to it. 
God made me something; and I'll not undo it. 
Spirit. Thy something is not thine, but his that 
gave it. 
Resign to him, if thou mean to save it. 

Flesh. God gave me life : and shall I choose to die 
Before my time, or pine in misery ? 

Spirit. God is thy life : if then thou fearest death ; 
Let him be all thy soul, thy pulse, and breath. 
Flesh. What! must I hate myself? when a* my 
Must love me ! and I may not hate another ? 

Spirit. Loath what is loathsome . love God in the 
rest : 
He truly loves himself, that loves God best, [grudge? 
Flesh. Doth God our ease and pleasure to us 
Or doth religion make a man a drudge ? [pleasure : 
Sprnt. That is thy poison which thou callest 
And that thy drudgery which thou count'st thy trea- 
Flesh. Who can endure to be thus mewed up ? 
And under laws for every bit and cup ? 

Baxter's poems. .57 

Spirit. God's cage is better than the wilderness. 
When winter comes, liberty brings distress. 

Flesh. Pleasure's man's happiness: the will'* 
not free 
To choose our misery : this cannot be. 

Spirit. God is man's end: with him are highest 
Sensual pleasures are but dreams and toys. 
Should sin seem sweet ? Is Satan turn'd thy friend ? 
Will not thy sweet prove bitter in the end ? 
Hast thou found sweeter pleasures than God's love ? 
Is a fool's laughter like the joys above ? 
Beauty surpasseth all deceitful paints : 
What 's empty mirth to the delights of saints ? 
God would not have thee have less joy, but more : 
And therefore shews thee the eternal store. 

Flesh. Who can love baseness, poverty, and want ? 
And under pining sickness be content ? 

Spirit. He that hath laid his treasure up above ; 
And placed his portion only in God's love: 
That waits for glory when his life is done. 
This man will be content with God alone. [mirth , 

Flesh. What good will sorrow do us? Is not 
Fitter to warm a cold heart here on earth ? 
Troubles will come whether we will or no : 
I '11 never banish pleasure, and choose woe. [thing? : 

Spirit. Then choose not sin ; touch not forbidden 
Taste not the sweet that endless sorrow brings. 
If thou love pleasure, take in God thy fill : 
Look not for lasting joys in doing ill. 

Flesh. Affliction ' s better: life will soon be done : 
Pleasure shall be my part ere all be gone. 

.38 Baxter's poems. 

Spirit. Prosperity is barren : all men say 
The soil is best where there's the deepest way. 
Life is for work, and not to spend in play. 
Now sow thy seed : labour while it is day. 
The huntsman seeks his game in barren plains : 
Dirty land answers best the ploughman's pains. 
Passengers care not so the way be fair ; 
Husbandmen would have the best ground and air. 
First think what 's safe and fruitful : there 's no plea- 
Like the beholding of thy chiefest treasure, [sfeiise : 

Flesh. Nature made me a man, and gave me 
Changing of nature is a vain pretence : 
It taught me to love women, honour, ease, 
And every thing that doth my senses please. [son 

Spirit. Nature hath made thee rational ; and rea- 
Must rule the sense, in ends, degrees, and season. 
Reason 's the rider ; sense is but the horse : 
Which then is fittest to direct thy course ? 
Give up the reins, and thou becomest a beast ; 
Thy fall at death will sadly end thy feast. 

Flesh. Religion is a dull and heavy thing, 
Whereas a merry cup will make me sing. 
Love's entertainments warm both heart and brain, 
And wind my fancy to the highest strain. 

Spirit. Cupid had stuck a feather in thy cap ; 
And lull'd thee dead asleep on Venus's lap : 
Thy brains are tipled with some wanton's eyes . 
Thy reason is become lust's sacrifice. 
Playing a game at folly, thou hast lost 
Thy wit and soul, and winnest to thy cost. 

Baxter's poems. 59 

Thy soul now in a filthy channel lies, 
While fancy seems to soar above the skies. 
Beauty will soon be stinking, loathsome earth : 
Sickness and death mar all the wanton's mirth ! 
It is not all the pleasure thou canst find 
Will countervail the sting that 's left behind. 
Blind, brutish souls I that cannot love their God ! 
And yet can dote on a defiled clod ! [morrow? 

Flesh. Why should I think of what will be to- 
An ounce of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow. 

Spirit. But where's that mirth when sorrows 
overtake thee ? 
Will it then hold when life and God forsake thee? 
Forgetting death or Hell will not prevent it. 
Now lose thy day, thou'lt then too late repent it. 

Flesh. Must I be pain'd and wronged, and not feel ? 
As if my heart were made of flint or steel ? [smart ? 

Spirit. Dost thou delight to feel thy hurt and 
Would not an antidote preserve thy heart ? 
Impatience is but self- tormenting folly : 
Patience is cordial, easy, sweet, and holy. 
Is not that better which turns grief to peace, 
Than that which doth thy misery increase ? [vite, 

Flesh. When sport, and wine, and beauty do in- 
Who is it whom such baits will not incite ? 

Spirit. He that perceives the hook and sees the end, 
Whither it is that fleshly pleasures tend. 
He that by faith hath seen both Heav'n and Hell, 
And what sin costeth at the last can tell : 
He that hath tried and tasted better things, 
And felt that love from which all pleasure springs, 

00 Baxter's poems. 

They that still watch, and for Christ's coming wait, 
Can turn away from, or despise the bait. 

Flesh. Must 1 be made the foot-ball of disdain ? 
And call'd a precise fool or puritan ? 

Spirit. Remember him that did despise the shame, 
And for thy sake bore undeserved blame. 
Thy journey 's of small moment if thou stay 
because dogs bark, or stones lie in the way. 
Jf life lay on it, would'st thou turn again, 
For the winds blowing or a little rain ? 
Is this thy greatest love to thy dear Lord ? 
That canst not for his sake bear a foul word ? 
Wilt thou not bear for him a scorner's breath , 
That underwent for thee a cursed death ? 
Is not Heav'n worth the bearing of a flout ? 
Then blame not justice when it shuts thee out. 
Will these deriders stand to what they say, 
And own their words at the great dreadful day ? 
Then they 'd be glad, when wrath shall overtake 

To eat their words, and say they never spake them. 

Flesh. How, forsake all? ne'er mention it mere 

1 '11 be of no religion to undo me. 

Spirit. Is it not thine more in thy father's hand, 
ITi an when it is laid out at sin's command ? 
And is that saved that 's spent upon thy lust, 
Or which must be a prey to thieves or rust ? 
And wouldst thou have thy riches in thy way, 
Where thou art passing on and canst not stay ? 
And is that lost that 's sent to Heav'n before ? 
Had'st thou not rather have thy friends and store, 

Baxter's poems. 6 1 

Where thou may'st dwell for ever, in the light 
Of that long glorious day that fears no night ? 

Flesh. But who can willingly submit to death, 
Which will bereave us of our life and breath ; 
That lays our flesh to rot in loathsome graves, 
Where brains and eyes were, leaves but ugly caves ? 

Spirit. So nature breaks and casts away the shell, 
Where the now beauteous singing bird did dwell : 
The secundine that once the infant clothed, 
After the birth, is cast away and loathed ; 
Thus roses drop their sweet leaves under foot ; 
But the spring shews that life was in the root. 
Souls are the roots of bodies : Christ the head 
Is root of both, and will revive the dead. 
Our sun still shineth when with us it 's night : 
When he returns, we shall shine in his light. 
Souls that behold and praise God with the just, 
Mourn not because their bodies are but dust. 
Graves are but beds where flesh till morning sleeps : 
Or chests where God awhile our garments keeps : 
Our folly thinks he spoils them in the keeping ; 
Which causeth our excessive fears and weeping : 
But God that doth our rising day foresee, 
Pities not rotting flesh so much as we. 
The birth of nature was deform'd by sin : 
The birth of grace did our repair begin ■ 
The birth of glory at the resurrection 
Finisheth all, and brings both to perfection. 
Why should not fruit when it is mellow fall ? 
Why would we linger here when God doth call ? 

Flesh. The things and persons in this world I see, 
But after death I know not what will be. 



Spirit. Know'st thou not that which God himself 
hath spoken ? 
Thou hast his promise which was never broken. 
Reason proclaims that noble heav'n born souls, 
Are made for higher things than worms and moles . 
God hath not made such faculties in vain, 
Nor made his service a deluding pain. 
But faith resolves all doubts, and hears the Lord • 
Telling us plainly by his holy word, 
That unclothed souls shall with their Saviour dwell , 
Triumphing over sin, and death, and Hell. 
And by the power of Almighty love, 
Stars shall arise from graves to shine above. 
There we shall see the glorious face of God : 
His blessed presence shall be our abode : 
The face that banisheth all doubts and fears, 
Shuts out all sins, and drieth up all tears. 
That face which dark'neth the sun's bright rays, 
Shall shine us into everlasting joys. 
Where saints and angels shall make up one choir, 
To praise the great Jehovah evermore. [sense : 

Flesh. Reason not with me against sight and 
I doubt all this is but a vain pretence. 
Words against nature are not worth a rush ; 
One bird in a hand is worth two in the bush. 
If God will give me Heav'n at last, I'll take it: 
But for my pleasure here I '11 not forsake it. [long 
Spirit. And wilt thou keep it ? brutish flesh how 
Wilt thou not shortly sing another song ? 
When conscience is awaken'd, keep thy mirth ! 
When sickness and death comes, hold fast this earth: 


Live if thou canst when God saith, come away. 

Try whether all thy friends can cause thy stay. 

Wilt thou tell death and God thou wilt not die ? ! 

And wilt thou the consuming fire defy ? 

Art thou not sure to let go what thou hast ? 

And doth not reason bid thee then forecast, 

And value the least hope of endless joys, 

Before known vanities, and dying toys ? 

And can the Lord that is most just and wise, 

Found all man's duty in deceit and lies ? 
Get thee behind me, Satan; thou dost savour 
The things of flesh, and not his dearest favour, 
Who is my life, and light, and love, and all, 
And so shall be whatever shall befall. 
It is not thou, but 1 that must discern, 
And must resolve ; it's I that hold the stem : 
Be silent, flesh; speak not against my God; 
Or else he'll teach thee better by the rod. 
1 am resolved thou shalt live and die, 
A servant, or a conquer 'd enemy. 

Lord charge not on me what this rebel says, 
That always was against me and thy ways ! 
Now stop its mouth by grace, that shortly must 
Through just, but gainful death, be stopp'd with dust . 
The thoughts and words of flesh are none of mine: 
Let flesh say what it will, I will be thine. 
Whatever this rebellious flesh shall prate, 
Let me but serve thee. Lord, at any rate. 
LIse me on earth as seemeth good to thee, 
So I in Heav'n thy glorious face may see. 

64 Baxter's poems. 

Take down my pride ; let me dwell at thy feet: 
The humble are for earth and Heav'n most meet. 
Renouncing flesh, I vow myself to thee, 
With all the talents thou hast lent to me. 
Let me not stick at honour, wealth, or blood: 
Let all my clays be spent in doing good. 
Let me not trifle out more precious hours ; 
But serve thee now with all my strength ancUpowers: 
if flesh should tempt me to deny my hand ; 
Lord, these are the resolves to which I stand. 
October 29, 1659. Richard Baxter. 



To the Tune of the 51st Psalm. 


Eternal God, whose name is love ; 
Whose mercy is my hope and stay: 

hear and help me from above, 
That in distress to thee do pray. 

Ashamed to lift up my face, 

Hence from the dust to thee I cry: 

Though I have sinn'd against thy grace 
Yet unto it alone I fly. 

1 was at first in sin conceived, 

Then lived a vain and sinful life ; 
Rebellious flesh which I received, 
Is still against thy grace in strife. 


Long it was, Lord, alas! too long, 

Before I knew myself or thee: 
Vanity ruled my heart and tongue: 

And O that yet my soul were free ! 

But while I sinned thou wast kind, 

And sent'st thy word and spirit of grace ; 
Thy l&ht did change my darken'd mind, 

Ana shewed me my wretched case. 
Though I drew back, thou didst prevail ; 

And I gave up myself to thee. 
Thou undertook 'st for wind and sail ; 

Both ship and pilot thou wouldst be, 

1 turn'd my back on worldly toys ; 

And set my face tow'rds glory's shore ; 
Where thou hast promised highest joys, 

And blessedness for evermore. 
I took my leave of sin and earth ; 

What I had loved, I now did hate : 
Ashamed of my former birth, 

I gave my life a newer date. 

But since that time how I am toss'd ! 

Afraid of every storm and wave: 
Almost concluding I am lost, 

As if thou wouldst not help and save. 
If I look out beyond thine ark, 

Nothing but raging seas 1 see: 
On this side Heav'n all's deep and dark: 

But I look further unto thee. 

Censures and scorns, and frowns, I bear: 
Storms which before I never found ; 

66 Baxter's poems. 

And yet all these I should not fear, 
If all at home were safe and sound. 

But thy displeasure wounds my heart . 
I have hut two parts, flesh and soul: 

Both of thy wrath do hear their part ; 
And thou hast left me neither whole. 


All this is just, Lord, I confess ; 

I staid too long ere I came in: 
And how should healing grace do less, 

When I brought with me so much sin ? 
Much pride and vanity I kept: 

Too oft my heart was looking back : 
Though God stood by me, yet I slept: 

Heav'n was at hand ; yet I grew slack. 

Spare, Lord, and pity thy poor dust! 

That fled into thy ark for peace ! 
O cause my soul on thee to trust ! 

And do not my distress increase. 
O keep up life and peace within ! 

If I must feel thy chastening rod ! 
Yet kill not me, but kill my sin ; 

And let me know thou art my God ! 

Folly dwelt in my childish breast ; 

Sin robb'd me of my youthful days: 
Let not thy wrath cut off the rest, 

And stifle thine intended praise, 

Baxter's poems. 67 

Whilst I forgot thee, thou didst bear: 

Thy kindness did invite me home: 
O rack me not with grief and fear ! 

Kill me not, Lord, now I am come. 

The silent dust speaks not thy fame, 

Nor in dark graves art thou renown'd: 
The living saints declare thy name, 

And in thy church thy praises sound. 
Yet let me with thy household dwell ; 

Though I be number 'd with thy poor: 
And with thy saints thy wonders tell, 

Although I sit behind thy door. 

Set not thy strength against frail man ! 

O turn not yet this flesh to clay ! 
My life, thou know'st, is but a span, 

If I should see the longest day. 
Break me not all to pieces, Lord ; 

Or else let each piece have a tongue, 
To cry, till thou relief afford, 

But not to say, thou dost me wrong. 

Pity this poor unworthy soul, 

That here devotes itself to thee: 
Resolve my doubts ; my fears controul ; 

And let me thy salvation see. 
O let that love which gave me groans, 

And taught my needy soul to pray, 
Remove my fears, and hear the moans 

Which sorrow breathes forth night and day. 



Why art thou, fainting soul, cast down ; 

And thus disquieted with fears ? 
Art thou not passing to thy crown, 

Through storms of pain, and floods of tears ? 
Fear not, O thou of little faith ! 

Art thou not in thy Saviour's hand ? 
Remember what his promise saith : 

Life and death are at his command. 

To him I did myself entrust, 

When first I did for Heav'n embark ! 
And he hath proved kind and just: 

Still I am with him in his ark. 
Could' st thou expect to see no seas ? 

Nor feel no tossing wind or wave ? 
It is enough that from all these 

Thy faithful pilot will thee save. 

Lord, let me not my covenant break ! 

Once I did all to thee resign: 
Only the words of comfort speak , 

And tell my soul that I am thine. 
It's no death when souls hence depart, 

If thou depart not from the soul : 
Fill with thy love my fainting heart, 

And I '11 not fading flesh condole. 

Health is but sickness with thy frown-: 
Life with thy wrath is worse than death: 

My comforts thy displeasure drowns, 
And into groans tunes all my breath. 

Baxter's poems. 6g 

Where is that faith, and hope, and love, 
By which thou markest all thy saints ? 

Thy joys would all my grief remove, 
And raise this heart that daily faints. 

Am I the Jonas ? dost thou mean 

To cast me out into the deep ? 
It shall not drown but make me clean: 

Until thou raise me, there I '11 sleep. 
death ! where is thy poisonous sting ? 

O grave ! where is thy victory ? 
Thy dust shall shortly rise, and sing 

God's praise above the starry sky. 

My God, my love, my hope, my life I, 

Shall I be loath to see thy face ? 
As if this world of sin and strife, 

Were for my soul a better place ? 
O give my soul some sweet foretaste 

Of that which I shall shortly see ! 
Let faith and love cry to the last, 

Come Lord, I trust myself to thee*. 

O let not unbelieving Thomas' words 

Be now my answer: but my dearest Lord's. Amen. 

* John ii. 14 or 16. 

70 Baxter's poems. 


To the common Tunes. 

My whole, though broken heart, O Lord ! 

From henceforth shall be thine ! 
And here I do my vow record: 

This hand, these words are mine. 
All that I have, without reserve, 

I offer here to thee : 
Thy will and honour all shall serve, 

That thou bestow'dst on me. 

All that exceptions save I lose: 

All that I lose I save: 
The treasure of thy love I choose ; 

And thou art all I crave. 
My God, thou hast my heart and hand: 

I all to thee resign. 
1 '11 ever to this covenant stand, 

Though flesh hereat repine. 

I know that thou wast willing first ; 

And then mad'st me consent: 
Having thus loved me at the worst, 

Thou wilt not now repent. 

* This covenant my dear wife in her former sickness 
subscribed with a cueerful will. — Job xii. 2G. 


Now I have quit all self-pretence, 
Take charge of what's thine own, 

My life, my health, and my defence, 
Now lie on thee alone. 

Now it belongs not to my care, 

Whether I die or live: 
To love and serve thee is my share: 

And this thy grace must give. 
If life be long, I will be glad, 

That I may long obey: 
If short ; yet why should I be sad, 

That shall have the same pay. 

If death shall bruise this springing seed ; 

Before it come to fruit ; 
The will with thee goes for the deed ; 

Thy life was in the root. 
Long life is a long grief and toil, 

And inultiplieth faults : 
In long wars he may have the foil, 

That 'scapes in short assaults 

Would I long bear my heavy load ? 

And keep my sorrows long? 
Would I long sin against my God ? 

And his dear mercy wrong ? 
How much is sinful flesh my foe, 

That doth my soul pervert ; 
To linger here in sin and woe, 

And steals from God my heart 


Christ leads me through no darker rooms 

Than he went through before : 
He that into God's kingdom comes, 

Must enter by this door. 
Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet, 

Thy blessed face to see: 
For if thy work on earth be sweet, 

What will thy glory be ? 

Then I shall end my sad complaints, 

And weary, sinful days: 
And join with the triumphant saints, 

That sing Jehovah's praise. 
My knowledge of that life is small ; 

The eye of faith is dim: 
But it 's enough that Christ knows all ; 

And I shall be with him. 


To the Tune of the 148th Psalm. 

Ye holy angels bright, 

Which stand before God's throne, 
And dwell in glorious light, 
Praise ye the Lord each one. 
You there so nigh 
Are much more meet 
Than we the feet, 
For things so high. 

Baxter's poems. 73 

You blessed souls at rest, 

That see your Saviour's face, 
Whose glory, even the least 
Is far above our grace ; 
God's praises found, 
As in his sight, 
With sweet delight 
You do abound. 

All nations of the earth, 

Extol the world's great king ; 
With melody and mirth, 
His glorious praises sing. 
For he still reigns, 
And will bring low, 
The proudest foe, 
That him disdains. 

Sing forth Jehovah's praise, 

Ye saints that on him call: 
Magnify him always, 
His holy churches all: 
In him rejoice ; 
And there proclaim 
His holy name, 
With sounding voice. 

My soul, bear thou thy part: 

Triumph in pod above ; 
With a well-tuned heart, 
Sing thou the songs of love. 
Thou art his own, 
Whose precious blood 
Shed for thy good, 
His love made known. E 

74 Baxter's poems. 

He did in love begin, 

Renewing thee by grace, 
Forgiving all thy sin, 

Shew'd thee his pleased face. 
He did thee heal, 
By his son's merit, 
And by his spirit, 
For glory seal. 

In saddest thoughts and grief, 
In sickness, fears, and pain. 
1 cried for his relief, 
And it was not in vain. 
He heard with speed ; 
And still I found 
Mercy abound, 
In time of need. 

Let not his praises grow 

On prosperous heights alone ; 
But in the vales below, 

Let his great love be known. 
Let no distress, 
Curb and controul 
My winged soul, 
And praise suppress. 

Let not the fear or smart 

Of his chastising rod, 
Take off my fervent heart, 
From praising my dear God. 
Whate'er I feel, 
Still let me bring 
This offering, 
And to him kneel. 


Though I lose friends and wealth, 
And bear reproach and shame ; 
Though I lose ease and health, 
Still let me praise God's name. 
That fear and pain, 
Which would destroy 
My thanks and joy, 
Do thou restrain. 

Though human help depart, 

And flesh draw near to dust; 
Let faith keep up my heart, 
To love God true and just : 
And all my days. 
Let no disease 
Cause me to cease 
His joyful praise. 

Though sin would make me doubt, 

And fill my soul with fears; 
Though God seems to shut out, 
My daily cries and tears: 
By no such frost 
Of sad delays, 
Let thy sweet praise 
Be nipp'd and lost. 

Away, distrustful care ! 

I have thy promise, Lord 
To banish all despair, 
I have thy oath and word. 
And therefore I 
Shall see thy face, 
And there thy grace 
Shall magnify. 


Though sin and death conspire, 

To rob thee of thy praise, 
Still towards thee I'll aspire, 
And thou dull hearts canst raise. 
Open thy door; 

And when grim death 
Shall stop this breath, 
I'll praise thee more. 

With thy triumphant flock, 

Then I shall number'd be, 
Built on th' eternal rock, 
His glory we shall see. 
The Heav'ns so high , 
With praise shall ring, 
And all shall sing, 
In harmony. 

The sun is but a spark, 

From the eternal light: 
Its brightest beams are dark , 
To that most glorious sight : 
There the whole choir, 
With one accord, 
Shall praise the Lord 
For evermore. - 


What meaii impatiepipmenjto call) it pain? 
That do the! creature's wrath alone sustain ? 
But, alas! how much greater is my woe, 
That must God's sharp displeasure undergo ? 


If a worm's fury seemeth hard to bear, 
Who dare before an angry God appear ? 
I thought my God had blotted out my sin ; 
And it no more remember'd should have been ! 
And wilt thou now call up what's past and gone? 
And charge upon me all that I have done ? 
Why then, where is my Saviour ? where 's his blood ? 
Shall not thy promises be all made good ? 
Where are thy tender bowels ? where 's that grace 
That shew'd me once thy reconciled face ? 
Dost thou repent ? or can God changed be ? 
O no ! it 's I that falsely turn'd from thee. 

Yet be not angry with me, O my God ! 
If thy child cry, and plead against the rod ; 
Not daring to accuse thy narrow path ; 
But humbly hold to deprecate thy wrath. 
Is it thy pleasure to behold my grief? 
When thou canst with a word send full relief? 
Dost thou delight to see me drench'd in tears, 
And overwhelm'd with doubts and horrid fears ? 
Wilt thou stand by and see my soul thus sink, j 
While wasting flesh doth stand at the pit's brink ? 
Shall grief and sickness leave but skin and bones ? 
And shall I know no breath but sighs and groans ? 
Have I no passions left but griefs and fears ? 
Are groans the only music for thine ears ? 
And have I sense only to feel my woe ? 
And reason only misery to know ? 
And wilt thou suffer sinful unbelief, 
To banish joy, and keep out all relief? 
How can that gracious Lord my woe desire ? 
That did so much to save me from the fire ? 

78 Baxter's poems. 

How can that Saviour be against my good, 
That died in love, and wash'd me by his blood ? 
Can the same voice now pass so sad a doom, 
That from my sin so lately call'd me home ? 
Wilt thou now frown me down to fears and death, 
That lately gav'st me a new life and breath ? 
Or can that hand that snatch'd me from the flame 
Tear me, and cast me back into the same ? 
Pity, my God, this sinking trembling soul, 
And let the hand that wounds me, make me whole: 
Friends would, but cannot ; all their help is vain: 
But thou canst quickly give me joy for pain. 
What can friends do, but make my grief their own ? 
And will not give me leave to die alone. 
They can but add their fruitless tears and moans, 
To join in a sad concert with my groans. 
Their pity doth but make my wounds more deep 
While in compassion they stand by and weep : 
Through me thou woundest them: my pains are 

And every tender friend a portion bears. 
They can but pray for that which thou must give ; 
They strive in vain if thou wilt not relieve. 
spare me, Lord ! and press me not too low, 
Lest I should peevish and impatient grow ! 
Lest I should have unworthy thoughts of thee, 
Forgetting what thy love hath done for me. 
Lest blind distrust get ground against my faith , 
And I grow mindless what thy promise saith. 
Lest griefs consume the soul which thou hast made, 
And lest thy praises with my comforts fade. 


Lest I thine ancient loves no more rehearse, 
But all my thanks as a mistake reverse. 
And lest unruly grief should make me break 
Thy holy laws, and things unseemly speak. 
And lest the temper should advantage take, 
The Heav'n-built structure of my hopes to shake. 
Lest I be drawn with Job to curse the day, 
In which my soul was married to clay ! 
Lest this rash tongue thy precious love deny, 
And in distress, should call thee enemy. 
Break not the heart on which thou wrot'st thy name, 
Lest those bless 'd letters perish with the frame. 
Thy word commands us always to rejoice- 
Fain I would do it, but thou stopp'st my voice. 
Can I rejoice, whenas thy angry dart \ 

Is piercing night and day my wounded heart ? 
Can I rejoice and bleed ; rejoice and die ? 
Can I rejoice, when thou dost joy deny ? 
Can I mix night and day ? or death and life ? 
Or heat and cold ? or quietness and strife ? 
Or twist the highest joy with deepest sorrow ? 
Dwelling near Hell to-day, and Heav'n to-morrow? 
Will joys agree with heavy sighs and groans, 
And sweetest comforts dwell with broken bones ? 
When I would rise and sing thy love's renown, 
Then comes another wave and strikes me down. 
Brimstone and flames methinks upon me rain, 
As if I were adjudged to Sodom's pain. 
O, my dear God ! why dost thou me forsake ? 
And all my bones and heart in pieces shake ? 
I took thee for my on T y life and joy: 
O do not now this trembling soul destroy ! 

80 Baxter's poems. 

Weak child ! why dost thou make all this ado ? 
Dost thou rememher whom thou speakest to ? 
Dost thou consider what thy passion saith ? 
Is this the language of a stable faith ? 
Is this thy patience, and thy self-denial? 
Wilt thou thus shrink and shake in time of trial ? 
May I not with my own do what I list ? 
And use my creature as to me seems best ? 
Am I not wise enough to use the rod ? 
W T ilt thou prefer thyself before thy God ? 
Who 's fittest to be ruler ? thou or I ? 
Whose wisdom 's best ? and whose fidelity ? 
W T hen proved I false unto thee, or unkind ? 

When didst thou seek aright, and didst not find ? 

Look homeward, man ; there dwells thine enemy: 

It is thyself and sin: it is not I. 

The thing thou should'st complain of, is within: 

Turn all thy charge against thyself and sin. 

Sin is so bad, that it can do no better ; 

God cannot fail thee, and remain thy debtor. 

Such intimations should not pass thy tongue, 

As if the righteous God could do thee wrong. 

Were conscience but as tender as thy flesh, 

And sin as grievous to thee as the* lash ; 

Hadst thou but lived as beseems a saint, 

I might have spared my rod, and thou thy plaint. 

Canst thou suspect I am against thy good , 

When I have proved my love by streams of blood ? 

Have I not loved thee from eternity? 

And caused my only son for thee to die ? 


Have i not calPd thee from a life of sin, 
When thousands round about thee live therein ? 
Kememfeer how I used thee at the first, 
When in thy blood I found thee at the worst: 
Who gave thee notice of thy sinful state, 
Wakening thy soul before it was too late? 
Who did convince thee of the worldling's folly, 
And shew thee that it 's better to be holy ? 
Who saved tHee from the world's deceit and lies, 
And wean'd thee from thy former vanities ? 
Who taught thee to bewail thy heavy load, 
And made thee long to know and love thy God ? 
If thou art willing that I should be thine, 
It is because at first I call'd thee mine. 
I offered Christ: I made thee to consent: 
And in the terms of grace to rest content. 
When thou wast ignorant, who did thee teach, 
And made thee long a higher state to reach ? 
Who made thee love and choose the scorned way. 
And cleave to Christ, whatever flesh «ould say ? 
Who made thee pray ? and who thy prayer heard ? 
And saved thee from the plagues thy conscience fear 'd ? 
Who made thy sinful heart long to be better ? 
Art thou not for all this to one a debtor ? 
That thou dost miss me, and my pleased face, - 
That thou dost mourn and groan, is from my grace. 
Freely I did forgive thee what was past, 
And all thy deadly sins behind me cast. 
And yet must I be taken for thy foe, 
And all these accusations undergo ? 
After all this, canst thou my love suspect, 
And all my comfort* peevishly reject? 
E 2 


Dar'st thou deny my love and grace, as none, 

Because that all the work is not yet done ? [be ? 

Who wrought that grace ? whose should the honour 

While thou condemn'st thyself, thou wrongest inc. 

Watch and reform, and cheerfully obey : 

For what thou wantest, wait, and strive, and pray. 

Thy love and cheerful duty 1 require: 

It's not thy self-tormenting I desire. 

Humbly look back : remember what thou wast: 

Be not unthankful for the grace thou hast. 

Deny it not, but wait at Mercy's door: 

Thankfulness is the way to get thee more . 

If thou art weak, look up to Christ, thy strength ; 

He'll perfect what he hath begun at length: 

Is not his grace sufficient for thee still ? 

He'll give thee rest, that freely gave thee w}ll. 

If thou stand still, or loiter in thy race ; 

And if my spur do bid thee mend thy pace ; 

Let not the smart make thee lie down and whine, 

And at the needful quickening rod repine : 

But, up ; repent ; cheerfully do thy best: 

The day's at hand, when thou shalt have the Rest. 


Father, forgive my passion and rash words: 
Yet 1*11 be thine: I'll own no other Lords. 
Seeing thou wilt accept so frail a worm, 
That can without thee no good thing perform ; 
Still I'll be thine, and stand to what I said, 
When I my covenant and resignment made. 


I'll rather groan within, and suffer more, 
Than laugh with them that stand without thy door. 
O let thy will attract and perfect mine ! 
Hereafter not my will be done, but thine. 
And let the roughest way seem fair and even, 
That hath thy presence, and doth lead to Heaven. 
And as thou bid'st me, evermore rejoice, 
Give me a joyful heart, and praising voice, 
Suffer not sin to foil thy grace and me ; 
But make me such as thou wouldst have me be. 
Let streams of love flow from thy open breast ; 
And let me wait, and long to feel the Rest. 


To the Tune of Pas. Mes. Galliard; or, to the common 
Psalm Tunes. 

Who was it that I left behind, 

When I went last from home ? 
That now I all disorder'd find, 

When to myself I come ? 

I. thought I had the door fast lock'd 

When I went last away: 
And long might strangers there have knock'd 

If none had found my key. 

When I was here the fire did burn, 

That now is almost out: 
Half dead with cold I sit and mourn, 

Perplex'd with many a doubt. 

&4 Baxter's poems. 

I left it light, but now's all dark,. 

And I am fain to grope: 
Were it not for one little spark, 

I should be out of hope. 

The rooms I carefully did sweep ; 

But now I find all foul: 
Serpents do crawl, and vermin creep, 

In my polluted soul. 

My Gospel-book I open left, 

Where I the promise saw : 
But now I doubt it 's lost by theft, 

1 find none but the Law. 

And when my soul I had undress'd, 
And thought some ease to find: 

I found distress instead of rest, 
Through anguish of my mind. 

For thorns were put into my bed , 

Where I was wont to sleep : 
Grief is the pillow for my head, 

On which I lie and weep. 

And if I slumber, up I start: 

My dreams awake my fears: 
The thorns have pierced head and heart ; 

And drawn forth more than tears. 

'The stormy rain an entrance hath, 

Through the uncover'd top : 
How should I rest when showers of wrath 

Upon my conscience drop ? 


My goods I fear are gone to waste, 

The best I cannot find: 
The rest are in disorder cast: 

Which yet are left behind. 

I lock'd my jewel in my chest: 

I '11 search lest that be gone: 
If this one guest had quit my breast, 

I had been quite undone. 

I know it 's sin that did all this ; 

For nothing else could do it: 
I'll charge upon it all I miss, 

And with the Law pursue it. 

My treacherous flesh had play'd its part, 

And opened sin the door: 
And they have spoil'd and robb'd my heart % 

And left it sad and poor. 

How shall I see my landlord's face, 

How shall I pay his rent ? 
When I have thus abused his grace, 

And have his treasure spent ? 

Yet have I one great trusty friend, 

That will procure my peace ; 
And all this loss and ruin mend, 

And purchase my release. 

When I the prodigal had play'd, 

And all my portion spent ; 
He told me he my debts had paid* 

And bade me but repent, 


Yea, this by his supply was done: 
Whose covenant bade me do it. 

Because I had not of my own, 
So much as would serve to it. 

And after this when my false heart 
Forgot my dearest Lord ; 

He did perform a Saviour's part, 
And still my soul restored. 

I fear'd lest as but once he died, 
He would but once forgive: 

But still when in distress I cried, 
He did my soul relieve. 

Still when he took me by the hand, 
My father on me smiled: 

Oft have I broken his command ; 
And yet he call'd me child. 

I know his power: and for his love, 
It spoke by pains and blood: 

Largely doth he his kindness prove, 
And make his promise good. 

Therefore I '11 never more despair, 
Nor take myself for lost: 

For he will all my loss repair, 
Though at the dearest cost. 

Yea more, I have his hand to shew, 
That when my lease is out, 

A kingdom he '11 on me bestow: 
He chides me if I doubt. 

Baxter's poems. 87 

I '11 trust on him, and use his name, 

Whatever be my need: 
And I shall 'scape the wrath and shame, 

And shall be sure to speed. 

And for that sin that play'd the thief, 

I '11 stop its poisonous breath ; 
Or pine it with consuming grief, 

And famish it to death. 

And I '11 take heed for time to come ; 

Of wandering abroad, 
With my best constant friend at home, 

I '11 settle mine abroad. 

The bellows I'll yet take in hand, 

Till this small spark shall flame. 
Love shall my heart and tongue command, 

To praise God's holy name. 

Once more I mean to sweep all clean, 

And cast out filthy sin: 
And Christ again I '11 entertain, 

And wait on him within. 

I '11 mend the roof : I '11 watch the door, 

And better keep the key: 
I '11 trust my treacherous flesh no more, 

But force it to obey. 

I '11 make a covenant with mine eyes ; 

My tongue shall know its law: 
I '11 all the baits of sin despise, 

And keep my heart in awe. 


My bed shall be made soft by love ; 

And there I'll take my rest: 
Or else I '11 wake till I remove, 

Where none dwell but the bless'd. 

What have I said ? that I '11 do this ? 

That am so false and weak ? 
And have so often done amiss, 

And did my covenants break ? 

I mean, Lord, all this shall be done, 
If thou my heart wilt raise. 

And as the work must be thine own ; 
$o also shall the praise. 

Jan. 18, 1660-1 

tor Sin afflicting the Sinner; especially by the grievous 
sufferings of Friends, With the relief of the self-con- 
demning soul. 

O mercy, mercy, mercy ! O my God ! 
Must I feel nothing but thy smarting rod ? 
Must I be daily on the rack of fears, 
And have no drink to quench my thirst but tears ? 
Where is the spring that feeds this bitter stream ? 
That stops not, either when I wake or dream ? 
These worms of fear and grief, whose food I am. 
Into the world as brethren with me came. 
Youthful diversions cast them once asleep, 
But light awaken 'd them to bite more deep. 


Since then, I lived between thy book and rod ; 
And in thy school of discipline abode: 
Sometimes thy gentle twigs touch 'd but the skin; 
Sometimes thy sharper strokes did enter in: 
Most of them fell but on my outward part: 
But now they pierce, they wound, they kill my heart. 
Spare Lord ! I sigh, I groan, I weep, 1 cry '. 
spare ! before I bleed, I sink, I die ! 

spare the heart ! or wound none but mine own ! 
And let me sigh, and weep, and mourn alone ! 

It 's I that sinn'd : these sheep what have they done? 

1 sinn'd but with one heart: O break but one ! 
Shall I that have extoird thy people's joys, 
And told them of the sweetness of thy ways ; 
Now by my plaints and dolor make them think, 
Thou giv'st us gall and vinegar to drink ? 

Set me not as a spectacle of wrath, 
To frighten comers from the holy path. 
Be silent, flesh ! my God is wise and just ; 
Hast thou not sinned ? stoop and kiss the dust. 
If passion did not blind thee, thou might'st see, 
Justice is good, even when it falls on thee. 
It is not causeless, if he pierce the heart : 
He doth but choose the foul, the guilty part. 
Had not the door been open'd first to sin, 
Terrors and sorrows could not have got in : 
If it have room for thoughts of pride and lust; 
That trouble should dwell with them, is but just. 
Where should the tent be put, but in the wound ? 
We cleanse the ulcerous parts, and not the sound, 
Where should Jehovah's battering cannons play, 
But at the fortress where his enemy lay ? 

90 Baxter's poems. 

Thence came the viperous brood; there was the root 
Of all the bitter, poisonous, deadly fruit. 
There God should have been entertain 'd in love. 
His will as end and spring each wheel should move. 
But how unkindly was he there abused ? 
His tender love and healing grace refused ? 
Oft have I shut the door when he hath come ; 
I play'd, or slept, or would not be at home. 
Should God be slighted by a stubborn heart, 
And not rebuke its folly by its smart ? 
I sinn'd and laugh 'd ; I lightly pass'd it over 
Should God do so, and not his wrath discover? 
Just is the Lord : my sin hath found me out . 
I find his threat 'nings true beyond all doubt: 
What have I done! all's now to conscience known: 
Its deep remorse tells me what I have done. 
What have I done! it's graven all in stone: 
This heart of flint feels now what I have done. 
What have 1 done ! my pained flesh and bone, 
Cry out with anguish, O what have I done ! 
What have I done I 1 see, T feel, I groan ! 
The sad effects proclaim, what I have done. 
What have I done ! my friends' distress and moan, 
Cry to me night and day, this thou hast done. 
Melt sinful heart, and spare not! welcome grief! 
Away delights ! I'll none of your relief. 
Shew me the wilderness, the secret cell, 
Where grief and I may still together dwell. 
Where hills and woods may echo all my groans , 
And hearers may not interrupt my moans ! 
Where mortal eyes may see no more the face, 
Which folly hath confounded with disgrace. 

Baxter's poems. Ql 

Where I may die alive, and live in death ; 
And spend in lamentation all my breath. 
Seeing deceitful, heart-tormenting sin 
So cunningly is crept and woven in: 
Break it in pieces, turn this heart to dust ; 
Melt out the dross ; purge out the filth and rust. 
Spare not the lance : or if that will do good, 
Drench it in tears : stop not this brinish flood ! 

Jesus. Peace, troubled soul! J '11 wash it in my 
Woman, why weepest thou? was the first word, 
After his rising, spoken by our Lord, 
To which his angel's preface did accord.* 


Jesus, Peace troubled soul ! it 's not thy brinish 
Nor troubling passions that must do thee good: 
Come i freely drink, and bathe thee in this blood. 

Sinner. What I ? so vile a wretch ! it cannot be ! 
Alas I I fear it was not shed for me ! 

Jesus. Yea, e'en for thee: so far 'twas shed for all, 
That they may come and welcome, at my call. 

Sinner. Alas, Lord ! I have trampled on thy blood, 
And thy reproofs and calls of grace withstood. 

Jesus. And yet I call thee: take my mercy yet: 
I '11 answer for thee: I have paid thy debt. 

• John xx, 13, 15, 

92 Baxter's poems. 

Sinner. What mine ! that have provoked thee so 
long ? 
And done thy blood and spirit so much wrong ? 

Jesus. I died for enemies: it is my glory, 
To wash foul hearts, and blot out all their story. 

Sinner, What ! one so long ! so terrible ! so sad ! 
Love one so hateful ! pardon one so bad ! 

Jesus. Hast thou such sins as I cannot forgive ? 
Or any wants which I cannot relieve ? 

Sinner. I know thy blood can wash away my guilt: 
I doubt not thou canst heal me, if thou wilt. 

Jesus. How hath my will deserved thy suspicion, 
When I have made acceptance the condition ? 
Consent, and all is thine : my gift is free : 
The purchase is not to be made by thee. [done: 

Sinner. 1 know what thou wilt do, shall sure be 
But some God hates: I fear that 1 am one. 

Jesus. And must the love declared at such a rate, 
Go veil'd by the suspicion of hate ? 
For this I came to men from God above, 
To manifest his great abundant love : 
Mark what my doctrine, life and death intend 
This is their principal design and end: 
Not only to reveal God's power and skill, 
But chiefly his great mercy and good will. 

Sinner. Yet he will save none but his own elect : 
Not those that his salvation neglect. 

Jesus. My promise, and thy duty, thou may'st see, 
But canst not search the depth of God's decree. 
Mercy intreats thee: here it's brought unto thee: 
Take it, and God's decree shall not undo thee. 


All are elect that do not to the last 
Refuse me, and my grace behind them cast. 

Sinner. This I have done, and fear I shall do still, 
Till I the measure of my sins fulfil. 
Though God be love itself, I shall have none: 
I fear my day of grace is past and gone. 
Methinks I feel, grace doth my soul forsake ; 
Thy holy spirit thou dost from me take. [thee ; 

Jesus. Here thou art yet alive ; my grace attends 
And from the jaws of death and Hell defend thee. 
Satan would fain at once thy soul devour: 
What dangers dost thou walk in ev'ry hour? 
Yet thou art safe, and hear'st the preacher's voice: 
Come, close with mercy, and Heav'n will rejoice. 
Dost thou not feel my spirit still contend ? 
And tell thee what it is that thou must mend ? 
If yet thou'lt be but willing to be mine ; 
I and my benefits will sure be thine. 
I seek ; I knock ; thou find'st I have not done: 
Yet dost thou say, thy day of grace is gone ? 

Sinner. O but I have a heart as hard as steel ! 
I see my misery, but cannot feel ! 

Jesus. Fully to feel what thou deservest, is Hell, 
What measure 's best, it 's I that best can tell. 

Sinner. I can scarce weep a tear for sin: this 
Was never melted yet by all thine art ! 
Sure it 's a sign my day of grace is gone, 
When this unhumbled heart remains a stone. 

Jesus. Consent but to my covenant, and be sure, 
The remnant of thy hardness I will cure. 

i)4 Baxter's poems. 

I'll put a tender heart into thy breast: 

Believe in me, and I'll forgive the rest. 

It is no mortal hardness, if thou choose 

My covenant ; and dost not me refuse. 

Should'st thou but fully feel thy sin, thou'dst die: 

None could sustain so great a load but I. 

I felt it for thee: leave it to my care, 

To wound or heal ; to break, afflict, or spare. 

Sinner. My sin, my wants, my misery is such", 
That I can never feel and grieve too much, [of sin: 

Jesus. Such breaking 's good as breaks the heart 
And maketh way for love to enter in . 
But not the grief that only breaketh ease, 
Weak'ning the soul, and strength'ning the disease. 
Hinder not love and joy ; but grieve in measure: 
My blood, and not thy tears, must be thy treasure. 

Sinner. Indeed my purest streams are too impure: 
And cannot thy severity endure. 
The grief of an impatient selfish spirit, 
Cannot thy pardon or acceptance merit. 
But if this harden'd heart do not relent, 
And so great sin and misery lament, 
How canst thou smile on such a brazen face, 
As never felt the want and worth of grace ? [hear, 

Jesus. Whence do I this complaining language 
If neither want nor worth of grace appear ? 
I '11 save thee, if but so far thou repent, 
As to my Gospel-covenant to consent. 
Wilt thou be healed ? truly say, I will, 
And trust the cure on thy physician's skill, [be free, 

Sinner. O there 's my sin and woe ! though grace 
I cannot take thy grace, or come to thee. 


My heart is harden'd ; I cannot repent: 
My will 's enthralled ; I cannot consent. 
This will condemn me at the dreadful day: 
I may have life, but will not when I may. 

Jesus. Art thou not willing? why then dost 
thou crave it ? have it ? 

Dost thou complain for grace, and would'st not 
If thou hadst rather be ungodly still, 
It seems thou speak 'st all this against thy will. 

Sinner. Would not the worst of men be saved 
from Hell ? 
And in delight and endless pleasure dwell ? 
But to be holy I have no desire, 
But as a means to keep me from Hell-fire. 
When I seem to do good, or ill forbear, 
It is not out of love, but slavish fear. 
All my religion is but from self-love: 
I find no pleasure in the things above. 

Jesus. Natural love of self is the foundation 
Which grace builds on, and useth for salvation. 
He that loves not himself, loves not another: 
It's as thyself that thou must love thy brother: 
Thy own salvation is the lawful end, 
Which grace and nature bind thee to intend. 
Why was I made man, but for man's salvation ? 
I suffer 'd death to hinder thy damnation. 
These are the ends for which thou must believe. 
Life through a Saviour's that thou must receive 
It's carnal self that wicked men do love: 
The lawful love of self they '11 not improve. 
They all prefer sin's pleasure for a season ; 
Their fleshy appetite doth rule their reason. 

96 Baxter's poems. 

Me and my healing grace they will not hare ; 
They '11 not endure that mercy should them save. 
They hate the light that would their sin display, 
And would direct them in the holy way: 
Though they fear Hell, they always fear much more 
The loss of honour, pleasure, health, or store. 
No fear of Hell will take their idol down, 
And make them seek first the eternal crown. 
The fear of God is wisdom's true beginning .- 
It calls to duty, and preserves from sinning : 
God must be fear'd, as one that can destroy 
The soul, and shut it out of endless joy. 
The fear of God's the just man's character. 
They fear not God indeed that wicked are. 
God would be fear'd as a consuming fire: 
This is no sin but what he doth require. 
Love may lie hidden as a covered seed: 
When fear in troubling passion doth exceed. 
If angry parents make the child afraid, 
He feels not love, till passion be allay 'd. 
Excessive fear may hinder active love, 
And yet the vital habit not remove: 
When God's rebukes and frowns the soul affright, 
It may dispose his children unto flight. 
Where love is true, some hatred may arise, 
When terrors and despair the soul surprise. 
A loving child will not his father own, 
When through mistake or distance he's unknown. 
The pleasing part of love cannot appear, 
Under prevailing grief, and too much fear: 
Until the soul be calcined, and these abate, 
Love is oppress'd, and seemeth turn'd to hate. 

Baxter's poems. 97 

But doth not love appear in thy desire ? 

Wouldst thou not love God more! and fain get higher? 

Would it not please thee more if thou could st find 

His image clearly printed on thy mind, 

His love and spirit dwelling in thy heart, 

Than of this world to have the choicest part ? 

Wouldst thou not have a heart that can repent, 

And hate sin more, and tenderly relent? 

A heart more fit to meditate and pray ? 

And walk exactly, and God's laws obey ? 

A clearer light, which may God's mind reveal ? 

More life and feeling ? greater heat of zeal ? 
A stronger faith to live on things above, 

Where endless praise shall be the breath of love ? 
Sinner. Whether I should desire these I doubt, 
If possibly I could be sav'd without. 

J. What 's grace for, but to bring thee to salvation ? 
To heal thy soul, and keep thee from damnation ? 
Wilt thou its nature and its use destroy, 
And then conceit thou dost it not enjoy ? 
Think on't, as that which doth salvation bring, 
Or else thou mak'st it quite another thing. 
Grace were not grace if it did not intend 
Thy happiness and glory as its end. 
Thy means is nullified by separation 
From the just end to which it hath relation. 
What do men trade for but their lawful wealth ? 
And what is food and physic for but health ? 
Look not on grace in one divided notion : 
But the concordant perfect frame and motion . 
Take not one single part, but view the whole, 
As it \s the health and beauty of the soul ; 



The life, the strength, the glory, the delight, 

And that which makes it lovely in God's sight ; 

The honour, safety, gain, and true content; 

And that which must the pains of Hell prevent: 

Take these as undivided ; all in one ; 

And view not one disjointed part alone: 

If all together seem a choicer treasure 

Than worldly gain, and sinful fading pleasure, 

And turn the scales in thy deliberation ; 

Then doubt not of thy title to salvation. 

But dost thou not desire that God would love thee? 

And make thee just and lovely, and approve thee ? 

Wouldst thou not see his face in glorious light, 

And there sing Allelujahs in his sight ? 

And love him perfectly world without end, 

More dearly than thou lov'st thy dearest friend ? 

Where thou shalt be replenished with joy, 

And no disturbance shall thy soul annoy. 

Where no temptation, sin, or grief shall come: 

Where my own love and joy shall be thy home, 

Abiding with the host of Heaven always, 

In the sweet music of Jehovah's praise. 

This glorious life with God, thou must love best: 

Yet as thy own felicity and rest: 

In union and fruition of a friend, 

Nor one, but both the lovers are the end. 

And hast thou no desire or will to this ? 

Wouldst thou not live with God in endless bliss ? 

S. Some cold desires of Heav'n the worst may have 
But dreaming lazy wishes will not save. 

Jes. Judge by these three for ending all the strife: 
Thy estimation, choice, and bent of life. 


These fleshly pleasures stand in competition: 
Know which thou choosest as thy best condition. 
If thou the everlasting sure reward, 
More than sin's fading pleasures dost regard; 
If God and thy salvation be the part, 
Whose interest stands highest in thy heart ; 
If thus his kingdom thou first seek and crave ; 
Both it, and all things needful thou shalt have. 
Sinner. I fear I do not these thy terms fulfil ; 
And have not truly a consenting will: 
Because so great averseness I still find 
To God and holiness upon my mind; 
Such deadness to believe, love, and repent, 
That there seems more of hatred than consent. 
Necessity and reason use a force 
Against my will and nature's bent and source. 

Jesus. No man can conquer and obtain salvation, 
But by resisting carnal inclination . 
Fleshly desires run with speedy course, 
And need not faith's or reason's help and force. 
Earthward you sink propensely as a clod ; 
But not so easily ascend to God. 
One motion 's downward ; th' other 's all up-hill ; 
Against the bias of the carnal will. 
Too much of flesh remaineth in the best: 
Some enmity to good sticks in their breast: 
Something of hatred, e'en to God and grace, 
Contends with love, andtroubleth your race. 
In the most mortified, the flesh yet liveth, 
And constantly against the spirit striveth : 
You cannot hear, read, meditate, or pray, 
Or any thing that's good think, do ? or say;. 


But flesh makes war, and stiffly doth resist, 

And would prevail, did not my grace assist. 

Conflict and conquest of this in-bred foe 

Must be the way of all the good you do. 

The question is not, whether flesh do strive ? 

But, whether after flesh or spirit you live ? 

It is not opposition that will prove 

That thou art void of faith, or hope, or love. 

The law that 's in thy members will still find 

Weapons against the law that 's in thy mind: 

The flesh will so rebel, and put thee to it, 

That when thou wouldst do good, thou canst not do it. 

There's in one breast a two-fold will and heart, 

Acting each of them a contrary part: 

There is a will to good, and will to evil: 

One's rul'd by God, the other by the Devil. 

A will to read, and pray, and meditate; 

A will that doth all this oppose and hate. 

Do not now stand and whine, nor yield, nor fly ; 
But use thy weapons : thou must fight, or die. 

Now live by faith : be glad thou hast a Christ, 

Whose spirit fortifies thee to resist: 

Making the greatest thing thy chiefest scope ; 

Keeping alive a secret spark of hope ; 

Which will not only strive, but overcome ; 

And through all foes will safely bring thee home. 
Sinner. But how can [ find favour in thy sight, 

That have sinn'd wilfully, even in the light ? 

Jesus. Though they that wholly to the last reject 

My sacrifice, no other can expect; 

All kind of sin is pardon'd by my merit, 

Save the grand blasphemy against the spirit. 


Sinner. Alas ! this is the thing that I fear most, 
Lest I have thus blasphem'd the Holy Ghost. 

Jes. No man that fears, or thinks he hath this sin, 
Hath ever truly guilty of it been. 
For they deny me all to be the Lord, 
Think it no sin to violate my word . 
They set themselves against me with despite, 
And justify the sin which they commit. 

S. But wilt thou take this, Lord, for true consent, 
From a hard heart that can no more relent ? 
From one that loveth thee no more than I 
That is constrained by necessity ? 
And while he thus subscribeth to thy will, 
Knowingly crosseth it, and sinneth still ? 

«/. If thou consent, it 's good that doth thee move. 
And to consent to good, is truly love. 
Believe if thou wouldst love: and in my face 
Behold the fulness of God's love and grace. 
If his abounding love thou didst but know, 
Thy heart with love to him would overflow. 
Love kindles love ; but faith must hold the glass ; 
This sight would win thy heart before thou pass. 
He that will love God, must not think him evil ; 
Nor print him in his fancy like the Devil. 
Satan will make thee fly from God with hate, 
If he can make thee throughly desperate. 
Think'st thou to find thy love, before by faith 
Thou 'It come to me ? and hear what mercy saith ; 
Thou may'st as wisely search for marks to prove 
Thou lovest God, before thou wilt him love. 
Believe, consent, give up thyself to me ; 
And I will give myself and spirit to thee. 

102 Baxter's poems. 

1 will enable thee to do the rest ; 

And take the stony heart out of thy breast: 

1 '11 put God's fear and love into thy heart, 

That thou may'st never more from him depart. 

I '11 quench the flames of thy corrupt desire ; 

And save thee from God's wrath, and from Heil fire. 

Sinner. And wilt thou pardon all the crimson sin, 
Of which my wilful heart hath guilty been ? 

Jesus. Have I not told thee 1 will pardon all ? 
Hast thou sinn'd more than raging bloody Saul ? 
Or than Manasseh's long and matchless flood 
Of witchcraft, rage, idolatry, and blood? 
That yet was pardon'd w T hen he did return, 
And in his prison-irons pray and mourn . 
Trust me, subscribe my covenant and be mine, 
And I and all my benefits are thine. 

Sinn. O wondrous love ! where this is kindly felt , 
The heart must needs with love and sorrow melt ! 
Wilt thou accept so vile a wretch as I ? 
I'll cast myself upon thee, live or die. 
My soul and body here to thee I tender : 
All that I called mine, I here surrender. 
To this consent I here subscribe my hand, 
Whatever changes come, to this I stand : 
Not by my strength ! I trust on thee, my Lord, 
That for performance thou wilt grace afford. 

January 26, 1661. 

Baxter's poems. 103 




Oct. 18, 1656, 

Who died a little before. 

While thou grew'st here, thy fruit made glad 

The hearts that sin and death made sad: 

Lest we would surfeit of thy fruit, 

Thy life retired to the root. 

Desiring with us first to keep 

A passover before thy sleep*: 

Weary of earth, thou took'st thine ease, 

Passing into the land of peace: 

The threaten'd evil we foresee, 

But hope to hide ourselves with thee. 

Though thou art gone, while we must fight, 

We '11 call it victory, not flight. 

When God hath taken up this Vine, 

We thought no more to taste its wine, 

Till in the land of Salem's King 

We drink it new, e'en from the spring: 

But unexpectedly we find 

Some clusters which are left behind: 

* He died suddenly on the Lord's day at night, after he 
had preached and. administered the Sacrament. 

104 Baxter's poems. 

This mantle from thy chariot fell ; 
We know it by the pleasant smell: 
Who knows but from this little seed 
Some more such fruitful Vines may breed ? 
The tree of death bears precious fruit, 
Though in the earth it have no root. 

Dear brother ! thou art gone before. 
And I a wretch wait at the door ! 
Sin doth not only keep me thence, 
But makes me loath to go from hence. 
When Christ hath heard me of this sin, 
And made me fit, he'll let me in: 
Till then, may I but in a glass, 
See what you see with open face ; 
Sure it will raise my heavy soul, 
And these distrustful fears controul I 
And make me willing to be gone, 
As knowing whither, and to whom. 
If time be nothing, as some say, 
You that were with us yesterday 
Are with us still ; or we with you ; 
WTiich is the better of the two. 
The soul imbodied in those lines 
Doth make us say, that this is Vines: 
And if our hearts with you could be ; 
Our Lord would say, that there are we. 
But as, according to desert, 
The Heavens have got thy better part ; 
And left us but some of the wine, 
Whilst they have taken up the Vine: 


$o we look up, and wait, and pray, 
And yet still feel we live in clay. 
Here we are keeping sin's account, 
While some small sparks do upward mount, 
Crying, " how long, holy and true," 
Till we are taken up to you. 
Thus also we must follow Love*, 
To find our head and life above. 
He that is made by the new-birth, 
A Burgesse of the Church on Earth, 
And then by faith can rise so high, 
In divine love to live and die, 
Shall be translated to your soil, 
Remov'd from sin, and fear, and toil ; 
And from this house of worms and moles 
Unto that element of souls, 
Where every branch becomes a Vine ; 
And where these clods like stars will shine, 
God is not there known by the book ! 
You need not there the pruning-hook : 
There you have wine without the press ; 
And God his praise without distress. 
There we shall find our eyes and sight, 
When we come to our head and light. 
The kernel is where you now dwell, 
And we here strive about the shell; 

* Mr. A. Burgesse was Minister at Lawrence church. 
Mr. Love succeeded him, and was beheaded by the remnant 
of the Long Parliament which cut off the K., for sending 
money to some about the present King. Mr. Vines sue* 
ceeded him. 

n 2 


You have the reconciling light, 
Who are past faith, and live by sight: 
No wonder then if you are one, 
When peace from earth is almost gone: 
We crowd about a little spark, 
Learnedly striving in the dark ! 
Never so bold as when most blind ; 
Run fastest when the truth's behind. 
No heresies with you are sown ; 
There 's not a truth but all will own: 
A mixture we get here by rote ; 
And error keeps the major vote: 
There pride and faction cannot enter ; 
There's no division in the centre. 
The saints there play not Satan's part ; 
They use not any carnal art, 
Their righteous brethren to defame, 
And by untruths to blot their name. 
There you are comely, and not black: 
Each one hath all, yet none do lack. 
What sin or smart can you befal, 
Where self '& put off, and God is all ? 

Look up and see, now Vines is gone ; 
Are not the stars the more by one ? 
No: but one fewer in our sight* ; 
For we have fortified his light. 
And such an one, as all do miss, 
Save those whose pleasure darkness is. 
And who can number stars above ; 
When saints so fast to Heav'n remove ? 
If but three such in all our times, 
As Usher, Gataker, and Vines, 


Were taken hence by fatal sleep ; 
Three nations should consent to weep. 
And if an age this loss repair ; 
The church will think it very fair. 
They shine in glory now to God, 
Who shin'd and burn'd here to a clod. 
May such a sinful worm as I, 
Aspire and ascend so high ! 
That kingdom 's mine in hope and right, 
Which you possess by love and sight: 
That God, that Christ hath loved me, 
Whose glory blessed Vines doth see: 
We were both washed in one stream, 
And both enlighten'd by one beam: 
One garment also did us clothe: 
At once one pulpit held us both * ; 
Much more one church: for we agreed 
Both in one method, and one creed. 
One evil we did both condole f , 
As animated by one soul. 
Methinks where thou art, I should be ; 
Although the lowest in degree. 
Thou, thou art gone, and I am here ; 
Yet is my passing -hour near: 
Time is at work both night and day, 
E'en when it seemeth to delay: 

* Those that saw me stand in his pulpit at Lawrence 
church when I preached for him, because he could get no 
other room in the church, understand this. 

f See his Letter in the end of my Confession. 

108 Baxter's poems- 

My grave and coffin are at hand: 
My glass hath but a little sand. 
Now I am writing; and anon 
They '11 also say of me, he's gone. 
Then I shall see the shining face, 
Which is the glory of your place. 
But lest in vain I hope and run, 
Lord , perfect what thou hast begun ! 


A Rustic Song, set to a pleasant tare. 

Death. Come with me, poor mortal, 

Quickly come away. 

My name is dreadful Death, 
Through this narrow portal 

Come without delay ; 

For here I'll stop thy breath. 
Presently my dart 
Shall pierce thee to the heart, 

And away thy life 1 '11 have: 
It is in vain to fly, 
Or any friend to try: 

For there's none that can thee save. 

Believer. Welcome, friendly Death ; 
What canst thou do to me, 
That I have cause to fear ? 
Though thou shalt stop my breath , 
Yet I in life shall be, 
When thou shalt not be there , 


And though the gate be strait, 
It leads unto that height 

Where I shall defy thy dart : 
Willingly I yield, 
As armed by that shield 

That will save my nobler part: . 

Death. Come away, frail man, 

And open now thy breast, 
And take thy mortal wound: 
Let friends do what they can, 

And physic do its best, 
They'll all too weak be found. 
Lay now aside thy mirth, 
And turn unto thy earth: 

I will give thee the fatal blow: 
It is in vain to wish ; 
Thou canst not save thy flesh: 

For my power thou shalt know. 

Believer. Readily I come, 

As being not the first, 

That hath pass'd through thy door „ 
Thou shalt but help me home, 

When thou hast done thy worst ; 
And thou shalt be no more : 
By drawing out my blood, 
Thou sfralt but do me good, 

And ease me of my grief : 
And though thou look so grim , 
Thou shalt bring me to him, 

That will give me full relief* 


Death, Thy flesh I'll turn to clay, 

And all thy bones to dust ; 
And leave thee in the grave. < 
Make no longer stay, 

For come away thou must ; 
It is in vain to crave*. 
Clothed from head to feet, 
But with a winding-sheet, 

My prisoner thou shalt be ; 
Bearing my loathsome mark, 
Thou shalt lie in the dark, 

And the face of no man see. 

Believer, Thou shalt but dig the ground, 

Where God his seed shall sow, 
And raise it at the spring : - 
And there I shall be found, 

And Christ his own will know, 
And unto glory bring: 
When here I cease to live, 
A better life he'll give, 

Which thou shalt not destroy: 
And though this life thou spill, 
My soul thou canst not kill, 

Nor again with fears annoy. 

When thou putt'st out these eyes, 
I shall receive my sight: 
My day will all be noon*. 
Above the spangled skies, 
Where never shall be night, 
Nor need of sun or moon: 


The grave also shall keep 
My dust in quiet sleep, 

Till the coming of my Lord : 
That flesh shall shine with God, 
That now is but a clod, 

And must lie as a thing abhorr'd. 

Death, Thy merry days are gone ; 

Thou shalt no longer stay: 
Thy life shall end in pain: 
Thy time and work is done, 

And all thy sport and play; 
And never shall come again. 
Here take thy leave of health, 
And of thy goods and wealth ; 

And of every pleasant friend $ 
Bid farewell to them all, 
For here thy corse shall fall ; 

And the world to thee shall end. 

Believer, Boast not, O conquer'd foe ! 

For thou couldst have no strength, 
But what comes from my sin: 
My Lord will overthrow 

Thy power at the length ; 
And will thy prisoners win : 
Thou couldst not keep my head, 
When he lay in thy bed ; 

But he rose, and now doth reign; 
He'll take away thy sting, 
And endless life will bring, 

And with him shall I remain . 


How oft have I undress'd me, 

And laid my garments by, 
And died till the next day \ 
I do but go to rest me, 

And shall rise speedily ; 
My Lord will not delay. 
When thou hast broke this shell, 
My soul with Christ shall dwell, 

And with saints and angels bright. 
This world is but the womb 
From which my soul must come 

Into the eternal light. 

And what though death be painful ? 

The pain is quickly past ! 
My soul shall soon be freed: 
My Lord shall make it gainful: 

The gain shall ever last ; 
And joy shall grief succeed. 
And though the place seem strange, 
And nature fear a change ; 

Yet I with Christ shall be. 
And when with him I dwell, 
I know I shall be well, 

And his glorious light shall see. 

' Thou shalt but kill my sin, 
And crown my painful race, 
And end my grief and fear -. 
Thou shalt but let me in 
To see the blessed face 
Of mv Redeemer dear. 


And is it any loss 

To follow with my cross, 

Till I attain the crown ? 
It's he that truly dies, 
That mercy doth despise, 

And at last God will disown. 

I knew that from my birth 

I was a mortal man: 
My frailty is confess'd. 
I knew my flesh was earth ; 

My life was but a span. 
And here is not my rest. 
If thou canst say no more, 
All this I knew before, 

And yet thy threats defy. 
Have I long sought in pain, 
And would I not obtain, 

Joyful eternity ? 

O feeble thing ! 

How canst thou conquer Christ, 
And make his promise void ? 
First overcome my King, 

And his command resist, 

By whom thou art employ'd: 
First win the world above, 
And conquer endless love ; 

And then I '11 be thy slave: 
Kill an immortal soul, 
And we will all condole, 

And fear a darksome grave. 

1 14 Baxter's poems. 

It's Christ that doth thee send, 
To bring about his end ; 

And him thou must obey: 
He is my dearest friend, 
And doth no harm intend 

In calling me away. 
And why should he fear ill, 
Whom love itself doth kill ? 

And numb'reth with the blest ? 
Why should not Death fulfil 
His good all-ruling will, — 

My spring, my guide, my rest? 

Hoc migraturus scripsi sub imagine Carmen. 

Farewell, vain world I as thou hast been to me 
Dust and a shadow, such I leave to thee. 
The unseen life and substance I commit 
To him that 's substance, life, light, love, to it. 
Some leaves and fruit are dropp'd for soil and seed; 
Heaven's heirs to generate ; to heal and feed: 
Them also thou wilt natter and molest, 
But shalt not keep from everlasting rest. 


Munde dolose, vale: mihi vera palaestra fuisti: 
Perficitur curs us ; certa corona manet. 

Vita fugax cessat: praestant aeterna caducis: 
Mens superos visit: pulvere pulvis erit. 

Baxter's poems. 115 

Excipe, Christe, tuum. tibi vixi- errata remitte ; 

Spe tibi commissum perfice, Christe, tuum. 
Tu mortis mors es : vitse tu vita perennis. 

Gloria nostra tua est gloria, lumen, amor. 
Non loca, non ccetus, non hinc sperata videntur. 

Optimus, omnividens, maximus ilia videt. 

The English verses written on a fair marble over the 
grave where my Wife and her Mother are buried ', 
in the upper end of Christ's church chancel (broken 
and lost by the fall of the church when burnt) were 
these : 

Thus must thy flesh to silent dust descend, 
Thy mirth and worldly pleasure thus will end: 
Then happy, holy souls: but woe to those, 
Who Heav'n forgot, and earthly pleasures chose. 
Hear now this preaching grave : without delay, 
Believe, repent, and work while it is day. 


God's perfect power did this great world create, 
God's perfect wisdom all in order placed, 
God's perfect goodness made all very good, 
But sin God's image on man's soul defaced. 

Power caus'd necessity, and wisdom order, 
And both by goodness caused harmony ; 
All in one perfect frame God's glory shew, 
Praise him and please him with pure melody. 

116 Baxter's poems. 

Sin could not change necessity, nor that 
Disorder which God fix'd above men's reach ; 
But the free Lord free agents also made, 
And there by sin free-will did make the breach. 

This breach to man was punishment itself, 

For God before had order'd nature so, 

That poison would cause pain, and wounds cause smart , 

And sin to sinners misery and woe. 

Goodness is love delighting to do good, 

Wisdom resolves this foul breach to repair, 

And make advantage of man's sin and woe, 

Justice and mercy largely to declare. 

Hurt is soon done : the wound was quickly made, 
The cure must be performed by degrees: 
A Saviour's grace must exercised be, 
Wisdom with love to do the work decrees. 

Man's soul incorruptible substance is, 
Essential life ; not made itself to die. 
Its final state then like itself will be, 
Durable happiness or misery. 

But it is plac'd in corruptible flesh 
And the compounded frame that 's called man 
Must be dissolv'd ; for sin hath caused death ; 
And flesh must turn to earth, whence it began. 

But he who man's salvation undertook 
Is perfect primitive life, light, and love; 
And will give compound life again to man, 
In joyful glory with himself above. 

But as in nature God great difference made, 
Stones are not men ; all have their proper place ; 


Men are not stars, and stars are not the sun: 
So he will make great difference in grace. 

Man is not helpless left to mere despair, 
Life is again made possible to all, 
The former terms of innocence now cease, 
Mercies all sinners to repentance call. 

A law of saving grace is newly made, 
All that accept it and consent shall live: 
Trust but a Saviour for that blessed life, 
And he will freely grace and glory give. 

But yet man's life on earth a warfare is, 
God's grace and Satan's malice daily fight ; 
And all that will be sav'd must overcome ; 
Sin 's vanquished by grace, darkness by light. 

Each part their captain have, and they their bands 
Not made by force, but doctrine and consent; 
Each man as rational and free commands, 
One draws to sin, the other to repent. 

Sin hath its punishment, the worst within, 
When for neglect of grace God it suspends ; 
But the correction of the flesh for sin, 
Furthers repentance, and the soul amends. 

Thus all on earth have some degrees of grace, 
Which reason tells us they should not abuse, 
Which bringeth some so far to Adam's case, 
They stand or fall as they these mercies use, 

But God will not his grace at random give, 
And leave the event to uncertainty, 
But hath his chosen, who shall surely live, 
In whom his saving grace shall never die. 


The two first brothers did this war begin, 
He kill'd and conquer'd who was first by birth; 
He that seem'd conquer'd triumphed by death, 
The victor 's a curs'd vagabond on earth. 

This war continu'd is unto this day 
Between the holy and the serpent's seed, 
These brothers the prognostic instance were 
Of all that ever after should succeed. 

But the worst war is inward ; grace and sin, 
The controversy daily there debate: 
That which the final victory doth win, 
Determineth man's everlasting state. 

A law of grace thus made to all mankind 
In Adam and Noe, common roots of all, 
111 entertainment with fall'n man did find, 
Who mostly to idolatry did fall. 

The strength of sin is love to flesh and world, 
And averse strangeness to a better life. 
It stronger grew by custom, and abhorr'd 
All motions tending to the soul's relief. 

But God's electing grace shall not be void, 
In Abel, Enoch, Noe, he this declared, 
But specially in Abraham, whose great faith 
He with a special promise did reward. 

Not calling back the common law of grace, 
He chose his seed as a peculiar nation, 
Gave them a proper law, and of them rais'd 
The Lord incarnate, author of salvation. 

Yet was their dignity most typical, 

As was their law, to shew what God would do, 


When he the nations unto Christ would call, 
And build his church as Catholic anew. 

Sin soon prevail'd ; their land was dry and small ; 
Seldom from under enemies and waste ; 
But they God's oracles preserv'd for us, 
And from their vine we all salvation taste. 

But as in nature God works by degrees, 
From seed to infancy, from thence to youth ; 
From thence to manhood and maturity; 
So did he in revealing grace and truth. 

Fall'n man his infancy and childhood had 
In the old law's dark types and prophecies : 
But in time's fulness God incarnate came, 
The sun of righteousness to man did rise. 

Three laws he did fulfil, one as a man, 
Once made for all ; another as a Jew; 
The third as Saviour, proper to himself. 
Then for his church, he made another new. 

He preach'd God's will; proclaimed saving grace, 
Brought to light life and immortality ; 
Declar'd God's love, shew'd man God's pleased face, 
A sacrifice for sinful man did die. 

He came to conquer Satan, destroy sin, 
And heal sick souls of worldly fleshly love, 
To raise the earthly mind of man to God, 
And bring him to a better life above. 

Words were too weak for this, his works must do it* 
He was to teach man how to bear the cross, 
To deny life and live above this world, 
For Heav'n to count all here as dung and loss. 


Wonder of wonders ! God appears in flesh, 
Preacheth to sinners, calls them home to God, 
Dies for them as a sinner on a cross, 
Till the third day among the dead abode. 

Himself the greatest wonder, many wrought, 
Heal'd all diseases, gave the blind their sight, 
Raised the dead, by present bare command ; 
Long, before many, in the open light. 

The third day rose from death, stay'd forty days ; 
Describes his laws, church -covenant, and seals; 
Commissions his apostles ; promiseth 
His spirit which all saving truth reveals, 

Ascendeth up to Heaven before their eyes, 
And before multitudes at Pentecost ; 
Gives them the gift of miracles and tongues, 
By giving them the promis'd Holy Ghost. 

They preach Christ to the world, speak various 

Work miracles, heal sickness, raise the dead: 
Convey this power and spirit unto others ; 
Thus through the world, the world of life they 


These many wonders, not in corners wrought, 
Converted thousands, conquer'd unbelief ; 
But, above all his great convincing works, 
The spirit's sanctifying grace was chief. 

The erring know the truth ; fools are made wise , 
The proud made humble, wrathful ones made meek, 
The world's fond lovers now do it despise, 
Kill fleshly lusts, and Heavenly glory seek. 

Baxter's poems. 121 

Sin is a hated thing, God now is all, 
Love makes all common, for it makes all one. 
Zeal for good works, patience in bearing wrong, 
Were the true marks by which Christ's flock was 

Had not Christ added this convincing seal, 
Tongues, miracles, and sanctifying grace, 
The wonder of redemption is so great, 
That faith to unbelief must needs give place. 

Apostles mortal were: before they die, 
For future- ages they Christ's sacred word, 
His deeds, laws, doctrine by the promised spirit 
To guide the church, infallibly record. 

As Moses gave the Jews the only law, 

Which following priests and prophets were to teach, 

So th' Holy Ghost by the Apostles wrote 

The word which after-ages were to preach. 

As Moses' law was seal'd with miracles, 
When such the following ages did not need, 
So Christ's apostles did by wonders see 
Those records which the after-ages read. 

The spirit promised to the Apostles was, 
To lead them to all needful saving truth, 
And bring Christ's words to their remembrance: 
What they by his commission did, Christ doth. 

Their writings are the Holy Ghost's own book ; 
Though human imperfection do appear, 
In modes and phrases, it 's no just offence, 
But leaves the truth and use still sure and clear. 


122 Baxter's poems. 

Words but the vehicle of matter be, 
God's spirit owns not the translator's words ; 
Bat if, as signs, they with his word agree, 
The sense and matter of them is the Lord's. 

This spirit helps the church, but not to bring 
Another gospel, law, or word from Heav'n, 
Nor mend or change God's laws in words or sense, 
But to preach and obey the word once given. 

To bring new laws or messages from God, 

A prophet's office is, and not a priest's ; 

To forge such, or make laws for all the church, 

The authors prove false prophets, or false Christs. 

Christian religion is one 'stablish'd thing, 

Which all the church from first to last may know, « 

It is not human, changeable, or new, 

Nor doth by men's decrees increase and grow. 

If canons no part of religion be, 
But laws for rites and things indifferent ; 
Why must all Christians needs in these agree, 
Or not agreeing by church -wars be rent ? 

The church hath all one head, one perfect law, 
All justified be by Christ's blood and merit; 
All that are true, though weak, Christ doth receive, 
For all are sanctified by one spirit. 

The Holy Ghost in all true Christians dwells, 
He doth illuminate, and make them new : 
This is Christ's agent, and his body forms, 
His witness proving that his word is true. 

This spirit did the gospel first endite, 
And on it did God's image first engrave, 


And then by it, as his great instrument, 
That image prints on all that he will save. 

Though it belong of their resisting will, 
That any of this grace deprived be ; 
Yet scripture and experience clearly tell, 
That differencing, electing grace is free. 

In children it appears, when God doth choose, 
He gives a teachable and willing mind, 
Good dispositions, and capacity, 
By grace their nature is to good inclin'd. 

Grace* chooseth parents careful of their souls, 
Helps them to educate them in God's fear, 
To command virtue, and disgrace all vice, 
Teach them God's word, and causeth them to hear. 

God's seed in such is often early sow'd, 

And as they grow, it springs up by degrees ; 

As plants, and fruits, by sun and moisture grow'd, 

Whose present growth and motion no man sees. 

The first beginning of the Spirit's work 
Is in the learning mind, and fear of sin, 
A love and liking of good things and men, 
'Gainst sins for duty conscience strives within. 

Grace watcheth over them, provides them helps, 
Meet teachers, books, examples, company ; 
Keeps off temptations, causeth them to hate 
Lying, bad words and deeds, and ribaldry. 

Bad children's hearts are quite aversed to good, 
They love not virtue, relish not God's law ; 
Tempting discourse, examples, vanities, 
Catch on their hearts, as fire doth on straw. 


If early helps, parents and teachers fail, 
And sin the childish mind and life pervert ; 
If folly, flesh, and tempting baits prevail, 
Yet God his chosen will in time convert. 

He'll either give them better company, 

Or better helps and teachers whom he '11 bless ; 

Or bring some useful book unto their eye, 

And make their snares, and their temptations less: 

Or he '11 some sharp affliction on them lay, 
Which may awake the harden'd sleepy heart ; 
Or conscience shall some quick'ning motion feel, 
Tell them their sins, their danger, and desert. 

O ! how the case with sinners now is changed, 
Things all appear now in another shape ; 
Sin now is madness ; mad he calls himself 
For loving death, and thinks now how to 'scape. 

Now God is holy, just, his word is true, 
He is in earnest, though sinners be in jest; 
The face of all his works and ways seem new, 
Those things seem worst, which formerly seem'd best. 

The common texts and truths he daily heard, 
Do now begin to have some life and sense : 
He wonders how he pass'd them by before, 
As if they had been of no consequence. 

That wounds, and shames, and grieves, and breaks 

his heart, 
Which formerly was his delight and pleasure ; 
That's vanity, and mortal poison now, 
For which he hunger'd as his food and treasure. 


Now the mad prodigal comes to himself, 
Perhaps the world doth him its husks deny. 
Why, saith he, did I leave a father's house ? 
There none do want ; here I must starve and die* 

that I had not tasted Satan's bait, 

Nor pamper'd flesh, and pleased vain appetite, 
Neglected grace, and things of greater weight, 
Nor meddled with sin's poisonous delight ! 

But the time lost can never be recall'd, 
The works of madness cannot be undone ; 

1 have undone myself ; is there no help ? 
I know all else is vain ; there is but one. 

A father's love afFordeth me some hope, 
The world gives none : I must return or die \ 
I '11 go, and humbly all my sin confess, 
And cast myself upon his clemency. 

But God is just and holy: how can I, 
Defil'd with sin and guilt, stand in his sight ? 
Now the sick soul a sure physician needs, 
There is one Saviour, who is God's delight. 

He is the way, by whom men come to God, 
He is the truth, to save the world from error ; 
He is the life, to save from endless death 
Self-murdering souls, subject to Hellish terror. 

And now the gospel 's better understood ; 
Redemption seemeth not a needless thing ; 
His thoughts are precious of Christ's precious blood, 
His mediator, prophet, priest, and king. 

The gospel now is tidings of great joy, 
Pardon of sin, adoption, peace with God, 

126 Baxter's poems. 

Freedom from terror, Satan, sin, and Hell, 
Man's self-made, and God's just revenging rod. 

He sees why love in man's repair must be 
As much admir'd, as power in our creation, 
Sinners cannot immediately God see, 
But by a mediator have salvation. 

Now all things else seem loss and dung for Christ ; 

Wisdom is folly where Christ is left out ; 

To know him is the true philosophy ; 

The rest doth teach men but to prate and doubt. 

Some glimpse of God and Heav'n, blurr'd nature 

But it 's but as a candle to the sun ; 
Others towards God and Heav'n may grope and creep, 
Christians with joyful hope believe but run. 

But will Christ to such sinners Saviour be, 
Who long and wilfully contemn'd his grace ? 
Yes, if they have but hearts to him to come ; 
He excepts none : he '11 all their sins deface. 
The prodigal now hopefully resolves, 
In Christ I '11 trust, and to my father go, 
When there 's but one way, who should stand and 

doubt ? 
The vanity of all things else I know. 

If in his house I may the lowest be, 

His wondrous grace I will with thanks proclaim ; 

My sin and misery I will confess, 

And in repentance take deserved shame. 

And when repenting souls are thus resolved, 
And with design do tow'rds their father come, 

Baxter's poems.. 127 

They are surprised with unexpected love, 

Grace feasts, forgives them, bids them welcome home. 

Now the returned soul doth dwell with God, 
And God in him, for there his spirit dwells ; 
God hath his highest love, Heaven his chief hope, 
Christ is his life ; he trusteth to none else. 

O how much better is it with him now ; 
How wise, how safe, to what he was before ! 
What he 's yet short of, faith hath in its view ; 
He'll choose the way of sin and Hell no more. 

Now farewell mortal sin, stoop brutish flesh, 
Now pride and lust come down, submit to faith ; 
Farewell ensnaring sports and company, 
Farewell deceit, 1 '11 hear what scripture saith. 

Now all is new, new judgments, love and life, 
New hopes, delights, a new intended end ; 
The means then must be new, or better used ; 
New friends, new thoughts, and all that to it tend. 

But yet, though out of Egypt he be come, 
Through the Red Sea, he 's in a wilderness ; 
Faith must be tried by many enemies, 
Hard journeys, wants, delayed hopes, distress. 

And flesh still strives, Satan still busy is, 

The world will tempt, sin 's not quite overcome ; 

Dark fears and unbelief do yet hang on, 

We are in hope, but are not yet at home. 

But yet we have the leading fire and cloud, 
The law, the angels' presence as we pass ; 
Moses fell in the wilderness ; but there 
The Tempter by our Saviour vanquish'd was. 


The law was weak, and nothing perfect made ; 
Grace giveth light, and life, and love, and strength; 
And though it long, and oft assaulted be, 
It conquereth, and triumpheth at length. 

It is the work of God, who knows his own, 
And makes them Christ's beloved interest ; 
All that are given him, he loves and keep*, 
And brings them to the promised land of rest. 

Grace suited is to every time and state, 

To childhood, manhood, and decrepid age; 

An antidote against contagious pleasures , 

Yet grief, wrath, fear, and suffering doth assuage. 

It useth every state for the true end ; 

It sanctifies prosperity and wealth ; 

Still doing good, and doth to Godward tend, 

To him devoteth time, life, wit, and health. 

It useth friends and enemies for God, 
Improveth kindness, easily bears wrong ; 
Loves others as ourselves, doth right to all, 
Hopes for a blessed end, when suffering long. 

It takes not too much part with pained flesh, 
It ruleth reason, appetite, and sense; 
Conquers temptations, keepeth inward peace, 
Keeps near to God, who is our sure defence. 

It all the way foresees the blessed end, 

Motives to duty, comfort in all grief, 

It fetcheth more from God and Heav'n, than earth, 

In every case from Christ it finds relief. 

It spendeth health and life in preparation, 

For foreseen death, and the soul's final change, 

Baxter's poems. 129 

It 's not surprised without expectation ; 

It trusteth Christ, when things unseen seem strange. 

All this Grace doth, in various degrees, 
In most but weak, imperfect in the best ; 
Clogg'd here with flesh, and contradicting sin, 
But ends in glory and eternal rest. 

Its whole work is to bring man's will to God, 
As our original, our guide, and end, 
Thankfully take his Grace, obey his word, 
And wholly love him as our chiefest friend. 

And more than so, to love him for himself, 

The final object of created love ; 

This only perfect ones, perfectly do, 

Who see God's glory in the world above. Amen. 

Jan. 6, 1683. 


He that by faith sees not the world of spirits, 
Which Christ with his blest family inherits ; 
The sense of Providence can never know, 
Nor judge aright of any thing below. 

Things seem confused and neglected here, 
Because in broken parcels they appear ; 
Who knows a work in arras by one piece ? 
Small parcels shew not workmen's artifice. 
The beauty of a picture is not known, 
When one small part, or limb alone is shewn : 
They that on some few letters only look, 
Can never know the meaning of God's book. 

130 Baxter's poems. 

Who knows a stately building by one post ? 
It 's but short scraps that one age sees at most. 

Heav'n seeth all, and therefore knows the sense 
Of the whole beauteous frame of Providence. 
His judgment of God's kingdom needs must fail, 
Who knows no more of it than this dark gaol : 
If Heav'n and Hell were open to men's sight, 
Most men of pleasant things would judge aright. 

Who would be griev'd at prosperous sinners' reign, 
Who did foresee their everlasting pain ? 
Who would grudge pride and rage so short a pow'r, 
Who did foresee its fall, and dismal hour ? 
Who'd grudge God's patience to the greatest crime, 
Which will 'scape vengeance for so short a time ? 
Who'd grudge at any wrong or suffering here, 
Who saw the world of happiness so near ? 

If that one sun a thousand fold excel 

This earth in bigness, where we sinners dwell ; 

(And what's one sun to all the Heav'n beside ?) 

Is not God's kingdom glorious and wide ? 

Who then dare say, God's work is not well done, 

Because an ant-hill is not made a sun ? 

Or because sin and devilish rage do dwell, 

In this vile prison which is next to Hell ? 

Who 'd measure God's great kingdom or his love, 

By us poor prisoners who in fetters move ? 

God placed man in earthly paradise, 

Heav'n's outward court, the way to highest bliss. 

A man himself doing what God forbade, 

His house a Bedlam and a bridewell made ; 


Man turn'd it by his sinful base defection, 
Into God's prison and house of correction. 
God's wondrous mercies which do never fail, 
Fetch many sons to Heav'n out of this gaol. 

If the rest finally neglect God's grace, 
And choose no better than this sinful place. 
The dream of pleasure which will end in shame, 
They had their choice, and whom else can they blame? 

Who 'd censure God for one poor Bedlam's sake, 
But such as of his madness do partake ? 
And though he rage, and sober men disdains, 
Who loves his case, or longeth for his chains ? 

Who envy wicked men their hurting power, 
Who do believe their sad approaching hour ? 
Who the toad's hurtful venom envieth, 
Who 'd have the basilisk's pernicious breath ? 
Who longs to be a serpent for the sting ? 
It 's worse to be a great, but hurtful king. 
Christians by patience win a better crown, 
Than all the bloody conquerors' renown. 
True Christian kings, who rule in peace and love 
A better kingdom have with Christ above. 
Our king may with more peace and safety rule, 
Than the great Turk, Tartarian, or Mogul. 

No king so mighty as the devil is, 
Nor hath dominion so large as his. 
Yet would no wise man such a devil be, 
That he might be as powerful as he ; 
If any would be such, his own desire 
Makes him a Devil fitted for Hell-fire. 

132 Baxter's poems. 

Madness called wisdom is, and rules in chief, 
With all that cannot see beyond this life : 
To them that see not beyond flesh and blood, 
And taste no better than these senses food ; 
That know not the true everlasting good, 
Nothing on earth is rightly understood. 

The heavenly light must open sinners' eyes, 
Before they ever will be truly wise : 
One real prospect of the life to come, 
A true belief whither men's souls are gone, 
Would more felicitating wisdom give, 
Than foolish, sensual men will now believe. 

Call not that wisdom which will end in shame, 
Which undoes him who by it wins the game : 
A wit that can deceive himself and others, 
Wit to destroy his own soul, and his brothers : 
Wit that can prove that sin 's a harmless thing, 
That sin 's no sin, or no great hurt will bring ; 
That with the serpent can give God the lie, 
And say, believe not God, you shall not die. 
Wit that can prove that God speaks but in jest, 
That fleshly pleasure is man's best. 

Wit that can prove God's wisdom is deceiv'd, 
And Sacred Scriptures should not be receiv'd. 
Wit to confute God's word, reject his grace, 
Lose time, sin boldly, post towards Hell apace. 
Defend the devil's cause, his own damnation, 
Slight God, neglect a Saviour and salvation . 
Call not that wisdom, which men would disown, 
And wish at last that they had never known, 


To go with honour, ease, and sport to Hell, 
And there with shame and late repentance dwell ! 
Truth is for goodness, wisdom's use and end, 
To which true learning, and just studies tend, 
Is that this may be th 'roughly understood, 
c To be good, do good, and get endless good.' 
False wit employ'd in hurting other men, 
Writes its own death in blood, with its own pen : 
It forceth many to their self-defence, 
Who fain would live in quiet innocence. 

Kites, Foxes, Wolves, have wit to catch their prey, 
Yet harmless sheep live quieter than they ; 
Men keep their flocks that they may multiply, 
So that few by wolves and lions die ; 
But hurtful rav'nous beasts all men pursue, 
While all destroy them, there remains but few. 

Some slight God's word because weak men abuse it. 
What 's law or reason then, when all misuse it ? 
Men will not despise God, nor sin, nor die, 
But they will give a learned reason why. 
What is so false, which wit cannot defend, 
And that by volumes confidently penn'd ? 
Reason can justify the greatest wrong, 
The basest lie can hire a learned tongue. 
What cause so vile, that cannot wit suborn ? 
Men will not without reason be forsworn. 
Reason can make rogues of the best of men, 
And make a church of saints a serpent's den ; 
Can make usurping Lucifer a saint, 
And holy martyrs like to devils paint. 


Even reverend wit, can by transforming skill, 
Make heretics, and schismatics at will; 
It can prove white is black, and black is white ; 
That night is day, and grossest darkness light. 
Say what you will, reason can prove it true, 
What is 't that drunken reason cannot do ? 

How rare is that blest place, that age or season, 
Which may not own this character of reason ? 
And must we therefore brutishness prefer, 
Because well-used reason is so rare ? 
But when the drunken frenzy fit is gone, 
And devils their deceiving work have done ; 
When death the dreaming sinner doth awake, 
O what a dreadful change doth God then make ? 
Then wise men only are the pure and just, 
Who Christ, who God obey, and in him trust. 


Lord! is not man, tho' lodg'd in flesh and blood, 

A noble vital, intellectual spirit? 
Thou mad'st him in thine image, wise and good, 

Earth's paradise, Heaven's suburbs to inherit. 

How comes a reasonable human soul, 

Transform 'd by such a monstrous ugly change 

Into a brutish, raging, wicked fool, 

To God, himself, and wisdom, blind and strange: 

Thou gav'st him sight, who hath put out his eyes ? 
Thou gav'st him knowledge, who hath made him 


Ev'n Satan, promising to make him wise, 

Thou mad'st him holy, sin hath made him bad. 

Did not endeavours, blessed by thy grace, 
Restore some holy wisdom in thine own ? 

The souls which sin and Satan did deface, 
Would not from brutes and devils well be known. 

It 's strange in man, how these two twisted be, 
To be a brute, and a malignant devil ! 

Folly and wickedness too well agree, 
A fool to goodness is wise to do evil. 

Children do quickly learn to serve the flesh, 
Their pride, their appetite, and their self-will, 

Eager for every thing that these can wish, 
But little knowing what is good or ill. 

Their sense and fancy do so strongly rage, 

That teachers speak in vain, flesh will not hear, 

Brutishness gets advantage by their age, 
Till grace comes in, and opens heart and ear. 

Depraved nature, made by custom worse, 
Makes reason now a fetter'd slave to sense ; 

Increased sin becomes a double curse, 
Fights against God, and is its own defence. 

As flesh grows up, so sense and fancy grow, 
Lust and vain pleasure now do tyrannize ; 

What crosseth these they hate, and would not know, 
And raging flesh abhorreth to be wise. 

Yet wise in wickedness, they needs will seem, 
They can confute their teachers with a breath ; 

All that reproves them they as error deem, 
And become advocates for sin and death. 


And now the same who infant -Christians were, 
And did renounce the flesh, the world, and devil ; 

Flesh, world, and devils* serious servants are, 
And Christ blaspheme as patron of their evil. 

Now God and conscience seem their greatest foes, 
God as above them doth controul their lust ; 

He that pleads conscience for an enemy goes, 
And all that *s done against him goes for just. 

God's call'd to sinners' bar, and there condemned, 
As heading rebels that do him obey : 

Before those fools his laws are all contemn'd, 
Christ must be taught to think and say as they. 

And being once engag'd in Satan's war: 
His daring soldiers they are quickly made ; 

But little wit and labour needful are, 
To learn the lying, hating, hurting trade. 

Now valiant Bedlam, drunken, devilish wit, 
Conquers resistance, triumphs over all : 

Fights against all that help not, or submit, 
To bring church, kingdoms, souls, to Satan's 

O what a busy trade mad worldlings drive ! 

They talk, they ride, they run, contend, and tight ; 
With craft they plot, with fraud and force they 

For fleshly lust and poisonous delight. 

As the fleet swallows glide to catch a fly, 

And toilsome ants do gather sticks and straw ; 

At dearer rates men purchase vanity, 

For Satan, lust, and madness, make their law. 

Baxter's poems. 137 

May they but a sick mortal lust fulfil, 

Get money, houses, land, and large revenues, 

Look big, and make all stoop to their proud will ; 
Feast, drink, and play, and keep a great retinue. 

This is the dreaming happiness of fools, 

Life spent for this, and Heav'n for this is lost: 

And this is all for which they sell their souls, 
A fool's-cap purchas'd at the dearest cost. 

All this is done in the known way to death, 
They have not the least hope but die they must: 

They are not sure to fetch another breath , 

They know their pamper'd flesh will soon be dust. 

Their pomp and wealth for which they God forsake, 
Yea, tho' their streets with silver they could pave ; 

All the vexations, strife, and stir they make, 
They know is but in passing to the grave. 

Were they but following another's course, 

Such going towards a grave would be a shame ; 

But when 'tis towards their own, it is far worse, 
A madness which doth want a proper name. 

Sheep know not when death 's near, yet live in peace: 
Birds teed and sing in peace, together got ; 

Man always knows his life will shortly cease, 
Yet madly lives as if he knew it not. 

But when death comes they are surpris'd with fear, 
As if till then they knew not they must die ; 

Departing wealth and life, their hearts then tear, 
O how the case is chang'd when death seems nigh ! 

How sad doth Dives look ! how deep he groans ' 
His mammon-god now will not hear his cries; 


Money and friends now answer not his moans, 
For all his wealth, he trembles, faints, and dies. 

The greatest lord and prince must now submit, 
Crowns, titles, money, will not ease his pain; 

Forced repentance seems to have some wit, 

Preachers may speak now without proud disdain. 

He calls for mercy, he forgiveth all; 

Instead of fire and sword he speaks of peace; 
His wit revives as flesh and strength do fall, 

Not from a holy change but for his ease. 

Now he talks how he 'd live ; when life 's near gone , 
He seemeth wise, and promiseth to mend : 

He thinks what time is for, when time is done, 
Begins to think of living at his end. 

Might he be sav'd now for a frighten'd wish, 
When guilt and terror cause his heart to faint, 

When worldly pleasures all forsake his flesh, 
He 'd have the end and portion of a saint. 

Now takes an inventory of his wealth,- — 
This corpse was once the body of a man 

It liv'd in pleasure, honour, ease, and health, 
Goes naked hence, as naked life began. 

That frightful earthly face was wont to smile, 
And with proud scorn on hated persons frown, 

It comely seem'd, which now is black and vile, 
That it's the same, can hardly now be known. 

Those closed eyes, the casements were of lust, 
There enter'd worldly vanity and sin, 

That mouth, those lips, that now must rot to dust, 
Have taken many a pleasant morsel in. 


That throat, his fellow-creatures did devour, 
Made sumptuous feasts his body to maintain, 

With pleasant liquors, many a merry hour, 
He did exhilarate both heart and brain. 

Those ears have heard jests, plays, and melody, 
Men's nattering praise, and many a merry song, 

The welcome news of their calamity, 

Whom wrath and malice did delight to wrong. 

That mouth hath utter 'd many a merry jest, 

Vain worldly talk, strife, news, and feigned story, 

Oaths, lies, and wanton speeches, were its feast, 
Threats, and proud boasts, and scorning, were 
its glory. 

That nose delighted was with pleasant smell, 
That black and sallow skin was smooth and white ; 

On eyes and countenance did grandeur dwell, 
The just did fly ; the poor crouch'd at his sight. 

Those limbs could move ; those hands had nimble 

The corpse which now lies dead, did ride and run, 
All did perform what lust and pride appoints, 

Many successful actions he hath done. 

Many deep-plodding thoughts that brain hath hatch 'd, 
How to grow rich, and great, and have his will, 

For means and seasons, he hath wisely watch 'd, 
All his desires and pleasures to fulfil. 

And now what 's left ? to keep him from men's sight, 
A shroud and coffin 's all that he must have, 

And these unknown, afford him no delight, 
But serve their turn, who bring him to a grave. 

140 Baxter's poems. 

But where's his money , honours , lands , and treasures ? 

Left to his heirs, least they should wiser be, 
That the strong snare of fleshly worldly pleasures, 

May tempt them all to live and die as he. 

But where is Dives soul? Christ saith, in Hell: 
But his five brethren will not this believe: 

Christ will not lie ; and who can better tell ? 
But Satan thus successors doth deceive. 

What hath he taken hence of all his gains ? 

God's wrath : the guilt and conscience of his sin: 
But not one drop to ease tormenting pains, 

Will all his honours, lands, and riches win. 

A preacher tells his brethren w T hat Christ saith : 
He's charg'd of slandering so great a man: 

A gaol, and scorn is the success he hath: 
Convince proud, wilful sinners no one can. 

And is not this a doleful Bedlam-case, 

When all a rich man's pleasure with him dies ? 

His brethren madly follow the same chase ; 
At the same time w r hile he in torment lies. 

He 's paying for his long contempt of grace ; 

They build his tomb, and celebrate his fame; 
He 'd have them warn'd, and not come to that place ; 

They praise his doings, and keep up his name. 

Could one at once but see them and their brother ; 

Him in his torment ; them in their delight ; 
How unlike are their thoughts to one another ! 

One groans for that, for which the others fight. 

Faith sees all this: but flesh and sense is blind: 
These brutes believe no more than what they see: 


One from the dead sent could not change their mind ; 
But it by sense too late will changed be. 

God gives men life ; they '11 not consider why: 
Time 's short : fools know not what they have to do, 

Nor think why they were born, till they must die, 
Nor whither their departing souls must go. 

They live, as if they thought that Heaven and Hell 
Were th' only places of consideration, 

And to be drunk, or mad, were to be well: 
And fool away this life of preparation. 


But none are worse than learned reverend fools, 
Who vend their folly under wisdom's name, 

And are Abaddon's keenest hurtful tools, 
By usurp 'd grandeur and religious fame. 

Who teach untruths, or live not as they teach, 
Pretend to watch for other men's salvation, 

And hate the holy life for which they preach, 
And as a trade preach their own condemnation. 

Who atainst Christ \do fight \with saWed arms ; 

His name and words, church-order, forg'd com- 
And reverend titles are made potent charms, 

To win the ignorant to their conditions. 

They praise God's word, but make it first their own, 
The words are God's, the church must make the 


It's no law, till their sentence make it known, 
Not their mere teaching by truth's evidence. 

Religion they corrupt by forg'd traditions, 

They think God's laws too big, and yet make 

All's not enough without their vain additions, 
Religion was an infant -thing before. 

And under Christ, the churches only head, 

They Ve found one King, or one church -parlia- 
Whose Sovereign rule the Christian world must 
And all that will be saved, must consent. 

This Sovereign 's kingdom is the whole round earth, 
The lands where they can never have access ; 

From it their canon -law receiv'd its birth, 
To which they all obedience profess . 

But the false name of council-general, 
Is now a cheat to serve the Roman King, 

Where are those councils ? whence ? who must them 
call ? 
Who them from all the earth together bring ? 

Could not our Lord without all this ado, 

Have made sufficient universal law, 
But our religion must have so much new, 

Which th' ancient Christians never heard, or saw? 

Communion's made subjection by this cheat, 
None can be saved that are not canon-proof ; 

Obey them or they '11 say you separate ; 

They build the church, beginning at the roof. 


Thus can the flesh such learned men deceive, 
And make them love their enemies as friends, 

And rule their faith, and make them all believe, 
That all is good, which serves their worldly ends. 

How wise and holy should that person be, 
Whose daily business is to search God's law ? 

Who should in heavenly pleasure live, but he, 
That Heaven and Hell, as in a map, still saw ? 

Doth pride and envy, bitter strife and wrath, 
Church tyranny, or hatred of the good, 

Become that man, who such an office hath, 
To preach God's love, seal'd with Christ's flesh 
and blood ? 

What is his calling, but souls to convert, 

And build them up in faith and love with peace ? 

In what art should he rather be expert, 
Than to breed love, and hurtfulness suppress ? 

If he love Christ, he '11 gently feed his sheep, 
Cherish and love the good, strengthen the weak, 

The flock from wolves and hurtful beasts he '11 keep, 
And not against the just and upright speak. 

Self-contradicting is a madman's mark; 

Judge then what these malignant preachers are, 
Self-damning, self-confuting, in the dark, 

Heart, tongue, and hand, are in a constant war. 

They are Church -shepherds, and yet hurtful wolves, 
They preach for love to foes, yet hate Christ's 
friends ; 

Preach life to others, choose death to themselves ; 
Heavenly words they speak, for worldly ends. 


They pray that God's great name may hallow'd be, 
Which they profane, by pleading it for evil : 

They pray, as if Christ's kingdom they would see, 
But mean their own, that 's ruled by the Devil. 

They hate God's will, and pray it may be done, 
E'en as it is in Heaven : a high degree ! 

Yet if one plead God's will against their own ; 
Who's hated more, or used worse than he ? 

They pray for daily bread; for life and health: 
But without plenty are not satisfied: 

But seek preferment, fulness, rule, and wealth ; 
And grudge if fleshly lust be not denied. 

Th' ask pardon of the sin they love and cherish, 
And that but as themselves forgive another, 

Yet to fear God, sin, hell, as loath to perish, 
They '11 not forgive to a dissenting brother. 

They pray God not to lead them to temptation, 
Yet tempt themselves, and love most tempting 
things ; 

Strong baits of flesh are their chief consolation, 
Greedy of all that deadly pleasure brings. 

They ask deliverance from all that 's ill, 

Yet sin the worst, they love and will not leave: 

They ask, what's full against their vicious will, 
That which God offers, they '11 not receive. 

They seem to own a God • they preach his law, 
But man and flesh must be before him serv'd. 

The world's more lov'd, of man they're more in 
As if God but the tongue and knee deserv'd. 


The image is their God, and hath the heart; 

God made an image, and hath but the name: 
Religion is with them mere form and art, 

Kept up for peace, by custom, fear, and shame, 

Christ is their Saviour call'd ; their King and Lord ; 

To preach his grace and glory is their trade. 
But to be sav'd from lust and sins, abhorr'd, 

And he an underling to flesh is made. 

They say they do believe the Holy Ghost ; 

But his refining work will not be borne, 
A fleshly, worldly life doth please them most, 

The Spirit's name and work some make a scorn. 

And yet for holiness, who hath more zeal ? 

Meaning great names, and interest of their own: 
They against sacrilege to God appeal, 

As it would rob their flesh, and it dethrone. 

It's none to hurt Christ's flock, withhold their food, 

His faithful Ministers to alienate, 
Nor feed proud flesh with what belongs to God, 

All's holy that to it is dedicate. 

Religion ends with them as it begun, 

They were baptized, and made the sacred vow ; 

But this was by a strange godfather done, 
It 's with great grief that I must tell you how. 

It's known an infant hath no will to choose, 
The parents' will and choice do stand for his, 

Till he be capable his own to use, 
He in the power of his parents is. 

And God obligeth Christians to devote 
Themselves and theirs, in covenant, to Christ, 



This he accepts, as many Scriptures note, 
The parent being dedicated first. 

But now some other doth the parents* part, 
Vows for the child, and its due education; 

And (though he never meant it in his heart) 
To see it taught all needful to salvation. 

Atheists, and Infidels, and Sadducees, 
Their children are all freely taken in, 

If they have "but such godfathers as these, 
Baptism is said to save them all from sin. 

Men forbid parents godfathers to be, 
And Ministers their presence to require ; 

Foreign Kings stand for those they never see ; 
Poor men get such as they for money hire. 

Parents these undertakers do not ask, 

Will you these vows and promises perform ? 

Baptismal vows are made a formal task ; 

Thus they began : thus men Christ's laws reform . 

Thus Christians by false ceremony made, 

Religion 's made a ceremony now, 
Not minding what suborn'd men vow'd or said, 

They boldly break what others falsely vow. 

And when in play and sin their childhood's spent, 

For canting a few words not understood , 
Mindless what faith is, or their baptism meant, 
Confirm 'd , they boldly claim Christ's flesh and blood . 

A lifeless image being thus received, 
More forms and ceremonies it adorn, 

And hypocrites by shadows thus deceived, 
The unknown holy life do hate and scorn. 


Thus life is fool'd away, till death seem near, 
Which doth disrobe their splendid, cheating sins, 

But to ease conscience weaken'd now by fear, 
Forced penitence man's absolution wins. 

And at the grave, when men as bad as he, 
Do hear that God in mercy took his soul ; 

And charity for this hope pleaded be, [whole. 

False hopes which should be broken, are kept 

Thus sinners are befool'd till time is done, 
From first to last spent in hypocrisy ; 

And endless sorrows when all hope is gone, 
Tell them what mercy they did long deny. 

Yet still the reverend Masters of the game, 
Cherish the malady with zeal and art ; 

Being themselves diseased by the same, 
By mortal habit both of head and heart. 

Tradition, ceremony, pomp, and rule, 

A human image without divine life 5 
By Pharisees was used as a tool, 

Of self-deceit, and of malignant strife. 

Dead saints they honour'd, and the living kill'd, 
The dead molest them not by their reproofs ; 

Their relics, days, and monuments, they held, 
In their devotion as of great behoof. 

Yet none were fiercer enemies of Christ, 

Nor did his truth and servants more oppose ; 

None with more zeal for holy blood did thirst, 
None did more mischief to the church than those. 

Wolves in sheep's clothing, by their fruits are known, 
By hurtful fangs, devouring bloody jaws, 


As thorns and briars, prick men to the bone, 
So these by hurtful hands and cruel laws 

They're humble ministers, but rule as lords, 
Servants of all, yet vice-kings under Christ: 

On pain of hell, all must obey their words, 

If you will serve God, you must serve them first. 

Heav'ns keys are theirs, their right we must not doubt 
To curse and cast out those whom Christ takes in. 

These they by words, themselves indeed shut out, 
By mortal, fleshly, and malignant sin. 

Christ's house a place of merchandize is made, 
Children cast out, his table spread for dogs; 

To make sound Christians odious is their trade, 
To curse God's saints, and cast their pearls to hogs. 

The holy Catholic church is in their creed, 
Which is , all true believers upon earth ; 

Of whom Christ only is the king and head, 
To him they joined are in the new birth. 

But these men mean one corrupt sect alone, 
About the fourth part of the whole are they ; 

Cut off, and separated from the rest as none, 
Their pope and councils that do not obey. 

The saints communion they in words profess 
Themselves, and dead men's images they mean ; 

None pass for saints who do not wear this dress, 
The best, if not their subjects are unclean. 

Call them but heretics, and they may kill 

A thousand saints, and by it Heaven may win ; 

Such is the power of a papal will, 
To make a virtue of the greatest sin 


On Catholic communion they lay, 

Not only all men's duty, but salvation , 

For schism rends men from the church, say they, 
And so from Christ, and therefore brings dam 

Yet that's man's duty which they schism call; 

To own no human, universal king, 
No legislative power over all, 

In councils, pope, or any human thing. 

None 's capable to rule all, but the Lord, 

Give church or state, law, judgment, or defence; 

Man's universal sovereignty's abhorr'd, 
By nature, reason, and experience. 

Among the mad, those princes monsters are 

Who subjects be to this church-sovereign's claim ; 

And yet with scorn and just disdain would hear, 
An universal civil sovereign's name. 

When certainly it is a harder thing, 

To rule all earth by the church power and word, 
Than for the wisest parliament or king, 

To rule the whole world by the civil sword. 

Thus they impossible communion make, 
And yet damn all that do it not observe : 

None can tell whom for sovereign we must take, 
Nor which the laws are from which none must 

Must pope or councils, this great sovereign be, 

Is 't monarchy, or aristocracy ? 
Or is it mix'd, and must they both agree, 
. Or is it the diffused democracy ? 

150 Baxter's poems. 

Whom must we take for Pope ? who must him 
choose ? 

Which is the Pope, when there are two or three ? 
Must they that give the power which they use, 

Superiors, equals, or inferiors be ? 

When oue at Rome, one at Avignon was, 
And each a council had which took his part ; 

Which for the true communion then must pass, 
Which was the church from which none must 
depart ? 

Must all th' Abassians and Armenians know, 

(And in cosmography so skilful be,) 
Whether there 's such a place as Rome, or no ? 

Whether there be a Pope, and which is he ? 

Is 't the whole church on earth that he must rule ? 

Why then hath not the whole a choosing vote ? 
Is all the world, save Rome, but the Pope's mule, 

And that his crown 's elective all do note ? 

It's like, that all the church consent, they'll say, 
Then he 's no Pope whom three fourth parts dis- 
claim , 

How shall three parts then know whom to obey ? 
Will any serve that will usurp the name ? 

When Popes damn Popes , and councils damn them all , 
And Popes damn councils, what must Christians 

When they each other's laws damn and recal, 
How shall we know whose power then was true? 

The French say councils have this sovereignty, 
The first three hundred years it was not so ; 


The Sovereign Power, the church doth unify, 
Was it then none, or how could man it know ? 

An universal council never was, 

'Twas but one empire that did make that name ; 
Now that '$ dissolv'd how should it come to pass, 

That any prince on earth should do the same ? 

Hath anyone the common rule of all, 

Or will Turks, papists, and all kings agree, 

Such a true council, when and where to call ? 
Or can one-third part universal be ? 

The church of councils' power is not agreed, 
Therefore this doth not now it unify . 

Those that stand for their sovereignty indeed, 
Which were those councils, differ shamefully. 

Some are for four, some six, some eight, some all, 
Some such as by the Pope approved were ; 

Divers each other heretics did call, 

And which we must obey cannot appear. 

And is church -unity no better known, 

And yet is necessary to salvation- 
And to all those that Christ himself will own, 

What follows hence but general damnation ? 

An universal council none shall see, 
Till the world have an universal king ; 

This the triple-crown 'd Pope pretends to be, 
Though not the name, he challengeth the thing. 

The poor fifth-monardiy seekers they pity, 
As seeking that which long hath extant been : 

No monarchy ever match'd the holy city, 
3y liis church-keys thus rules the man of sin 

152 Baxter's poems. 

And if we knew which power to obey, 

Which be the canons, which so needful are : 

If some, who knows them ? if all, then are they 
More necessary than God's Scriptures far. 

Christ hath the terms of church-communion made; 

These wiser men, who make so many more, 
Will shortly find their legislative trade, 

Among their greatest sins set on their score. 

Baptism Christ made, what was there to require ? 

The church still knew, and by God's mercy knows, 
The words then us'd, the requisites desir'd 

Scripture and sure tradition fully shews. 

The church by baptism was specified , 

Christ did command all such to love each other ; 
Holy communion was to none denied, 

All were to take a Christian as a brother. 

Till by some heresy or great offence, 

He brought his covenant-keeping out of doubt ; 

And having added prov'd impenitence, 
Was not so much cast as declared out. 

None were baptized into Peter's name, 
Much less to general council or the Pope ; 

They had one God, one Christ, their creed the same, 
One spirit, body, and one future hope. 

But as the serpent tempting Eve at first, 

By pride and promis'd knowledge did man kill, 

So from the pure simplicity of Christ, 

By promis'd wisdom, he befools man still. 

To know this subject better read a book, 
Call'd the remains of Fulk Grevile, Lord Brook. 



Vain man ! why is thy being no more known ? 

Why, seeking knowledge, read'st thou not thyself ? 
How many books in vain dost thou take down ? 

Thy own book standeth on the nearest shelf. 

Should vital knowing spirit cloth 'd in flesh, 
Mistake so coarse a garment for the man ? 

And live as if they did not hope or wish, 
For any other life than this short span. 

If clothing hide thee from thy neighbour's sight, 
Let it not hide thee also from thine own ; 

Look on thyself, thy nature is alight: 

Shall knowing souls be to themselves unknown ? 

Now know thyself before thou art undrest, 

And tho' through flesh man cannot see thy heart, 

Open thy eyes, unveil thy face at least, 
That man may see thou hast a better part. 

How vile a thing is man, if flesh be he ? 

Can he look high who thinks himself so base ? 
His brutish, sleepy thoughts and life must be, 

A dreaming, doating, or despairing case. 

Where was that flesh one year before thy birth ? 

What is it now but warmed moving clay ? 
What will it be ere long but common earth ? 

To this thy pomp and pleasure is the way. 

Where did God's art that curious body form ? 

As in a dunghill, e'en in nature's sink ; 
Though skin and clothingVow do it adorn ; 

'Twas bred between the dung and urine's stink. 
H 2 


What was it made of, but the mother's food ? 

Curdled and quicken'd by the Maker's pow'r, 
And there it lay in darkness, filth, and blood ; 

Unmeet for sight till birth's appointed hour. 

In pain and danger then it is brought forth, 
A speechless, helpless, and polluted thing; 

Fnt'ring the world with crying at its birth, 

Foretelling greater griefs which time will bring. 

How long by patient mothers' care and love 
Doth feeble, useless, troubling age subsist ? 

Should man continue such, we could not prove, 
That he in kind is better than a beast. 

Long do these unripe fleshly bodies keep 
The soul from shewing its essential power; 

Sense rales, while reason lieth half asleep, 
Vain toys and folly spend our childish hours. 

By use and prepossession flesh gets strength, 
Resisting light, and all that 's wise and holy ; 

Till reason be its servile slave at length 
And greatest wit become the greatest folly. 

Then carnal man lives like a crafty beast, 
Only to pamper flesh, and please his lust ; 

To make the worms and Hell a costly feast, 

When souls must part, and leave flesh to the dust. 

If flesh be man, how many men are one, 

From birth to death, whenas the rivers flow? 

Daily new flesh succeeds that which is gone, 
And now is what he was a year ago. 

That beauteous face, that pamper'd body stood 
But lately on my table as thy meat ; 


Twas mutton, beef, pork, chicken, or such food; 
What now thou art, is what thou didst eat. 

Part of a fish, a swine, a calf, or lamb, 

Is turn'd into a lady, lord, or king; 
This metamorphosis^ of beast to man, 

Is surely done by some great unseen thing. 

Yea all of man that 's seen did lately grow 
In fields, and that was corn, or fruit, or grass, 

Which now is flesh, or from the spring did flow, 
To shew what flesh will be, by what it was. 

Vain man ! know'st thou no deeper than thy skin ? 

Go see an open'd corpse, and that will sheV 
What garbage, filth, and. dung are hid within, 

What thy vile body is, thou there may'st know. 

Think that thy noisome, stinking excrement 
Is one part of that sumptuous, pleasant food; 

Whose other part a while of better scent, 
Is turned into that proud flesh and blood. 

If yet deceitful beauty cheat thy eyes, 

Look on a face that 's cursed with the pocks ; 

Or a white breast where stinking cancers rise, 
And pity fools whom fleshly pleasure mocks. 

If health, wealth, pomp or power delude thy mind, 
Go to the greatest dying sick man's bed, 

Ask him what safety he in these doth find ? 
Yea, go yet further, look upon the dead. 

Here much unlike to what it was before, 

Is that now loathsome flesh, that ghastly face ; 

What hath it now of all its power and store ? 
Remember this must shortly be thy case. 


How long the sight and scent can you abide, 
Of your dead, greatest, wisest, dearest friend ? 

Unless some art the frightful visage hide, 

And from the smell your tender sense defend. 

We can devise no better a dispose 

Of dearest friends, than a deep, darksome grave ; 
Where to lie rotting we may them repose, 

The living from their sight and scent to save. 

The worms without repulse there feasted be, 
They feed on heart and face without offence ; 

What pamper'd bodies are, there you may see, 
If you dig up that corpse a few months hence. 

But though what 's out of sight, grows out of mind, 
Pictures and gilded tombs are also set, 

The senseless hearts of men further to blind : 
That what flesh is they may the more forget 

Vet the next open grave casts up in sight 

The skull, whose holes of eyes and mouth you see, 

Where enter'd formerly the dear delight , 
Think then, thus shortly it will be with me. 

The harmless, pretty bird with pleasure sings, 
Not so deform'd in life or death as we ; 

The cruel bowels of great lords and kings 
To her an honourable tomb may be. 

Save that to be devoured by bad men, 
Turns guiltless things into a guilty wight ; 

And makes them sinful, and more foetid, than 
If they had rotted in the open light. 

The labouring ant less burdensome flesh hath, 
Thousands in peace in one stor'd heap can dwell ; 


In peace by crowds they travel the same path, 
And being dead annoy none by their smell. 

The working bees in peace together live, 

Fetching their honey home from many flowers ; 

Dwelling in quiet order in one hive, 
But man destroys them and their store devours. 

God who by nature gives them flying wings, 
And their rare mollifying power gave ; 

Doth give them also their defensive stings, 
Their house, and young, and property to save. 

Men kill them, and eat up their gathered food, 
But make the like no king, no artist can ; 

Their work, yea their dead corpse is sweet and good, 
But sweetest things corrupt and stink in man. 

How swiftly do th' unwearied swallows flee, 
And mount, and sport, even to unseen height ; 

Their active, fiery part is quick and free, 
Not clogg'd as men are by a fleshly weight. 

The mounted lark, hovering with nimble wings, 
Dwells above earth till strength and spirit fail ; 

And peering towards the sun, she sweetly sings, 
But falls down mute when earthly parts prevail. 

Some say, all motion tends to ceasing rest, 
Of earth's forc'd lifeless motion this is true 5 

To spirits perfect action is the best, 

Incessant love and pleasure is their due. 

Experience sadly tells man, that his soul 
Is clogg'd by flesh, perverted by its bent, 

So that dark heathens did its case condole. 
As for old sins into his body sent. 

158 Baxter's poems. 

Did not God's holy spirit quicken ours, 

And cause us unseen things by faith to see ? 

Renew and raise our dead, corrupted powers, 
None could from flesh, lust, sin, Hell, saved be. 

Flesh is not sin, it's made for holy use, 

In it souls here must seek and serve the Lord ; 

But it's the tempting object of abuse, 

While we its life and lust too much regard. 

The body as a servant we must love, 

But souls have sense, and sense to flesh is tried ; 
And so drawn down from God and things above , 

The soul that hath not faith is brutifled. 

The interest of flesh perverts the will, 

It conquers reason, and corrupts the mind, 

No other enemy doth so much ill, 
To self-destroying, perishing mankind. 

And now oh man, is flesh all that thou art ? 

Worthy of all thy stir, and cost, and care, 
Live not as if thou hadst no better part, 

Men's souls like God, and kin to angels are. 

Even brutes have souls possess'd of life and sense, 
Made to serve man, who 's made his God to praise ! 

Whether distinct or one, when taken hence, 
Subject to us, whom God will higher raise. 

What 's flesh, but water mix'd with senseless earth ? 

Viler than dirt, when souls awhile are gone, 
It's unseen spirit which causeth life and birth, 

This moveth all that 's mov'd, doth all that 's done. 

Baxter's poems. 159 

Man's soul is made the image of his God, 
Substantial virtue of life, light, and love: 

And though in flesh it now have its abode, 
Its tendency is to the world above. 

It came from God, and unto God returns, 
Though in this flesh its life of trial be ; 

It daily wastes the oil, as fire that burns, 
Consumes its fuel, and then is set free. 

As flames mount upward, souls towards Heav'n 

And are still restless till they be at home ; 
If sin depress them not, tow'rd God they tend, 

Blessed and joyful, when to him they come. 

As things inanimate are rul'd by force, 

By seuse and objects brutes determin'd be ; 

Both these are carried on in nature's course, 
Man's will more undetermin'd is, and free. 

Brutes are not ruled by a moral law: 

Nor moved by the hopes of light to come ; 

Nor of God's threats and justice stand in awe, 
Nor after death fear any other doom. 

Man's made in his degree to know the Lord, 
To know his duty, and to please God's will ; 

To learn and love, trust and obey his word, 
In hope of Heav'n, his course here to fulfil. 

God is man's supreme king, his guide, his end, 
His soul and life should have no other scope ; 

From sin and devils God will his life defend, 
In life and death God is our only hope. 

l60 Baxter's poems. 

You see not whither souls departing go, 
But Heaven and Hell are visible to faith ; 

God hath reveal' d enough to make us know, 
That all shall be performed which he saith. 

We no more need to fear his word should fail, 
Or God forsake the souls that do him please, 

Or any final hurt, Christ's flock assail, 

Than earth to bare, or sun to shine should cease. 

Is not a sober, righteous, holy life, 

In certain hope of everlasting joys, 
Better than sin, despair, care, fear, and strife, 

For short deceit, pleasant dreams and toys. 

If yet, blind man, thou think 'st thou art a beast, 
And hast no higher hopes and works to mind, 

Become a tame and gentle one at least, 

Not of the wild, fierce, hurtful, bloody kind. 

Serpents, and toads, and wolves, are harmless 

Yea lions, tigers, and such beasts ofprey, 
Compar'd with many conquerors and kings, 

Who do ten thousand fold more hurt than they. 

If this short, fleshly pleasure be thy best, 

What need of wars and blood, rage and debate ? 

Sweet love, and quiet peace, afford more rest, 
Than pow'r and wealth, with hurtful plots and hate. 

What need of large dominions to prepare 
For dying pangs, a coffin and a grave. 

Quiet, content, and kindness fitter are, 
Thy neighbour's welfare and thine own to save. 

Baxter's poems. l6l 

But of all beasts the man-beast is the worst, 
To others, and himself, the crudest foe, 

And, turning serpent, doth become accurs'd, 
A scourge to others, his own endless woe. 

As holiness fits souls for endless bliss, 
And here hath its beginning and foretaste ; 

So sin the plague of un-mann'd nature is, 
And turns man-beast to devil at the last. 

If all men made themselves, and are their own, 
And have no ruler but self-will and sense ; 

If man be nothing else but flesh and bone, 
Can live here still, and say, I '11 not go hence ; 

If man can conquer God, and him dethrone, 
Kill Christ again, and shut up Paradise ; 

Then saints are fools, and worldly men alone, 
Choosing a shadow and despair, are wise. 

But sure if man be only mortal flesh, 
A squib, a bubble, a vile earthly clod, 

He never will have pow'r, whate'er he wish, 
To save himself, by overcoming God. 

But Heav'n is quite above malignant powers, 
Our peace and safety 's far above their reach ; 

Christ's kingdom is not of this world, nor ours, 
It's unseen blessedness which he did preach. 

There holy spirits free from sin and fear, 
From cruel tyrants, devils, death, and Hell ; 

The sweet celestial melody still hear, 
In perfect light and love together dwell. 

There's no dark error, no perplexing doubt, 
No selfish envy, strife, or discontent ; 


All hurtful, troubling things are there shut out, 
No wrathful sting, no malice, no dissent. 

Numberless numbers there are all but one, 
Of the same body, each a member is, 

Each hath his due degree and place, but none 
A selfish, separated part of bliss. 

All have one God, one head, one vital spirit ; 

All love God with one love ; and all rejoice 
With one joy; all one kingdom do inherit, 

All sweetly sing God's praise, as with one voice. 

True unity with difference well accords, 

And makes up beauty and concert ; though there 

Self, numbers, many, and such parting words, 
Have not the same dividing sense as here. 

Thus hath one soul more than one faculty, 

One sun; each sort of life, three formal powers, 

Some image of the Divine Trinity ; 

But none on Earth so excellent as ours. 

And as in being, so in more respects, 
Unity doth with number well agree, 

Many concauses have the same effects, 
Yea all God's creatures one and many be. 

So divers fruits are but part of one tree ; 

And every tree is rooted in one ground : 
All grounds of this one earth but parcels be, 

This earth a small part of the world is found . 

Souls are unseen, and so their union is, 

Many united individuals, 
Their distinct persons make some think amiss, 

That they are incoherent integrals. 

Baxter's poems. 163 

God only hath a perfect unity, 

Of the same world, some Blest, some cursed be, 
Some union stands with great diversity, 

Apples and crabs may grow on the same tree. 

Blest union is of good things near of kin, 
To things discordant union causeth pain ; 

An aching tooth is better out than in; 
To loose a rotting member is a gain. 

The nearest fuel is consumed by fire : 

God's wrath is near, the wicked to destroy. 

To holy souls, who God's love most desire, 
He is their full and everlasting joy. 

Ten thousand stars and candles give one light, 
Concordant sounds make one sweet melody: 

Two ears one hearing cause ; two eyes one sight ; 
But light and darkness have no unity. 

Here wicked men are every where in wars : 
Men against men, as tigers fiercely rave : 

Our minds, and wills, and passions, have their jars : 
Our souls and bodies mortal discords have. 

Though life be short, and death is at the door, 
Impatient foes think posting time too slow, 

They grudge to let us live a few days more ; 
Revenge and malice long to give the blow. 

ButHeav'n hath no such work : there's no such men, 
Nothing is there the blessed to annoy, 

With Christ and angels holy souls shall then 

Praise God in perfect life, light, love, and joy ! 

Decemb. 17, 1682. 



My soul go boldly forth, 
Forsake this sinful earth, 
What hath it been to thee 

But pain and sorrow, 
And thinkest thou it will be 

Better to-morrow ? 

Love not this darksome womb, 
Nor yet a gilded tomb, 
Though on it written be 

Mortal men's story, 
Look up by faith, and see 

Sure, joyful glory. 

Why art thou for delay ? 
Thou cam'st not here to stay : 
What tak'st thou for thy part, 

But heav'nly pleasure ? 
Where then should be thy heart, 

But where 's thy treasure ? 

Thy God, thy head 's above ; 
There is the world of love ; 
Mansions there purchas'd are, 

By Christ's own merit, 
For these he doth prepare 

Thee by his spirit. 

Look up towards Heav'n, and see 
How vast those regions be, 
Where blessed spirits dwell, 
How pure and lightful I 


But earth is near to Hell, 
How dark and frightful ! 

Here life doth strive with death, 
To lengthen mortals breath ; 
Till one short race be run, 

Which would be ended , 
When it is but begun, 

If not defended. 

Here life is but a spark, 
Scarce shining in the dark ; 
Life is the element there, 

Which souls reside in ; 
Much like as air is here, 

Which we abide in. 

Hither thou cam'st from thence: 

The divine influence 

In flesh my soul did place, 

Among the living : 
To be of human race, 

Was his free giving. 

There I shall know God more . 
There is the blessed choir ; 
No wickedness comes there, 

All there is holy: 
There is no grief or fear, 

No sin or folly. 

Jerusalem above, 
Glorious in light and love, 
Is mother of us all, 
Who shall enjoy them, 


The wicked Hell-ward fall ; 
Sin will destroy them. 

O blessed company, 
Where all in harmony, 
Jehovah's praises sing, 

Still without ceasing : 
And all obey their King, 

With perfect pleasing* 

God there is the saint's rest, 
God is their constant feast ; 
He doth them feed and bless, 

With love and favour, 
Of which they still possess, 

The pleasant savour. 

God is essential love, 
And all the saints above, 
Are like unto him made, 

Each in his measure: 
Love is their life and trade, 

Their constant pleasure. 

Love flames in every breast, 
The greatest and the least ; 
Strangers to this sweet life, 

There are not any. 
Love leaves no place for strife ; 

Makes one of many. 

Each is to other dear, 
No malice enters there ; 
No siding difference ; 
No hurt, no evil ; 

Baxter's poems. . 16? 

Because no ignorance, 
No sin, no devil. 

What joy must there needs be, 
Where all God's glory see ; 
Feeling God's vital love, 

Which still is burning : 
And flaming God- ward move, 

Full love returning. 

Self makes contention here, 
Love makes all common there, 
There's no propriety, 

Mine is my brothers. 
Perfect community 

Makes one's another's. 

Go out then, ling'ring soul, 
From this vile serpent's hole ; 
Where bred as in a sink, 

They hiss and sting us. 
Will not Christ, dost thou think, 

To better bring us ? 

Think not that Heav'n wants store, 
Think not that Hell hath more, 
If all on Earth were lost: 

Earth 's scarce one tittle 
To the vast Heavens : at most, 

Exceeding little. 

All those blest myriads be, 
Lovers of Christ and thee ; 
Angels thy presence wish, 
Christ will receive thee : 

\6S Baxter's poems. 

Then let not brutish flesh, 
Fright and deceive thee. 

Gladly my soul go forth ; 
Is Heaven of no more worth, 
Than this curst desert is, 

This world of trouble ? 
Prefer eternal bliss, 

Before this bubble. 

Wish not still for delay. 
Why wouldst thou longer stay 
From Christ, from hope so far, 

In self-denial : 
And live in longer war, 

A life of trial ? 

Souls live when flesh lies dead : 

Thy sin is pardoned, 

When Christ doth death disarm, 

Why art thou fearful ? 
And souls that fear no harm, 

Should pass forth cheerful. 

Cherish not causeless doubt, 
That God will shut thee out: 
What if he thee assur'd 

From Heav'n by letter ? 
His Son, his Spirit, and Word, 

Have done it better. 

Hath mercy made life sweet ? 
And is it kind and meet, 
Thus to draw back from God, 
Who doth protect thee ? 


Look then for his sharp rod, 
Next to correct thee. 

What if foes should make haste ? 
Thou wilt the sooner taste 
What all blest souls enjoy, 

With Christ for ever ; 
Where those that thee annoy, 

Shall hurt thee never. 

Fear not the world of light, 
Though out of mortal's sight, 
As if it doubtful were, 

For want of seeing: 
Gross bodies vilest are, 

And the least being. 

Vain, sinful world, farewell 
I go where angels dwell ; 
Where life, light, love, and joy, 

Are the saint's glory: 
God's praises there employ 

The consistory. 

Christ who knows all his sheep, 
Will all in safety keep ; 
He will not lose his blood, 

Nor intercession: 
Nor we the purchased good 

Of his dear passion. 

I know my God is just, 

To him I wholly trust; 

All that I have, and am, 

All that I hope for : 


170 Baxter's poems. 

All's sure and seen to him, 
Which I here grope for. 

Lord Jesus, take my spirit: 
I trust thy love and merit: 
Take home this wand'ring sheep, 

For thou hast sought it: 
This soul in safety keep, 

For thou hast bought it. Amen. 
December \% 1682. 

Vain world, what is in thee I 
What do poor mortals see 
Which should esteemed be, 

Worthy their pleasure ? 
Is it the mother's womb, 
Or sorrows which soon come, 
Or a dark grave and tomb 

Which is their treasure ? 
How dost thou man deceive 

By thy vain glory, 
Why do they still believe 

Thy false history ? 

Is 't children's book and rod, 
The lab'rer's heavy load, 
Poverty under-trod 

The world desireth ? 
Is it distracting cares, 
Or heart-tormenting fears, 
Or pining grief and tears, 

Which man rcquiretli ? 


Or is it youthful rage, 

Or childish toying ? 
Or is dccrepid age 

Worth man's enjoying ? 

Is it deceitful wealth, 

Got by care, fraud, or stealth, 

Or short, uncertain health, 

Which thus befool men ? 
Or do the serpent's lies, 
, By the world's flatteries, 
And tempting vanities, 

Still over-rule them ? 
Or do they in a dream, 

Sleep. out their season ? 
Or borne down by lust's stream, 

Which conquers reason ? 

The silly lambs to day 
Pleasantly skip and play, 
Whom butchers mean to slay, 

Perhaps to morrow : 
In a more brutish sort, 
Do careless sinners sport, 
Or in dead sleep still snort, 

As near to sorrow ; 
Till life, not well begun, . 

Be sadly ended, 
And the web they have spun, 

Can ne'er be mended. 

What is the time that 's gone, 
And what is that to come ? 
Is it not now as none ? 
The present stays not. 

172 Baxter's poems. 

Time posteth, oh how fast ! 
Unwelcome death makes haste, 
None can call back what *s past, 

Judgment delays not : 
Though God bring in the light, 

Sinners aw r ake not, 
Because Hell's out of sight, 

They sin forsake not. 
Man walks in a vain shew, 
They know, yet will not know ; 
Sit still when they should go ; 

But run for shadows : 
While they might taste and know 
The living streams that flow, 
And crop the flowers that grow, 

In Christ's sweet meadows. 
Life's better slept away, 

Than as they use it: 
In sin and drunken play, 

Vain men abuse it. 
Malignant world., adieu ! 
Where no foul vice is new, 
Only to Satan true, 

God still offended : 
Though taught and warn'd by God, 

And his chastising rod, 
Keeps still the way that 's broad, 

Never amended. 
Baptismal vows some make, 

But ne'er perforin them ; 
If angels from Heaven spake, 

'T would not reform them. 


They dig for Hell beneath, 
They labour hard for death, 
Run themselves out of breath 

To overtake it. 
Hell is not had for nought, 
Damnation 's dearly bought, 
And with great labour sought, 

They'll not forsake it. 
Their souls are Satan's fee, 

He'll not abate it. 
Grace is refus'd that 's free, 

Mad sinners hate it. 

Vile man is so perverse, 
It's too rough work for verse 
His badness to rehearse, 

And shew his folly: 
He '11 die at any rates, 
He God and conscience hates, 
Yet sin he consecrates, 

And calls it holy : 
The grace he'll not endure, 

Which would renew him : 
Constant to all, and sure, 

Which will undo him. 

His head comes first at birth, 
And takes root in the earth, 
As nature shooteth forth, 

His feet grow highest : 
To kick at all above, 
And spurn at saving love ; 
His God is in his grove, 

Because it 's nighest . 


He loves this world of strife, 
Hates that would mend it; 

Loves death that 's called life, 
Fears what would end it. 

All that is good he'd crush, 
Blindly on sin doth rush, 
A pricking thorny bush , 

Such Christ was crown 'd with: 
Their worship 's like to this, 
The reed, the Judas kiss, 
Such the religion is, 

That these abound with ; 
They mock Christ with the knee 

Whene'er they bow it ; 
As if God did not see 

The heart, and know it. 

Of good they choose the least, 
Despise that which is best, 
The joyful, heavenly feast, 

Which Christ would give them ; 
Heav'n hath scarce one cold wish, 
They live unto the flesh, 
Like swine they feed on wash, 

Satan doth drive them. 
Like weeds they grow in mire, 

Which vices nourish ; 
Where warm'd by Satan's fire, 

All sins do flourish. 

Is this the world men choose, 
For which they Heav'n refuse, 
And Christ and grace abuse, 
And not receive it ? 


Shall I not guilty be 

Of this in some degree, 

If hence God would me free, 

And I 'd not leave it ? 
My soul from Sodom fly, 

Lest wrath there find thee: 
Thy refuge-rest is nigh, 

Look not behind thee. 

There 's none of this ado, 
None of the hellish crew, 
God's promise is most true, 

Boldly believe it. 
My friends are gone before, 
And I am near the shore, 
My soul stands at the door, 

O Lord receive it. 
It trusts Christ and his merits, 

The dead he raises: 
Join it with blessed spirits, 

Who sing thy praises. 
January 14, 1682-3. 





Lord, from the horrid deep my cries Ps. 130. 1. 

Ascend unto thine ear, 
Do not my mournful voice despise, 

But my petition hear. 
I do confess that I receiv'd Ps. 51. 5. 

My very shape in sin ; 
In it my mother me conceiv'd, 

And brought me forth therein. 

Numberless evils compass me, Ps. 40. 122, 

My sins do me assail : 
More than my very hairs they be, 

So that my heart doth fail. 
But there is mercy to be had Ps. 130. 4. 

With thee, and pardoning grace, 
That men may be encouraged 

With fear to seek thy face. 

Have mercy, Lord, and pity take Ps. 51. 1. 

On me in this distress, 
For thy abundant mercy sake 

Blot out my wickedness. 
My youthful sins do thou deface Ps. 25. 7. 

Keep them not on record ; 
But after thine abundant grace 

Remember me, O Lord. 


If thou the failings shouldst observe, Ps. 130. 3. 

E'en of the most upright, 
And give to them as they deserve 

Who should stand in thy sight ? 
O blessed is the man to whom Ps. 32. 1, 

Are freely pardoned 
All the transgressions he hath done ! 

Whose sin is covered. 

Blessed is he to whom the Lord Ps. 32. 2. 

Imputeth not his sin ; 
Whose heart hath all deceit abhorr'd, 

And guile 's not found therein. 
Lord, hide thy face from all my sins, Ps. 51. 9. 10; 

And my misdeeds deface: 
O God, make clean my heart within, 

Renew it with thy grace. 

O then let joy and gladness speak, Ps. 51. 8. 

And let me hear their voice ; 
That so the bones which thou didst break 

May feelingly rejoice! 
O that my ways thou wouldst direct, Ps. 119. 5. 6. 

And to thy statutes frame ! 
Which when entirely I respect, 

Then shall I know no shame. 

What mortal man can fully see Ps. 19. 12. 

The errors of his thoughts ? 
Then cleanse me, and deliver me 

From all my secret faults: 
From every presumptuous crime 

Thy servant, Lord, restrain ; 
i 2 

178 daxter's poems. 

And let them not at any time 
Dominion obtain. 

Thou art my God! thy spirit's good! Ps. 143. 10. 

Thy sen-ant's soul instruct 
In thy commands, and to the land 

Of uprightness conduct. 
With upright heart I'll speak thy praise, Ps. 119. 

When I have learnt thy word: 7, 8. 

Fain would I keep thy laws always ! 

Forsake me not, O Lord. 



Bless thou the living Lord, my soul ; Ps. 103. 1. 

His glorious praise proclaim : 
Let all my inward powers extol, 

And bless his holy name. 
Forget not all his benefits ; 2. 

But bless the Lord, my soul. 
Who all thy trespasses remits, 3. 

And makes thee sound and whole. 

Who did redeem and set thee free, 4. 

From death's infernal place' 
With loving kindness crowneth thee, 

And with his tender grace. 
As far as is the sun's uprise 12. 

In distance from its fall; 
So far our great iniquities 

He sep'rates from us all. 


Behold what wondrous love on us 1 Job. 

The father hath bestow'd ! 
That we should be advanced thus, 

And calFd the sons of God. 
Because thy loving-kindness is P?» 63. 3. 

Better than length of days, 
And preciouser than life itself ; 

My lips shall speak thy praise. 

Thus will I bless thee all my days. 

And celebrate thy fame ; 
My hands I will devoutly raise 

In thy most holy name. 
With marrow and sweet fatness fill'd, 

My thankful soul shall be ; 
My mouth shall join with joyful lips 

In giving praise to thee. 

For whom have I in Heaven but thee ? Ps. 13. 25. 

Nor is there any one 
In all the world desir'd of me 

Besides thyself alone ; 
My flesh consum'd, my heart as broke, 26. 

I feel do fail me sore : 
But God 's my heart's unshaken rock, 

And portion evermore. 

For they shall all destroyed be 27. 

That far from thee are gone: 
They that a whoring go from thee 

Shall all be overthrown. 
Nevertheless I do remain 23 

Continually with thee : 
By thy right hand thou dost sustain 

And firmly holdest me. 

180 Baxter's poems. 

And in the crowd and multitude Ps. 94. 19. 

Of troubling thoughts that roll 
Within my breast ; thy comforts rest, 

And do delight my soul ; 
With the just counsels of thy word, Ps. 73. 24. 

Safely thou wilt me guide, 
And wilt receive me afterwards 

In glory to abide. 


O God, how dost thy love and grace Ps. 36. 7. 

Excel all earthly things ! 
Therefore the sons of men do place 

Their trust under thy wings. 
With fatness of thy house on high 8 . 

Thou wilt thy saints suffice, 
And make them drink abundantly 

The rivers of thy joys. 

Because the spring of life most pure 9. 

Doth ever flow from thee : 
And in thy light we shall be sure 

Eternal light to see. 
Therefore the gladness of my heart Ps. 16. 9. 

Is by my tongue express 'd ; 
And when I must lie down in dust, 

My flesh in hope shall rest. 

The path of life thou wilt shew me : 11. 

With thee are all the treasures 
Of joy, and at thy right hand be 

The everlasting pleasures. 


Goodness and mercy all my days Ps. 23. 6. 

Shall surely follow me ; 
And in the house of God always 

My dwelling-place shall he. 

O still draw out thy love and grace Ps. 36. 10. 

To them that have thee known ; 
And with thy righteousness embrace 

The upright hearted one : 
That so my tongue may sing thy praise, Ps. 30. 12. 

And never silent be, 
O Lord my God e'en all my days 

Will I give thanks to thee. 


Glory to the eternal God, Luke 2, 14. 

In his tran scendant place : 
Let peace on earth make her abode : 

Let men receive his grace. 
Praise ye the Lord ; sing unto him Ps. 149. 1 

A song not sung before : 
In the assemblies of his saints, 

With praises him adore. 

The Holy God his great delight 4. 

Doth in his people place : 
And the most high will beautify 

The meek with saving grace. 
Therefore let God's redeemed saints 5 . 

In glory joyful be ; 
And let them raise in his high praise 6, 

Their voice continuallv. 


Lord, all thy works do speak thy praise, Ps. 145. 

And thee thy saints shall bless . 10 . 

They shall proclaim thy kingdom's fame, 1 1 . 

And thy great power express I 
To make known to the sons of men, 12. 

His acts done mightily, 
And of his kingdom powerful, 

The glorious majesty. 

Thy kingdom everlasting is, 13. 

Its glory hath no end : 
And thine alone dominion 

Through ages doth extend. 
The elders and the blessed saints, Rev. 4.8. 

Who do thy throne surround, 
Do never cease by night or day 

These praises to resound : — 

O holy, holy, holy Lord, 

Almighty God alone ! 
Who ever hath been, and still is, 

And ever is to come. 
Worthy art thou, Lord, to receive 11. 

Glory and honour still ; 
For all the world was made by thee 

To please thy blessed will. 

The song of Moses and the Lamb, Rev. 15.3. 

They sing with one accord. 
Great are thy works, and marvellous, 

Almighty God our Lord : 
Just are thy ways, thou King of saints, 

And true is all thy word. 
Who would not fear and glorify 4. 

Thy holy name, O Lord ? 

Baxter's poems. 183 

The lamb is worthy, that was slain, Rev. 12. 

Of power and renown, 
Of wisdom, honour, and to wear 

The royal glorious crown. 
For thou our souls redeemed hast 9. 

By thy most precious blood, 
And made us kings and sacred priests 10. 

To the eternal God. _ , 


O that mankind would praise the Lord ! Ps. 107* 

For his great goodness then ! 8 . 

And for his works most wonderful 

Unto the sons of men ! 
And let them offer sacrifice 

Of praise unto the Lord, 
And with the shouts of holy joys 

His wond'rous works record. 

Sing to the Lord, and bless his name; Ps. 29. 2. 

His boundless love display : 
His saving mercies to proclaim 

Cease not from day to day. 
O worship ye the world's great Lord ! Ps. 29. 2. 

In beauteous holiness ! and 96. 9. 

Let all the earth with one accord 

With fear his name confess. 

Let the exalted Heavens rejoice, 11. 

And let the earth be glad : 
The sea with its applauding noi*e 

Triumphant joys shall add 

184 Baxter's poeiw*s. 

Before the lord; for he doth come, l.'L 

He comes the earth to try ; 
The world, and all therein to doom, 

With truth and equity. 

O all his angels, bless the Lord ! Ps. 103. 20. 

Ye that in strength excel ! 
That hearken to his holy word, 

And all his laws fulfil. 
O bless the Lord, all ye his hosts, 21. 

And ministers of his • 
And all his works through all the coasts 22. 

Where his dominion is. 

Bless thou the Lord, my soul! my mouth 22. 

His praises shall proclaim. Ps. 145. 21. 

Bless him all flesh ; all that hath breath , Ps.105.6. 

Praise ye the Lord's great name. 


To the Tune of Psalm 148. 

Ye holy anaels bright,] 

Which stand before God's throne, 
And dwell in glorious light, 
Praise ye the Lord each one ! 
You there so nigh* 
Fitter than we 
Dark sinners be, 
For tilings so biffh, 


The glorified You blessed souls at rest, 
Saints. Who see your Saviour's face, 
Whose glory, e'en the least, 
Is far above our grace. 
God's praises sound, 
As in his sight, 
With sweet delight, 
You do abound. 

The World. All nations of the earth 

Extol the world's great King ! 
With melody and mirth 
His glorious praises sing ; 
For he still reigns, 
And will bring low 
The proudest foe 
That him disdains. 

The Church. Sing forth Jehovah's praise, 
Ye saints that on him call ! 
Magnify him always, 
His holy churches all ! 
In him rejoice, 
And there proclaim 
His holy name 

With sounding voice. 

My Soul. My soul, bear thou thy part, 
Triumph in God above ! 
With- a well-tuned heart, 
Sing thou the songs of love ! 
Thou art his own, 
Whose precious blood 
Shed for thy good 
His love made known. 


He did in love begin, 

Renewing thee by grace ; 
Forgiving all thy sin, 

Shew'd thee his pleased face ; 
He did thee heal 
By his own merit: 
And by his spirit 
He did thee seal. 

In saddest thoughts and grief, 
In sickness, fears, and pain 
I cry'd for his relief, 
And did not cry in vain. 
He heard with speed, 
And still I found 
Mercy abound 
In time of need. 

Let not his praises grow 

On prosp'rous heights alone, 
But in the vales below 

Let his great love be known : 
Let no distress 
Curb and controul 
My winged soul, 
Arid praise suppress. 


Let not the fear or smart 
Of his chastising rod, 

Take off my fervent heart 
From praising my dear God : 


Still let me kneel, 
And to him bring 
This offering 

Whatever I feel. 

Though I lose friends and wealth 
And bear reproach and shame ; 
Though I lose ease and health, 
Still let me praise God's name : 
That fear and pain, 
Which would destroy 
My thanks and joy, 
Do thou restrain. 

Though human help depart, 

And flesh draw near to dust; 
Let faith keep up my heart, 
To love God true and just : 
And all my days 
Let no disease 
Cause me to cease 
His joyful praise. 

Though sin would make me doubt, 

And fill my soul with fears ; 
Though God seem to shut out 
My daily cries and tears ; 
By no such frost 
Of sad delays 
Let thy sweet praise 
Be nipp'd and lost. 

Away, distrustful care, 
I have thy promise, Lord : 


To banish all despair 

I have thy oath and word ! 
And therefore I 
Shall see thy face, 
And there thy grace 
Shall magnify. 

Though sin and death conspire, 

To rob thee of thy praise : 
Still to'ards thee I '11 aspire, 

And thou dull hearts canst raise ; 
Open thy door, 
And when grim death 
Shall stop this breath, 
I '11 praise thee more. 

With thy triumphant flock, 

Then 1 shall numb 'red be ; 
Built on th' eternal rock 
His glory we shall see. 
The Heavens so high 
With praise shall ring, 
And all shall sing 
In harmony. 

The sun is but a spark 

From the eternal light ; 
Its brightest beams are dark, 
To that most glorious sight. 
There the whole choir 
With one accord 
Shall praise the Lord 
For evermore. 




For Creation, Redemption, The Holy Ghost and Sanctifica- 
tion, Pardon and Justification, Church Providence, Pro- 
mised Glory, God's Word, The Communion of Saints. 

Publish 1 'd for them who above curious art 
Relish the transcript of a serious heart. 



Jehovah's praises let us sing 

With cheerful heart and [lively] voice. 

And [humbly] this our offering bring ; 
And with due fear [in Mm] rejoice. 

Though we are vile, we tender it 
By the pure hand of [Jesus] Christ. 

Who now at God's right hand doth sit, 
Our [great and] heavenly high priest. 

Wonderful are thy works, O Lord, 
In which [to man] thou dost appear; 

They all preach to us, as thy word, 
The unseen God to [love and] fear. 

* To the Tunes of the old 51 and 100 Psalms : but leaving 
out the words in the Italic Letter, they may be sung in 
very many shorter Psalm-tunes. " In Psalms, and Hymns, 
and Spiritual Songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the 
Lord." Col. 3. 16. 


The Heav'ns above, the earth below, 

[Daily] apparent to our sight, 
To mortal in an do clearly shew 

Thy [perfect] knowledge, love, and might. 

This earth stands by thy pow'rful will ; 

Its [massy] bulk thou dost sustain : 
With thy rich store thou dost it fill, 

And what thou mak'st [thou dost] maintain. 

The various plants, delightful flowers, 
The [comely] verdure clothe the giounds : 

Warm'd by the sun, fed with thy show'rs, 
With [pleasant] fruits the earth abounds. 

On these more noble creatures live, 

The [divers] beasts, the fruitful herbs: 
They all receive what thou dost give ; 

So do the [beauteous] singing birds. 
Over all these thou placest man 

In thy own [holy] image form'd, 
To serve thee as none of these can, 

With [higher] faculties adorn 'd. 

The dreadful waves, the ocean deep, 

Thou [mad'st ajid] perfectly dost know : 

There fish of all sorts thou dost keep, 
With [life and] food we know not how. 

Vast unseen airs, strong dreadful winds, 
Thy [lightnings] thunders, rain, and snow, 

Constrain e'en careless sinners' minds 
Of God [most high] to stand in awe. 

Baxter's poems. ig\ 

And if this earth, so low and small, 

Do thus thy [wond'rous] power shew; 
What should we say if we saw all, 

Which the bless 'd [glorious] angels know ? 
When tow'rds the heav'ns we turn our eyes, 

And on the [lucid] regions look, 
We see the shining stars and skies, 

The [golden] letters of thy book. 

How clear a preacher is the sun 

In which God's [glorious] pow'r doth shine, 
The speedy race the globes do run 

Few would believe [were it] not seen. 

All eyes at once behold its light 

Which [from Heav'n] beyond earth extend, 
It's strange if e'en an angel's sight 

This [glorious] globe can comprehend. 

Who knows how many orbs there are, 
Beyond [those stars] which mortals see ? 

A system to each fixed star ? 

[0 then] how great a God have we. 

How greatly should this God be fear'd ? 

How joyfully [should he] beprais'd? 
And how obediently be heard ? 

And hearts [in love] to him be rais'd. 

Who'd set against him sinful dust ? 

Or let [one base] temptation in ? 
To please a carnal will and lust ? 

How bad [how mad] is wilful sin ? 



God put at first in Adam's power 
Not [fixed'] nature, but free-will. 

He could not change necessity, 

But he could choose the [good or] ill. 

God, though most holy, did permit 
Man's trial and his [odious] fall ; 

But wisdom hath improved it, 
And [mercy's] glorified by all. 

Grace as the sun before it rise 

Did first send forth some [beams of] light, 
Which more increased by degrees, 

Till the sun rose to [human] sight. 

O wond'rous mystery of grace, 

That God [as man] in flesh dotli dwell, 

To save a self-destroying race 

From sin, [themselves] , Satan, and Hell. 

'Twas God himself who thus appear'd 
[Inflesli] though not to it confin'd ; 

Yet there to do a Saviour's work, 
By [wond'rous] union assign'd. 

God walk'd with men ; he heal'd the sick, 
[The lame] the blind, he raised the dead : 

Innumerable wonders wrought : 
[Thousands] by miracle he fed. 

To sinners he repentance preach'd, 
Call'd man from [worldly] vanity : 

Faith, hope, and love, he plainly taught, 
And [fleshly] lust to mortify. 


Not needless trifling arts, or rites ; 

But how fallen man [may be] restor'd 
How sav'd from sin and misery, 

In [endless] life may see the Lord. 

Divine love is man's blessedness : 
Lost love must be [by love] repair'd 

Christ came to draw, man's love to God, 
By God's great [wondrous] love declar'd, 

He lov'd his enemies more than life : 
Suffer'd [reproach], died on a cross, 

A sacrifice to God for sin, 

[Reviv'd] and on the third day rose, 

He seal'd and sent the law of grace : 
[On earth] he forty days abode; 

Promis'd to send the Holy Ghost, 
[And then] ascended up to God, 

Heav'n is the place of blessedness, 

In Heav'n [it's meet] our head must be ; 

There his great glorious kingdom i^s, 
[And there] his glory we must see. 

Head over all things to his church 

[In Heav'n] he reigns at God's right hand: 
Our great high priest, teacher, and king, 

[The world] all is at his command. 

Worship him, all ye glorious hosts ; 

Praise him, ye [holy] angels all; 
Praise him his church throughout the earth ; 

His foes before him [down shall] fall. 




He intercedes from God with man, 
Communicating [lift, light ,] love, 

He intercedes for man with God, 
Presents our case [to him'] above. 

By him we have access to God, 

Through him God's now our [dearest] friend; 
To him our souls with quiet trust 

[Inlife^X&t death we do commend. 

Glory be to the God of love, 

For [these strange'] miracles of grace ; 

Who sent a Saviour from above, 

And shews [to man] his pleased face. 

God's great works must be like himself, 
His pow'r by this [great world"] we know ; 

Wisdom and goodness equal it, 

And [equal] wonders these must shew. 

Christ is the Lord of life and death, 

He '11 [raise and] judge the world at last . 

The just he '11 take to joyful bliss • 
The wicked [he] to hell [will] cast. 

Come, glorious Lord, in thee we trust, 
The conqueror of [death and] hell, 

Receive our souls, raise jts from dust, 
In [love and] joy with thee to dwell. 



As light and heat flow from the sun, 
To light, warm, [quicken,] frigid earth, 

God sent his Son, and both the Spirit, 
To raise [dead souls'] by a new birth. 

By him our Lord was first conceived ; 

By him [were all] his wonders wrought ; 
By him the world in Christ believ'd ! 

By him God's word was [writ and] taught. 

His word made, and his word new makes, 
He giveth [knowledge,] life and sense, 

Though by. the sapiential way, 
Yet by love's [potent] influence. 

If miracles and holiness 

Had not Christ's gospel [surely] seal'd ; 
Christ had not had a church on earth, 

Nor [had been] credibly reveal'd. 

As on the first unformed mass, 

God's spirit mov'd, gave [life and] form : 
So he first form'd the sacred word, 

Then [by it] those that are new born. 

The holy gospel is his book, 

Written [and preacNd] by Christ's command, 
Endited by the Holy Ghost, 

As [true as] if with Christ's own hand. 

O praise eternal boundless love, 
Who shines [on man] with vital beams; 

Refresheth dry and thirsty souls 
With the celestial [living] streams. 


1^6 Baxter's poems. 

He gives us light when we are dark, 
He quickens us when [we are] dead : 

And by unfeigned faith and love 
Unites us to our [glorious] head. 

Lord, let's know him by whom we know: 
And know Christ by thy [holy] dove ; 

And live to him by whom we live ; 

Love him from whom 's all [holy] lore. 

It's he enditeth all our songs, 

[In which] thy glory we proclaim ; 

It's he that sweeteneth to our souls 
The mention of thy [holy] name 

Should we not magnify his grace, 
And his high praises [daily] sing ? 

Who reacheth us with joyful hearts, 
To magnify our [heavenly] King. 

He intercedes 'twixt Christ and us, 
The [holy] fire by him doth burn : 

He gives us the desires and groans, 
The [thanks and] praise which we return. 

He preach'd thy word to us within, 

And made it to us [power and] life : 
He used it to destroy our sin, 

Gave us [our] Creed and [our] Belief. 
His teaching deeper went than man's : 

[Thy word] he wrote upon the heart, 
Our mad resistance overcame • 

A [holy] nature 's more than art 



He made thy word searching and sharp, 
Yet [sweet and~] pleasant to our taste ; 

He made thy service our delight, 
Make it [yet more] so to the last. 

O thou that art this holy fire, 

Inflame our souls for \_thy own] praise 

Thou who dost love and joy inspire, 
Keep [these in] vigour from decays. 


Blest is the man to whom the Lord 

Imputes not guilt of [any] sin, 
Nor calls him to a strict account 

What he hath [thought and] done and been. 

Conscience permits us not to think 

That any [of us] faultless are, 
Who then can rigorous justice bear 

At God's most righteous [dreadful] bar. 

But bless 'd be our Redeemer's grace, 
Who before [rigorous] justice stood ; 

Did pay our debt, our guilt deface, 
And wash'd us in his [precious] blood. 

No guilt of sin was found on him : 
His soul and life were [wholly] pure : 

All righteousness he did fulfil, 

And for man's sin [the curse] endure. 

log Baxter's poems. 

Justice was glorified on him, 

So great [and strange] a sacrifice ; 
God shew'd how much he hated sin, 

Lest man his laws [should still] despise. 
By the first Adam entered death, 

By Christ the second [life and] peace : 
Increased guilt deserves more wrath, 

Through Christ we have [a sure] release. 
The rights he merited for man, 

By [a free] gift he hath convey'd: 
Faith and acceptance justify, 

[Because] the price our Saviour paid. 

Thy sharp corrections in this life, 
To [pained] bodies dreadful are, 

Didst thou use man as he deserves, 

Thy [heavy] judgments who could bear. 

But when we think of death and hell, 
[Terror] our torment would begin, 

If mercy did not us relieve, 

And pardon all our [grievous] sin. 

When sin our foolish hearts deceiv'd, 
It seem'd [to us] a harmless thing ; 

But waken' d conscience felt the smart, 
Till [pardoning] grace took out the sting. 

When flattering pleasure blindeth man, 
Sin keeps the [senseless] heart asleep ; 

But terror doth the conscience wake, 
When it looks in th' [infernal] deep. 

Baxter's poems. 
Unpardon'd sinners bear thy wrath, 

And never see thy [pleased] face* 
The true believer pardon hath, 

Justified by thy [saving] grace. 

Ye angels which in Heav'n rejoice, 
When [humbled] sinners turn to God, 

Praise ye the Saviour of the church, 
Who washeth it in [cleansing] blood. 

Seeing the Lord of love doth choose 

Mercy [not wrath] to glorify ; 
Give him the glory of his grace, 

[Man lives] let not God's praises die, 

Deliverance here is but begun, 

When Christ [from death] shall sinners raise, 
His grace and we then perfected, 

We '11 perfectly sing [his high] praise. 


Lord, though thy church in this dark world 
Do but begin [and learn] thy praise ; 

Accept both it and us through Christ, 
Till it [and us] thy glory raise. 

Here troubling sin resists thy grace; 

Of [joy and ] sorrow we partake : 
Our broken hearts and broken peace, 

[Can none] but broken music make. 

But enemies make thy power known ; 
Occasion [thy great] victories ; 


Sin *s conquei 'd ; satan *s overthrown 

[Our] weakness [thy] strength magnifies . 

Winter and summer nights and days, 

[All's] chequer'd [here] with black and white . 
Thy Son shines ; but sin clouds his rays ; 

Sin makes it dark, grace [makes it] light. 

We are alive, but never well : 

Grace and sin make our [ague] fits ; 

In all our powers sin doth dwell, 
And never [wholly] intermits. 

We are too hot, or else too cold, 

Our strong [and long] fits dangerous are . 

Mercies seem still too new or old : 
They are too near [us] or [too] far. 

Health makes us wanton ; sickness sad ; 

In [greatest] wealth we neglect God ; 
His fullest diet makes us bad ; 

We [need, yet] cannot bear the rod. 

Thy flock oft from their pasture stray, 
They [wander] straggle, strive, and fight ; 

Thy dogs make them together run, 
And all [at home] do meet at night. 

Thy ways to us seem often dark, 
Thou crossest human [wit and] will : 

We murmur ; but thou dost thy work, 
That's [wise and] good, which we thought ilL 

rhou mak'st good use of every state, 
A med'cine of [the worst] disease ; 


Whether help come betime, or late, 

That's [good for] health, which crosseth ease. 

Sometime thy work is done in peace, 

Help'd on by [godly] magistrates ; 
And then thy church doth much increase, 

And far [and near] itself dilates. 

Then worldly hypocrites creep in, 

Much vermin [the warm] sunshine breeds ; 

And these corrupt the church by sin, 
Till [it a] reformation needs. 

Rich men their wealth to God devote : 
[Princes] Christ's ministers advance ; 

This proves for pride and flesh a bait ; 
These cherish [sin and] ignorance. 

The worst men most love wealth and pride, 
The strongest love [will] seek [them] most 

These seekers do the prey divide, 
And so the donor 's [will is] cross 'd. 

Thus Satan by this after-game 

Wins [often] more than by his first, 
And doth his work in Christ *s own name : 

[He] chooseth church guides [of] the worst. 

Then ravening wolves sheep's clothing wear, 
[Hurtful] black souls appear in white : 

Christ's flocks none more than shepherds fear, 
[Who are] call'd angels of the light. 

When lust on things devoted feeds, 

And sin corrupts God 's [church and] word : 

The church a purgatory needs, 

And sacrilege [wisheaths] God's sword. 
K 2 


This lire men's faith tries and refines, 
It separates the [gold and] dross, 

These winds shake down false hypocrites : 
The church grows [better] by the cross . 

Praise him who gives the church her peace, 
Yet [makes it] to the cross a debtor ; 

By one the number doth increase, 
The other makes it [pure and] better. 

And though Christ 's ark be thus long tost 
With [pirates,] frightful storms, and waves . 

None of his chosen shall be lost : 

[Praise Christ] for he the faithful saves. 

Though Satan's numbers, and Christ's few, 
Do now our reason [pose and] stall ; 

The vast and glorious worlds above 
Help faith [and hope] to answer all. 


Most glorious God, that name of thine 
In heaven [and earth] must hallowed be ; 

All upon whom thy face doth shine 

Praise thee with heart, [and tongue,] and knee. 

Our praises for this earthly state, 

Are checquer'd with [our mix'd] complaints, 
But when heav'ns glory we relate, 

Pure, [unmix* d] praise becometh saints. 

Eye hath not seen, nor heart conceiv'd 
What thou prepar'st [for saints] above : 

saxter's poems. 

The glory hardly is believ'd, 

Of souls there blest with [perfect] love. 

The heavenly Jerusalem 

Of [all thy} saints the mother is : 
The kingdom where Christ reigns with them, 

In everlasting [joyful] bliss. 
God and the lamb there are the sun, 

[None *s dark] there : all have perfect light : 
Their time, their joy, is never done, 

Their [perfect] day-light hath no night. 

As perfect health inclines to mirth, 
There [perfect] love produceth joy 9 

Souls are not there cloggM with dull earth ; 
Nc sin [no pain] doth them annoy. 

Sight banisheth all unbelief : 

Possession 's more than [strongest] hope : 
Those live in perfect light and life ; 

Who here [in flesh] did doubt and grope. 

O praise that glorious face, ye saints, 

Which shines you out of [fear and] pain : 

The praising soul there never faints : 
It *s love [and joy] in which they reign. 

There we shall never wish for more ; 

[More love] more joy, in sense of need ; 
But on heav'ns satisfying store 

In [fullest] pleasure ever feed. 

As all the warbling strings of lute, 

In concord one [sweet] tune [do] make . 

All parts of God's creation suit, 

No jars the concert [there shall] break. 

. **«2& BAXTER'S POEMS. 

Blest souls do boar a noble part 
" $h this sweet [perfect] harmony 
Each holy well-tun 'd fervent heart 
Rapt with the [pleasant] melody. 

The joy which oft like lightning here, 
Doth leave us in the [frightful] dark, 

Essential is and constant there : 
The sun excels our [little] spark. 

When light hath darkness vanquished, 
[And when] weak faith is turn'd to sight, 

When troubling doubts and fears are fled, 
[Thy] praise shall be our [full] delight. 

When sin doth cease, we '11 cease our moans, 
And no more dread thy [burning] wrath, 

Thy ; oys will silence all our groans ; 

[In heaven] there 's no more fear of death. 

Our faithful friends are gone before, 
Those who were lately [praying] here, 

All past to heav'n thrqugh the same door, 
Out of our sight [they are] safe there. 

We see not whither we must go, 

[Nor] where [the] souls departed be, 

We trust in him who all doth know ; 
Our [blessed] head for us doth see. 

O you that are past all our fears, 
And see God's [shining] face always : 

Bless him who wip'd away your tears, 
[It's] you [that] sing the sweetest praise. 


Praise him for nature's glorious frame, j$ 

It's open to your [clearest] view, 
Sun, moon, and stars, declare his name • 

Their [rapid] motion's known to you. 

Praise Christ, the churches glorious king : 
He *s still your life, [your joy, [ your food, 

He did you to that glory bring : 

[You drink] the wine bought with his blood. 

Praise ye the Holy Spirit's grace, 

And all his [holy] works of love : 
He fitted you to see God's face, 

And set your hearts [on things] above. 

You holy souls, and angels all 

Bless, [praise and] magnify the Lord, 
Ascend my soul ; thy God doth call : 

And with this [heavenly] choir accord. 

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 

One [only] GOD in persons three, 
All honour, glory, thanks, and praise, 

Now and for ever [rend* red] be. 


O blessed be that glorious sun, 

Who shines [to man] with lucid beams, 

Lightning our darkness by his word, 
Refreshing souls with [living] streams. 

Darkness the devil's kingdom is, 
To which he drew frail [sinning] man ; 

176 Baxter's poems. 

By promise of false [selfish] light 
Thus [sin and] misery began. 

When sin had blotted nature's book, 
And blinded [wretched] sinners eyes, 

Wisdom and mercy condescend 

To reach [the church] by prophecies. 

Beginning with a smaller light, 
Increasing still till [perfect] day : 

Christ by his gospel shining bright 

Shews man God's will and [holy] way. 

God 's laws and prophets made the Jews 
Excel the Gentiles' [wisdom] far ; 

But above them by greater light 

[We] Christians [now] advanced are. 

Glad news from God to undone man 
Even [holy] angels preached then, 

Glory to God in highest heav'ns, 

[On earth] peace, and good will to men, 

Christ was a preacher of this word ; 

His Spirit did [the same] endite : 
He sent apostles through the world, 

His word to preach and [then to~\ write. 

This teacheth man to know his God . 

This [clearly] doth reveal his will, 
Tells us all needful saving truth, 

[Surely] to know both good and ill. 

Here are essentials, integrals, 

[And due] adjuncts for ornament, 

Christ's full and universal law, 
His [free and] gracious covenant. 


The promise of eternal life, 

Pardon and [plenteous] saving grace ; 

By multitudes of wonders seal'd, 
And fitted to each [needful] case. 

Life to the dead, light to the blind, 
To guide the doubting [erring] sort : 

Strength to the weak ; joy to the sad, 
And [flaming] love to melt the heart. 

Millions this holy word hath won ; 

And millions [it hatli] comforted: 
Millions now praising God in heaven, 

[To Christ^] to God, by this were led. 

You saints on earth by this renew'd, 
Blest souls [above] praise ye the Lord, 

Who daily doth increase your church 
By prospering this [holy] word. 

Were't not for this, how dark were man; 

Still erring, or in [fear and] doubt : 
Heathens have search'd for saving truth, 

But never [fully] found it out. 

Some to make way for their own words 
As [dark and] doubtful God's accuse, 

Light, law, and reason are not charg'd 
And yet [by man] as much abus'd. 

Usurpers cannot mend God's laws, 
Though [they are] such as man can break ; 

What words may not mistaken be ? 
God will not learn [of man] to speak. 


What concord could be in the world , 
Were it not for God's [certain] word 

Divided minds will ne'er agree, 
Till in this [centre] they accord. 

God is but one, and Lord of all, 
To [trust and] please him all are bound . 

But men are multitudes, and false ; 

None of full power [and truth] is found. 

When man at first forsook God's word, 
The [serpent* s] lies did him ensnare : 

Those now that leave God's perfect law, 
By [human] canons batter'd are. 

Christ is the only steadfast rock ; 

Men [are like] incoherent sand ; 
That falls to dust that's built on them 

What's built on Christ shall [firmly] stand. 

Those who in Christ cannot unite, 
To get this sand [sotne false] cement, 

A monstrous image have devis'd 
For all [the earth] one government. 

Praise God for his one certain word ; 

[Trust and] obey this perfect rule : 
The wand'ring lights of human wit, 

[Mislead^] divide men, and befool. 

God's word, not man's, shall judge the world, 
This is the [holy] spirit's breath, 

The sealed charter of our rights, 

Our guide [in life,] our trust at death. 




Though saints on earth imperfect be, 
[SieA] through [the] relics of their sin ; 

Yet, Lord, they are thy chosen flock, 
[And] sealed by [thy] grace within. 

They are the purchase of Christ's blood, 

He calls them [brethren^] spouse, and friends : 

As Eve of Adam, his own flesh : 

Whom he for heav'n [fits and] intends. 

His spirit doth their souls possess ; 

As in his temple [there he] dwells, 
Reneweth them by saving grace, 

Their [sores and] sicknesses he heals. 

Thy word and works are all for them : 
[Christ and] thy blessings are their food : 

Thy truth is writ to make them true, 

Thy [good] word [is] to make them good. 

God who is out of mortals' sight, 

[As] working in [his] saints is known ; 

In them he will be lov'd and serv'd, 
What 's done [to them] to him is done. 

Grace is one constant miracle, 
The [standing] witness of Christ's truth: 

He is a saviour indeed, 

Whose [saving] grace man's soul renew'th. 

God's known on earth, to man by this 
His [holy] image on man's soul ; 


Even in their weakness God is seen, 

Much more when they by [grace] are whole. 

If Christ had made no better men 

Than formal [christian] hypocrites 
Who differ not from infidels, 

Save by set tasks, and [outward] rites. 
Who'd take him for a saviour, then, 

Who doth [man *s soul] no better save ? 
That he the best physician is 

Whose patiqgs no more [healing] have. 

We praise the Lord, who made us see 
God's image is [on man] restor'd, 

Which helps us firmly to believe, 

Christ's [saving] office and sure word. 

We thank thee, Lord, that quickening grace, 
Doth make dead sinners [rise] and live, 

It's salt to this corrupted earth, 

Light to the [darken 9 d] world doth give ; 

And though men's slanders and our sin, 

Do cloud its [glory] for a while : 
Thou wilt soon scatter all these clouds : 

Thy [pleased] face on us will smile. 

We bless thee for that saving light, 

Which we from these [th?j lights] have had . 

Their quickening words, their warning love, 
Reviv'd our hearts, when [cold and] sad. 

Thy grace is like a fervent fire, 

It warms or burns all {that is] nigh ; 

Baxter's poems. 181 

It breeds more saints ; consumeth sin ; 
And still mounts up [to God] on high. 

We thank thee for the blessed days, 
Which we in [holy] churches spent, 

Where potent truth converted souls, 
And made the [hardened] hearts relent. 

There we have heard the word of life, 

And [all did] in thy light rejoice ; 
And among divers small dissents 

All prais'd thee with one [heart and] voice. 

Thy church hath all one God, one head, 
[One faith,] one baptism, one hope, 

One body better unified 
Than by [one] council, or [one] pope. 

All have one spirit of life, and love, 

[And all] for every Christian pray : 
And though in different forms and words, 

All come to God [by] one [sure] way. 

Faulty they are ; but excellent 

By divine life and [holy] birth : 
Men's lives much differ ; for their ends 

Differ as [far] as heav'n and earth. 

Were kingdoms, churches, families, 

Made up of [humble] serious saints, 
What a chang'd world would this then be, 

[Love and] delight would end complaints. 

The great destroyer would be bound, 
[Malice] and hurtfulness would cease ; 

The earth, that's now so near to hell, 
Would be like heav'n in [love and] peace. 


But, Lord, if this here may not be, 
Prepare us for that [blessed] place, 

Where all are perfected with thee, 
And see [with joy] thy pleased face. 



Dorset-street, Fleet-steet. 





In 48vo. with a neatly engraved Portrait, price 8s. 
dedicated, by permission, to Earl Spencer, 


Typis C. Corrall, 1821. 

Also in 48vo. uniformly printed, price 6s. 


Typis C. Corrall, 1820. 

These beautiful Specimens of miniature Printing have been 
executed by Corrall, with types similar to those used in the 
much-admired diamond Bible. They are the smallest ever 
printed, being less than the Sedan, Elzevir, or Louvre 

In 18mo. with Portraits, price 4s. boards. 


By Bishop Burnet. 


In 4to. price 18s. 



By the Rev. James Johnstone. 

Printed at Copenhagen, 1786. 

In One Volume, 4to. with 9 Plates, price 15s. 


By Richard Payne Knight, London, 1791. 

A Select Catalogue of Books, ancient and modern, 
in Classics, Theology, Jurisprudence, History, 
Antiquities, &c. in various Languages, on Sale at 
the Prices affixed, by W. Pickering ; comprising 
articles of general utility, in good condition, to- 
gether with some of uncommon occurrence. 

5£p -2 f 

Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: March 2009 



111 Thomson Park Drive 
Cranberry Township, PA 1 6066