[ 1 ]
Still was the night, Serene and Bright,
when all Men sleeping lay;
Calm was the season, and carnal reason
thought so 'twould last for ay.
Soul, take thine ease, let sorrow cease,
much good thou hast in store:
This was their Song, their Cups among,
the Evening before.
of World before
[ 2 ]
Wallowing in all kind of sin,
vile wretches lay secure:
The best of men had scarcely then
their Lamps kept in good ure.
Virgins unwise, who through disguise
amongst the best were number'd,
Had clos'd their eyes; yea, and the wise
through sloth and frailty slumber'd.
[ 3 ]
Like as of old, when Men grow bold
Gods' threatnings to contemn,
Who stopt their Ear, and would not hear,
when Mercy warned them:
But took their course, without remorse
till God began to powre
Destruction the World upon
in a tempestuous showre.
[ 4 ]
They put away the evil day,
And drown'd their care and fears,
Till drown'd were they, and swept away
by vengeance unawares:
So at the last, whilst Men sleep fast
in their security,
Surpriz'd they are in such a snare
as cometh suddenly.
|I Thess 5:3
[ 5 ]
For at midnight brake forth a Light,
which turn'd the night to day,
And speedily an hideous cry
did all the world dismay.
Sinners awake, their hearts do ake,
trembling their loynes surprizeth;
Amaz'd with fear, by what they hear,
each one of them ariseth.
Terror of Christ's
II Pet 3:10
[ 6 ]
They rush from Beds with giddy heads,
and to their windows run,
Viewing this light, which shines more bright
then doth the Noon-day Sun.
Straightway appears (they see't with tears)
the Son of God most dread;
Who with his Train comes on amain
To Judge both Quick and Dead.
[ 7 ]
Before his face the Heav'ns gave place,
and Skies are rent asunder,
With mighty voice, and hideous noise,
more terrible than Thunder.
His brightness damps hev'ns glorious lamps
and makes them hide their heads,
As if afraid and quite dismay'd,
they quit their wonted steads.
|II Pet 3:10
[ 8 ]
Ye sons of men that durst contemn
the Threatnings of Gods Word,
How cheer you now? your hearts, I trow,
are sthrill'd as with a sword.
Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind
a God could never see,
Dost thou perceive, dost now believe,
that Christ thy Judge shall be?
[ 9 ]
Stout Courages, (whose hardiness
Could Death and Hell out-face)
Are you as bold now you behold
your Judge draw near apace?
They cry, no, no: Alas! and wo!
our Courage all is gone:
Our hardiness (fool hardiness)
hath us undone, undone.
[ 10 ]
No heart so bold, but now grows cold
and almost dead with fear:
No eye so dry, but now can cry,
and pour out many a tear.
Earths Potentates and pw'rful States,
Captains and Men of Might
Are quite abasht, their courage dasht
at this most dreadful sight.
[ 11 ]
Mean men lament, great men do rent
their Robes, and tear their hair:
They do not spare their flesh to tear
through horible despair.
All Kindreds wait: all hearts do fail:
horror the world doth fill
With weeping eyes, and loud out-cries,
yet knows not how to kill.
[ 12 ]
Some hide themselves in Caves and Delves,
in places under ground:
Some rashly leap into the Deap,
to scape by being drown'd:
Some to the Rocks (O sensless blocks!)
and woody Mountains run,
That there they might this fearful sight,
and dreaded Presence shun.
[ 13 ]
In vain do they to Mountains say,
Fall on us, and us hide
From Judges ire, more hot than fire,
for who may it abide?
No hiding place can from his Face,
sinners at all conceal,
Whose flaming Eyes hid things doth 'spy,
and darkest things reveal.
[ 14 ]
The Judge draws nigh, exalted high
upon a lofty Throne,
Amidst the throng of Angels strong,
lo, Israel's Holy One!
The excellence of whose presence
and awful Majesty,
Amazeth Nature, and every Creature,
doth more than terrify.
[ 15 ]
The Mountains smoak, the Hills are shook,
the Earth is rent and torn,
As if she should be clean dissov'd,
or from the Center born.
The sea doth roar, forsakes the shore,
and shrinks away for fear;
The wild Beasts flee into the Sea,
so soon as he draws near.
[ 16 ]
Whose Glory bright, whose wondrous might,
whose Power Imperial,
So far surpass whatever was
in Realms Terrestrial;
That tongues of men (nor Angels pen)
cannot the same express,
And therefore I must pass it by,
lest speaking should transgress.
[ 17 ]
Before his Throne a Trump is blown,
Proclaiming th' Day of Doom:
Forthwith he cries, Ye Dead arise,
and unto Judgment come.
No sooner said, but 'tis obey'd;
Sepulchers open'd are:
Dead Bodies all rise at his call,
and's mighty power declare.
|I Thess 4:16
of the Dead.
[ 18 ]
Both Sea and Land, at his Command,
their Dead at once surrender:
The Fire and Air constrained are
also their dead to tender.
The mighty word of this great Lord
links Body and Soul together
Both of the Just, and the unjust,
to part no more for ever.
[ 19 ]
The same translates, from Mortal states
All that survive, and be alive.
i' th' twinking of an eye:
That so they may abide for ay
to endless weal or woe;
Both the Renate and Reprobate
are made to dy no more.
Luke 20:36 I Cor 15:52
[ 20 ]
His winged Hosts flie through all Coasts,
Both good and bad, both quick and dead,
and all to Judgment bring.
Out of their holes those creeping Moles,
that hid themselves for fear,
By force they take, and quickly make
before the Judge appear.
[ 21 ]
Thus every one before the Throne
of Christ the Judge is brought,
Both righteous and impious
that good or ill had wrought.
A separation, and diff'ring station
by Christ appointed is
(To sinners sad) 'twixst good and bad,
'twixt Heirs of woe and bliss.
|II Cor 5:10
[ 22 ]
At Christ's right hand the Sheep do stand,
his holy Martyrs, who
For his dear Name suffering shame,
calamity and woe,
Like Champions stood, and with their Blood
their testimony sealed;
Whose innocence without offence,
to Christ their Judge appealed.
|Who are Christ's Sheep.
[ 23 ]
Next unto whom there find a room
all Christ's afflicted sones,
Who being chastised, neither despised
nor sank amidst their groans:
Who by the Rod were turn'd to God,
and loved him the more,
Not murmuring nor quarrelling
when they were chast'ned sore.
[ 24 ]
Moreover, such as loved much,
that had not such a tryal,
As might constrain to so great pain,
and such deep self denyl:
Yet ready were the Cross to bear,
when Christ them call'd thereto,
And did rejoyce to hear his voice,
they're counted Sheep also.
|Luke 7:41, 47
[ 25 ]
Christ's Flock of Lambs there also stands,
whose Faith was weak, yet true;
All sound Believers (Gospel receivers)
whose Grace was small, but grew:
And them among an Infant throng
of Babes, for whom Christ dy'd;
Whom for his own, by wayes unknown
to men, he sanctify'd.