Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GOD'S DETERMINATIONS: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND MERCY, by EDWARD TAYLOR



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

GOD'S DETERMINATIONS: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND MERCY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Offended justice comes in fiery rage
Last Line: If thou in mercies mercy put thy trust.
Subject(s): Justice; Mercy; Puritans In Literature


Offended Justice comes in fiery Rage,
Like to a Rampant Lyon new assaild,
Array'd in Flaming fire now to engage,
With red hot burning Wrath poore man unbaild.
In whose Dread Vissage sinfull man may spy
Confounding, Rending, Flaming Majesty.

Out Rebell, out (saith Justice) to the Wrack,
Which every joynt unjoynts, doth streatch, and strain,
Where Sinews tortur'de are untill they Crack
And Flesh is torn asunder grain by grain.
What Spit thy Venom in my Face! Come out
To handy gripes seing thou art so stoute.

Mercy takes up the Challenge, Comes as meeke
As any Lamb, on mans behalfe, she speakes
Like new blown pincks, breaths out perfumed reech
And doth revive the heart before it breaks.
Justice (saith Mercy) if thou Storm so fast,
Man is but dust that flies before thy blast.

JUSTICE

My Essence is ingag'de, I cannot bate,
Justice not done no Justice is; and hence
I cannot hold off of the Rebells pate
The Vengeance he halls down with Violence.
If Justice wronged be she must revenge:
Unless a way be found to make all friends.

MERCY

My Essence is engag'de pitty to show.
Mercy not done no Mercy is. And hence
I'le put my shoulders to the burden so
Halld on his head with hands of Violence.
As Justice justice evermore must doe:
So Mercy Mercy evermore must show.

JUSTICE

I'le take thy Bond: But know thou this must doe.
Thou from thy Fathers bosom must depart:
And be incarnate like a slave below
Must pay mans Debts unto the utmost marke.
Thou must sustain that burden, that will make
The Angells sink into th' Infernall lake.

Nay on thy shoulders bare must beare the smart
Which makes the Stoutest Angell buckling cry
Nay makes thy Soule to Cry through griefe of heart,
ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTANI.
If this thou wilt, come then, and do not spare.
Beare up the Burden on thy Shoulders bare.

MERCY

All this I'le do, and do it o're and o're,
Before my Clients Case shall ever faile.
I'le pay his Debt, and wipe out all his Score
And till the pay day Come I'le be his baile.
I Heaven, and Earth do on my shoulders beare,
Yet down I'le throw them all rather than Spare.

JUSTICE

Yet notwithstanding still this is too Small,
Although there was a thousand times more done.
If sinless man did, sinfull man will fall:
If out of debt, will on a new score run.
Then stand away, and let me strike at first:
For better now, than when he's at the Worst.

MERCY

If more a thousand times too little bee
Ten thousand times yet more than this I'le do:
I'le free him from his Sin, and Set him free
From all those faults the which he's subject to.
Then Stand away, and strike not at the first.
He'l better grow when he is at the worst.

JUSTICE

Nay, this ten thousand times as much can still
Confer no hony to the Sinners hive.
For man though shrived throughly from all ill
His Righteousness is merely negative.
Though none be damnd but such as sin imbrace:
Yet none are sav'd without Inherent Grace.

MERCY

What, though ten thousand times, too little bee?
I will ten thousand thousand times more do.
I will not onely from his sin him free,
But fill him with Inherent grace also.
Though none are Sav'd that wickedness imbrace.
Yet none are Damn'd that have Inherent Grace.

JUSTICE

Yet this ten thousand thousand times more shall,
Though Doubled o're, and o're for little stands.
The Righteousness of God should be his all
The which he cannot have for want of hands.
Then though he's spar'de at first, at last he'l fall
For want of hands to hold himselfe withall.

MERCY

Though this ten thousand thousand times much more
Though doubled o're and o're for little go,
I'le double still its double o're and ore
And trible that untill I make it do.
I'le make him hands of Faith to hold full fast.
Spare him at first, then he'l not fall at last.

For by these hands he'l lay his Sins Upon
The Scape Goats head, o're whom he shall Confess
And with these hands he rightly shall put on
My milkwhite Robe of Lovely Righteousness.
Now Justice on, thy Will fulfilled bee.
Thou dost no wrong: the Sinner's just like thee.

JUSTICE

If so, its so: then I'l his Quittance seale:
Or shall accuse myselfe as well as him:
If so, I Justice shall of Justice faile
Which if I do, Justice herselfe should sin.
Justice unspotted is, and therefore must,

MERCY

I do foresee Proud man will me abuse,
He'th broke his Legs, yets Legs his stilts must bee:
And I may stand untill the Chilly Dews
Do pearle my Locks before he'l stand on mee.
For set a Beggar upon horseback, see
He'll ride as if no man so good as hee.

JUSTICE

And I foresee Proude man will me abuse.
Judging his Shekel is the Sanctuaries:
He on his durty stilts to walk will Choose:
Yea is as Clean as I, and nothing Varies
Although his Shekel is not Silver good
And's tilting stilts do stick within the mudd.

MERCY

But most he'l me abuse, I feare, for still
Some will have Farms to farm, some wives to wed:
Some beasts to buy; and I must waite their Will.
Though while they scrape their naile, or scratch their head
Nay though with Cap in hand I Wooe them long
They'l whistle out their Whistle e're they'l come.

JUSTICE

I see I'st be abus'de by greate, and small:
And most will count me blinde, or will not see:
Me leaden heel'd, with iron hands they'l Call:
Or am unjust, or they more just than mee.
And while they while away their Mercy so,
They set their bristles up at Justice do.

MERCY

I feare the Humble Soul will be too shie;
Judging my Mercy lesser than his Sin.
Inlarging this, but lessening that thereby.
'S if Mercy would not Mercy be to him.
Alas! poore Heart! how art thou damnifide,
By Proud Humility, and Humble Pride?

JUSTICE

The Humble Soul deales worse with me, doth Cry
If I be just, I'le on him Vengeance take
As if I su'de Debtor, and Surety
And double Debt and intrest too would rake.
If Justice sue the Bonds that Cancelld are
Sue Justice then before a juster bar.

MERCY

But in this Case alas, what must be done
That haughty souls may humble be, and low?
That Humble souls may suck the Hony Comb?
And thou for Justice, I for Mercy go?
This Query weighty is, Lets therefore shew
What must be done herein by me, and you.

JUSTICE

Lest that the Soule in Sin securely ly,
And do neglect Free Grace, I'le steping in
Convince him by the Morall Law, whereby
Ile'st se in what a pickle he is in.
For all he hath, for nothing stand it shall
If of the Law one hair breadth short it fall.

MERCY

And lest the Soule should quite discourag'de stand
I will step in, and smile him in the face,
Nay I to him will hold out in my hand
The golden scepter of my Rich-Rich Grace.
Intreating him with smiling lips most cleare
At Court of Justice in my robes t'appeare.

JUSTICE

If any after Satans Pipes do Caper
Red burning Coales from hell in Wrath I gripe,
And make them in his face with Vengeance Vaper,
Untill he dance after the Gospell Pipe.
Whose Sun is Sin, when Sin in Sorrows shrow'd,
Their Sun of Joy sets in a grievous Cloud.

MERCY

When any such are startled from ill,
And cry help, help, with tears, I will advance
The Musick of the Gospell Minsterill,
Whose strokes they strike, and tunes exactly dance.
Who mourn when Justice frowns, when Mercie playes
Will to her sounding Viall Chant out Praise.

JUSTICE

The Works of Merit-Mongers I will weigh
Within the Ballance of the sanctuary:
Their Matter, and their Manner I will lay
Unto the Standard-Rule t'see how they Vary.
Whosever trust doth to his golden deed
Doth rob a barren Garden for a Weed.

MERCY

Yet if they'l onely on my Merits trust
They'st in Gods Paradise themselves solace,
Their beauteous garden knot I'le also thrust
With Royall Slips, Sweet Flowers, and Herbs of Grace.
Their Knots I'le weed, to give a spangling show
In Order: and perfumes shall from them flow.

JUSTICE

Those that are ignorant, and do not know
What meaneth Sin, nor what means Sanctity,
I will Convince that all save Saints must go
Into hot fire, and brimston there to fry.
Whose Pains hot scalding boyling Lead transcends,
But evermore adds more and never Ends.

MERCY

Though simple, learn of mee. I will you teach,
True Wisdom for your Souls Felicity,
Wisdom Extending to the Endless reach
And blissfull end of all Eternity.
Wisdom that doth all else transcend as far
As Sol's bright Glory doth a painted Star.

JUSTICE

You that Extenuate your sins, come see
Them in Gods multiplying Glass: for here
Your little sins will just like mountains bee,
And as they are just so they Will appeare.
Who doth a little sin Extenuate
Extends the same, and two thereof doth make.

MERCY

A little sin is sin: and is Sin Small?
Excuse it not, but aggrivate it more.
Lest that your little Sin asunder fall
And two become, each bigger than before.
Who scants his sin will scarce get grace to save.
For little Sins, but little pardons have.

JUSTICE

Unto the Humble Humble Soule I say,
Cheer up, poor Heart, for satisfi'de am I.
For Justice nothing to thy Charge can lay,
Thou hast Acquittance in thy surety.
The Court of Justice thee acquits: therefore
Thou to the Court of Mercy are bound o're.

MERCY

My Dove, come hither linger not, nor stay.
Though thou among the pots hast lain, behold
Thy Wings with Silver Colours I'le o're lay:
And lay thy feathers o're with yellow gold.
Justice in Justice must adjudge thee just:
If thou in Mercies Mercy put thy trust.





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