Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GOD'S DETERMINATIONS: SOME OF SATAN'S SOPHESTRY, by EDWARD TAYLOR



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GOD'S DETERMINATIONS: SOME OF SATAN'S SOPHESTRY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The tempter greatly seeks, though secretly
Last Line: Bright diamonds? What then in man is sin?
Subject(s): Devil; Puritans In Literature; Sin; Satan; Mephistopheles; Lucifer; Beelzebub


The Tempter greatly seeks, though secretly,
With an Ath'istick Hoodwinke man to blinde,
That so the Footsteps of the Deity
Might stand no longer stampt upon his minde.
Which when he can't blot out, by blinding quite,
He strives to turn him from the Purer Light.

With Wiles enough, he on his thoughts intrudes,
That God's a Heape of Contradictions high,
But when these thoughts man from his thoughts excludes
Thou knowst not then (saith he) this Mystery.
And when the first String breaks, he strives to bring
Into sins brambles by the other string.

When God Calls out a Soule, he subtilly
Saith God is kinde: you need not yet forsake
Your Sins: but if he doth, he doth reply,
Thou'st outstood Grace. Justice will vengeance take.
He'l tell you you Presume on Grace, to fright
You to despare, beholding Justice bright.

Though just before mans mountain sins were mites,
His mites were nothing. Now the scales are turn'd.
His mites are mountains now, of mighty height
And must with Vengeance-Lightening be burn'd.
Greate Sins are Small, till men repent of Sin:
Then Small are far too big to be forgi'n.

While man thinks slightly, that he will repent,
There's time enough (saith he), it's easly done.
But when repent he doth, the time is spent,
Saith he, it is too late to be begun.
To keep man from't, it's easly done, saith he,
To dant him in't, he saith, it Cannot bee.

So Faith is easy till the Soule resolves
To Live to Christ, and upon Christ rely.
Then Saving Faith he bold presumption Calls.
Hast thou (saith he) in Christ propriety?
The Faithfulls Faith, he stiles Presumption great,
But the Presumptuous, theirs is Faith Compleat.

Nay though the Faith be true he acts so sly,
As to raise doubts: and then it must not do:
Unless Assurance do it Certify:
Which if it do, it douts of it also.
Faith is without Assurance shuffled out,
And if Assurance be, that's still a Doubt.

But should the Soule assured once, once Doubt,
Then his Assurance no Assurance is:
Assurance doth assure the Soul right out
Leave not a single Doubt to do amiss.
But Satan still will seeke to Pick an hole
In thy Assurance to unsure thy Soul.

Should any Soule once an Assurance get,
Into his hands, soon Satans Pick-Lock key
With Sinfull Wards Unlocks his Cabinet
To Steal the Jewell in it thence away.
The Soul thus pillag'de, droops unto the grave.
It's greater grief to lose than not to have.

He doth molest the Soule, it cannot see
Without Assurance Extraordinary
Which should it have, it would soon take to bee
A Mere Delusion of the Adversary.
Assurance would not serve, should God Convay
It in an Usuall or Unusuall way.

Thus I might search, Poor Soul, the Magazeen
Of Gospell Graces over: I might paint
Out Satan sculking each side each unseen
To Hoodwinck Sinners, and to hopple Saints.
For he to dim their Grace, and slick up sin
Calls Brass bright Gold, bright Golde but brass or tin.

He tempts to bring the soul too low or high,
To have it e're in this or that extream:
To see no want or want alone to eye:
To keep on either side the golden mean.
If it was in't to get it out he'l 'ledge,
Thou on the wrong side art the Pale or Hedge.

When God awakes a Soule he'l seeke to thrust
It on Despare for want of Grace or get
And puff't with Pride, or in Securety hush't
Or Couzen it with Graces Counterfet.
Which if he can't he'l Carp at Grace, and raile
And say, this is not Grace, it thus doth faile.

And thus he strives with Spite, Spleen, bitter Gall
That Sinners might Dishonour God Most high:
That Saints might never honour God at all.
That those in Sin, Those not in Grace might dy.
And that the Righteous, Gracious, Pious, Grave,
Might have no Comfort of the Grace they have.

Lest you be foild herewith, watch well unto
Your Soul, that thrice Ennobled noble Gem:
For Sins are flaws therein, and double woe
Belongs thereto if it be found in them.
Are Flaws in Venice Glasses bad? What in
Bright Diamonds? What then in man is Sin?





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