Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
The suddenness, Majesty and Terror of Christ’s appearing.
For at midnight breaks forth a light,
which turns the night to day,
And speedily an hideous cry
doth all the World dismay.
Sinners awake, their hearts do ache,
trembling their loins surpriseth;
Amaz’d with fear, by what they hear,
each one of them ariseth.
They rush from beds with giddy heads,
and to their windows run.
Viewing this light, which shines more bright
than 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.
Before his face the Heav’ns give place,
and Skies are rent asunder.
With mighty voice and hideous noise,
more terrible than Thunder.
His Brightness damps Heav’n’s glorious Lamps
and makes them hide their heads;
As if afraid and quite dismay’d,
they quit their wonted steads.
Ye sons of men that durst contemn
the Threat’nings of God’s Word,
How cheer you now? Your hearts, I trow,
are thrill’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?
Stout Courages, (whose hardiness
could Death and Hell outface,)
Are you as bold, now you behold
your Judge draw near apace?
They cry, “No, no, Alas! and woe!
our courage all is gone:
Our hardiness (fool hardiness)
hath us undone, undone!“