Excuse for Abuse: Doom

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)



That those whom they did wrong and slay,
must now their Judgment see!
Such whom they slighted and once despited,
must now their Judges be!
Thus ’tis decreed, such is their meed,
and guerdon glorious;
With Christ they sit, judging it fit
to plague the Impious.

The wicked brought to the Bar.


The wicked are brought to the Bar.
like guilty Malefactors,
That oftentimes of bloody Crimes
and Treasons have been Actors.
Of wicked Men, none are so mean
as there to be neglected;
Nor none so high in dignity
as there to be respected.


The glorious Judge will privilege
nor Emperor nor King;
But every one that hath misdone
doth unto judgment bring.
And every one that hath misdone,
the Judge impartially
Condemneth to eternal woe,
and endless misery.


Thus one and all, thus great and small,
the Rich as well as Poor,
And those of place, as the most base,
do stand the Judge before.
They are arraign’d, and there detain’d
before Christ’s Judgment seat,
With trembling fear their Doom to hear,
and feel his Anger’s heat.


There Christ demands at all their hands
a strict and straight account
Of all things done under the Sun,
whose number far surmount
Man’s wit and thought: they all are brought
unto this solemn Trial,
And each offense with evidence,
so that there’s no denial.


There’s no excuse for their abuse,
since their own Consciences
More proof give in of each Man’s sin,
than thousand Witnesses.
Though formerly this faculty
had grossly been abuséd,
(Men could it stifle, or with it trifle,
when as it them accuséd,)


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