Secret Acts: Filthy Facts

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)


Now it comes in, and every sin
unto Men’s charge doth lay;
It judgeth them and doth condemn,
though all the “World say nay.
It so stingeth and tortureth,
it worketh such distress,
That each Man’s self against himself,
is forcéd to confess.

Secret sins and works of darkness brought to light


It’s vain, moreover, for Men to cover
the least Iniquity;
The Judge hath seen, and privy been
to all their villainy.
He unto light and open sight
the work of darkness brings;
He doth unfold both new and old,
both known and hidden things.


All filthy facts and secret acts,
however closely done.
And long conceal’d, are there reveal’d
before the mid-day Sun.
Deeds of the night, shunning the light,
which darkest corners sought.
To fearful blame, and endless shame,
are there most justly brought.


And as all facts, and grosser acts,
so every word and thought,
Erroneous notion and lustful motion,
are unto Judgment brought.
No Sin so small and trivial,
but hither it must come;
Nor so long past but now at last
it must receive a doom.

An account demanded of all their actions


At this sad season, Christ asks a Reason
(with just austerity)
Of Grace refus’d, of light abus’d
so oft, so wilfully;
Of Talents lent, by them misspent
and on their Lust bestown,
Which if improv’d as it behoov’d
Heav’n might have been their own;

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