Hypocrites: Our Cursed Race

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)


They multiply and magnify
Men’s gross Iniquities;
They draw down wrath (as Scripture saith)
out of God’s treasuries.
Thus all their ways Christ open lays
to Men and Angels’ view,
And as they were makes them appear
in their own proper hue.


Thus he doth find of all Mankind,
that stand at his left hand,
No mother’s son but hath misdone,
and broken God’s command.
All have transgress’d, even the best,
and merited God’s wrath,
Unto their own perditi-on
and everlasting scath.


Earth’s dwellers all, both great and small,
have wrought iniquity,
And suffer must (for it is just)
Eternal misery.
Amongst the many there come not any,
before the Judge’s face.
That able are themselves to clear,
of all this cursed Race.

Hypocrites plead for themselves.


Nevertheless, they all express.
(Christ granting liberty,)
What for their way they have to say,
how they have liv’d, and why.
They all draw near and seek to clear
themselves by making pleas;
There Hypocrites, false-hearted wights,
do make such pleas as these:


“Lord, in thy Name, and by the same,
we Devils dispossess’d;
We rais’d the dead and minist’red
Succor to the distressed.
Our painful teaching and pow’rful preaching
by thine own wondrous might,
Did throughly win to God from sin
many a wretched wight.“

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