Hypocrites’ Pretty Pleas

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
Another sort of Hypocrites make their pleas.


Then forth issue another Crew
(those being silencéd),
Who drawing nigh to the Most High,
adventure thus to plead:
“We sinners were,” say they, “’tis clear,
deserving condemnation;
But did not we rely on thee,
O Christ, for whole Salvation?


“We did believe, and oft receive
thy gracious Promises;
We took great care to get a share
in endless Happiness.
We pray’d and wept, and Fast-days kept,
lewd ways we did eschew;
We joyful were thy Word to hear;
we form’d our lives anew.


“We thought our sin had pardon’d been,
that our Estate was good,
Our debts all paid, our peace well made,
our Souls wash’d with thy Blood.
Lord, why dost though reject us now,
who have not thee rejected,
Nor utterly true sanctity
and holy life neglected?“


“Thus from yourselves unto yourselves,
your duties all do tend;
And as self-love the wheels doth move,
so in self-love they end.“
Thus Christ detects their vain projects,
and close Impiety,
And plainly shews that all their shows
were but Hypocrisy.

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