Civil honest men’s pleas.
Then were brought nigh a Company
of Civil honest Men,
That lov’d true dealing and hated stealing,
ne’er wrong’d their Bretheren;
Who pleaded thus: “Thou knowest us
that we were blameless livers;
No Whoremongers, no Murderers,
no quarrelers nor strivers.
Church-robbers we were none,
Nor false dealers, nor cozeners,
but paid each man his own.
Our way was fair, our dealing square,
we were no wasteful spenders,
No lewd toss-pots, no drunken sots,
no scandalous offenders.
“We hated vice and set great price,
by virtuous conversation;
And by the same we got a name
and no small commendation.
God’s Laws express that righteousness
is that which he doth prize;
And to obey, as he doth say,
is more than sacrifice.
“Thus to obey hath been our way;
let our good deeds, we pray,
Find some regard and some reward
with thee, Lord, this day.
And whereas we transgressors be,
of Adam’s race were none,
No, not the best, but have confess’d
themselves to have misdone.“