Ninevites and Sodomites Better Than You



Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)

“Your blinded spirit hoping to merit
by your own Righteousness,
Needed no Savior but your behavior,
and blameless carriages.
You trusted to what you could do,
and in no need you stood;
Your haughty pride laid me aside.
And trampled on my Blood.


“All men have gone astray, and done
that which God’s laws condemn;
But my Purchase and offer’d Grace
All men did not contemn.
The Ninevites and Sodomites
had no such sin as this;
Yet as if all your sins were small,
you say, ‘All did amiss.’


“Again you thought and mainly sought
a name with men t’ acquire;
Pride bare the Bell that made you swell,
and your own selves admire.
Mean fruit it is, and vile, I wiss,
that springs from such a root;
Virtue divine and genuine
wonts not from pride to shoot.


“Such deeds as your are worse than poor;
they are but sins gilt over
With silver dross, whose glist’ring gloss
can them no longer cover.
The best of them would you condemn,
and ruin you alone.
Although you were from faults so clear,
that other you had none.


“Your gold is brass, your silver dross,
your righteousness is sin;
And think you by such honesty
Eternal life to win?
You much mistake, if for its sake
you dream of acceptation;
Whereas the same deserveth shame
and meriteth damnation.“

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