Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
Some pretend they were shut out of Heaven by God’s Decree.
Their pleas taken off.
Christ readily makes this Reply:
“I damn you not because
You are rejected, nor yet elected;
but you have broke my Laws.
It is in vain your wits to strain
the end and means to sever;
Men fondly seek to part or break
what God hath link’d together.
“Whom God will save, such he will have
the means of life to use;
Whom he’ll pass by shall choose to die,
and ways of life refuse.
He that fore-sees and fore-decrees,
in wisdom order’ d has.
That man’s free-will, electing ill,
shall bring his Will to pass.
“High God’s Decree, as it is free,
so doth it none compel
Against their will to good or ill;
it forceth none to Hell.
They have their wish whose Souls perish
with Torments in Hell-fire,
Who rather choose their souls to lose,
than leave a loose desire.
“God did ordain sinners to pain,
yet he to Hell sends none
But such as swerv’d and have deserv’d
destruction as their own.
His pleasure is, that none from Bliss
and endless happiness
Be barr’d, but such as wrong’d him much
by willful wickedness.
“You, sinful Crew! no other knew
but you might be elect;
Why did you then yourselves condemn?
Why did you me reject?
Where was your strife to gain that life
which lasteth evermore?
You never knock’d, yet say God lock’d
against you Heaven’s door.
“’Twas no vain task to knock and ask,
whilst life continuéd.
Who ever sought Heav’n as he ought,
and seeking perishéd?
The lowly, meek, who truly seek
for Christ and for Salvation,
There’s no decree whereby such be
ordain’d to condemnation.