Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
You argue then: ’But abject men,
whom God resolves to spill,
Cannot repent, nor their hearts rent;
nor can they change their will.’
Not for his Can is any man
adjudgéd unto Hell,
But for his Will to do what’s ill,
and nilling to do well.
“I often stood tend’ring my Blood
to wash away your guilt,
And eke my Sprite to frame you right,
lest your Souls should be spilt.
But you, vile Race, rejected Grace,
when Grace was freely proffer’d,
No changéd heart, no heav’nly part
would you, when it was offer’ d.
“Who willfully the remedy,
and means of life contemnéd.
Cause have the same themselves to blame,
if now they be condemnéd.
You have yourselves, you and none else,
to blame that you must die
You chose the way to your decay,
and perish’d willfully.“
These words appall and daunt them all,
dismay’d and all amort,
Like stocks that stand at Christ’s left hand
and dare no more retort.
Then were brought near with trembling fear,
a number numberless,
Of Blind Heathen and brutish men,
that did God’s Law transgress;