Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
Heathen men plead want of the Written Word.
Whose wicked ways Christ open lays,
and makes their sins appear,
They making pleas their case to ease,
if not themselves to clear.
“Thy Written Word,” say they, “good Lord,
we never did enjoy;
We ne’er refus’d, nor it abus’d;
Oh, do not us destroy!“
“You ne’er abus’d, nor yet refus’d
my Written Word, you plead;
That’s true,” quoth he, “therefore shall ye
the less be punishéd.
You shall not smart for any part
of other men’s offense,
But for your own transgressi-on
receive due recompense.“
Insufficiency of the light of Nature.
“But we were blind,” say they, “in mind;
too dim was Nature’s Light,
Our only guide, as hath been tried,
to bring us to the sight
Of our estate degenerate,
and curs’d by Adam’s Fall;
How we were born and lay forlorn
in bondage and in thrall.
“We did not know a Christ till now,
nor how fall’n men be savéd,
Else would we not, right well we wot,
have so ourselves behavéd.
We should have mourn’d, we should have turn’d
from sin at thy Reproof,
And been more wise through thy advice,
for our own soul’s behoof.