Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
They are answered.
“But Nature’s light shin’d not so bright
to teach us the right way:
We might have lov’d it and well improv’d it,
and yet have gone astray.“
The Judge most High makes this Reply:
“You ignorance pretend.
Dimness of sight, and want of light,
your course Heav’nward to bend.
“How came your mind to be so blind?
I once you knowledge gave.
Clearness of sight and judgment light:
who did the same deprave?
If to your cost you have it lost,
and quite defac’d the same,
Your own desert hath caus’d the smart;
you ought not me to blame.
“Yourselves into a pit of woe,
your own transgression led;
If I to none my Grace had shown
who had been injured?
If to a few, and not to you,
I shew’d a way of life,
My Grace so free, you clearly see,
gives you no ground of strife.
“’Tis vain to tell, you wot fall well,
if you in time had known
Your misery and remedy,
your actions had it shown:
You, sinful Crew, have not been true
unto the Light of Nature,
Nor done the good you understood,
nor ownéd your Creator.
“He that the Light, because ’tis slight,
hath uséd to despise,
Would not the Light shining more bright,
be likely for to prize.
If you had lov’d, and well improv’d
your knowledge and dim sight,
Herein your pain had not been vain,
your plagues had been more light.“