Judge Dread Answers: Doom


Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
Their arguments taken off.


Then answeréd the Judge most dread:
God doth such doom forbid,
That men should die eternally
for what they never did.
But what you call old Adam’s Fall,
and only his Trespass,
You call amiss to call it his,
both his and yours it was.


“He was design’d of all Mankind
to be a public Head;
A common Root, whence all should shoot,
and stood in all their stead.
He stood and fell, did ill or well,
not for himself alone.
But for you all, who now his Fall
and trespass would disown.


“If he had stood, then all his brood
had been establishéd
In God’s true love never to move,
nor once awry to tread;
Then all his Race my Father’s Grace
should have enjoy’d for ever.
And wicked Sprites by subtile sleights
could them have harméd never.


Would you have griev’d to have receiv’d
through Adam so much good,
As had been your for evermore,
if he at first had stood?
Would you have said, ’We ne’er obey’d
nor did thy laws regard;
It ill befits with benefits,
us, Lord, to so reward?’


“Since then to share in his welfare,
you could have been content,
You may with reason share in his treason,
and in the punishment.
Hence you were born in state forlorn,
with Natures so depravéd;
Death was your due because that yo
had thus yourselves behavéd.


“You think ’If we had been as he
whom God did so betrust,
We to our cost would ne’er have lost
all for a paltry lust.’
Had you been made in Adam’s stead,
you would like things have wrought,
And so into the self-same woe,
yourselves and yours have brought.


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