All stand before their Savior,
in long white Robes yclad,
Their countenance full of pleasance,
appearing wond’rous glad.
O glorious sight! Behold how bright
dust-heaps are made to shine.
Conforméd so their Lord unto,
whose Glory is Divine.
The Goats described, or the several sorts of Reprobates on the left hand
At Christ’s left hand the Goats do stand,
all whining Hypocrites
Who for self-ends did seem Christ’s friends,
but foster’d guileful sprites;
Who Sheep resembled, but they dissembled,
(their hearts were not sincere,)
Who once did throng Christ’s Lambs among,
but now must not come near.
Apostates base and run-aways,
such as have Christ forsaken,
Of whom the Devil, with seven more evil,
hath fresh possession taken;
Sinners ingrain, reserv’d to pain,
and torments most severe,
Because ’gainst light they sinn’d with spite,
are also placed there.
There also stand a num’rous band,
that no profession made
Of Godliness, nor to redress
their ways at all essay’d;
Who better knew, but (sinful Crew)
Gospel and Law despiséd.
Who all Christ’s knocks withstood like blocks,
and would not be adviséd.
Moreover, there with them appear
a number, numberless,
Of great and small, vile wretches all,
that did God’s Law transgress;
Idolaters, false worshippers,
Profaners of God’s Name,
Who not at all thereon did call,
or took in vain the same.
The Sheep separated from the Goats
Thus every one before the Throne
of Christ the Judge is brought,
Both righteous and impious,
that good or ill hath wrought.
A separation and diff’ring station
by Christ appointed is
(To sinners sad) ’twixt good and bad,
’twixt Heirs of woe and bliss.
Who are Christ’s Sheep
At Christ’s right hand the Sheep do stand,
his holy Martyrs, who
For his dear Name suffering shame,
calamity and woe.
Like Champions stood and with their Blood
their Testimony sealéd;
Whose innocence without offence
to Christ their Judge appealéd.
Next unto whom there find a room
all Christ’s afflicted ones,
Who being chastis’d, neither despis’d
nor sank amidst their groans;
Who by the Rod were turn’d to God,
and lovéd him the more,
Not murmuring nor quarrelling
when they were chast’ned sore.
Moreover, such as lovéd much,
that had not such a trial.
As might constrain to so great pain,
and such deep self-denial.
Yet ready were the Cross to bear,
when Christ them called thereto,
And did rejoice to hear his voice,—
they’re counted Sheep also.
Christ’s flock of Lambs there also stands,
whose Faith was weak, yet true,
sound Believers (Gospel receivers)
those Grace was small, but grew;
And them among an Infant throng
of Babes, for whom Christ died;
Whom for his own, by ways unknown
to Men, he sanctified.
The Day of Doom, a quintessentially Puritan poem of over 200 eight-line stanzas vividly describing Judgment Day and the torments awaiting sinners in Hell, was the first book of poetry printed in the American Colonies and the first American bestseller. Its author, Michael Wigglesworth, graduated from Harvard in 1651 and served the town of Malden, Mass., as minister and physician. The day of doom is the foundation of any collection of early American literature, yet it is also one of the legendary rarities of early American printing. Only one fragmentary copy survives of the first edition, printed in Cambridge, Mass., ca. 1662, and only four fragmentary copies of the second edition of 1666.