Doom: Angels and Molten Lead


And by and by the flaming Sky
shall drop like molten Lead
About their ears, t’ increase their fears,
and aggravate their dread.
To Angel’s good that ever stood
in their integrity,
Should they betake themselves, and make
their suit incessantly?


They’ve neither skill, nor do they will
to work them any ease;
They will not mourn to see them burn,
nor beg for their release.
To wicked men, their bretheren
in sin and wickedness,
Should they make moan? Their case is one;
they’re in the same distress.


Ah! cold comfort and mean support,
from such like Comforters!
Ah! little joy of Company,
and fellow-sufferers!
Such shall increase their heart’s disease,
and add unto their woe,
Because that they brought to decay
themselves and many more.


Unto the Saints with sad complaints
should they themselves apply?
They’re not dejected nor aught affected
with all their misery.
Friends stand aloof and make no proof
what Prayers or Tears can do;
Your Godly friends are now more friends
to Christ than unto you.


Where tender love men’s hearts did move
unto a sympathy,
And bearing part of others’ smart
in their anxiety,
Now such compassion is out of fashion,
and wholly laid aside;
No friends so near, but Saints to hear
their Sentence can abide.

Earth’s Foundation: Fired


Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)


Divine Justice offended is,
and satisfaction claimeth;
God’s wrathful ire, kindled like fire.
against them fiercely flameth.
Their Judge severe doth quite cashier,
and all their pleas off take,
That ne’er a man, or dare, or can
a further answer make.


Their mouths are shut, each man is put
to silence and to shame,
Nor have they aught within their thought,
Christ’s Justice for to blame.
The Judge is just, and plague them must,
nor will he Mercy shew,
For Mercy’s day is past away
to any of this Crew.


The Judge is strong, doers of wrong
cannot his pow’r withstand;
None can by flight run out of sight,
nor ’scape out of his hand.
Sad is their state; for Advocate,
to plead their cause, there’s none;
None to prevent their punishment,
or mis’ry to bemoan.


O dismal day! whither shall they
for help and succor flee?
To God above with hopes to move
their greatest Enemy?
His wrath is great, whose burning heat
no floods of tears can slake;
His Word stands fast that they be cast
into the burning Lake.


To Christ their Judge? He doth adjudge
them to the Pit of Sorrow;
Nor will he hear, or cry or tear,
nor respite them one morrow.
To Heav’n, alas! they cannot pass,
it is against them shut;
To enter there (O heavy cheer)
they out of hopes are put.


Unto their Treasures, or to their Pleasures?
All these have them forsaken;
Had they full coffers to make large offers,
their gold would not be taken.
Unto the place where whilom was
their birth and Education?
Lo! Christ begins for their great sins,
to fire the Earth’s Foundation;

Serpent’s Generation: Doomed

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
The wicked all convinced and put to silence.


“A crime it is, therefore in bliss
you may not hope to dwell;
But unto you I shall allow
The easiest room in Hell.“
The glorious King thus answering,
they cease, and plead no longer;
Their Consciences must needs confess
his Reasons are the stronger.

Behold the formidable estate of all the ungodly as they stand
hopeless and helpless before an impartial Judge, expecting their final Sentence.


Thus all men’s pleas the Judge with ease
doth answer and confute,
Until that all, both great and small,
are silencéd and mute.
Vain hopes are cropt, all mouths are stopt,
sinners have naught to say,
But that ’tis just and equal most
they should be damn’d for aye.


Now what remains, but that to pains
and everlasting smart,
Christ should condemn the sons of men,
which is their just desert?
Oh rueful plights of sinful wights!
Oh wretches all forlorn!
’T had happy been they ne’er had seen
the sun, or not been born.


Yea now it would be good they could
themselves annihilate.
And cease to be, themselves to free
from such a fearful state.
O happy Dogs, and Swine, and Frogs,
yea, Serpent’s generation!
Who do not fear this doom to hear,
and sentence of Damnation!


This is their state so desperate;
their sins are fully known;
Their vanities and villanies
before the world are shown.
As they are gross and impious,
so are their numbers more
Than motes in th’ Air, or than their hair,
or sands upon the shore.