SEVERAL PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE DIGESTED INTO ENGLISH VERSE
I. The Book of Ruth
II. The History of Samson
III. Christ's Sermon on the Mount
IV. The Prophecy of Jonah
V. The Life of Joseph
VI. The Epistle of James
BY JOHN BUNYAN
Licensed According to Order.
London: Printed for J. Blare, at the Looking Glass, on London Bridge, 1701.
ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.
This very interesting little volume of poems, we believe, has not been reprinted since the year 1701, nor has it ever been inserted in any edition or catalogue of Bunyan's works. This may have arisen from the author's having sold his entire copyright--a fact which prevented Charles Doe from publishing many other of Bunyan's treatises, when he projected his edition of the entire works, of which the first volume only was printed. With some other of Bunyan's rarest tracts, it escaped the researches of Wilson, who published the works in 1737, and also of Whitefield, Mason, and all other editors of Bunyan's works. Mr. Doe, in his very interesting pages called 'The Struggler, for the Preservation of Mr. John Bunyan's Labours,' gives a catalogue table of his books in the order in which they were published; but he had not discovered these poems, nor the Emblems, nor the Exhortation to Peace and Unity.
The volume from which this edition is printed consists of one hundred pages in crown octavo, with a very rude cut of Ruth and Boaz. It is of extreme rarity, if not unique, in a perfect state. The imprint is--London, for J. Blare, at the Looking Glass, on London Bridge, 1701. It forms part of the Editor's extensive collection of the original or early editions of Bunyan's tracts and treatises; the scarcity of which may be accounted for, from their having been printed on very bad paper, and worn out by use, being so generally and eagerly read by pious persons among the labouring classes of the community.
The style and substance of these scriptural poems are entirely Bunyan's. His veneration for the holy oracles appears through every page, by his close adherence to the text. He fully proves what he asserts in his address to the reader--
'The WORD are for the most part all the same,
For I affected plainness more than fame.'
However uncouth it may appear to use a plural verb after a singular noun, it really expresses his meaning, which is evidently, that portions of the WORD of God are rendered into poetry as nearly as possible, word for word with the original; and he immediately apologizes for this rudeness, in neglecting the rules of grammar, by stating his earnest plainness of speech, and his want of education in early life.
'Nor could'st thou hope to have it better done,
For I'm no poet, nor a poet's son,
But a mechanic, guided by no rule,
But what I gained in a grammar school
In my minority.'
How exactly does this agree with his account of himself in boyhood,--'It pleased God to put it into my parent's heart to put me to school, to learn both to read and write; though, to my shame I confess, I did soon lose that I learnt, even almost utterly.'
Our surprise will be excited, not by little inaccuracies of style or departures from the rules of grammar, but at the talent of a poor mechanic, in so faithfully rendering scripture histories in such simple and striking language. As Mr. Burton says, in commending his Gospel Truths Vindicated,--'This man hath not the learning or wisdom of man, yet through grace he hath received the teaching of God, and the learning of the Spirit of Christ, which is the thing that makes a man both a Christian and a minister of the gospel (Isa 50:4). He was not chosen out of an earthly, but out of the heavenly University, and hath taken these three heavenly degrees--Union with Christ--The Anointing of the Spirit, and Experience of the Temptations of Satan; far better than all the University learning and degrees that can be had.' May Bunyan's desire be realized, and his verses prove to all our readers
To thee in reading, as to me in writing.'
Hackney, August 22, 1849
TO THE READER.
Whoe'er thou art that shall peruse this book,
This may inform thee, when I undertook
To write these lines, it was not my design
To publish this imperfect work of mine:
Composed only for diversion's sake.
But being inclin'd to think thou may'st partake
Some benefit thereby, I have thought fit,
Imperfect as it is, to publish it.
The subjects are a part of the contents,
Both of the Old and the New Testaments;
The word are for the most part all the same,
For I affected plainness more than fame.
Nor could'st thou hope to have it better done:
For I'm no poet, nor a poet's son,
But a mechanic, guided by no rule,
But what I gained in a grammar school
In my minority: I can't commend it,
Such as it is into the world I send it,
And should be glad to see some hand to mend it.
Would but those men whose genius leads them to't,
And who have time and parts wherewith to do't,
Employ their pens in such a task as this,
'Twould be a most delightsome exercise
Of profit to themselves and others too:
If what the learned Herbert says, holds true,
A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice;
Thus I conclude, and wish it as delighting
To thee in reading as to me in writing.
THE BOOK OF RUTH
A VERY RUDE WOODCUT:--RUTH GLEANING.--RUTH CREEPING TO BOAZ, WHO IS ASLEEP.
In ancient times, e'er Israel knew the way
Of kingly power, when judges bore the sway:
A certain man of Bethlehem Juda fled,
By reason of a famine that o'erspread
The land, into the land of Moab, where
He and his wife, and sons, sojourners were.
His name Elimelech, his eldest son
Was called Mahlon, t'other Chilion,
His wife was Naomi, Ephrathites they were:
They went to Moab and continued there:
Where of her husband Naomi was bereft,
And only she and her two sons were left:
Who took them wives of Moab in their youth.
The name of one was Orpah, t'other Ruth:
And there they died ere twice five years were gone;
And Naomi was wholly left alone.
Then she arose, and her step-daughters with her,
To leave the land of Moab altogether:
For she had heard the Lord had visited
Her native country, with increase of bread,
Wherefore the land of Moab she forsook,
And to her native place her course she took,
Her daughters with her: whom she did desire,
That to their mother's house they would retire.
The Lord, said she, be kind to you again,
As you to me, and to the dead have been.
God grant you each may be with husbands blest,
And in the enjoyment of them both find rest,
Then she embraced them, and there withal,
Down from their cheeks, the tears began to fall.
They wept aloud, and said, Most surely we
Unto thy people will return with thee.
But Naomi replied, Wherefore will ye,
My daughters, thus resolve to go with me?
Are there yet any more sons in my womb,
That may your husbands be in time to come?
Return again, my daughters, go your way,
For I'm too old to marry: should I say
I've hope? Should I this night conceive a son?
Would either of you stay till he is grown?
Would you so long without an husband live?
Nay, nay, my daughters, for it doth me grieve
Exceedingly, even for your sakes, that I
Do under this so great affliction lie.
And here they wept again. And Orpah kiss'd
Her mother, But Ruth would be not dismiss'd
But clave unto her: unto whom she spake
And said, Behold, thy sister is gone back,
With her own gods, and people to abide,
Go thou along with her. But Ruth replied,
Intreat me not to leave thee, or return:
For where thou goest, I'll go, where thou sojourn,
I'll sojourn also. And what people's thine,
And who thy God, the same shall both be mine.
Where thou shalt die, there will I die likewise,
And I'll be buried where thy body lies.
The Lord do so to me, and more, if I
Do leave thee, or forsake thee till I die.
And when she saw the purpose of her heart,
She left off to desire her to depart.
So they two travelled along together
To Bethlehem, and when they were come thither,
Behold! the people were surprised, and cried,
What, is this Naomi? But she replied,
Oh! call me Mara, and not Naomi;
For I have been afflicted bitterly.
I went out from you full, but now I come,
As it hath pleased God, quite empty home:
Why then call ye me Naomi? Since I
Have been afflicted so exceedingly.
So Naomi return'd, and Ruth together,
Who had come from the land of Moab with her:
And unto Bethlem Judah did they come,
Just as the Barley Harvest was begun.
There was a man of kin to Naomi,
One that was of her husband's family,
His name was Boaz, and his wealth was great.
And Ruth, the Moabitess, did intreat
Her Mother's leave, that she might go, and gather
Some ears of corn, where she should most find favour:
Go, daughter, go, said she. She went and came
Near to the reapers, to glean after them:
And lo, it was her hap to light among
The reapers, which to Boaz did belong.
Behold, now Boaz came from Bethlehem
Unto his reapers, and saluted them,
And they bless'd him again: and he enquired
Of him that was set over them he hired,
From whence the damsel was, and was inform'd
She was the Moabitess that return'd
With Naomi: and she did ask, said he,
That here amongst the reapers she might be,
And that she might have liberty to glean
Among the sheaves. And she all day hath been,
Ev'n from the morning until now, with us,
That she hath stay'd a little in the house.
Then Boaz said to Ruth, observe, my daughter,
That thou go not from hence, or follow after
The reapers of another field, but where
My maidens are, see that thou tarry there:
Observe what field they reap, and go thou there,
Have I not charged the young men to forbear
To touch thee? And when thou dost thirst, approach
And drink of what the youths have set abroach.
Then she fell on her face, and to the ground
She bow'd herself, and said, Why have I found
Such favour in thine eyes; that thou, to me
Who am a stranger, should so courteous be?
And Boaz said, it hath been fully shewn
To me, what to thy mother-in-law thou'st done,
Since of thine husband thou hast been bereft:
How thou thy father and thy mother left,
And thine own native land; to come unto
A land which thou before didst never know:
The Lord, the God of Israel, the defence
Whom now thou'st chosen, be thy recompence.
Then said she, let me in thy sight, my lord,
Find favour in that thou dost thus afford
Me comfort, and since thou so kind to me
Dost speak, though I thereof unworthy be.
And Boaz said, at meal time come thou near,
Eat of the bread, and dip i' th' vinegar.
And by the reapers she sat down to meat,
He gave her parched corn, and she did eat,
And was suffic'd; and left, and rose to glean:
And Boaz gave command to the young men,
Let her come in among the sheaves, said he,
To glean, and let her not reproached be.
Let fall some handfuls also purposely,
And let her take them without injury.
So she till even glean'd , and then beat out
Her barley, being an ephah or thereabout.
She took it up, and to the city went,
And to her mother-in-law did it present:
And what she had reserv'd to her she gave,
When she had took what she design'd to have.
Then unto her, her mother-in-law did say,
In what field hast thou been to glean to-day?
And where hast thou been working? Blest be he,
That thus hath taken cognizance of thee.
She told with whom, and furthermore did say,
The man's name's Boaz, where I wrought to-day.
And Naomi replied, may he be blest,
Even of the Lord, whose kindness manifest
Unto the living and the dead hath been:
The man's our kinsman, yea, the next of kin.
And Ruth, the Moabitess, said, he gave
Me likewise a commandment not to leave,
Or to depart from following his young men,
Until they had brought all his harvest in.
And Naomi said unto Ruth, my daughter,
'Tis good that thou observe to follow after
His maidens, that they meet thee not elsewhere.
So she to Boaz's maidens still kept near,
Till barley and wheat harvest both, she saw
Were done, and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
Then Naomi said, Shall I not, my daughter,
Seek rest for thee, that thou do well hereafter?
And is not Boaz, with whose maids thou wast,
One of the nearest kinsmen that thou hast?
Behold, this night he in his threshing floor
Is winnowing Barley, wash thyself therefore,
Anoint thee, put thy clothes on, and get down
Unto the floor; but make not thyself known,
Till he hath eat and drank, and shall prepare
To lie him down; then take good notice where
He goes about to take his night's repose,
And go thou in there, and lift up the clothes
From off his feet, and likewise lay thee down,
And what thou hast to do he will make known.
And she made answer, Whatsoever thou
Hast me commanded, will I gladly do.
And down unto the floor she hasted, and
Forthwith fulfilled her mother-in-law's command.
So now when Boaz had his heart refresh'd,
With meat and drink, he laid him down to rest,
Near to the heap of corn; she softly came,
Uncover'd's feet, and lay down by the same.
And, lo! at midnight, as he turn'd him round,
He was afraid, for at his feet he found
A woman lay. Who art thou? then said he.
I am thine handmaid Ruth, replied she,
Over thine handmaid therefore spread thy skirt,
I pray, because thou a near kinsman art.
Blessed be thou, said he, because thou hast
Made manifest more kindness at the last,
Than at the first, in that thou did'st, my daughter,
No young men, whether poor or rich, go after.
And now, my daughter, be not thou afraid,
I will do to thee all that thou hast said:
For all the city of my people knows,
Thou art a woman truly virtuous;
And now though I am kin and undoubtedly,
Yet there is one that's nearer kin than I.
Tarry this night, and when 'tis morning light,
If he will like a kinsman, do thee right,
We'll let him, but if not, I myself will,
As the Lord lives; till morning lie thou still.
And till the morning at his feet she lay,
And then arose about the break of day;
And he gave her a charge, not to declare
That there had any womankind been there.
He also said, bring here thy veil, and hold
To me; she did, and thereinto he told
Six measures full of barley, and did lay
It on her, and she hasted thence away.
And when unto her mother-in-law she came,
Art thou, said she, my daughter come again?
Then what the man had done she told, and said,
He these six measures full of barley laid
Upon me, for said he, This I bestow,
Lest to thy mother thou should'st empty go.
Then, said she, sit still daughter, till thou see
What the event of this intrigue will be;
For till the man this day hath made an end,
No satisfaction will on him attend.
And Boaz went up to the city gate,
And after a short space, while there he sate,
The kinsman of whom he had spoke, came by,
To whom he said, Ho, such a one, draw nigh,
And sit down here. He came and sat him down.
Then he took ten men, elders of the town,
And caused them to sit down. Then to the man
That was of kin, thus he his speech began,
Naomi, said he, who not long since sojourn'd
Among the Moabites, is now return'd;
And doth intend to sell a piece of ground,
The which Elimelech our brother own'd.
And now to give thee notice, I thought fit,
That if thou pleasest, thou may'st purchase it.
In presence of these men assembled here.
Then if thou wilt redeem it, now declare
Thy mind, but if thou wilt not, then let me,
For thou art next of kin, and I next thee.
Then said the kinsman, I will it redeem.
Boaz reply'd, if good to thee it seem,
To buy it of the hand of Naomi,
Thou also art obliged the same to buy
Of Ruth the Moabitess, wife o' th' dead;
On his inheritance to raise up seed.
The kinsman said, I cannot do this thing
Myself, lest I an inconvenience bring
Upon mine own inheritance, what's mine
By right, therefore I now to thee resign.
Now this in Israel did a custom stand,
Concerning changing and redeeming land;
To put all controversy to an end,
A man pluck'd off his shoe, and gave his friend;
And this in Israel was an evidence,
When e'er they changed an inheritance.
Then said the kinsman unto Boaz, do
Thou take my right. And off he pluck'd his shoe.
Then Boaz to the elders thus did say
And to the people, all of you this day
Appear for me as witnesses, that I
Have bought all of the land of Naomi,
That was Elimelech's or did belong
Either to Mahlon or to Chilion:
And Ruth the Moabitess, who some time
Was Mahlon's wife, I've purchas'd to be mine,
Still to preserve alive the dead man's name
On his inheritance, lest that the same
Should in the gate where he inhabited,
Or 'mongst his brethren be extinguished:
Behold, this day, my witnesses you are.
Then all the people that were present there,
And elders said, We are thy witnesses:
May God this woman thou hast taken bless,
That she, like Rachel, and like Leah be,
Which two did build up Israel's family:
And thou in Ephratah exalt thy name,
And through the town of Bethl'hem spread thy fame;
And may the seed which God shall give to thee
Of this young woman, full as prosperous be,
As was the house of Pharez heretofore,
(Pharez, whom Tamar unto Judah bore.)
So he took Ruth, and as his wife he knew her,
And God was pleased, when he went in to her
To grant the blessing of conception,
And she accordingly bare him a son.
Then said the woman, Blessed be the Lord!
Bless thou him Naomi, who doth afford
To thee this day a kinsman, which shall be
Famous in Israel; and shall be to thee
As the restorer of thy life again,
And in thy drooping age shall thee sustain:
For that thy daughter-in-law, who loves thee well
And in thy sight doth seven sons excel,
Hath born this child. Then Naomi took the boy
To nurse; and did him in her bosom lay.
Her neighbours too, gave him a name, for why,
This son, say they, is born to Naomi:
They called him Obed, from whose loins did spring
Jesse, the sire of David, Israel's king.
THE HISTORY OF SAMSON
JUDGES, CHAP. XIII.
When Israel's sins th' Almighty did provoke,
To make them subject to Philistine yoke
For forty years: in Zorah dwelt a man,
His name Manoah, of the tribe of Dan;
His wife was barren, unto whom appeared
The angel of the Lord, and thus declared:
Though thou, said he, art barren, time shall come
Thou shalt enjoy the blessing of thy womb;
Now therefore I entreat thee to refrain
From wine, strong drink, and things that are unclean,
For lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son,
Upon whose head there shall no razor come:
For he to God a Nazarite shall be,
And shall begin to set his people free
From the Philistine yoke. The woman came
And told her husband, she had seen a man
Of God: his dreadful look made me, said she,
Think him an angel of the Lord to be:
But I inquired not from whence he came,
Neither did he make known to me his name:
But thus he said, Thou shalt conceive a son;
Wherefore strong drink and wine, see that thou shun,
And have a care that thou be not defil'd
With things that are unclean; for why, the child
Shall from his separation from the womb,
Become a Nazarite, ev'n to his tomb.
Manoah then did supplicate the Lord,
And said, O Lord, be pleased to afford
This favour unto me, to send again
The man of God, more fully to explain
Thy will to us, that we may rightly know,
When this child shall be born, what we must do.
And to Manoah's prayer God gave ear,
And to his wife the angel did appear
Again, as she did in the field retire,
At such time as her husband was not nigh her.
And she made haste, and ran, and strait declared
Unto her husband, that the man appeared
Again, whom she had seen the other day.
Manoah then arose, and went his way,
And when he came, he said, Art thou the man
That spakest to my wife? He said, I am.
Manoah said, Now let thy words be true;
How shall we use the child, What must we do?
Then said the angel of the Lord, let her
Of all that I have charged her beware:
She may not taste of what comes of the vine,
Nor may she drink strong drink, or any wine,
Nor may she eat of things that are unclean,
From all that I have said let her refrain.
Manoah said unto the angel, stay
With us, till we have dress'd a kid, I pray.
But he reply'd, though thou shalt me detain,
I'll eat no bread, but if thou dost design
A sacrifice unto the Lord, then offer:
For ne'er till now, Manoah did discover
It was a man of God he spake unto.
Then said he to the angel, Let me know
Thy name, that when these things shall be perform'd,
The honour due to thee may be return'd.
Whereto the man of God made this reply,
Why askest thou, since 'tis a mystery?
So he a kid, and a meat-off'ring took,
And offer'd to the Lord upon a rock.
And there the man of God did wond'rously,
The whilst Manoah and his wife stood by:
For as the altar did send up the flame,
The man of God ascended in the same.
Manoah and his wife stood looking on,
And on their faces to the ground fell down.
But then the angel did appear no more.
Manoah then knew who he was: therefore
He said unto his wife, most surely we
Shall die, for we the face of God did see.
But she reply'd, If God would such a thing,
He would not now accept our offering,
Or would he have to us these things made known;
Or told us, as at this time he hath done.
And now, according to the angel's word,
The woman bare a son, to whom the Lord
Was pleas'd, his blessing graciously to give:
She call'd him Samson, and the child did thrive.
And lo! the spirit of the Lord began,
At times to move him in the camp of Dan.
Now down to Timnath Samson's steps incline,
Where seeing the daughter of a Philistine,
He came up and did of his parents crave,
That he in marriage might the woman have.
Then thus his father and his mother said,
'Mongst all thy kin can'st thou find ne'er a maid;
Nor yet among my people, fit to make
A wife, but thou wilt this Philistine take,
Of race uncircumcised? He replied,
Get her for me, for I'm well satisfied.
But neither of his parents then did know,
It was the Lord that moved him thereto,
To seek a way to accomplish his designs,
Upon the then o'er-ruling Philistines.
Then Samson and his parents both went down
To Timnath, and as they came near the town,
Among the vineyards a young lion roar'd:
Then on him came the spirit of the Lord,
And though unarm'd, he rent him like a kid,
But he discovered not to them the deed.
And he went down, and with the woman treated,
And was well pleas'd to have the match completed.
And in a while as he returned again
To take his wife, behold, where he had slain
The beast, he there a swarm of bees set eye on,
And honey in the carcase of the lion:
He took thereof, and eating, on he went,
And to his parents did a part present:
And they did also eat, but did not know
That from the lion's carcase it did flow.
So down his father went unto the woman,
And Samson made a feast, as it was common
Among young men. The Philistines provide
Thirty companions with him to abide
And Samson said unto them, now behold,
I have a riddle for you to unfold;
Which if you do before the seven days' feast
Be ended, I will give to every guest
A sheet and change of garments; but if ye
Cannot declare it, ye shall give to me
Full thirty sheets, and thirty changes too.
Then said they, What's thy riddle, let us know?
And Samson said, The eater sent forth meat,
And from the strong there came a thing most sweet.
And they could not in three days find it out,
Wherefore before the seventh came about,
They said unto his wife, Thou must entice
Thy husband to discover this device
Lest we burn thee, and all thy father's house:
Is it not so, that ye have called us
To make a spoil? And Samson's wife wept sore,
And said, thou dost but hate me, and no more;
To put a riddle to my countrymen
And not tell't me. And he reply'd again,
I have not told my father or my mother,
And shall I now to thee this thing discover.
And she continually before him wept,
During the time the feasting days were kept.
And now behold it came to pass that he,
By reason of her importunity,
Did on the seventh day to her unfold
The riddle, which she to her brethren told;
And e'er the sun went down on that same day,
The Philistines to Samson thus did say,
What is more sweet than honey? What more strong
Than is a lion? And he said, how long
Would it have been, e'er you had understood
This thing, had you not with my heifer plow'd?
Then came the spirit of the Lord upon
Him, and he hasted down to Askelon,
And thirty of the Philistines he slew,
And took their clothes, and gave the garments due.
To every one of them that had disclosed
The meaning of the riddle he proposed;
And towards them his anger fiercely burned,
And he unto his father's house returned.
But Samson's wife was given unto one
That was his friend and chief companion.
But in a while, as Samson visited
His wife, in the wheat harvest with a kid,
To her into her chamber he would go,
The which her father would not let him do;
But said, I thought that thou had'st quite forsook her,
Wherefore I gave consent, and thy friend took her;
Doth not her sister's beauty her's exceed,
Though young? I pray then take her in her stead.
And Samson said, I shall more blameless be
Than they, though I shall do them injury.
And then he caught three hundred foxes, and
Turn'd tail to tail, and put a fiery brand
Between two tails, and setting fire thereto,
Into the standing corn he let them go,
And burnt both shocks and standing corn and vines,
And all the olives of the Philistines.
Then they inquired who this thing had done,
And were inform'd it was the Timnite's son;
Because his father took his wife away,
And gave her his companion to enjoy.
And the Philistines came up, full of wrath,
And burnt with fire, her and her father both.
And Samson said, though you have done this thing,
A further evil I will on you bring;
And my avenging hand shall cease hereafter;
And hip and thigh he smote them with great slaughter.
And he return'd, and came up to the top
Of Etam, and dwelt there upon the rock.
Then the Philistines up to Judah went,
And in the vale of Lehi pitched their tent.
Then said the men of Judah, for what reason
Are you come up against us at this season?
And they made answer, We are come to bind
Samson, to do to him in the same kind
As he hath done to us. Then there went up
Three thousand men of Judah to the top
Of the rock Etam, and to Samson said,
Dost thou not know that we have long obey'd
The Philistines? Wherefore is it that thou
Hast done this thing, to bring this evil now,
Upon us, let us know it? Then said he
I did to them as they have done to me.
Then said they we are come, and have brought bands,
To bind, and give thee up into their hands.
And he made answer, you shall swear unto me,
That you yourselves no injury will do me.
And they reply'd, no no, we will but bind thee,
We will not kill thee, but to them resign thee.
And they took two new cords, and therewith tied him,
And from the rock where he abode convey him:
Whom when they to the camp at Lehi brought,
The Philistines against him gave a shout:
And mightily the Spirit of the Lord
Came on him, and like burning flax each cord
That was upon his arms became; the bands
Were likewise separated from his hands.
And he the jaw-bone of an ass espied,
And took and smote them till a thousand died.
Then said he, with an ass's jaw-bone I
Have made mine enemies in heaps to lie.
Behold I have destroy'd a thousand men
With this same worthless ass's jaw. And when
He made an end to speak, it came to pass
He cast away the jaw-bone of the ass,
And said, Now let the place where this was done
Be by the name of Ramath-Lehi known.
And he was sore athirst, and to the Lord
He cried, and said, O Lord, thou did'st afford
This great deliverance, and now shall I,
By reason of my thirst fall down and die,
And fall into the most accursed hands
Of these uncircumcis'd Philistine bands?
But God was pleas'd to cleave an hollow place,
Within the jaw, from whence did water pass;
Whereof when he had drunk, his spirit came
As heretofore, and he reviv'd again:
Wherefore that place, which is in Lehi, bore
Unto this day the name of En-hakkore.
And in the days the Philistines bore sway,
Israel for twenty years did him obey.
Then down to Gaza Samson went, and there
Seeing an harlot, went in unto her.
And when the Gazites heard he was come thither:
Straightway they gathered themselves together
To compass him about, and lay in wait
All night, to take him in the city gate;
And they were still all night, for why? Say they,
To-morrow we shall kill him when 'tis day.
And he till midnight lay, and then arose,
And with the city gates away he goes,
Bearing the posts and bar and all away,
And on an hill near Hebron did them lay.
And afterward it came to pass he saw,
And lov'd a woman named Delilah,
Who in the vale of Sorek dwelt, to whom
There did the lords of the Philistines come,
And said, If thou wilt but entice him to reveal
Where lies his strength, and which way we may deal
With him, to bind him, to afflict him, we
Each one will give a great reward to thee.
And she to Samson said, I pray thee, tell
Wherein thy strength doth other men excel,
And how thou may'st be bound. And he replied,
If they with seven green withs that ne'er were dried,
Shall bind me hand and foot, I shall be then
As weak and impotent as other men.
Then the Philistine lords for her provide
The seven green withs which never had been dried,
And she therewith did bind him, (now there were
Men lying in wait whom she had placed there,)
Then she cried out, and said, Now Samson stand
Thy ground, for the Philistines are at hand.
And straight he brake the withs, and they became
Like to a thread of tow when touch'd with flame:
So was his strength not found out. Then said she,
Samson, behold, thou hast deceived me,
And told me lies: therefore no longer blind me,
But tell, I pray thee, wherewith I may bind thee.
Bind me with ropes that ne'er were us'd, said he;
Then weak as other men are, shall I be.
She therefore took new ropes, and bound him, and
Cried, Samson, the Philistines are at hand:
(And in the chamber there were man lay hid)
And from his arms he brake them like a thread.
Then said she, Thou hast mocked me hitherto,
And told me lies: now tell me what to do
To bind thee. He replied, Thou with the web
Must interweave the seven locks of my head.
Then she his locks did fasten with the pin,
And said, The Philistines are coming in,
Shift, Samson, for thyself; then he awoke,
And pin and web, and all away he took.
Then said she, How canst thou pretend to love me,
When thus thy doing towards me disprove thee?
For now, behold, thou hast deceived me thrice,
And hast not told me where thy great strength lies.
At length his soul being vex'd exceedingly,
By reason of her importunity:
He told the secrets of his heart, and said,
Never yet razor on my head was laid;
For I have been to God a Nazarite,
Even from the day that first I saw the light:
Wherefore like other men, if I am shaven,
I shall be weak, and of my strength bereaven.
And when she saw that he had told her all
The secrets of his heart, she sent to call
The lords of the Philistines. Come, said she,
This once, for now he hath made known to me
The very truth. Then they came up together,
And brought the money in their hands to give her.
Then down to sleep upon her knees she laid him,
And call'd a man, who of his locks betray'd him.
And to afflict him she began, and then
His strength became like that of other men.
Then said she, Samson, thy Philistine foes
Are just at hand: and he from sleep arose,
And as at other times went forth to shake him,
Not knowing that the Lord did now forsake him.
But the Philistines seized him, and brought
Him down to Gaza, having first put out
His eyes, and did with brazen fetters bind
And made him in the prison house to grind.
Howbeit the hair upon his head began,
After he had been shaved, to grow again.
Then the Philistine lords together met,
And a thanksigivng-day apart they set,
For to rejoice, and unto Dagon pay
Their highest service; For our God, say they,
Did this: and when the people did behold
Poor captive Samson, they their god extoll'd,
And said, Our God hath given into our hand
Him that destroy'd us, and laid waste our land.
And in their height of mirth they sent to call
Samson, to come and make sport for them all.
And from the prison-house they brought him, and
Between the pillars they set him to stand;
And there he made them sport. Then to the lad
That led him by the hand, thus Samson said;
Let me now feel the pillars that sustain
The house, that I myself thereon may lean.
Now in the house there was a mighty throng
Of men and women gather'd, and among
Them, all the lords of the Philistines were.
Besides, upon the roof there did appear,
About three thousand men and women, who
Beheld, while Samson made them sport below.
And Samson, calling on the Lord, did say,
O Lord, my God, remember me, I pray,
This once give strength, that I aveng'd may be
Of those Philistines who have blinded me.
And with his right hand and his left, he held
Two middle pillars which the house upheld;
And said, Let me with the Philistines die,
And then he bowed himself most mightily:
And down the house fell on the lords, and all
The people that were in't; so that the fall
Thereof, slew at his dying many more
Than he had slain in all his life before.
Then did his brethren and his kinfolks come
And took him up, and brought him with them home,
And laid him in his father's sepulchre,
When he had judged Israel twenty year.
CHRIST'S SERMON ON THE MOUNT
MATTHEW, CHAP. V.
And Jesus, seeing the multitudes, ascended
Up to a mount, where sitting, and attended
By his disciples, he began to preach;
And on this manner following did them teach.
Blessed are all such as are poor in spirit,
For they the heavenly kingdom do inherit.
Blessed are they that mourn; for in the stead
Thereof shall comfort be administered.
Blessed are they, whose meekness doth excel:
For on the earth their portion is to dwell.
Blessed are they, who after righteousness
Hunger and thirst; for they shall it possess.
Blessed are they, for they shall mercy find,
Who to do mercifully are inclin'd.
Blessed are all such as are pure in heart;
For God his presence shall to them impart.
Blessed are they that do make peace; for why?
They shall be call'd the sons of the Most High.
Blessed are they which suffer for the sake
Of righteousness: for they of heav'n partake.
Blessed are ye, when men shall falsely speak
All kind of ill against you for my sake,
And shall revile, and persecute you sore;
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad therefore:
For your reward in heav'n will be great:
For thus of old they did the prophets treat.
Ye are the salt o' th' earth; but wherewith must
The earth be season'd when the savour's lost?
It is from thenceforth good for nothing, but
To be cast out, and trodd'n under foot.
Ye are the light o' th' world; a city set
Upon an hill cannot be hid; nor yet
Do men a candle with a bushel cover,
But set it where it lights the whole house over.
So shine your light, your good works seen thereby
Men may your heavenly Father glorify.
Think not that to destroy the law I came,
Or prophets; no, but to fulfil the same.
For till the heav'n and earth shall pass away,
One jot or tittle from the law, I say,
Shall never pass, till all shall be complete.
Whoso therefore presumes to violate,
One of these least commands, and teacheth so,
Shall in God's kingdom be accounted low.
But he that doth, and teacheth them likewise,
Shall in God's kingdom have great dignities.
For I declare unto you, that unless
You shall exceed the scribe and pharisees
In righteousness; you shall on no condition,
Into the heavenly kingdom gain admission.
Ye've heard 'twas said of old, 'Thou shalt not kill.'
And he incurs the judgment who shall spill
His brother's blood: but I to you declare,
That he that's wroth without a cause, shall bear
The judgment. Likewise of the council he
That sayeth 'racha' shall in danger be.
But whosoe'er shall say, Thou fool, the same
Shall be in danger of eternal flame.
When therefore to the altar thou dost bring
Thy gift, and there rememb'rest any thing
Thy brother hath against thee: leave it there
Before the altar, and come thou not near,
Till thou hast first made reconciliation,
Then may'st thou come and offer thine oblation.
Make an agreement with thine adversary
Whilst thou art in the way, and do not tarry;
Lest he at any time deliver thee
Unto the judge, and by the judge thou be
Unto the officer forthwith resign'd,
And in imprisonment thou be confin'd;
I do affirm thou shalt not be enlarg'd,
Till thou the utmost farthing hast discharg'd.
Ye've heard that they of old did testify,
That men should not commit adultery:
But I pronounce him an adulterer,
Who views a woman to lust after her.
And if thy right eye shall offensive be,
Pluck thou it out and cast the same from thee;
For it is better lose one, than that all
Thy members should into hell torments fall.
And if thy right hand doth offend, cut off it,
And cast it from thee, for it will thee profit
Much rather that one of thy members fell,
Than that they should be all condemned to hell.
It hath been said, whoso away shall force
His wife, shall give her a bill of divorce:
But whosoe'er shall put his wife away,
Except for fornication's sake, I say,
Makes her adult'ress, and who marries her,
So put away, is an adulterer.
Again: Ye've heard, Thou shalt not be forsworn,
Was ancient doctrine, but thou shalt perform
Unto the Lord thine oaths: But I declare,
That thou shalt not at all presume to swear;
Neither by heaven, for it is God's throne;
Nor by the earth, for his foot stands thereon:
Neither swear by Jerusalem, for why?
It is the city of the King Most High:
Nor swear thou by thine head, for thou canst make
No hair thereof to be or white or black:
But let yea, yea; nay, nay, in speech suffice,
For what is more from evil doth arise.
Ye've heard, it hath been said; Eye for an eye,
And tooth for tooth: But I do testify,
That you shall not resist; but let him smite
Thy left cheek also, who assaults thy right.
And if that any by a lawsuit shall
Demand thy coat, let them have cloak and all.
And whosoe'er compelleth thee to go
A mile, refuse not to go with him two.
Give him that asketh, and from him that may
Have need to borrow, turn not thou away.
Ye've heard, 'twas said: That thou shalt love thy friend
And hate thy foe: But let your love extend
Unto your enemies: thus I declare,
Bless them that curse, do good to them that bear
Ill will, and for your persecutors pray,
And them that do reproach you; that you may
Be children of your Father that's in heaven;
For he on good and bad alike hath given
His sun to rise, and in like manner doth
Send rain upon the just and unjust both
For what is your reward, if you love them
That love you? Do not publicans the same?
And if your brethren only you salute,
What more than they do ye? They also do't.
I will therefore that you be perfect, ev'n
As is your Father perfect that's in heaven.
Take heed you do not your alms-deed bestow
Before men, purposely to make a shew;
For then there will no recompence be given
Unto you of your Father that's in heaven:
With sound of trumpet do not thou therefore
Proclaim what thou art giving to the poor;
As is the manner of the hypocrites
To do i' th' synagogues, and in the streets;
That men may give them praises. Verily
They have their recompence, I testify.
But when thou dost alms, let thy left hand know
Not what thy right hand is about to do:
That giving secretly, thy Father may,
Who sees in secret, openly repay.
And when thou pray'st be not as hypocrites;
For they love in the corners of the streets,
And in the synagogues to stand and pray,
There to be seen: they've their reward I say.
But thou, when thou dost make thy pray'r, go thee
Into thy closet, shut thy door unto thee,
And there in secret to thy Father cry,
Who seeing thee shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray use not vain repetitions,
As heathens do, for they think their petitions
Prevail; when they the same do multiply:
Be ye not like to them therefore; for why;
Your Father knows what things you need before
You ask him, on this wise pray ye therefore.
Our Father which art in heav'n, thy name alone
Be hallowed. Thy glorious kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as 'tis in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And ev'n
As we remit our debtors, grant remission
To us. And lead us not into temptation,
But from all evil do thou us deliver;
For th' kingdom, power and glory's thine for ever.
For if you do forgive men that offend,
Your heavenly Father will to you extend
Forgiveness; but if not, nor will he spare,
At any time when you offenders are.
Moreover when you fast beware lest you
Look sad, as hypocrites are wont to do;
For they disguise their faces, that they may
Appear to fast: they've their reward I say.
But thou, when thou dost fast, anoint thine head
And wash thy face, that undiscovered
Thy fasting may be unto men, but rather
That thou be seen in secret of thy Father:
And then thy Father, who in secrecy
Beholds thee, shall reward thee openly.
Lay not up treasure for yourselves in store
Upon the earth, where moth and rust devour,
And where by thieves you may be quite bereaven.
But lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven,
Where neither moth, nor rust, nor thieves can enter:
For where's your treasure there your hearts will centre.
The eye's the light o' th' body, which if right
Then thy whole body will be full of light:
But if thine eye be evil, then there will
A total darkness thy whole body fill.
If therefore all the light that is in thee
Be darkness, how great must that darkness be?
No man can serve two masters, either he
Will hate one, and love t'other, or will be
Faithful to one, and t'other will forego.
Ye cannot serve both God and mammon too.
Take no thought therefore for your life, I say,
What you shall eat or drink; or how you may
Your bodies clothe. Is not the life much more
Than meat; Is not the body far before
The clothes thereof? Behold the fowls o' th' air,
Nor sow nor reap, nor take they any care;
How they provision into barns may gather;
Yet they are nourish'd by your heavenly Father:
Are ye not worth much more? Which of you can
By taking thought add to his height one span?
And why for raiment are ye taking thought?
See how the lilies grow; they labour not,
Nor do they spin; yet Solomon, I say,
In all his pomp, had no such gay array.
If in the field God so doth clothe the grass,
Which is to-day, and doth to-morrow pass
Into the oven, shall he not therefore
O ye of little faith, clothe you much more?
Take no thought therefore, saying, What shall we eat,
Or drink, or where shall we our raiment get:
(For thus the heathen people use to do)
For that you need them doth your Father know.
But seek God's kingdom, and his righteousness
First, and then all these things you shall possess.
Be not then exercis'd with care and sorrow,
In making preparation for the morrow;
The morrow shall things for itself prepare:
Sufficient to the day is each day's care.
Judge not that you may not be judg'd; for even
As you pass judgment, judgment shall be giv'n:
And with such measure as you mete to men,
It shall be measured unto you again.
And why dost thou take notice of the mote
That's in thy brother's eye; but dost not note
The beam that's in thine own? How wilt thou say
Unto thy brother, let me take away
The mote that's in thine eye, when yet 'tis plain
The beam that's in thine own doth still remain?
First cast away the beam, thou hypocrite,
From thine own eye, so shall thy clearer sight
The better be enabled to descry,
And pluck the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Give not to dogs the things that are divine,
Neither cast ye your pearls before the swine
Lest that they should their feet them trample under,
And turn upon you, and rend you asunder.
Ask, and obtain; seek, and ye shall find; do ye
Knock, and it shall be opened unto ye:
For he that seeks, shall find; that asks, obtain,
And he that knocks, shall an admittance gain.
Or what man is there of you, if his son
Shall ask him bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he bestow
A serpent? If then ye being evil know
To give your children good gifts, how much rather
To them that ask him shall your heav'nly Father.
Then what you wou'd men shou'd to you, so do
To them: for that's the law and prophets too.
Enter in at the strait gate, for the road
That doth unto destruction lead, is broad;
And wide the gate; and many there be that
Enter therein: because strait is the gate,
And narrow is the way that is inclin'd
To life, and which there are but few that find.
False prophets shun, who in sheep's clothes appear,
But inwardly devouring wolves they are:
Ye by their fruits shall know them. Do men either
Pluck grapes of thorns, or figs or thistles gather?
Even so each good tree good fruit will produce;
But a corrupt tree fruit unfit for use:
A good tree cannot bring forth evil food,
Nor can an evil tree bear fruit that's good:
Each tree that bears not good fruit's hewn down
And burnt, thus by their fruits they shall be known.
Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, but he
That doth my heav'nly Father's will shall be
An heir of heaven: many in that day
Will call Lord, Lord, and thus to me will say;
Have we not prophesied in thy name?
Cast devils out, done wonders in the same?
And then will I profess I know you not;
Depart from me ye that have evil wrought.
Whoso therefore these sayings of mine doth hear,
And doth them, to a wise man I'll compare,
The which upon a rock his building founded,
The rain descended and the floods surrounded,
The winds arose, and gave it many a shock,
And it fell not, being founded on a rock.
And ev'ry one that hears these sayings of mine,
And not to do them doth his heart incline,
Unto a foolish man shall be compar'd;
Who his foundation on the sand prepar'd:
The rain descended and the floods were great,
The winds did blow, and vehemently beat
Against that house; and down the building came,
And mighty was the downfall of the same.
And now when Jesus thus had finished
His sayings, the people were astonished
Thereat: for not as do the scribes taught he
Them, but as one that had authority.
THE PROPHECY OF JONAH
Now unto Jonah, old Amittai's son,
Thus did the word of the Almighty come,
And said, Arise, go thou forthwith and cry
'Gainst that great city Nineveh; for why,
The sins thereof are come up in my sight.
But he arose, that he to Tarshish might
Flee from God's presence; and went down and found
A ship at Joppa unto Tarshish bound:
He paid the fare, and with them went on board
For Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord.
But the Almighty a great wind did raise,
And sent a mighty tempest on the seas,
So that the ship was likely to be broken.
Then were the mariners with horror stricken;
And to his God they cried every one;
And overboard was the ship's lading thrown
To lighten it: but down into the ship
Was Jonah gone, and there lay fast asleep.
So to him came the master and did say,
What meanest thou, O sleeper! rise and pray
Unto thy God, and he perhaps will hear,
And save us from the danger that we fear.
Then said they to each other, Come let's try,
By casting lots, on whom the fault doth lie,
In bringing all this evil now upon us.
So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonas.
Then said they, We entreat thee let us know,
For whose cause we this evil undergo,
Whence comest thou? What is thine occupation?
What countryman art thou? And of what nation?
And unto them himself he did declare,
And said, I am an Hebrew, and do fear
The living Lord, the God of heaven, who
Alone hath made the sea and dry land too.
Then were the men exceedingly afraid;
And, wherefore hast thou done this thing? they said:
(For they did understand he did forego
God's presence, for himself had told them so.)
What shall we do unto thee, then they said,
That so the raging of the sea be stay'd?
(For it did rage and foam.) Take me, said he,
And cast me overboard into the sea;
So shall the sea be calm, for on my score
I know it is, that thus the waves do roar.
Nevertheless they rowed hard to gain
The land, but all their labour was in vain;
So much against them did the tempest beat.
Wherefore they the Almighty did entreat,
And said, We do beseech thee, and we pray,
O Lord, that thou would'st not upon us lay
The charge of guiltless blood, nor let it be,
That now we perish, on th' account that we
Take this man's life away; for thou alone
As it hath pleased thee, O Lord, hast done.
So they took Jonah up, and to the seas
Committed him, then did the tempest cease.
Then did the dread of the great God on high,
Seize on the mariners exceedingly.
And they did offer up a sacrifice,
And vowed vows unto the Lord likewise.
And now the Lord for Jonah did contrive
A mighty fish, to swallow 'im up alive,
And in the fish's belly for the space
Of three days and three nights, poor Jonah was.
Unto the Lord his God then Jonah pray'd
Out of the belly of the fish, and said,
By reason of affliction, which lay sore
Upon me, I the Lord God did implore,
And he gave ear; and from Hell's Belly I
Cry'd unto thee, and thou, Lord, heard'st my cry:
For thou into the deep hadst cast me out,
And there the floods did compass me about;
In the midst of the sea, thy waves were sent,
And all thy billows which my head o'erwent.
Then said I though thy presence hath forsook
Me, to thy holy temple will I look.
The waters compassed about my soul,
And the great deeps did round about me roll,
The weeds were wrapt about my head, I went
Down to the bottom of the element;
The earth with her strong bars surrounded me,
Yet thou, O Lord, from death hast set me free.
When my soul fainted, on the Lord I thought,
And to thee, to thy temple then was brought
My prayer. They their own mercies do despise,
Who have regard to lying vanities.
But with the voice of my thanksgiving, I
Will offer sacrifice to thee on high,
And pay my vows which I have vow'd, each one,
For why? Salvation's of the Lord alone.
And now the fish, as God did give command,
Did vomit Jonah out upon dry land.
And now the second time to Jonah came
God's word, and said, Arise, go and proclaim
To that great city Nineveh, what
Have heretofore commanded thee to cry.
So Jonah rose up, and prepar'd to go
To Nineveh, as God had bid him do.
(Now was the city Nineveh so great,
That it was three days' journey long complete)
And as into the city Jonah made
His first day's journey, he cry'd out and said,
When forty days shall be expired and past,
This city Nineveh shall be laid waste.
Then did the Ninevites with one accord,
Believe this was the message of the Lord;
And did proclaim a fast, and every one,
From greatest to the least, put sackcloth on:
For to the king this news was quickly flown,
And he arose, and came down from his throne,
And having laid aside his robes of state,
He put on sackcloth, and in ashes sate:
And issuing out his royal proclamation,
And through the city making publication
Thereof (being by the king and council sign'd)
A solemn and a general fast enjoin'd;
And said, I will, that neither man nor beast,
Nor flock, nor herd, shall their provision taste:
But let them all put sackcloth on and cry
Unto the Lord with greatest fervency;
Yea, let them all their evil ways refrain,
And from the violence which they retain.
Who knows if God will yet be pleas'd to spare,
And turn away the evil that we fear?
And God beheld their works, and saw that they
Had turned from the evil of their way.
And God turn'd from his wrath, and did revoke
The dreadful judgment whereof he had spoke.
But hereat Jonah was extremely vext,
And in his mind exceedingly perplext:
And to the Lord his God he pray'd, and said,
O Lord, I pray thee, was not I afraid
Of this, when I was yet at home? Therefore
I unto Tarshish took my flight before:
For that thou art a gracious God I know,
Of tender mercy, and to anger slow,
Of great compassion, and dost oft recall
The evil thou dost threat mankind withal.
Now therefore, Lord, I earnestly do pray
That thou would'st please to take my life away,
For I had better die than live. Dost thou
Do well, said God, to be so angry now?
So then out of the city Jonah went,
And on the east side of it made a tent,
And underneath the shade thereof he sate,
Expecting what would be the city's fate.
And over Jonah's head behold the Lord
Prepar'd, and caused to come up a gourd
To shadow him, and ease him of his grief;
And Jonah was right glad of this relief.
But God a worm sent early the next day,
Which smote the gourd; it withered away:
And when the sun arose, it came to pass,
That God a vehement east wind did raise;
Besides the sun did beat upon his head,
So that he fainted, saying, Would I were dead,
For it is better for me now to die,
Than thus to lead my life in misery.
And to distressed Jonah, said the Lord,
Dost thou well to be angry for the gourd?
And he unto the Lord made this reply,
I do well to be angry e'en to die.
Thou hast had pity, Jonah, on the gourd,
For which thou didst not labour, said the Lord,
Nor madest it to grow, which also came
Up in a night, and perish'd in the same.
And should not I extend my gracious pity
To Nineveh, so populous a city,
Where more than six score thousand persons dwell,
Who 'twixt their right hand, and their left can tell
No difference, wherein are also found
Cattle which do in multitudes abound.
THE LIFE OF JOSEPH,
TAKEN OUT OF THE LATTER PART OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS.
When Jacob from his brother Esau fled,
He by the hand of providence was led
To Padan-aram, in Assyria, where
He serv'd his uncle Laban twenty year;
During which time he was in all things blest,
And with a num'rous issue 'mongst the rest:
Amongst whom none so pleasing in his sight
As Joseph was, who was his chief delight:
Who by the time that Jacob was return'd
Into the land, where's fathers had sojourn'd,
Was full arrived at seventeen years of age;
And by his hopefulness did then presage,
He was endued with a noble mind,
That would to virtuous actions be inclin'd;
For being sent to feed his father's flock,
Among his brethren he great notice took
Of what they did, and if in any sort
They did amiss, he thereof made report
Unto his father, and did thus create
His father's favour, but his brethren's hate.
His father loved him better than the rest,
As being the son wherewith his age was blest.
And that his kindness might the more appear,
Made him a party colour'd coat to wear.
But as it often haps, his father's love
Did in his brethren greater hatred move.
But that which most incens'd them was his dreams,
By which, in a prophetic way, he seems
Their low submission, and his future state
Of greatness plainly to prognosticate.
For to his brethren thus his dreams he told,
And said, As we were binding sheaves, behold,
My sheaf arose and stood up in the field,
And all your sheaves stood round about, to yield
Obeisance unto mine: And what, must we
Indeed, say they, be subject unto thee?
Their wrath increas'd, this added to his crime.
And Joseph dreamed yet a second time;
And said, Behold, I saw the sun and moon,
And the eleven stars to me fall down.
At which his father highly was offended,
And for these words, the lad he reprehended,
And said, Fond youth, dost thou pretend to shew
That I, thy mother, and thy brethren too,
Must all submit to thee? Thou dost but dream:
But Jacob kept his words, and thought of them.
Now Jacob's sons did feed their flocks in Shechem,
And he desired Joseph to go seek them,
And find them out, and come again and tell
If all things with them and their flocks were well.
So Joseph went, and wander'd here and there,
But could not find out where his brethren were,
Until a man had told him their intent
Of going to Dotham, where he also went.
And when his brethren at a distance saw him,
They held a consultation how to slay him,
And said, Here comes the dreamer, we shall see
What the event of all his dreams will be;
For we will kill, and in a pit will hide him,
And say some beast or other hath destroy'd him.
But Reuben somewhat tend'rer than the rest,
Endeavour'd to persuade them to desist
From murder, saying, Into this pit let's cast him,
And this he said in hopes to have releas'd him.
And now when Joseph came not dreading ought,
They stript him of his party colour'd coat,
And led him to a pit that was hard by,
And threw him into't, but the pit was dry.
And sitting down to eat, they chanc'd to spy,
A company of Ishmaelites pass by,
Who with balm, myrrh, and spice, their camels lading,
From Gilead came, and were to Egypt trading.
Then Judah said, 'Twill do us little good
To slay our brother, and conceal his blood;
Come therefore, brethren, be advis'd by me,
Let's sell him to these Ishmaelites, for he
Is our own flesh, and 'tis a cruel deed,
To kill him, and to this they all agreed.
Their brother then out of the pit they hale,
And to these merchants offer'd him to sale:
Who, him for twenty silver pieces bought,
And with them to the land of Egypt brought.
But Reuben, ignorant of what was done,
Came to the pit, and seeing the lad was gone,
He rent his clothes in a great consternation,
Returning back with heavy lamentation.
And now that they might make their story good
They kill'd a kid, and dipped in the blood
Their brother Joseph's coat, and home they came,
And to their father's view expos'd the same,
And said, This we have found, now thou dost know
Whether it be thy son's coat, yea or no.
And Jacob knew the coat full well, and said,
Now hath some evil beast devour'd the lad;
Joseph is torn in pieces without doubt,
For, too, too well I know this is his coat.
He rent his clothes, and putting sackcloth on,
He for a long time mourned for his son.
His children striving to assuage his grief
Endeavour'd to administer relief:
But he refus'd, and said, Since he is gone,
I will in sorrow to the grave go down.
Such lamentation made he for his son.
And now these merchants, sons of Ishmael,
Again did poor afflicted Joseph sell,
To an Egyptian, named Potiphar,
The captain of King Pharaoh's men of war.
And God was with him, and did greatly bless,
And crown his undertakings with success.
Whereof his master being well aware,
Committed all he had to Joseph's care;
And made him overseer of his house,
And, from the time his master us'd him thus,
The Lord was pleas'd to give him to partake,
So many blessings, e'en for Joseph's sake:
Of that with plenty he was hedg'd about,
And prospered within door and without.
Such was his master's love, and he so just,
That all things were committed to his trust.
Now Joseph was grown up to manly stature,
Of goodly presence, and most comely feature.
Wherefore his mistress, with a lustful eye,
Beheld his beauty, and resolv'd to try,
If to unchaste embraces she could gain
The youth, but her endeavours prov'd in vain:
For he refus'd, and said, My master knows
In all the house of nothing that he owes,
For his concerns are all at my dispose:
There's not a thing that he hath kept from me
But all is in my hand, save only thee;
Then how can I commit so foul a fact,
And the displeasure of my God contract?
Yet still she sued, and still did he deny her,
Refusing to be with her, or lie by her.
Now on a time when all the men were gone
Out of the house, and she was left alone:
And Joseph at that instant coming in,
About some business he'd to do within;
She took advantage of their being together,
And held his clothes to force him to lie with her.
But Joseph strove, and from her hands got loose,
And left his coat, and fled out of the house.
And when she saw that he had made's escape,
She call'd her servants, and proclaim'd a rape:
Come see now how this Hebrew slave, said she,
Your master's favourite, hath affronted me.
He came to violate my chastity,
And when he heard that I began to cry,
And call for help, afraid lest you should find him,
He's fled, and left his garment here behind him.
And now to give her words the greater credit,
Until her husband's coming home, she hid it,
To whom she spake, and said, Why hast thou brought
This Hebrew here, to set me thus at nought?
The slave attempted to defile my bed,
And when I cry'd, he left his coat and fled,
See here it is. Which when he saw, and heard
The heavy accusation she preferr'd,
He was exceeding wroth at his behavior,
And utterly cashier'd him from his favour;
Nay more, he cast him into prison, where
In fetters bound, King Pharaoh's pris'ners were.
But Joseph's God, who never yet forsook
Him in extremity, was pleas'd to look
With great compassion on his injuries,
And gave him favour in the keeper's eyes;
So that he was entrusted with the care
And charge of all the pris'ners that were there:
All were committed unto Joseph's hand,
And what was done, was done at his command.
The prison-keeper took no care at all,
Of ought that he entrusted him withal;
Because he saw that God was with him, and
All things did prosper that he took in hand.
And now, whilst Joseph in confinement lay,
It came to pass upon a certain day,
That Pharaoh King of Egypt, being wroth
With his chief butler, and chief baker both,
For their offences, put them both in ward,
In the house of the captain of the guard:
Into the place where Joseph was confin'd,
Unto whose custody they were resign'd;
And he attended on them in the prison.
And there they were continue'd for a season,
During which time it chanced both of them
Did in the same night dream each man his dream:
Which dreams, according to interpretation,
Had to themselves particular relation.
And Joseph coming early the next day,
Into the room where Pharaoh's servants lay,
Beheld their countenances much dejected:
Wherefore he said, What evil hath effected
This melancholy frame, what is't that causes
These marks of discontentment in your faces?
Then said they, We have dream'd each man his dream,
And there is no man to interpret them.
Then Joseph said, Your dreams to me make known.
Interpretations are from God alone.
Then unto Joseph the chief butler told
His dream, and said, Methought I did behold
A vine, whereon three branches did appear,
Which seem'd to bud, to blossom, and to bear
Clusters of full ripe grapes, which to my thinking
I press'd into the cup for Pharaoh's drinking.
And Joseph said, Thy dream doth signify,
Thou shalt enjoy thy former dignity:
The branches which thou sawest are three days,
In which King Pharaoh will his butler raise
And to thy place again will thee restore,
And thou shalt serve him as thou'st done before:
But do not, when it shall be well with thee,
Forget me, but show kindness unto me,
And unto Pharaoh represent my case,
That I may be deliver'd from this place;
For I was stol'n out of the Hebrew's land,
And also here am wrongfully detained.
Then the chief baker having understood,
That the interpretation was so good,
He told his dream to Joseph too, and said,
Lo, I had three white baskets on my head,
And in the uppermost there seem'd to be,
Of baked provision, great variety,
Fit for King Pharaoh's table, and there came
A flock of birds, and seem'd to eat the same.
And Joseph said, Thy dream portends thy fall,
For at the end of three days Pharaoh shall
Lift up thy head, and hang thee on a tree,
So that the birds shall feast themselves on thee.
And on the third day Pharaoh made a feast
Unto his servants, and among the rest
The butler and the baker were brought forth,
The day being kept in memory of his birth.
And to his place King Pharaoh did restore
His butler, and he served him as before.
But the chief baker he condemn'd to die,
According unto Joseph's prophecy.
Yet though the butler had regain'd his place,
He was unmindful of poor Joseph's case.
And now when two years' time was fully past,
And Joseph from confinement not releast,
It came to pass that Pharaoh dream'd, and
He seemed by a river-side to stand,
Whence he seven fat well-favour'd kine beheld,
Come up and grazed in the neighbouring field.
And after them there came up seven more,
Lean and ill-favour'd, and did soon devour
The seven fat kine which came up just before.
So Pharaoh 'woke, and mus'd awhile, and then
Soon as his sleep his dream returned again:
Wherein he saw upon one stalk there stood
Seven ears of corn exceeding rank and good,
And seven others, with the east wind blasted,
And withered, sprang up, and quickly wasted
The seven good ears, and quite devour'd them:
And Pharaoh 'woke, and lo, it was a dream.
And in the morning he was discontent,
And for the wise men and magicians sent,
To ease his mind; but there was none of them
That could interpret to the king his dream.
Then the chief butler, making his address
Unto King Pharaoh, said, I now confess
My former faults, for when the king was wroth
With his chief butler, and chief baker both,
It pleased him, to put us both in ward,
In the house of the captain of the guard:
And in one night we dream'd a dream, each one
According to 's interpretation:
And there was then an Hebrew there in ward,
A youth that serv'd the captain of the guard:
To whom we told whereof we had been dreaming,
And he interpreted to us the meaning;
And what he said fell out accordingly,
Me he restored to my dignity,
But told the baker he should surely die.
Then Pharaoh sent a messenger in haste,
And Joseph from the dungeon was releas'd:
And having shav'd himself and chang'd his clothes,
Into the presence of the king he goes.
To whom King Pharaoh said, I have been told
Thou canst the meaning of a dream unfold:
Now I have dream'd a dream, and there is none
Can give me the interpretation.
And Joseph said, I cannot do this thing
Myself, but God shall answer thee, oh king.
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, In my dream,
As I stood by a river's side, there came
Up from the river seven well-favour'd kine,
And fed upon the banks, all fat and fine,
And after them there came up seven more,
Lean and ill-favour'd, and exceeding poor:
Such as the land of Egypt never bred,
And on the seven well-favour'd kine they fed,
And eat them up, but 'twas not to be seen
That they had eat them, they look'd still so thin.
So I awoke, and mus'd awhile, and then
Soon as my sleep, my dream return'd again;
Wherein I saw upon one stalk there stood
Seven ears of corn, exceeding rank and good:
Then seven others, with the east wind blasted,
And withered, came up, and quickly wasted
The seven good ears, and quite devoured them.
And being unsatisfied about my dream,
I sought unto the wise men of the nation,
But they could give me no interpretation.
And Joseph said, Thy dream, oh king! is one,
God shews to Pharaoh what he will have done.
The seven fat kine and seven good ears agree
To shew, seven years of plenty there shall be.
The seven lean kine, and seven blasted ears,
Denote there shall be famine seven years.
This I declare to Pharaoh, God doth shew
To thee, oh king! what he's about to do.
Behold seven years of plenty are at hand,
Which shall be very great throughout the land.
And after them seven years of famine shall
Arise, and shall consume the land, and all
The former plenty shall not be perceiv'd,
So much the land with famine shall be griev'd.
And since the dream was doubl'd to the king,
It is because God hath decreed the thing,
And on this land the same will shortly bring:
Now therefore if I may the king advise,
Let him look out a man discreet and wise,
And make him overseer of the land:
And substitute men under his command
To gather a fifth part for public use,
Of what the seven plenteous years produce;
And in the cities lay it up for store,
Against the famine in the land grows sore;
And let it be repos'd in Pharaoh's hand,
That so the famine may not waste the land.
And when King Pharaoh and his servants heard
The propositions Joseph had preferr'd,
They were acceptable in Pharaoh's eyes,
And in the eyes of all his court likewise:
So that he said, Can such an one be found?
A man in whom God's Spirit doth abound.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch
As God's great kindness unto thee is such,
As to reveal this thing to thee, I know
No man so wise or so discreet as thou.
Be thou therefore the ruler of the land,
And let my people be at thy command;
Thou shalt in all things be as great as I,
Save only in the royal dignity.
Behold this day I have advanced thee
Said he, to be a man of high degree
Throughout the land. And therewithal the king
Bestow'd on Joseph his own royal ring;
And him with robes of state did richly deck,
And put a chain of gold about his neck,
And in his second chariot made him ride,
And as he past, Bow down the knee they cry'd,
With so great honour was he dignifi'd.
And Pharaoh said moreover, I am king,
No man shall dare to purpose any thing,
Or move his hand or foot in all this nation,
Unless it shall be by thy approbation.
He also gave to Joseph a new name,
And for a wife gave him a princely dame,
Who was the daughter of a priest of fame.
(Now Joseph had attained his thirtieth year,
When he before King Pharaoh did appear.)
And he went out from Pharaoh's presence, and
Began his progress over all the land.
Now in the seven plenteous years, the field
Did its increase in great abundance yield.
And Joseph gather'd all that plenteous crop,
And in th' adjacent cities laid it up:
Which like unto the sand upon the shore,
Did so abound that he could count no more,
Such was the plenty that the earth then bore.
And unto Joseph there was born a son,
Even by the daughter of the priest of On,
Before the years of famine were begun;
The which he call'd Manasseh, for, said he,
God makes me to forget my misery,
And all my father's house. And after him
Was born another he called Ephraim;
For God, saith he, hath made me to possess
Abundance in the land of my distress.
And when the seven plenteous years were gone,
The seven years of famine next came on,
As Joseph said, and there was a great dearth
In every nation throughout all the earth;
But in the land of Egypt there was bread.
And when the people almost famished,
Complained to the king, he bade them go
To Joseph, and whate'er he said to do.
And now the famine daily waxing sore,
Joseph began to bring forth of his store,
Which he had laid up for the public good;
To whom th' Egyptians came and bought their food.
And people from all countries far and near
To Egypt came to buy provision there;
For in all lands the famine was severe.
And now, behold, when Jacob had been told
That there was corn in Egypt to be sold,
He said unto his sons, Why stand ye thus?
Go down to Egypt and buy corn for us;
That so our craving stomachs may be fed,
And not be here and die for lack of bread.
Thus Jacob's ten sons were to Egypt sent,
But Joseph's brother Benjamin ne'er went.
For why, his father said, I will not send him,
Lest peradventure some ill chance attend him.
And Joseph's brethren came among the rest
To buy provision, for they were distress'd.
Now he was governor of all the land,
And all the corn of Egypt in his hand.
Wherefore his brethren, when they came to treat
With him for corn, bow'd down e'en at his feet:
And he no sooner saw them but he knew them,
And show'd himself extremely strange unto them:
And very roughly asked who they were,
From whence they came, and what their bus'ness there.
And they made answer, We thy servants from
The land of Canaan to buy food are come.
Now tho' they knew him not, yet he knew them,
And calling now to mind his former dream,
He said, I do suspect ye're come as spies,
To see in what distress our country lies.
But they reply'd again, My lord, we're come
Only to buy some food to carry home.
Think not thy servants spies, but true men rather,
For we are all the children of one father.
Nay, nay, said he, but ye are come to pry
Into the nation's great necessity.
But they reply'd again, Thy servants are
Inhabitants of Canaan, and declare,
That we're twelve brethren, whom one man begot,
The youngest is at home, and one is not
Well then, said Joseph, hereby shall I know,
Whether ye're spies, as I have said, or no;
Now by the life of Pharaoh do I swear,
Until your brother come I'll keep you here.
Send one of you and fetch the lad to me,
And you shall be confin'd, so shall there be
A proof of what you say before mine eyes,
Or by the life of Pharaoh ye are spies.
Then he for three days put them all in ward,
And on the third day said, I have regard
To equity, therefore if ye are true
And honest men, do this; let one of you
Be bound in prison here, and let the other
Go carry corn home and bring me your brother;
So shall ye be approv'd and shall not die.
And they prepared to do accordingly.
And as they were discoursing to each other,
They said, We were in fault about our brother,
In that we saw his soul in great distress,
And yet were so exceeding pitiless,
As not to hearken to his earnest cries:
This is the cause of these our miseries.
And Reuben said, You know I did forewarn,
And beg that you would do the child no harm;
But you would not do then as I desir'd,
And now his blood is at our hands requir'd.
Thus they discours'd about the cause that brought
Their present trouble, but they little thought
That Joseph knew of what they did confer,
Because he spake by an interpreter.
And he being moved at their words withdrew
To weep, and then returned to renew
His former talk; and choosing Simeon out,
Before them all he bound him hand and foot.
And gave command to fill their sacks with grain,
And to restore their money to 'em again;
And for their journey gave them food to eat;
In such sort Joseph did his brethren treat.
Then with their asses laden towards home
They went, and when into their inn they come
As one of them his sack of corn unty'd,
To give his ass some provender, he spy'd
His money in his sack again return'd;
Wherefore he call'd his brethren and inform'd
Them that his money was returned back.
Behold, said he, it is here in my sack.
On sight whereof their hearts were sore dismay'd,
And being very much affrighted said,
What is the thing that God's about to do,
That we do thus these troubles undergo?
Then coming to their father they related,
After what sort they were in Egypt treated:
And said, the man that's lord of all the land,
And hath the store of corn all in his hand,
Spake roughly to us, and affirm'd that we
Were come the weakness of the land to see.
To whom we said, We are all honest men;
We are twelve brethren, whereof here are ten,
And two elsewhere, all which one man begot,
The youngest's with our father, one is not.
Then said the ruler of the land, Hereby
Shall I make proof of your integrity:
Let one of you continue here with me,
And take provision for your family;
And get you gone and bring the youngest hither,
That so I may be satisfied whether
Ye are true men, as you make protestation,
Then I'll release him, and give toleration
To you to come and traffic in the nation.
And now behold as they their sacks unloos'd
To empty out their corn, there was unclos'd
In each man's sack his money therein bound,
As when they came from home, which when they found,
Both they and their old father were afraid;
And to his sons afflicted Jacob said,
You of my children have bereaved me,
Joseph and Simeon now do cease to be;
And of my Benjamin you would deprive me,
These things do ev'n into distraction drive me.
Then Reuben said, My father I resign
To thy disposing these two sons of mine;
Give me the lad, and let them both be slain,
If I do not return him safe again.
But he reply'd, I will not let him go,
For why his brother is deceas'd you know;
And if upon the way some evil thing
Should happen to the lad, you then will bring
These my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave;
For he's the only comfort that I have.
And now the famine still continuing sore,
And having spent all their late purchas'd store,
Their father bids them to go down for more
To whom when Judah had himself address'd,
He said, The man did solemnly protest,
If we without our brother came again,
To seek his face would be for us in vain:
If therefore thou wilt send him, well and good,
Then will we willingly go down for food;
But if thou wilt not, we must let thee know,
We are resolved that we will not go:
For, as I said before, the ruler swore
Without him we should see his face no more.
Then Israel said, Why were you so unkind
To say you had a brother left behind?
The man, said they, was so inquisitive,
He asked if our father were alive,
Or if we had a brother, whereunto
Accordingly we answer'd, could we know
If he would bid us bring the lad or no?
Moreover Judah to his father said,
If thou wilt but entrust me with the lad,
We will begone, that so both thou and we
May be preserved with our family:
I will be surety for him, if I fail
To bring him back, on me the blame entail;
For if we had not lingered, we had been
By this time here the second time again.
Well then, said Isr'el, if it must be so,
My sons, take my advice before you go;
Provide some of the best fruits of the land,
To give the man a present from your hand;
Balm, myrrh, and spices, and a little honey,
Some nuts and almonds, and take double money,
For peradventure it was a mistake,
In that our money was returned back.
And take your brother Benjamin and go,
And God Almighty grant the man may shew
You mercy, that you may bring back again
Your other brother, and my Benjamin,
And if I am bereav'd, so have I been.
Then did the men prepare the present, and
They took their money double in their hand
With Benjamin, and down to Egypt went,
Who unto Joseph did themselves present.
Who, when he saw that Benjamin was come,
Order'd his steward to conduct them home,
And to provide a dinner, for, said he,
I do intend these men shall dine with me.
Then did the steward as his master said,
And brought them home, whereat they were afraid,
And said, The man hath caus'd us to come in,
Because our money was return'd again;
To take occasion now to fall upon us,
And make us slaves, and take our asses from us.
Unto the steward they drew nigh therefore,
And thus communed with him at the door:
O sir, say they, we came at first indeed
To buy provision to supply our need;
And in our inn as we our sacks unloos'd,
We found our money therein all inclos'd
In its full weight, whereat surpris'd with fear,
Not knowing who had put our money there,
We now have brought it in full weight again,
And other money too, to buy more grain.
Peace, peace, said he, let not fear seize upon you
For I had the disposing of your money:
God, unto whom you and your father bow,
Hath giv'n you treasure in your sacks I trow.
And then releasing Simon, who had been
Confin'd in Joseph's house, he brought them in
And set them water, and they wash'd their feet;
And gave their asses provender to eat.
Then they made ready, against Joseph came,
Their gifts, in order to present the same
At noon; for they were told he did design
To have their company with him to dine.
And now when Joseph was returned home,
Into his presence they with rev'rence come,
And brought their presents in and laid before him,
And fell down at his feet for to adore him.
Then he inquired if they all were well,
And said, When you were here I heard you tell
Of an old man, your father, how does he?
Is he in health, or doth he cease to be?
Whereto in humble sort they thus reply'd,
Thy servant, ev'n our father, doth abide
In perfect health, which having said,
They bowed their heads and great obeisance made.
And Joseph viewing Benjamin his brother
(They being both the children of one mother)
He asked if he were the lad of whom
They spake, then said, God give thee grace, my son.
Then making haste to find a secret place
To weep, because his bowels yearn'd apace
Upon his brother, to his chamber went,
Where having giv'n his troubled spirits vent,
He washed his face, and did himself refrain,
And to his brethren then came forth again,
And bade his servants they should set on bread.
At his command the tables were all spread;
One for himself, and for his friends another,
And for the Egyptians one apart from either,
That so they might not eat bread altogether;
For it is held a great abomination
For them to eat among the Hebrew nation,
And they were placed as their age required,
The eldest first, whereat the men admired.
And from his table Joseph sent them messes;
But in a larger manner he expresses
To Benjamin his kindness, which was such,
That he appointed him five times as much
As to the rest: and they drank plenteously,
Till they were merry in his company.
And to his steward Joseph spake, and said,
Give these men corn as much as they can lade;
And in their sacks bind each man's money up,
And in the youngest's put my silver cup
Besides his money: and he made haste and did
According as his master had commanded.
And in the morning by the break of day,
With asses laden they were sent away:
And now, e'er they had scarce the town's end pass'd,
He sent his steward after them in haste,
And said, Go, follow them, and ask them why
They have dealt by me so ungratefully?
And say unto them, You have done great evil
To rob my master, who hath been so civil,
And steal the cup wherein he drinks his wine;
Is it not it whereby he doth divine?
Then he pursu'd and quickly overtook
Them, and these very words to them he spoke.
To whom they said, Why hath my lord such thought?
Oh, God forbid that we should be so naught;
Behold, thou know'st we brought the money back
The which we found bound up in each man's sack,
Which shews that we had no design to cheat;
How then should we now steal your master's plate?
With which of us thy servants it is found
Let him be slain, and we to slavery bound.
Now as you say, said he, so let it be,
He shall be bound, but you shall all go free.
Then they unladed ev'ry man his beast,
And to his view expos'd their sacks in haste.
And he from first to last them searched round,
And lo, the cup on Benjamin was found:
Thereat surpris'd, each man his garment rent,
And lade his beast, and back again they went.
And now when Judah and the rest were come
To Joseph's house, (for he was yet at home)
They fell before him to the ground, to whom
He said, What deed is this that you have done?
Are you not sensible that such a one
As I, can certainly thereof make trial?
Then Judah said, My lord, there's no denial:
We cannot clear ourselves. The Lord hath sent,
For our misdeed, this heavy punishment.
Behold, to be thy slaves we all are bound,
Both we, and he on whom the cup was found.
Then Joseph said, The Lord forbid that I
Should exercise so great severity:
For he with whom 'tis found, and he alone
Shall be my servant, you may all be gone.
Then unto Joseph, Judah drawing near,
Said, O my lord! I pray be pleas'd to hear
Thy servant speak, and be not angry now,
For as King Pharaoh is ev'n so art thou.
My lord did bid thy servants to discover
Whether we had a father or a brother;
And we made answer that thy servants had
An ancient father and a little lad,
The child of his old age, who was our brother,
And he the only child left of his mother,
His brother being dead; and that this lad
Was all the comfort that our father had.
Then thou wert pleas'd to bid thy servants bring
The lad, that thou might'st have a sight of him.
And we made answer, if the lad should leave
His father, it would bring him to his grave:
And thou didst then protest it was in vain
For us without him to come here again.
Then towards home thy servants went their way,
And told our father what my lord did say.
And in a while, when all our corn was spent,
Thy servant, ev'n our father, would have sent
To buy more food; to whom thy servant said,
We cannot go except thou send the lad.
Because the man did solemnly declare,
Unless we brought him we should not come there.
And then thy servant, ev'n our father, said,
Ye know that by my wife two sons I had,
And one of them went forth and came no more,
Which made me think some beast did him devour.
And if I now should also condescend
To let this go, and mischief should attend,
You will with sorrow bring me to my end.
When to my father I shall come therefore,
And he shall see that I do not restore
The lad again, he certainly will die,
(Since in his life my father's life doth lie)
And we shall bring him to his grave thereby.
For I became a surety for the lad
Unto my father, unto whom I said,
If I do not in safety him deliver,
Then let me bear the blame to thee for ever.
I humbly pray thee, therefore, to accept
Me in his stead, and let me here be kept
My lord's bond-slave, and let the lad go free:
For how can I, thy servant, bear to see
The evil that shall on my father come,
If that the lad return not safely home.
Then Joseph, who by no means now could hide
His brotherly affection longer, cry'd,
Put all men forth; and he was left alone
When to his brethren he himself made known.
Then Joseph weeping lifted up his voice
So loud, that Pharaoh's servants heard the noise.
And to his brethren did himself discover,
And said, Lo! I am Joseph your own brother;
And doth my father live? Whereat amaz'd,
They could not speak, but at each other gaz'd.
Then Joseph said, Come near, I pray, behold,
I am your brother Joseph whom ye sold
To Egypt, be not grieved now therefore,
Nor vex yourselves, for God sent me before
To save life; for these two years there hath been
A famine, and five more to come, wherein
Seed time nor harvest shall at all be seen.
The Lord, I say, hath sent me to provide
A place, and strangely save your lives beside.
So now ye sent me not, but it was rather
The Lord, and he hath made me as a father
Unto the king, lord of his household, and
A ruler over all this spacious land.
Unto my father, therefore, go your way,
And tell him, Thus doth thy son Joseph say:
The Lord hath rais'd me to a high degree
In Egypt, tarry not, but come to me,
And thou shalt dwell in Goshen and be nigh me,
And with provision there will I supply thee;
Both thou and thine, flocks, herds, and all thou hast,
(For yet these five years will the famine last)
Lest otherwise, provision being scant,
Thou and thy family may come to want.
Behold, both you and Benjamin my brother
Do see that it is I and not another.
Go tell my father this amazing story,
And bring him hither to behold my glory.
Then falling on his youngest brother's neck,
And he on his, they o'er each other wept.
And to the rest he did likewise, wherefore
They now were more familiar than before.
And now whilst they discoursed, the report
Of their arrival came to Pharaoh's court,
And he was pleas'd thereat, wherefore he said
To Joseph, let thy brethren straightway lade
Their beasts with corn, and thus unto them say,
Unto your native country haste away,
And fetch your father, and your households, and
I'll feed you with the good things of the land;
And since you are commanded by the king,
Take wagons with you hence wherein to bring
Your wives, your little ones, and come down hither,
Your father, you and yours altogether;
And never heed to bring your household stuff,
For here in Egypt you shall have enough.
Then did the Isr'elites accordingly:
And Joseph ordering them a large supply
Of necessaries for their journey, sent
Wagons according to the king's intent.
And to each man he gave a suit of clothes,
But on his brother Benjamin bestows
Five suits, and as a token of his love,
A sum of money over and above.
And thus he sent ev'n for his father's use,
Of the best things that Egypt did produce,
Ten asses load, and ten she asses load
Of bread and meat, to spend upon the road.
Then sending them away, he said, I pray
See that you do not fall out by the way.
And leaving Egypt with their num'rous train,
Unto their father they returned again:
To whom, as soon as e'er they did arrive,
They said, Our brother Joseph's yet alive,
And lord of all the land, which sore dismay'd
Him, for he scarce believed what they said.
Then they of all that pass'd gave him relation.
And shewed the wagons for a confirmation
Which being manifest before his eyes,
He rais'd himself, and said, It doth suffice;
Joseph my son is yet alive, and I
Will go to see him once before I die.
Then Isr'el setting forward on his way
With all his household, came to Beersheba;
And offer'd sacrifice there to implore
The God his father Isaac did adore.
And in the visions of the night God spake
To him, and said, Fear not to undertake
This journey into Egypt, for I am
The God of thy forefathers, Abraham
And Isaac; to the land of Egypt I
Will go with thee, and there will multiply
Thy offspring, and of thee will surely make
A mighty nation, and will bring thee back;
And thy son Joseph there thine eyes shall close.
After which vision he from thence arose,
And in the wagons which King Pharaoh sent,
He and his family to Egypt went:
His sons, their wives and children, and the rest
Of their concerns, whereof they were possest
When they in Canaan dwelt, and they were then
No more in number but threescore and ten.
And when to Egypt Israel drew near
He sent before him Judah, to prepare
His way to Goshen, which when Joseph heard,
Immediately his chariot he prepar'd;
And unto Goshen he directly went,
And to his father did himself present:
And being over-joy'd fell on his neck,
And for a good while thereupon he wept.
Then Jacob said, Since thou yet liv'st, and I
Have seen thy face once more, now let me die.
And Joseph said, My brethren I will go
Unto King Pharaoh, and will let him know
That you, and all my father's house are come;
And that your occupation when at home,
Hath been in feeding cattle altogether,
And that you've brought your flocks and herds all hither.
Now therefore when you come before the king,
And he should ask you what your trade hath been,
Say thus: Thy servants from our youth till now
Have dealt in cattle, we and our fathers too,
That he may let you dwell in Goshen, for
Th' Egyptians do a shepherd's life abhor.
Then to King Pharaoh Joseph went and said,
My father and his sons, with all they had
In their own country, are come down to me,
And in the land of Goshen now they be.
Five of his brethren also with him went,
Whom he unto King Pharaoh did present,
And Pharaoh asked them about their trade,
And they unto the king reply'd and said:
We and our fathers while we were at home
Were shepherds all, and now behold, we come
With all our flocks, to get some pasture here,
For in our land the famine is severe.
We therefore pray thee to appoint a portion
Unto thy servants in the land of Goshen.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I empow'r thee
To use thy pleasure, Goshen is before thee;
Settle thy father and thy brethren there,
And if among them active men there are,
Commit my cattle to their special care.
And Joseph brought his aged father in
Before the king, and Jacob blessed him.
And Pharaoh asking him about his age,
He said, The years of my life's pilgrimage
Are but an hundred thirty, very few
And evil, nor have I attain'd unto
The years of my forefathers longer age,
Which they pass'd thro' in this their pilgrimage.
And Jacob bless'd the king again, and then
Out of his presence he return'd again.
And Joseph plac'd his father and relations
In Egypt, and appointed them possessions
In the best of the land, ev'n in the land
Of Rameses, according to the king's command:
And there he nourished them with fit supplies
Of bread, according to their families.
And now the people having spent their store,
And famine still increasing more and more,
Egypt and Canaan too, for want of bread,
Were sore distress'd and almost famished.
And Joseph took the money they did bring
To buy their corn, and kept it for the king.
Wherefore the people came to represent
Their case to him, both corn and coin being spent.
And Joseph said, If money be grown scant,
Bring me your cattle and ye shall not want.
And they brought horses, asses, and their flocks
And herds of cattle, ev'n all their stocks,
And gave to Joseph in exchange for bread,
For which the people he for that year fed:
And when that year was past, the second year
They came again, and said, We can't forbear
To let thee know our want, my lord doth know
Thou hast our money and our cattle too,
And there is nothing left (so hard's our fate)
But only each man's person and estate:
If thou wilt give us bread, into thy hands
Will we resign our persons and our lands:
And be the servants of the king for ever.
From death therefore our hungry souls deliver,
And take some pity on our wretched state,
Lest we die, and the land be desolate.
And the Egyptians sold each man his field,
Because the famine over them prevail'd;
And all their lands became the king's possession,
And Joseph placed them at his own discretion.
But the land of the priests he purchased not,
For Pharaoh had assigned to them their lot:
And they received their food from Pharaoh's hands,
Wherefore they had no need to sell their lands.
And Joseph said unto them, Now behold,
You and your lands are unto Pharaoh sold:
Lo! here is seed to sow in each man's field,
And when the land its ripe increase shall yield,
A fifth part shall belong unto the crown,
And the other four parts shall be your own,
For seed to sow your lands, and for supplies
Of food convenient for your families.
And they said; Thou hast sav'd our lives, my lord,
Thy gracious favour unto us afford,
And we will do according to thy word.
And Joseph made it a decree, to stand
Ev'n to this day throughout th' Egyptian land;
That Pharaoh should have a fifth part, except
The priests' lands, which unto themselves they kept.
And in the land of Egypt ev'n in Goshen,
Did Isr'el dwell, and therein had possession;
And grew and multiply'd exceeding fast.
And Jacob liv'd till seventeen years were past:
So that the sum of Jacob's age appears
To be an hundred forty-seven years.
And when the time approach'd that he must die,
He called Joseph, unto whom he said, If I
Have now found favour in thy sight, I pray,
Swear thou unto me that thou wilt not lay
My bones in Egypt, for I fain would lie
Among my ancestors when e'er I die,
And not be bury'd here; therefore fulfil
This my desire; and he reply'd, I will:
And he said, Swear unto me, which he did:
Then Jacob bow'd himself upon his bed.
And now when Joseph heard his father lay
Even at the point of death he hastes away
To visit him, and took along with him
His son Manasseh, and's son Ephraim.
Whereof when Jacob heard he strength'ned
Himself, and rose and sat upon the bed:
And thus to Joseph said, Lo! God appeared
To me at Luz in Canaan, and declared,
That he would bless, and make me a great nation,
And give my seed that land for a possession:
And Jacob said, Behold, these sons of thine
As Reuben and as Simeon shall be mine;
And all the rest that shall be born to thee
Hereafter, shall be thine, and they shall be
Call'd by the name of their own family.
Behold thy mother died upon the way,
When I from Padan came, near Ephratah,
The which is in the land of Canaan, where,
To wit, in Bethlem, did I bury her.
And Jacob seeing Joseph's sons were there,
He asked of him who the children were.
And Joseph said, My father, lo! these be
The sons, God in this place hath given me.
Then Jacob said, I pray thee bring them nigh
To me, and I will bless them e'er I die.
(Now Jacob's eyes, by reason of age, were dim)
And Joseph brought his sons near unto him,
And Jacob kissed and embraced them:
And said, I never thought to see thy face,
And lo! the Lord hath shewn me of thy race.
And Joseph from between his knees brought forth
His sons, and bow'd himself even to the earth:
And in his right hand held up Ephraim,
Towards his father's left hand guiding him
And in his left hand to his father's right,
He held his son Manasseh opposite.
And Isra'l stretching our his right hand, laid
It on the youngest, namely Ephraim's head:
And laid his left hand wittingly upon
Manasseh's head, although the eldest son.
And Jacob blessed Joseph, saying, The God
Of heaven, in whose paths my fathers trod,
Who all my life hath nourish'd me, even he
Who from all evil hath redeemed me,
Bless both the lads, and let them bear my name,
And the name of my fathers Abraham
And Isaac, and let them multiply
In the midst of the earth exceedingly.
And Joseph seeing his father's right hand laid
On Ephraim's head, he was displeas'd, and said,
Not so, my father, lay this hand upon
Manasseh's head, for he's the eldest son:
And therewithal attempted to have laid
His father's right hand on Manasseh's head
But he refus'd and said, I know't my son,
I know't full well, he also shall become
A people, and be mighty: But indeed
His younger brother shall him far exceed,
And many nations shall come from his seed.
Thus Jacob blessed them, and said, In thee
Shall Isra'l bless, and say, God make thee be
Like Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus did he
Prefer the youngest to the first degree.
And Isra'l said to Joseph, Lo! I die,
But God shall visit you, and certainly
Shall bring you back unto your father's land.
And thou shalt have a portion from my hand,
Above thy brethren, which with sword and bow
I took from th' Amorite, my deadly foe.
And Jacob called all his sons together,
And said, Ye sons of Jacob come you hither:
And hearken what your aged father says,
Who tells you what shall be in the last days.
Reuben my first born, of my strength the flow'rs,
The excellency of dignity and power:
Unstable as water, be for ever vile,
Because thou did thy father's bed defile.
Simeon and Levi 're brethren. Instruments
Of cruelty lodged in their tents.
Come not, my soul, their secret councils nigh,
My honour, with them have no unity:
For in their wrath they caused a man to fall,
And in their self-will digged down a wall.
Curs'd be their anger, fierce, yea cursed be
Their wrath, for it was full of cruelty.
In Jacob therefore let their seed be spread,
And every where in Israel scattered.
Judah shall have his brethren's praise, and they
Shall bow before him; he his foes shall slay.
Judah's a lion's whelp return'd from prey,
He stoop'd, he couch'd, and as a lion lay;
As an old lion, who shall dare molest,
Or rouse him up, when he lies down to rest.
The sceptre shall from Judah never start,
Nor a lawgiver from his feet depart;
Until the blessed Shiloh come, to whom
The scatter'd people shall from all parts come:
Binding his foal unto the choicest vine,
He wash'd his garments, all of them in wine:
His eyes shall with the blood of th' grapes look red,
And milky whiteness shall his teeth o'erspread.
Lo! Zabulon shall dwell upon the sea,
And heaven for the ship's security,
And unto Zidon shall his border be.
And Issachar is a strong ass between
Two burdens crouching, who when he had seen
That rest was pleasant, and the land was good,
His servile neck unto the yoke he bow'd.
Dan as a judge shall over Isra'l sway,
He shall be as a serpent in the way,
To bite the horse, and cast the rider down.
O God! I have look'd for thy salvation.
Gad by a troop shall be o'ercome, but he
Shall at the last obtain the victory.
The bread of Ashur shall be fat indeed,
And royal dainties shall from his proceed.
Like to a hind let loose is Naphtali,
He speaketh all his words acceptably.
Joseph's a fruitful bough, whose branches tall
Grow by a well, and over-top the wall:
By reason of hatred which the archers bore,
They shot at him and griev'd him very sore,
But Joseph's bow in its full strength abode
And by the arm of Jacob's mighty God,
He was indu'd with strength, from whence alone
Is Isra'l's shepherd, and chief corner-stone:
Ev'n by my father's God, who shall assist
Thee, by th' Almighty God shalt thou be blest,
With blessings from above, and from below,
With blessings of the breast, and womb also.
Thy father's blessings have prevail'd beyond
My ancestors. Unto the utmost bound
Of the perpetual hills, yea let them rest
On Joseph's head, and let him be possest
Of all, who was divided from the rest.
Young Benjamin shall wolf-like take his prey,
And part by night what he hath took by day.
All these are the ten tribes of Israel,
And thus their father did their fate foretell:
And blessed every one of them apart,
According to their personal desert.
Moreover he gave them a charge and said,
Lo! I shall die, but let my bones be laid
Among my ancestors in Canaan, where
Of Ephron, Abraham bought a sepulchre,
Together with a field, to be a place
Of burial, for him and all his race.
(There Abraham and Sarah lie, and there
They Isaac and Rebecca did inter,
And there when Leah died I buried her.)
The field was purchas'd of the sons of Heth.
Thus having said, resigning up his breath
To him that gave 't, his feet into the bed
He drew, and so was number'd to the dead.
And Joseph fell upon his father's face,
And did with tears his lifeless lips embrace:
And sends for his physicians and advises
Them to embalm his father's corpse with spices.
And they did so, and forty days did pass.
(For so the manner of embalming was)
And the Egyptians mourned for the space
Of three score and ten days, which being expired
He spake to Pharaoh's servants and desired,
That they would please to speak in Pharaoh's ear,
And tell him that my father made me swear,
That I should bury him in Canaan, where
He hath provided his own sepulchre.
I therefore pray thee that I may obtain
Thy leave, and I will soon return again.
And Pharaoh said, Since thou hast sworn, fulfil
Thy oath, according to thy father's will.
And Joseph went up to accompany
His father's corpse with great solemnity.
And with him went up Pharaoh's servants, and
The prime nobility of all the land,
And Joseph's household, and his brethren all,
Only their flocks, and herds, and children small
Were left behind. Moreover there went up
Chariots and horsemen, ev'n a mighty troop.
And they came up to Atad's threshing floor
Beyond the river Jordan, where full sore
They mourned for him till seven days were past,
So long their mourning in that place did last.
Which when the Canaanites beheld they said,
Surely some eminent Egyptian's dead.
Wherefore they call'd it Abel-mizraim.
Thus did his sons as he commanded them.
For to the land of Canaan they convey'd
Him, and in Machpelah near Mamre, laid
His body in the cave which Ephron sold
To Abraham, for him and his to hold.
And thus when Joseph fully had perform'd
His father's will, to Egypt he return'd,
Together with his brethren, and with all
Them that came with him to the funeral.
Now Joseph's brethren being well aware
That they were fatherless, began to fear
That he would hate them, and requite them all
The evil they had treated him withal.
Wherefore to him they sent a messenger
And said, Behold our father did declare
Before he died, that we should come and say,
Forgive thy brethren's trespasses, I pray;
And their misdeeds, for they have been unkind.
And now we humbly pray thee be inclin'd
To pardon our offences, and the rather
For that we serve the God e'en of thy father.
And Joseph wept when they thus spake, and they
Came nearer, and before him prostrate lay,
And said, We are thy servants all this day.
And Joseph bad them not to be afraid,
For in the place of God am I he said:
For though you meant me ill, God meant it good,
And sent me hither to provide you food.
Now therefore trouble not yourselves, for I
Will nourish you, and all your family.
After this manner did he satisfy,
And treat them with extreme civility.
And Joseph and his father's house remain'd
In Egypt, and he liv'd till he attain'd
An hundred and ten years, and liv'd to see
Of Ephraim's children to the third degree.
And Macher's children of Manasseh's tribe
Were also born some time before he died.
Then Joseph said, My brethren, lo! I die,
But God will visit you undoubtedly;
And to that land again whereof he spake
Unto our ancestors, will bring you back.
And Joseph also made his brethren swear,
That they would not inter his body there.
And thus he ended his life's pilgrimage,
Being an hundred and ten years of age;
And was embalm'd, and in a coffin laid,
In Egypt, till he could be thence convey'd.
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES
Unto the twelve tribes scattered abroad,
James, an apostle of the living God,
And of the Lord Christ Jesus, salutation.
My brethren, when you fall into temptation
Of divers kinds, rejoice, as men that know
From trial of your faith doth patience flow.
But let your patience have its full effect,
That you may be entire, without defect.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him cry
To God, and he will give it lib'rally,
And not upbraid. But let him ask in faith,
Not wavering, for he that wavereth,
Unto a wave o' th' sea I will compare,
Driv'n with the wind and tossed here and there.
For let not such a man himself deceive,
To think that he shall from the Lord receive.
A double-minded man most surely lacketh
Stability in all he undertaketh.
Let ev'ry brother of a low degree
Rejoice in that he is advanc'd, but he
That's rich in being made low, for he shall pass
Away, as doth the flow'r of the grass.
For as the grass, soon as the sun doth rise,
Is scorch'd by reason of the heat, and dies;
Its flow'r fades, and it retains no more
The beauteous comeliness it had before,
So fades the rich man, maugre all his store.
The man is blest that doth endure temptation
For when he's try'd, the crown of God's salvation,
The which the Lord hath promised to give
To them that love him, that man shall receive.
Let no man be possest with a persuasion,
To say, when he falls under a temptation,
That God's the cause; for with no evil can
God be tempted, nor tempts he any man.
But every man is tempted when he's drawn
Away, and by his lusts prevail'd upon;
Then when lust hath conceiv'd, it ushereth
In sin, and sin when finished brings death.
Err not, my brethren, whom I dearly love,
Each good and perfect gift is from above,
Down from th' original of lights descending,
With whom's no change, nor shadow thereto tending,
According to his own good pleasure, he
Begat us with the word of truth, that we
Should as the first fruits of his creatures be.
Wherefore, beloved brethren, I entreat
You to be swift to hear, and slow to speak,
And slow to wrath, for wrath cannot incline
The sons of men to righteousness divine.
Wherefore avoiding ev'ry filthiness,
And superfluity of naughtiness:
Receive with meekness the engrafted word,
Which can salvation to your souls afford.
But be ye doers of the word each one,
And not deceive yourselves to hear alone;
For he that hears the word and doth it not,
Is like unto a man that hath forgot
What kind of man he was, tho' in a glass
He just before beheld his nat'ral face.
But whoso minds the law of liberty
In its perfection, and continually
Abides therein, forgets not what he's heard,
But doth the work and therein hath reward.
If any man among you seem to be
Religious, he deceives himself if he
Doth not his tongue as with a bit restrain;
And all that man's religion is but vain.
Religion, pure and undefil'd, which is
Acceptable before the Lord, is this:
To visit widows and the fatherless,
In time of their affliction or distress;
And so to regulate his conversation,
As to be spotless in his generation.
Faith of the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ,
Doth with respect of persons not consist;
For if, my brethren, when there shall come in
To your assembly one with a gold ring,
In goodly clothes, and there shall also be
Another man that's meanly cloth'd, and ye
Shall have respect to him in rich attire,
And say unto him, come thou, sit up higher;
And bid the poor man stand or sit below,
Are ye not partial then, and plainly show,
That you do judge amiss in what you do?
Hearken, my brethren, hath not God elected
The poor, who by this world have been rejected;
Yet rich in faith, and of that kingdom heirs,
Which God will give his foll'wers to be theirs?
But you, my brethren, do the poor despise.
Do not the rich men o'er you tyrannise;
And hale ye to their courts; that worthy name
By which you're call'd do not they blaspheme?
Then if ye do the royal law fulfil,
To love thy neighbour as thyself, 'tis well,
According to the scripture; but if ye
Shall have respect to persons, ye shall be
Guilty of sin, and by the law condemn'd,
As such who have its righteousness contemn'd.
For he that shall but in one point offend,
Breaks the whole law, whate'er he may pretend.
For he that doth forbid adultery,
Forbids likewise all acts of cruelty.
Now tho' thou be not an adulterer,
Yet if thou kill, thou shalt thy judgment bear.
So speak and do as those men that shall be
Judg'd by the perfect law of liberty:
For he shall judgment without mercy know;
That to his neighbour doth no mercy show;
And mercy triumphs against judgment too.
Brethren what profit is't if a man saith
That he hath faith, and hath not works; can faith
Save him? If any of the brotherhood
Be destitute of clothes or daily food,
And one of you shall say, Depart in peace,
Be warned or be ye fill'd ne'ertheless.
Ye do not furnish them with what they need,
Wat boots it? Thus faith without works is dead.
Yea may a man say, thou dost faith profess,
And I good works, to me thy faith express
Without thy works, and I will plainly show
My faith unto thee by the works I do.
Thou dost believe there is one God, 'tis true,
The devils do believe and tremble too.
But wilt thou know, vain man, that faith is dead,
Which with good works is not accompany'd.
Was not our father Abraham justify'd
By works, and by the same his faith was try'd;
When he his Isaac to the altar brought;
Seest thou how with his works his faith then wrought?
And with his works he perfected his faith?
And so the scripture was fulfill'd, which saith,
Abraham believed God, and 'twas imputed
For righteousness, and he God's friend reputed.
Thus may you see, that by works ev'ry one
Is justify'd, and not by faith alone.
Thus was the harlot Rahab justify'd
By works, when she the messengers did hide,
And by another way their feet did guide.
For as the body's dead without the spirit,
So aith without works never can inherit.
Affect not, brethren, superiority,
As knowing that we shall receive thereby
The greater condemnation in the end:
For we in many things do all offend.
Who doth not with his tongue offend, he can
Guide his whole body, he's a perfect man.
Behold, in horses' mouths we bridles put,
To rule and turn their bodies quite about.
Behold likewise the ships, which tho' they be
Of mighty bulk, and thro' the raging sea
Are driv'n by the strength of winds, yet they
By a small helm the pilot's will obey.
Ev'n so the tongue of man, which tho' it be
But a small member, in a high degree
It boasts of things. Behold, we may remark
How great a matter's kindled by a spark.
The tongue's a fire, a world of ill, which plac'd
Among the members, often has disgrac'd
All the whole body, firing the whole frame
Of nature, and is kindl'd by hell flame.
All kind of beasts and birds that can be nam'd,
Serpents and fishes, are and have been tam'd
By mankind; but the tongue can no man tame,
A stubborn evil full of deadly bane.
We therewith God the Father bless, and we
Therewith curse men made like the Deity:
Blessing and cursing from the same mouth flow,
These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.
Is any fountain of so strange a nature,
At once to send forth sweet and bitter water?
Can olives, brethren, on a fig-tree grow,
Or figs on vines? no more can water flow
From the same fountain sweet and bitter too.
He that's endu'd with wisdom and discretion
Amongst you, let that may by the profession
Of meekness, wisely give a demonstration,
Of all his works, from a good conversation.
But if your hearts are full of bitterness
And strife, boast not, nor do the truth profess.
This wisdom is not from above descending,
But earthly, sensual, and to evil tending:
For where there's strife and envying there's confusion
And ev'ry evil work in the conclusion.
But the true wisdom that is from above,
Is, in the first place, pure, then full of love,
Then gentle and entreated easily,
Next merciful, without partiality,
Full of good fruits, without hypocrisy.
And what is more, the fruits of righteousness
Is sown in peace, of them that do make peace.
From whence come wars and fights, come they not hence,
Ev'n from th' inordinate concupiscence
That in your members prompts to variance?
You lust and have not, kill and desire to have;
But ne'ertheless obtain not what you crave.
With war and fighting ye contend, yet have not
The things which you desire, because you crave not;
Ye crave but don't receive, the reason's just,
Ye crave amiss to spend it on your lust.
You that live in adultery, know not ye
The friendship of the world is enmity
With God? He is God's enemy therefore
That doth the friendship of the world adore.
Do ye think that th' scripture saith in vain,
The spirit that lusts to hate, doth in you reign?
But he bestows more grace, wherefore he says,
God scorns the proud, but doth the humble raise.
Unto the Lord therefore submissive be,
Resist the devil and he'll from you flee.
Draw nigh to God, and he'll to you draw nigh.
Make clean your hands you sinners, purify
Your hearts you double-minded, weep and mourn,
And be afflicted, let your laughter turn
To sorrow, and your joy to sadness: stoop
Before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
My brethren, speak not evil of each other;
He that doth judge and speak ill of his brother,
Doth judge and speak ill of the law; therefore
If thou dost judge the law, thou art no more
A doer of the same, but dost assume
The judgment-seat, and art thyself become
A judge thereof. There is but one law-giver,
That's able to destroy and to deliver;
Who then art thou that dost condemn thy neighbour?
Go to now, you that say, to such a place
To-morrow will we go, and for the space
Of one whole year, or so, will there remain,
And buy and sell, and get great store of gain:
Whereas ye know not what a day may do.
For what's the life of man? Ev'n like unto
A vapour, which, tho' for a while it may
Appear, it quickly vanisheth away.
So that ye ought to say, If God permit
Us life and health, we will accomplish it.
But now ye glory in your confidence,
Such glorying is of evil consequence.
He therefore that doth know, and doth not act
The thing that's good, doth guilt thereby contract.
Go to now, O ye rich men, howl and cry,
Because of your approaching misery:
Your riches are corrupted, and the moths
Have ent'red, and have eaten up your clothes.
Your gold and silver's canker'd, and the rust
Thereof, shall be an evidence that's just
Against you, and like fire your flesh devour:
Against the last days ye have heap'd up store.
The hire of them that reaped down your field,
The which by you is wrongfully withheld.
Cries, and the voice thereof hath reach'd the ears
Ev'n of the God of sabbath, and he hears.
Your lives in pleasure ye on earth have led,
And as in days of slaughter nourished
Your wanton hearts, and have condemn'd and slain
The just, and he doth not resist again.
Be patient therefore, brethren, ev'n unto
The coming of the Lord: behold, ev'n so
The husbandman expecteth patiently
The precious increase of the earth to see,
With patience waiting till he doth obtain
The showers of early and of latter rain.
So be ye patient, fixing stedfastly
Your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draws nigh.
Grieve not each other, brethren, lest ye bear
The condemnation; lo! the judge stands near.
The prophets, brethren, who all heretofore
In the name of the Lord their witness bore,
Take for examples in their sufferings
And patience: they that endure such things,
Ye know are counted blest. Have ye not read
Of Job, how patiently he suffered?
Have ye not seen in him what was God's end;
How he doth pity and great love extend?
My brethren, but above all things forbear,
By heav'n or earth, or otherwise to swear;
But let your yea be yea, your nay be nay,
Lest ye become reprovable I say.
Let him sing psalms that's merry; he that's griev'd,
Let him by prayer seek to be reliev'd.
If any of you by sickness be distress'd,
Let him the elders of the church request
That they would come and pray for him a while;
Anointing him in the Lord's name with oil;
So shall the pray'r that is of faith restore
The sick, and God shall raise him as before.
And all th' offences which he hath committed
Shall be forgiv'n, and he shall be acquitted.
Confess your faults each one unto his brother,
And put up supplications for each other,
That so you may be heal'd; the fervency
Of just men's prayers prevails effectually.
Elias was a man as frail as we are,
And he was earnest with the Lord in pray'r,
That there might be no rain, and for the space
Of three years and six months no rain there was:
And afterward, when he again made suit,
The heav'n gave rain, the earth brought forth her fruit.
If any one shall from the truth desert,
And one, my brethren, shall that man convert;
Let him be sure, that he that doth recall
The poor backsliding sinner from his fall,
Shall save a soul from death, and certainly
Shall hide a multitude of sins thereby.
1. Grace Abounding, No. 3.
2. George Herbert, in that admirable poem called 'The Temple,' introduces his reader tot he church porch thus:--
'Thou, whose sweet youth and early hopes enhance
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure;
Hearken unto a verser, who may chance
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure.
A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.'
3. 'An husband,' c. i. 12.
4. 'Set abroach,' in a posture to run out, or yield the liquor contained.--Ed.
5. 'An ephah,' a measure containing three pecks and three pints.--Calmet.
6. Similar to Christian's exclamation, when calling to Faithful to stop and bear him company. See Pilgrim's Progress, Part 1st.
7. These lines, and those on the next page, 'The eye's the light o' th' body,' remind one of Bunyan's style in his Apology for the Pilgrim's Progress,--
'Dost thou love picking meat? Or would'st thou see
A man i' th' clouds, and hear him speak to thee?'--Ed.
8. A cover, a booth, bower, or hut made of the boughs of trees.--Ed.
9. 'He owes,' a contraction for 'he owneth.'--Ed.
10. The word translated 'divine,' means to eye subtly, to search, to try. Verse 5 may be rendered, 'And he will search deeply for it'; and in verse 15, 'Know ye not that a man like me would search deeply,' alluding to the certainty of detection, but not by divination.--Ed.
11. 'So naught,' so corrupt, bad, or worthless.--Ed.
12. The mourning of Egypt.--Ed.
13. By a typographical error, in the original edition, it is misprinted CHAP. XLVI.
14. How admirably does Bunyan enlarge upon this in his 'Peaceable principles yet true.'