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Colonial Beginnings

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But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half-amazed at this poor people's present condition; and so I think will be the reader too, when he well considers the same. Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembered by that which went before), they had now no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies, no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek for succor. It is recorded in scripture as a mercy to the apostle and his shipwrecked company, that the barbarians showed them no small kindness in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they met with them (as will after appear) were readier to fill their sides full of arrows than otherwise. And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an unknown coast. Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men? And what multitudes there might be of them they knew not. Neither could they, as it were, go up to the top of Pisgah, to view from this wilderness a more goodly country to feed their hopes; for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to heaven) they could have little solace or content in respect of any outward objects. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weather-beaten face; and the whole country full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew. If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world. If it be said they had a ship to succor them, it is true; but what heard they daily from the master and company? But that with speed they should look out a place with their shallop, where they would be at some near distance; for the season was such as he would not stir from thence till a safe harbor was discovered by them where they would be, and he might go without danger; and that victells consumed apace, but he must and would keep sufficient for themselves and their return. Yea, it was muttered by some, that if they got not a place in time, they would turn them and their goods ashore and leave them. Let it also be considered what weak hopes of supply and succor they left behind them, that might bear up their minds and in this sad condition and trials they were under and could not but be very small. It is true, indeed, the affections and love of their brethren at Leyden was cordial and entire towards them, but they had little power to help them, or themselves; and how the case stood between them and the merchants at their coming away, hath already been declared. What could now sustain them but the spirit of God and his grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our fathers were English men which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness, but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, etc. Let them therefore praise the Lord, show how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert and wilderness out of the way, and found no cite to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderful works before the sons of men.
I am now come to Mr. Lyford. His time being now expired, his censure was to take place. He was so far from answering the hopes by amendment in the time, as he has doubled his evil, as is before noted. But first behold the hand of God concerning him wherein that of the Psalmist is verified. He hath made a pit, and dug it, and is fallen into the pit he made. He thought to bring shame and disgrace upon them, but instead thereof opens his ovine to all the world. For when he was dealt with all about his second letter, his wife was so affected with his doings, as she could no longer conceal her grief and sorrow of mind, but opens the same to one of her deacons and some other of her friends, and after uttered the same to Mr. Pierce upon his arrival. Which was to this purpose, that she feared some great judgment of God would fall upon them, and upon her, for her husband's cause; now that they were to remove, she feared to fall into the Indians' hands, and to be defiled by them, as he had defiled other women; or some such like judgment, as God had threatened David, "I will raise up evil against thee, and take thy wives and give them, etc." And upon it showed how he had wronged her, as first he had a bastard by another before they were married, and she having some inkling of some ill carriage that way, when he was a suitor to her, she told him what she heard and denied him; but she not certainly knowing the thing, otherwise then by some dark and secret mutterings, he not only stiffly denied it, but to satisfy her took a solemn oath there was no such matter. Upon which she gave consent, and married with him; but afterwards it was found true, and the bastard brought home to them. She then charged him with his oath, but he prayed pardon, and said he should else not have had her. And yet afterwards she could keep no maids but he would be meddling with them, and some she hath taken him in the manner, as they lay at their beds feet, with such other circumstances as I am ashamed to relate. The woman being a grave matron and of good carriage all the while she was here, and spoke these things out of sorrow of the heart, sparingly, and yet with some further intimations. And that which did most seem to affect her (as they conceived) was, to see his former carriage in his repentance, not only here with the church, but formerly about these things; shedding tears, and using great and sad eis xpressions, and yet eftsone fall into the like things.
All this while no supply was heard of [from communistic distribution], neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor [Bradford] gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general ways as before. [No more communistic distribution of land/crops] And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number (family size), for that end, only for present use (but made no divisions for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. [Makes no mention of the communistic distribution in apostolic time.] The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well envice the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. [Bradford against communism, claiming that with Commonweal nothing is can be public, nothing is private. He even claims that Commonwealth is against the law of God and nature; but he does not reconcile the communistic economy that the Apostles held.] For this community (so far as it is) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine (fret, complain) that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man if parts (abilities) had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and the graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for the men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this [communism] is men's corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.
Also, the people of the Plantation (Plymouth) began to grow in their outward estates, by reason of the flowing of many people into the country, especially into the Bay of Massachusetts. By which means corn and cattle rose to a great price (inflation because more and more people came in with money and there was not enough corn and cattle to supply). And yet in other regards this benefit turned to their hurt, and this accession of strength to their weakness. For now as their stocks increased and increase vendable, there was no longer any holding them together, but now they must of necessity go to their great lots. They could not otherwise keep their cattle, and having oxen grown they must have land for plowing and tillage. And no man now thought he could live except he had cattle and a great deal of ground to keep them, all striving to increase their stocks. By which means they were scattered all over the Bay quickly and the town in which they lived compactly till now was left very thin and in a short time almost desolate [People left Plymouth in search of ground to feed their cattle to sell to the pilgrims.] And if this had been all, it had been less, though too much; but the church must also be divided and those that have lived so long together in Christian and comfortable fellowship must now part and suffer many divisions. First, those that lived on their lots on the other side of the Bay, called Duxbury, they could not long bring their wives and children to the public worship and church meetings here, but with such burden as, growing to some competent number, they pleaded to be dismissed and become a body of themselves. And so they were dismissed about this time, though very unwillingly. But to touch this sad matter, and handle things together that fell out afterward; to prevent any further scattering from this place and weakening of the same, it was thought best to give out some good farms to special persons that would promise to live at Plymouth, and likely to be helpful to the church or commonwealth, and so tie the hands of Plymouth as farms for the same; and there they might keep their cattle and tillage by some servants and retain their dwellings here. And so some special lands were granted at a place general called Green's Harbor, where no allotments had been in the former division, a place very well meadowed and fit to keep and rear cattle good store. But alas, this remedy proved worse than the disease; for within a few years, those that had thus got footing there rent themselves away, partly by force and partly wearing the rest with importunity and pleas of necessity, so as they might either suffer them to go or live in continual opposition and contention. And other still, as they conceived themselves straitened or to want accommodation, broke away after one pretense or another, thinking their own conceived necessity and the example of others a warrant sufficient for them. And this, I fear will be the ruin of New England, at least of the churches of God there, and will provoke the Lord's displeasure against them.
Many having left this place (as is before noted) by reason of the straitness and barrenness of the same and their finding of better accommodations elsewhere more suitable to their ends and minds; and sundry others still upon every occasion desiring their demission, the church began seriously to think whether it were not better jointly to remove to some other place than to be thus weakened and as it were insensibly dissolved. Many meetings and much consultation was held hereabout, and divers were men's minds and opinions. Some were still for staying together in this place, alleging men might here live if they would be content with their condition, and that it was not for want or necessity so much that they removed as for enriching of themselves. Others were resolute upon removal and so signified that there could not stay; but if the church did not remove, they must. Insomuch as many were swayed rather than there should be a dissolution, to condescend to a removal if a fit place could be found that might more conveniently and comfortably receive the whole, with such accession of others as might come to them for their bitter strength and subsistence; and some such-like cautions and limitations.
So as, with the aforesaid provisos, the greater part consented to a removal to a place called Nauset, which had been superficially viewed and the good-will of the purchasers to whom it belonged obtained, with some addition thereto from the Court. But now they began to see their error, that they had given away already the best and most commodious places to others, and now wanted themselves. For this place was about 50 miles from hence, and at an outside of the country remote from all society; and that it would prove so strait as it would not be competent to receive the whole body, much less be capable of any addition or increase; so as, at least in a short time, they should be worst there than they are now here. The which with sundry other like considerations and inconveniences made them change their resolutions. But such as were before resolved upon removal took advantage of this agreement and went on, notwithstanding; neither could the rest hinder them, they having made some beginning. And thus was this poor church left, like an ancient mother grown old and forsaken for her children, though not in their affections yet in regard of their bodily presence and personal helpfulness; her ancient members being most of them worn away by death, and these of later times being like children translated into their families, and she was like a widow left only to trust in God. Thus, she that had made many rich became herself poor.
The first two years I spent in Cambridge was in studying and in much neglect of God and private prayer which I had sometime used, and I did not regard the Lord at all unless it were at some fits. The third year, wherein I was a Sophister, I began to be foolish and proud and to show myself in public schools, and there to be a disputer about things which now I see did not know then at all but only prated about them. And toward the end of this year when I was most vile (after I had been next unto the gates of death by the smallpox the year before), the Lord began to take me home to the fellowship of his grace, which was in this manner: I. I do remember that I had many good affections but blind and unconstant) oft cast into me since my father's sickness by the spirit of God wrestling with me, and hence I would pray in secret. And hence when I was at Cambridge I heard old Doctor Chaderton, the Master of the College, when I came, and the first year I was there to hear him upon a Sacrament day my heart was much affected, but I did break loose from the Lord again. And half a year after I heard Mr. Dickinson common-place in the chapel upon those words—I will not destroy it for ten's sake (Genesis 19)—and then again was much affected, but I shook this off also and fell from God to loose and lewd company, to lust and pride, and gambling and bowling and drinking. And yet the Lord left me not, but a godly scholar, walking with me, fell to discourse about the misery of every man out of Christ, that whatever they did was sin and this did much affected me. And at another time when I did light in godly company I heard them discourse about the wrath of God and the terror of it and how intolerable it was, which they did present by fire: how intolerable the torment of that was for a time—what then would eternity be! And this did much awaken me, and I began to pray again. But then by loose company I came to dispute in the schools and there to join to loose scholars of other colleges and was fearfully left of God and fell to drink with them. And when I awakened I went from him in shame and confusion, and went out into the fields and there spent the Sabbath lying hid in the cornfields [grossed himself out and then was like Adam trying to hide from God] where the Lord, who might justly have cut me off in the midst of my sin, did meet me with much sadness of heart and troubled my soul for this and other my sins which then I had cause and leisure to think of [made conscience his ways]. And now when I was worst he began to be best unto me and made me resolve to set upon a course of daily meditation about the evil of sin and my own ways. Yet although I was troubled for sin, I did not know my sinful nature all this while.
Satan then began to rage, and the commissionaires, registers, and others began to pursue me and to threaten me, as thinking I was a nonconformable man [nonconforming to the Anglican Church] (when for the most of that time I was not resolved either way, but was dark in those things). Yet, the Lord, having work to do in this place, kept me, a poor ignorant thing, against them all until such time as my work was done. By strange and wonderful means, notwithstanding all the malice of the ministers round about me, the Lord had one way or other to deliver me. The course I took in my preaching was I) to show the people their misery, [like the guy who told him he's living in sin!] II) the remedy, Christ Jesus; III) how they should walk answerable to his mercy, being redeemed by Christ. And so I found the Lord putting forth his strength in my extreme weakness and not forsaking of me when I was so foolish as I have wondered since why the Lord hath done any good to me and by me. [Tendency to thing that God's mercy is conditional] So the time of three years being expired, the people would not let me go but gathered about L40 yearly for me. And so I was intended to stay there if the Lord would, and prevailed to set up the lecture in the town of Towcester where I was born, as knowing no greater love I could express to my poor friends than thus. And so Mr. Stone had the lecture and went to went to Towcester with it where the Lord was with him. And thus I saw the Lord's mercy following me to make me a poor instrument of sending the gospel to the place of my nativity. So when I had preached a while at Earle's Colne about half a year the Lord saw me unfit and unworthy to continue me there any longer, and so the Bishop of London, Mountain, being removed to York and Bishop Laud (now archbishop) coming in his place, a fierce enemy of all righteousness and a man fitted of God to be a scourge (whip) to his people, he presently (having been not long in the place) but sent for me up to London and there, never asking me whether I would subscribe (as I remember) but what I had to do to preach in his diocese, chiding (scolding) also Dr. Wilson, for setting up this lecture in his diocese, after many railing speeches against me, forbade be to preach, and not only so but if I went to preach anywhere else his hand would reach me. And so God put me to silence there which did somewhat humble me, for I did think it was for my sins the Lord set him thus against me. [something goes wrong= there must be something wrong with "me"] Yet when I was thus silenced the Lord stirred me up friends.
The Lord therefore sent Doctor Preston to be Master of the College, and, Mr. Stone and others commending his preaching to be most spiritual and excellent, I began to listen unto what he said and the first sermon he preached was Romans 12—be renewed in the Spirit of your mind—in opening which point the change of heart in a Christian, the Lord so bored my ears as that I understood what he spake and the secrets of my soul were laid upon [i.e. open] before me—the hypocrisy of all my good things I thought I had in me—as if one had told him of all that ever I did, of all the turnings and deceits of my heart, insomuch as that I thought he was the most searching preacher in the world. And I began to love him much and to bless God I did see my frame and my hypocrisy and self and secret sins, although I found a hard heart and could not be affected with them.
I did therefore set more constantly, upon the work of daily meditation [think about the fact that you're a sinner], sometimes every morning but constantly every evening before supper, and my chief meditation was about the evil of sin, the terror of God's wrath, day of death, beauty of Christ, the deceitfulness of the heart, etc., but principally I found this misery: sin was not my greatest evil, did lie light upon me as yet, yet I was much afraid of death and the flames of God's wrath.
I did see God like a consuming fire and an everlasting burning, and myself like a poor prisoner leading to that fire, and the thought of eternal reprobation and torment did amaze my spirits, especially at one time upon a Sabbath day at evening.
But the Lord hath not been wont to let me live without some affliction [a difficulty designed to teach you something] or other, and yet ever mixed with some mercy, and therefore, April the second, 1646, as he gave me another son, John, so he took away my most dear, precious, meek and loving wife [Joanna Hooker] in childbed after three weeks lying in having left behind her two hopeful branches, my dear children Samuel and John. This affliction was very heavy to me, for in it the Lord seemed to withdraw his tender care for me and mine which he graciously manifested by my dear wife; also refused to hear prayer when I did think he would have hearkened and let me see his beauty in the land of the living in restoring her to health again; also in taking her away in the prime of her life when she might have lived to have glorified the Lord long [his own reasoning]; also in threatening me to proceed in rooting out my family. And that he would not stop, having begun here, as in Eli for not being zealous enough against the sins of his son. And I saw that if I had profited by former afflictions of this nature I should not have had this scourge. But I am the Lord's and he may do with me what he will. He did teach me to prize a little grace gained by a cross as a sufficient recompense for all outward losses. But this loss was very great. She was a woman of incomparable meekness of spirit, toward myself especially, and very loving, of great prudence to take care for and order my family affairs, bring neither too lavish nor sordid in anything, so that I knew not what was under her hands. She had an excellency to reprove for sin and discerned the evils of men. She loved God's people dearly and studious to profit by their fellowship, and therefore loved their company. She loved God's word exceedingly and hence was glad she could read my notes which she had to muse on every week. She had a spirit of prayer beyond ordinary of her time and experience. She was fit to die long before she did die, even after the death of her first-born, which was a great affliction to her, but her work not being done then, she lived almost nine years with me and was the comfort of my life to me, and the last sacrament before her lying in seemed to be full of Christ and thereby fitted for heaven. She did oft say she should not outlive this child, and when her fever first began (by taking some cold) she told me so, that we should love exceedingly together because we should not live long together. Her fever took away her sleep, want of sleep wrought much distemper in her head and filled it with fantasies and distractions, but without raging. The night before she died she had about six hours unquiet sleep, but that so cooled and settled her head that when she knew none else so as to speak to them, yet she knew Jesus Christ and could speak to him, and therefore as soon as she awakened out of sleep she brake out into a most heavenly, heartbreaking prayer after Christ, her dear redeemer, for the spirit of life, and so continued praying until the last hour of her death—"Lord, though I unworthy; Lord, one word, one word, etc."—and so gave up the ghost.
The third consideration is concerning the exercise of this love which is twofold, inward and outward. The outward hath been handled in the former preface of this discourse. For unfolding the other (the inward), we must take in our way that maximum of philosophy "simile simili gaudet," or like will to like; for as it is which are turned with disaffection to each other, the ground of it is from a dissimilitude arising from the contrary or different nature of things themselves; for the ground of love is an apprehension of some resemblance in things loved to that which affects it. This is the cause why the Lord loves the creature, so far as it hath any of His image in it; He loves His elect because they are like Himself, He beholds them in His beloved son. So a mother loves her child, because she thoroughly conceives a resemblance of herself in it. Thus it is between the members of Christ. Each discerns, by the work of the spirit, his own image and resemblance of another; and therefore cannot but love him as he loves himself. Now, when the soul, which is of a social nature, finds anything like to itself, it is like Adam and Eve was brought to him. She must have it one with herself. This is flesh of my flesh (saith the soul) and bone of my bone. She conceives a great delight in, and therefore she desires nearness and familiarity with it. She hath a good propensity to do it good and receives such content in it, as fearing the miscarriage of her beloved she bestows it in the inmost closet of her heart. She will not endure that it shall want any good which she can give it. If by occasion she is withdrawn from the company of it, she is still looking toward the place where she left her beloved. If she heard it groan, she is with it presently. If she find it sad and disconsolate, she sighs and moans with it."
Mr. Vane and Mr. Peter, finding some distraction in the commonwealth arising from some difference in judgment, wand withal some alienation of affection among the magistrates and some other persons of quality, and that hereby factions began to grow among people, some adhering more to the old governor Mr. Winthrop, and others to the late governor Mr. Dudley, the former carrying matters with more lenity and the latter with more severity, they procured a meeting in Boston of the governor, deputy, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Wilson, and there was present Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Dudley and themselves. Where, after the Lord had been sought [meeting begins with prayer] Mr. Vane desired all present to take up a resolution to deal freely and openly with the parties and they with each other, that nothing may be left in their breasts which might break out to any jar or difference hereafter (which they promised to do). Then Mr. Winthrop spake to this effect: that when it pleased Mr. Vane to acquaint him with what he had observed of the dispositions of men's minds inclining to the said faction, etc., it was very strange to him, professing solemnly that he knew not of any breach between his brother Dudley and himself since they were reconciled long since. Neither did he suspect any alienation of affection in him or others from himself, save that of late he had observed that newcomers had estranged themselves from him since they went to dwell at Newtown, and so desired all the company that if they had seen anything amiss in his government or otherwise they would deal freely with him, and for his part he promised to take it in good part and would endeavor by God's grace to amend it. Then Mr. Dudley spake to this effect: that for his part he came thither a mere patient, not with any intent to charge his brother Winthrop with anything, for though there had been formerly some differences and breaches between them, yet they had been healed, and so left it to others to utter their own complaints. Whereupon the governor, Mr. Haynes, spake to this effect: that Mr. Winthrop and himself had been always in good terms; therefore he was loathe to give any offence to him, and he hoped that considering what the end of this meeting was he would it in good part if he did deal openly and freely as his manner was. Then he spake of one or 2 passages wherein he conceived that Mr. Winthrop dealt too remissly in point of justice. To which Mr. Winthrop answered that it was his judgment that in the infancy of plantations justice should be administered with more lenity than in a settled state, because people were then more apt to transgress, partly of ignorance of new laws and orders, partly through oppression of business and other straits. But if it might be clear to him that it was an error, he would be ready to take up a stricter course. Then the ministers were desired to consider of the question by the next morning and to set down a rule in the case. The next morning they delivered their several reasons, which all sorted to this conclusion: that strict discipline both in criminal offences and in marital affairs was more needful in plantations than in a settled state, as tending to the honor and the safety of the Gospel. Whereupon, Mr. Winthrop acknowledged that he was convinced that he had failed in overmuch lenity and remissness, and would endeavor, by God's assistance, to take a more strict course hereafter. Whereupon there was a renewal of love amongst them and articles drawn to this effect.
Anne Bradstreet's Preface to the Four Quaternions
Anne Bradstreet was rigorously educated despite the prevalent idea of the time of the danger of educating women. Her father, a nobleman, invested in her education and so she learned to write. Bradstreet lived in England during the Antinomian Controversy, with Ann Hutchinson being accused and tried for having private meetings with women and also for teaching (both men and women) in the public venue--an activity that was considered altogether sinful for a woman. (Her controversial teachings regarded the referring of the Holy Spirit as a person and the refusal to accept sanctification as proof of justification.) The 17th century marked a time-period when women education was considered dangerous, yet here was Anne Bradstreet penning a collection of poems. Here, Anne's lines "Men can do best and women know it well" and her description of her own work as "lowly lines" and "unrefined ore" (for the exaltation of the male work) can be interpreted as Anne's sense of humility and even anxiety of influence (possibly from Milton's Paradise Lost). But her declarations might have well been purposed for sarcasm and mockery, knowing that her work--which contains a handful of Classical references, despite her dismissal of the Greeks---is competing with the rest of the (male) Renaissance lore. Her self-deprecation may be geared toward setting low expectations and then surprising the readership with a very intellectual and literate composition. She may have well known the high literary level of her work, considering that when her brother-in-law, John Woodbridge, traveled back to England to guide Parliamentary negotiations with the crown and to possibly find a publisher for Anne's manuscripts that he had in hand, she continued to send him poems. Her family claimed that Anne was unaware of Woodbridge's intentions with her work because they did not want Anne to come off as over-ambitious. But Bradstreet showed otherwise: she was well aware that her work was worthy.
In secret place where once I stood
Close by the banks of Lacrim flood,
I heard two sisters reason on
Things that are past and things to come;
One flesh was called, who had her eye
On worldly wealth and vanity;
The other Spirit, who did rear
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere:
Sister, quoth Flesh, what liv'st thou on,
Nothing but meditation?
Doth contemplation feed thee so
Regardlessly to let earth go?
Can speculation satisfy
Notion without reality?
Dost dream of things beyond the moon,
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
Hast treasures there laid up in store
That all in th' world thou count'st but poor?
Art fancy sick, or turned a sot
To catch at shoadows which are not?
Come, come, I'll show unto thy sense,
Industry hath its recompense.
What canst desire, but thou may'st see
True substance in variety?
Dost honour like? Acquire the same,
As some to their immortal fame,
And trophies to thy name erect
Which wearing time shall never deject.
For riches doth thou long full sore?
Behold enough of precious store.
Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold,
Than eyes can see or hands can hold.
Affect's thou pleasure? Take thy fill,
Earth hath enough of what you will.
Then let not go what thou may'st find
For things unknown, only in mind.
Spirit: Be still thou unregenerate part,
Disturb no more my settled heart,
For I have vowed (and so will do)
Thee as a foe still to pursue.
And combat with thee will and must,
Until I see thee laid in th' dust.
Sisters we are, yea, twins we be,
Yet deadly feud 'twixt thee and me;
For from one father we are not,
Thou by old Adam was begot,
But my arise is from above,
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak'st me fair, but hat'st me sore,
Thy flattering shows I'll trust no more.
How oft thy slave, hast thou me made,
When I believed what thou hast,
When I believed what thou hast said,
And never had more cause of woe
Than when I did what thou bad'st do.
I'll stop my ears at these thy charms,
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait,
Thine honors do, nor will I love;
For my ambition lies above,
My greatest honor it shall be
When I am victor over thee,
And triumph shall with laurel head,
When thou my captive shalt be led,
Ho I do live, thou need'st not scoff,
For I have meat thou know'st not of;
The hidden manna I do eat,
The word of lie it is my meat.
My thoughts do yield me more content
Than can thy hours in pleasures spent. .
Nor are they shadows which I catch,
Nor fancies vain at which I snatch,
But reach at things that are so high,
Beyond thy dull capacity;
Eternal substance I do see,
With which enriched I would be.
Mine eye doth pierce the heavens and see
What is invisible to thee.
My garments are not silk or gold,
Nor such like trash which earth doth hold,
But royal robes I shall have on [why is the Spirit—being the spirit—still so concerned with possession?],
More glorious than the glistering sun;
My crown not diamonds, pearls, and gold,
But such as angel's heads enfold.
The city where I hope to dwell,
Theres none on earth can parallel;
The stately walls both high and strong,
Are made of precious jasper stone;
The gates of pearl, both rich and clears,
And angels are for porters there;
The streets thereof transparent golf,
Such as no eye did ever behold;
A crystal river there doth run,
Which doth proceed from the Lamb's throne.
Of life, there are the waters sure,
Which shall remain forever pure,
Nor sun, nor moon, they have no need,
For glory doth from God proceed.
No candle there, nor yet tochlight,
For there shall be no darksome night.
From sickness and infirmity
For evermore they shall be free;
Nor whithering age shall ever come there, but beauty shall be bright and clear;
This city pure is not for thee,
For things unclean there shall not be.
If I of heaven may have my fill,
Take thou the world and all that will.
Anne Bradstreet's "The Flesh and the Spirit" from Several Poems
The Flesh and the Spirit was published after Anne Bradstreet's death , in her collection of poems titled Several Poems. Here, the two sisters, Flesh and Spirit, defend their respective stances. Flesh begins by questioning Spirit's motives and then attempts to allure Spirit with all the earthly glory: honor, fame, treasure. When Spirit responds, her tone, contrary to Flesh's tone, is defensive and turbulent. Spirit claims that she's better off with her heavenly treasures, but her emphasis is not so much on the eternity of her celestial treasures as it is in the mere fact that she will be crowned with treasures. She does not simply disclose the the types of treasures that await her; she seems to be competing with and matching up with what the Flesh has in this world, not thoroughly convinced that her wait is worthwhile. The fact that Spirit interweaves her description with insulting phrases directed at flesh, such as "beyond thy dull capacity", "there's none on earth can parallel" and "thy sinful pleasures I do hate", etc. reveal that Spirit is not thoroughly at peace, but instead seeks to make Flesh jealous. In the end, her aim is also to have "royal robes", "crowns" and to behold "gates of pearl"--her aim is as vain as Flesh's aim. Spirit does not seem wholly convinced that leaving the earthly things behind is worthwhile. It seems as if the Spirit's definition of vain is simply things that are not from God because she herself sounds as ambitious as Flesh.
This reflects Bradstreet's Puritan instability her struggle to accept the divine in lieu of the earthly but not thoroughly convinced that she does not care about what the world offers.
Her affections have not been weaned.
In silent night when rest I took
For sorrow near I did not look
I wakened was with thundering noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of "Fire!" and "Fire!"
Let no man know is my desire.
I, starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To strengthen me in my distress
And not to leave me succorless.
Then, coming out, beheld a space
The flame consuming my dwelling place.
And when I could no longer look,
I blest His name that gave and took.
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just.
It was his own, it was not mine,
Far be it that I should repine [grieve with an accusatory edge; but what is her whole poem? repine]
He might of all justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left
When by the ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast,
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sat and long did lie:
Here stood that trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best.
My pleasant things in ashes lie,
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sit
Not at thy table eat a bit.
No pleasant tale shall e'er be told,
Nor things recounted done of old.
No candle e'er shall shine in thee,
No bridegroom's voice e'er heard shall be.
In silence ever shall thou lie,
Adieu, Adieu, all's vanity
Then straight I 'gin my heart to chide,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on moldering dust?
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up the thoughts above the sky
That dunghill mists away may fly.
Thou hast a house on high erect,
Framed by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished,
Stands permanent though this be fled.
It's purchased and paid for too
By Him who hath enough to do.
A price so vast as is unknown
Yet by His gift is made thine own;
There's wealth enough, I need no more,
Farewell, my pelf, farewell my store.
The world no longer let me love,
My hope and treasure lies above.
Still was the night, Serene and Bright.
When all Men sleeping lay;
Calm was the season, and carnal reason
Thought so would last for 'ay.
Soul, take thine ease, let sorrow cease,
Much good thou hast in store:
This was their song, their Cups [they were drinking] among,
The Evening before.

Wallowing in all kind of sin,
Vile wretches lay secure;
The best of men had scarcely then
Their lamps kept in good ure [Parable of the 10 virgins—better have that lamp on!]
Virgins unwise, who through disguise
Amongst the best were numbered
Had closed their eyes, yea, and the wise
Through sloth and frailty slumbered.

Like as of old, when Men grow bold
God's threatenings to contemn,
Who stopped their Ear, and would not hear,
When Mercy warned them;
But took their course, without remorse,
Til God began to power
Destruction the World upon
In a tempestuous shower.

They put away all evil day,
And drowned their care and fears,
Till drowned were they, and swept away
By vengeance unawares:
So at the last, whilst Men sleep fast
In their security,
Surprised they are in such a snare
As cometh suddenly.

For at midnight brake forth a Light,
Which turned the night to day,
And speedily an hideous cry
Did all the world dismay
Sinners awake, their hearts do ache,
Trembling their loins surpriseth;
Amazed with fear, by what they hear,
Each one of them ariseth.

They rush from beds with giddy heads,
And to their windows run,
Viewing this light which shines more bright
Than doth the Noon-day Sun.
Straightway appears (they see't with tears)
The Son of God most dread;
Who with his Train comes on amain
To judge both quick and Dead.

Before his face the Heavens gave place,
And Skies are rent asunder
With mighty voice, and hideous noise,
More terrible than thunder
:
Ye sons of men that durst contemn
The Threatenings of God's Word,
How cheer you now? Your hearts, I trow
Are thrilled as with a sword.
Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind
A God could never see,
Dost thou perceive, dost now believe,
That Christ thy Judge shall be?

Stout courages, (whose hardiness
Could Death and Hell out-face)
Are you as bold now you behold
Your Judge draw near apace?
They cry, no, no; Alas! And wo!
Our Courage all is gone;
Our hardiness (fool hardiness)
Hath us undone, undone.
Then to the bar, all they drew near
Who died in infancy;
And never had or good or bad
Effected personally,
But from the womb unto the tomb
Were straightway carried,
(Or at the last e're thet transgrest)
Who thus began to plead:

If for our own transgression,
Or disobedience,
We here did stand at thy left hand
Just were the Recompense
But Adam's guilt our souls hath split,
His fault is charged on us;
And that alone hath overthrown,
And utterly undone us.

Not we, but he, ate of the tree
Whose fruit was interdicted:
Yet on us all of his sad Fall,
The punishment's inflicted.
How could we sin that had not been,
Or how is his sin our,
Without consent, which to prevent,
We never had a power?

O great Creator, why was our Nature
Depraved and forlorn?
Why so defiled and made so vild
Whilst we were yet unborn?
If it be just and needs we must
Transgressors reck'ned be,
Thy Mercy, Lord, to us afford,
Which sinners hath set free.

Behold we see Adam set free,
And saved from his trespass,
Whose sinful Fall hath split us all,
And brought us to this pass.
Canst thou deny us once to try,
Or Grace to us to tender,
When he finds grace before thy face,
That was the chief offender?

Then answered the judge most dread,
God doth such doom forbid
That men should die eternally
For what they never did.
But what you call old Adam's Fall,
And only his Trespass,
You call amiss to call it his,
Both his and yours it was.

He was designed of all Mankind
To be a public head.
A common Root, whence all should shoot,
And stood in all their stead.
He stood and fell, did ill or well
Not for himself alone,
But for you all, who now his Fall,
And trespass would disown.

If he had stood, then all his brood
Had been established
In God's true love , never to move,
Nor once awry to tread:
Then all his Race, my Father's Grace,
Should have enjoyed forever
And wicked Sprights by subtle sleights
Could them have harmed never.

Would you have grieved to have received
Through Adam so much good,
As had been your for evermore,
If he at first had stood?
Would you have said, we never obeyed,
Nor did thy Law's regard;
It ill befits with benefits,
Us, Lord, so to reward?

Since then to share in his welfare,
You could have been content,
You may with reason share in his treason,
And in the punishment.
Hence you were born in state forlorn,
With Natures so depraved:
Death was your due, because that you
And thus yourselves behaved.

You think if we had been as he,
Whom God did so betrust,
We to our cost would never have lost
All for a paltry lust.
Had you been made in Adam's stead,
You would like things have wrought
And so into the self-same wo,
Your selves and yours have brought,

I may deny you once to try
Or Grace to you to tender
Though he finds grace before my face,
Who was the chief offender:
Else should my Grace cease to be Grace;
For it should not be free,
If to release whom I should please,
I have no liberty.

If upon one what's due to none
I frankly shall bestow
And on the rest shall not think best,
Compassion skirts to throw,
Whom injure I? will you envy,
And grudge at others weal?
Your selves to help and heal?

Am I alone of what's my own,
No master or no Lord?
Or if I am, how can you claim
What I to some afford?
Will you demand grace at my habd,
And challengewhat is mine?
Will you teach me whom to set free,
And thus my grace confine?

You sinners are, and such a share
As sinners may expect,
Such you shall have for I do save
None but my own elect.
Yet to compare your sin with their,
Who lived a longer time,
I do compare yours is much less,
Though every sin's a crime.

A crime it is, therefore in bliss
You may not hope to dwell;
But unto you I shall allow
The easiest room in hell.
The Judge is strong, doers of wrong
Cannot his power withstand:
None can by flight run out of sight
Nor scape out of his hand.
Sad is their state: for Advocate
To plead their cause there's none:
None to prevent their punishment,
Or misery bemoan.

O dismal day! Wither shall they
For help and succor flee?
To God above, with hopes to move
Their greatest enemy:
His wrath is great, whose burning heat
No floods of tears can slake:
His word stands fast that they be cast
Into the burning Lake.

To Christ their Judge, he doth adjudge
Them to the Pit of Sorrow;
Now will he hear, or cry, or tear,
Nor respite them one morrow.
To heaven alas, they cannot pass,
It is against them shut;
To enter there (O heavy cheer)
They out of hopes are put

Unto their treasures, or to their pleasures,
All these have them forsaken:
Had they full coffers to make large offers,
Their God would not be taken
Unto the place where whilome was
Their Birth and Education?
Lo! Christ begins for their great sins
To fire the Earths Foundation

And by and by the flaming sky
Shall drop like molten Lead
About their ears to increase their fears,
And aggravate their dread.
To Angels good that ever stood
In their integrity,
Should they betake themselves, and make
Their suit incessantly?


They neither skill nor do they will
To work them any ease:
They will not mourn to see them burn,
Nor beg for their release.
To wicked men, their brethren
In sin and wickedness,
Should they make mone? Their case is one,
They're in the same distress.

Ah, cold comfort, and mean support
From such like Comforters!
Ah, little joy of Company
And fellow-sufferers!
Such shall increase their hearts disease,
And add unto their woe,
Because that they brought to decay
Themselves and many moe.

Unto the Saints with sad complaints
Should they themselves apply?
They're not dejected, nor ought affected
With all their misery.
Friends stand aloof, and make no proof
What Prayers or Tears can do:
Your godly friends are now more friends
To Christ than unto you

Where tender love men's hearts did move
Unto a sympathy.
And bearing part of other's smart
In their anxiety;
Now such compassion is out of fashion,
And wholly laid aside:
No friends so near, but Saints to hear
Their sentence can abide.

One natural brother beholds another
In this astonished fit,
Yet sorrows not thereat a jot,
Nor pitties him a whit.
The godly wife conceives no grief,
Nor can she shed a tear
For the sad state of her dear mate,
When she his doom doth hear.

He that was erst a Husband pierced
With sense of Wives distress,
Whose tender heart did bear a part
Of all her grievances,
Shall mourn no more as heretofore
Because of her ill plight
Although he see her now to be
A damned forsaken wight.

The tender Mother will own no other
Of all her numerous brood,
But such as stand at Christ's right hand
Acquitted through his Blood.
The pious Father had now much rather
His graceless Son should lay
In Hell with Devils, for all his evils
Burning eternally.
Here was the hiding place, which thou,
Jehovah didst provide
For thy redeemed one, and where
Thou didst thy jewels hide
In perilous times, and saddest days
Of sack-cloth and of blood,
When the overflowing scourge did pass
Through Europe like a flood.

Where almost all the world beside
Lay weltring in their gore:
We, only we, enjoyed such peace
As none enjoyed before
No forein foemean did us fray,
Nor threatened us with wars:
We had no enemies at home,
Nor no doomstick jars.

The Lord had made (such was his grace)
For Us a Covenant
Both with the men, and with the beasts,
That in his desert haunt;
So that through places wild and waste
A single man, disarmed,
Might journey many hundred miles,
And not at all be harmed

Amidst the solitary woods
Poor travelers might sleep
As free from danger as at home,
Though no man watch did keep.
Thus were we privileged with peace,
Beyond what others were.
Truth, Mercy, Peace, with Righteousness
Took up their dwelling here.

Our governor was of our selves
And all his brethren,
For wisdom and true piety
Select and chosen men.
Who, ruling in ye fear of God,
The righteous cause maintained,
And all injurious violence,
And wickedness, restrained.
:
Our morning stars shone all day long
Their beams gave forth such light.
As did the noon-day sun abash,
And's glory dazzle quite.
Our day continued many years,
And had no night at all:
Yea many thought the light would last,
And be perpetual.

Such, O New England, was thy first
Such was thy best estate:.
But, Loe! A strange and sudden change
My courage did amate;
The brightest of our morning stars
Did wholly disappear:
And those that tarried behind
With sackcloth covered were.

Moreover I beheld and saw
Our sky overcast,
And dismal clouds for sun-shine late
O'spread from east to west
The air became tempestuous
The wildeness gan quake:
And from above with aweful voice
The Almighty thundering spake:
Are these the men that prized liberty
:
Are these the folk whom from the British Ilses
I safely led so many thousand miles?
:
Are these the men whose gates with peace I crowned?
:
Are these the people in whose hemisphere
Such bright-gleamed...start I placed?
:
Are these the folk to whom I milked out
:
Are these the men that now mine eyes behold
:
Are these the same? Or are some others come in place?

If these be they, how is it that I find
Instead of holiness Carnality,
Instead of heavenly frames an Earthly mind.
For burning zeal luke-warm indifferency,
For flaming love, key-cold Dead-heartedness,
For temperance (in meat, and drink, and clothes)
Excess
:
How is it, that Security, and Sloth
Amongst the best are common to be found?
That grosser sins, instead of Graces growth,
Amongst the many more and more abound?
I hate dissembling shows of Holiness.
Or practice as you talk, or never more profess.

Judge not, vain world, that all are hypocrites.
That do profess more holiness than thou:
All foster not dissembling, guileful sprites
Nor love their lusts, though very many do.
Some sin through want of care and constant watch,
Some with the sick converse, till they the sickness catch.

Some that maintain a real root of the grace,
Are overgrown with many noisome weeds,
Whose heart, that those no longer may take place,
The benefit of due correction needs.
And such as these however gone astray
I shall by stripes reduce into a better way.

Moreover some there be that still retain
Their ancient vigor and sincerity;
Whom both their own, and other sins, constrain
To sigh, and mourn, and weep, and wail, & cry:
And for their sakes I have forlorn to power
My wrath upon revolters to this present hour

To praying saints I always have respect.
I kening through astronomy divine
The worlds bright battlement, wherein I spy
A golden path my pencil cannot line,
From that bright throne unto my threshold ly.
And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore
I find the bread of life in it at my doore.

When that this bird of paradise put in
This wicked cage (my corps) to tweedle praise
Had pecked the fruit forbad; and so did fling
Away its food; and lost its golden days;
It fell into celestial famine sore
And never could attain a morsel more.

Alas! Alas! Poor bird, what wilt thou do?
The Creatures field no food for Souls e'er gave.
And if thou knock on Angel's doors they show
An empty barrel: they no soul bread have,
Alas! Poor bird the World's White Loaf is done,
And cannot yield thee here the smallest Crumb.

In this sad state God's Tender Bowels run
Out streams of grace: And he to end all strife
The Purest Wheat in Heaven, his dear-dear Son
Grinds, and kneads up into this bread of Life.
Which Bread of Life from Heaven down came and stands
Dished on thy table up by Angels hand.

Did God mold up this bread of heaven and bake
Which from this table came, and to thine goeth?
Doth he bespake thee thus, this soul bread take.
Come eat thy fill of this thy God's White Loaf?
Is food too fine for Angels, yet come, take
And eat thy fill. It's Heaven's sugar Cake.
What Grace is this knead in this Loaf? This thing
Souls are but pretty things it to admire.
Yee Angels, help: This fill would to the brim
Heaven's whelmed-down Crystal meal bowl, yea and
Higher.
This bread of life dropped in thy mouth, doth cry.
Eat me, eat me, Soul, and thou shalt never die.
A Curious Knot God made in Pardise,
And drew it out inamled neatly fresh.
It was the True-Love Knot, more sweet than spice
And set with all the flowers of Grace's dress,
Its Weddens Knot, that never can be untied
No Alexanders Sword can it divide.

The slips here planted, gray and glorious grow:
Unless an Hellish breath do singe their Plumes.
Here Primrose, Cowslips, Roses, Lilies blow
With Violets and Pinks that void perfumes.
Whose beauteous leaves ore laid with Honey Dew.
And chanting birds Chirp out sweet Music true.

When in this knot I planted was, my Stock
Soon knotte, and a manly flower out brake.
And after it my branch again did know
Brought out another Flower its sweet breath mate,
One knot gave one tother the tothers place.
Whence Checkling smiles fought in each other's face.

But oh! A glorious hand from glory came
Guarded with Angels, soon did crop this flower
Which almost tore the root up of the same
And that unlooked for, Dolesome, darksome hour.
It prayerto Christ perfumed it did ascend,
And Angels bright did it to heaven tend.

But pausing on it, this sweet perfumed my thought
Christ would in glory have a Flower, Choice, Prime,
And having Choice, chose this my branch forth brought.
Lord take it. I than thee, thou takest ought of mine,
It is my pledge in glory, part of me
Is not in it, Lord glorified with thee.

But praying over my branch, my branch did sprout
And bore another manly flower, and gay
And after that moment sweet brake out,
The which the former had soon got away.
But oh! The tortures, Vomit, screechings, groans,
And six weeks Fever would pierce hearts like stones.

Grief over doth flow; and nature fault would find
Were not thy Will, my Spell Charm, Joy, and Gem:
That as I said, I say, take, Lord, they're thine.
I peacemeale pass to Glory bright in them.
I joy, may I sweet Flowers for Glory breed,
Whether thou getst them green, or lets them seed.
How sweet a Lord is mine? If any should
Guarded, Engardened, nay, imbosomed be
In reeks of Odors, Gales of spices, Folds
Of Aromaticks, Oh! How sweet was he?
He would be sweet, and yet his sweetest Wave
Compared to thee my Lord, no Sweet would have.

A box of Ointments, broke; sweetness most sweet.
A surge of spices: Odors Common Wealth,
A pillar of perfume: a steaming Reech
Of Aromatic Clouds: All Saving Health.
Sweetness itself thou art: and I presume
In calling of thee Sweet, who art Perfume
But Woe is me! Who have so quick a scent
To catch perfumes puffed out from Pinks and roses
And other Muscadalls, as they get vent,
Out of their Mothers Wombs to bob our noses.
And yet thy sweet perfume doth seldom latch
My Lord, within my Mammulary Catch.

Am I denosed? Or doth the Worlds ill sents
Engarison my nostrils narrow bore?
Or is my smell lost in these damps it vents?
And shall I never find it anymore?
Or is it like the Hawks, or Hounds whose breed
Take stinking Carrion for Perfume indeed?

This is my case, all things smell sweet to me:
Except thy sweetness, Lord. Expel these damps.
Break up this garrison and let me see
Thy Aromaticks pitching in these camps.
Oh! Let the Clouds of thy sweet Vapors risen
And both my mammularies circumcise.

Shall Spirits thus my mammularies suck?
(As Witches Elves their teats,) and draw from thee
My dear, dear Spirit after fumes of muck?
Be Dunghill Damps more sweet than Graces be?
Lord, clear these Caves. These passes take, and keep.
And in these quarters lodge thy Odors sweet.

Lord, break thy box of ointment on my head;
Let thy sweet Powder powder all my hair:
My Spirits let with thy perfumes be fed
And make thy Odors, Lord, my nostrils fare.
My Soul shall in thy sweets then soar to thee:
I'll be thy Love, thou my sweet Lord shalt be.
Satan:
Soon ripe, soon rot. Young Saint, Old Ddevil. Loe
Why to an Empty Whistle did you go?
What come uncalled? And run unsent for? Stay
Its children's bread: Hands off: out, Dogs, away.

(first rank: mercy)Soul:
It's not an Empty Whistle: yet withal,
And if it be a Whistle, then a Call:
A Call to Children's Bread, which take we may.
Thou onely art the Dog whipt hence away.

Satan:
If I then you: for by Apostasy [departure from one's religion—hot Protestant to cold]
You are the Imps of Death as much as I.
And Death doth reign over you through Sin: you see,
As well as Sin doth reign to Death in me.

Soul:
It is denied: God's mercy taking place,
Prepared Grace for us, and us for Grace
And Graces Coach in Grace hath fetched us in,
Unto her feast. We shall not die in Sin.

Satan:
If it be so, your sins are crucified;
Which if they be, they struggled when they died.
It is not so with you: you judge before
You felt them gird, you'de got them out of Door.

Soul:
Mercy the Quartermaster speedily,
Did stifle Sin, and still its hideous crime
Whose knife at first stuck in its heart to th'head:
That sin, before it hard did sprunt, fell dead.

Satan:
A mere Delusion! Nature shows that Life
Will struggle most upon the bloody knife
And so will Sin. Nay Christ doth onely Call
And offer ease to such as are in thrall.

Soul:
He offered unto me, and I received
Of what he wrought, I am not yet bereaved.
Though Justice set Amercement [Penalty] on me
Mercy hath took it off, and set me free.

Satan:
Is mercy impudent? Or justice blind?
[I am to make distraint on thee designed]
The North must wake before the South proves Kind
The Law must break before the Gospel bind.

Soul:
But Giliads Balm, like Balsom healed my wound
Makes not the Patient sore, yet leaved him sound.
The Gospel did the Law prevent: my heart
Is therefore dresst from Sin: and did not smart.

Satan:
A likely thing! Oh shame! Presume on Grace!
Here's Sin in grain: it hath a double face.
Come, Come with me I'll show your Outs, and Ins,
Your Inside, and your out; your Holy things.
For these I will anatomize then see,
Believe your very eyes, believe not me.
Edawrd Taylor's "First Satan's Assault Against those that First Came Up to Mercy's Terms."
This attack is against souls saved by mercy (easy and without stress).
"Soon ripe, Soon rot": this is farmer's talk: the young Christian is like the fruit that ripens soon is likely to rot sooner. Satan is attacking the Christian babe (as opposed to the fully-ripened/mature Christian).
Satan's claim that "Its children's bread" is an illusion to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper in relation to the parable of the wedding garment was Edward Taylor's life-long subject. Here, those who enter the feast without permission--without the wedding garment/the stamp of approval--are referred to as dogs and those who have been invited and who wear the seal are referred to as children. Satan, here, is addressing souls who have been saved by mercy but he's questioning whether they truly are God's elect. By questioning this, Satan instills a sense of doubt and traps them between the complex morphology of conversion: if they believe that they are God's elect they fall into the danger of presumption and if they don't believe they belong to God, they fall into the sin of despair--that is, believing that there is no hope for them, and thus nullifying God's salvation project.
To Souls Saved by Mercy: Satan claims that death still reigns over them through sin (and if they don't believe that--if they believe that they are saved--they fall under the unpardonable sin of presumption).
To this, the soul responds that Grace's Coach has fetched them in--that is, they were rescued--through grace--into the church. The soul also claims that they were fetched in by the church unto her feast. Here, the feasting in the church can be read as typological to heaven: the church as heaven and the feast as a reunison with the Father. Satan's counter-attack is that the Soul thinks that sin was done and away with easily--that it did not have to suffer for the work of mercy and salvation. But Satan argues that life and sin will struggle most upon the bloody knife--that is, like Hooker's preparationalist ideology, Satan claims that Mercy does not grant salvation and the cleansing of one's sins that easily but that the sin-bearers have to go through the fire before receiving the gift of salvation. And when the Soul argues against this and says that the Law does not need to break before the gospel binds--that, instead, the Gospel did the law prevent and that therefore the soul is left bereft of sin--then Satan accuses the soul of...presumption. (The unpardonable sin of presumption).

Satan essentially sounds like Hooker when attacking the first rank--there's no such thing as a wholly free gift. You must pay by going through some kind of preparational fire.

Ends with "believe your eyes, believe not me" because he is about to show his the filthy condition of his inward man in "The Accusation of the Inward Man"
We humbly beg, oh Lord, to know our Crime.
That we thus tortured are before our time.
Before our time? Lord give's this Word again.
For we have long ago deserved Hell's flame.
If Mercy wrought not Miracles none could
Us monuments of mercy now behold.
But oh! While mercy waits we slaves to sin,
Heap up sins Epha far above the brim.
What shall we do when to account we're called?
How will abused Mercy burn, and scald?
We know not how, or where to stay or go.
We know not whom, nor what to trust or do.
Should we run hence from Mercy, Justice will
Run hotly after us, our blood to spill.
But should we run to Mercy, Justice may
Hold Mercy's hands whole Vengeance doth us slay.
And if we trust to Grace, necessity
Binds us by force at Grace's grace to ly.
But if we run from Grace, we headlong cast
Ourselves upon the spiles of ruin vast.
And if we claim her ours, she'll surely smite
Us, for presuming on an others right.
:
Rather than tarry, or the rough sea trust
On the Pacific Ocean forth we thrust.
Necessity lies on us: we dare not stay:
If drown we must, we'll drown in Mercy's Sea.
Impute it not presumption if we
To cast ourselves on Mercy's clemency.
Is't not as great Presumption, Lord, to stand
And gaze on ruin, but refuse the hand
Which offers help? Or on such courses fall
Which fall to ruin ruinating all?
Lord, pitty, pitty us, Lord pitty send:
A thousand pities tis we should offend.
But oh! We did, and are there to propence:
And what we count off, oft tho Countst offence.
We've none to trust: but on thy grace we lie.
If die we must, in mercy's arms we'll die.
Then pardon, Lord, and put away our guilt.
So we be thine, deal with us as thou wilt.
The New Englanders are a people of God settled in those which were once the devil's territories, and it may easily be supposed that the devil was exceedingly disturbed when he perceived such a people here accomplishing the promise of old made unto our blessed Jesus: that he should have the utmost part of the earth for his possession. There was not a greater uproar among the Ephesians when the gospel was first brought among them than there was among the powers of the air (after whom those Ephesians walked) when first the silver trumpets of the gospel here made the joyful sound. The devil, thus irritated, immediately tried all sorts of methods to overturn his poor plantation; and so much of the church was fled into the wilderness immediately found the serpent cast out of his mouth a flood for the carrying of it away. I believe that never were there more satanical devices used for the unsettling of any people under the sun than what have been employed for the extirpation of the vine which God has here planted, casting out the heathen and preparing a room before it, and causing it to take deep root and fill the land, so that it sent its boughs unto the Atlantic sea eastward, and its branches unto the Connecticut River westward, and the hills were covered with the shadow thereof. But all those attempts of hell have hitherto been abortive. Many an Ebenezer has been erected unto the praise of God by his poor people here; and having obtained help from God, we continue to this day. Wherefore the devil is now making one attempt more upon us, an attempt more difficult, more surprising, more snarled with unintelligible circumstances than any than we have hitherto encountered, an attempt so critical that if we get well through, we shall soon enjoy halcyon days with all the vultures of hell trodden under our feet. He has wanted his incarnate legions to persecute us as the people of God have in the other hemisphere been persecuted. He has therefore drawn forth his more spiritual ones to make an attack upon us. We have been advised by some credible Christians yet alive that a malefactor, accused of witchcraft as well as murder, and executed in this place more than forty years ago, did then give notice of an horrible plot against the country by witchcraft and a foundation of witchcraft then laid, which if it were not seasonably discovered would probably blow up and pull down all the churches of the country.
Before I enter upon my public appearance in business it may be well to let you know the then State of my Mind, with regard to the Principles and Morals, that you may see how far those influenced the future events of my life. My Parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the Dissenting Way. But I was scarce 15 when, after doubting by turns of several points as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached by Boyle's lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; For the arguments of the deists which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations. In short, I soon became a thorough deist. My arguments perverted some others, particularly Collins & Ralph; but each of them having afterwards wronged me greatly without the least compunction, I began to suspect that this Doctrine though it might be true, was not very useful. My London pamphlet, which had for its memo those lines of Dryden, "—Whatever is right—Though purblind man/ Sees but a part of the chain, the nearest link. His eyes not carrying to the equal beam, that poises all, above" And from the attributes of God, his infinite wisdom, goodness, and power, concluded that nothing could be wrong in the world, and that vice and virtue were empty distinctions, no such things existing: appeared now not so clever a performance as I once thought it; and I suspected whether some Error had not insinuated itself unperceived, into my Argument, so as to infect all that followed, as is common in metaphysical Reasonings. I grew convinced that Truth, Sincerity, and Integrity in dealings between Man & Man, were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life, and I formed written resolutions, to practice them ever while I lived. Revelation had no weight with me as such; but I entertained an opinion, that though certain actions might not be bad because they were forbidden by it, or good because it commanded them; yet probably those Actions might be forbidden because they were bad for us, or commanded because they were beneficial to us, in their own natures, all the circumstances of things considered.
In a garret of her house there lived a Maiden Lady of 70 in the most retired manner, of whom my landlady gave me this account. That she was a Roman Catholic, had been sent abroad when young and lodged in a nunnery with an intent of becoming a nun: but the country not agreeing with her, she returned to England, where there being no nunnery, she had vowed to lead the life of a nun as near as might be done in those circumstances: Accordingly, she had given all her estate to charitable uses, reserving only 12 pounds a year to live on, and out of this sum she still gave a great deal in Charity, living herself on water-gruel only, and using no fire but to boil it. She had lived many years in the garret, being permitted to remain there gratis by successive Catholic Tenants of the House below, as they deemed it a blessing to have her there. A priest visited her, o confess her every day. I have asked her, says my Landlady, how she, as she lived, could possibly find so much employment for a confessor? O, says she, it is impossible to avoid vain thoughts. I was permitted once to visit her: She was cheerful and polite, and conversed pleasantly. The room was clean but had no other furniture than a matress, a table with a crucifix book, a stool, which she gave me to sit on, and a picture over the chimney of St. Veronica, displaying her handkerchief with a miraculous figure of Christ's bleeding face on it, which she explained to me with great seriousness. She looked pale but was never sick, and I gave it as another instance on how small an income life and health may be supported.
The honorable and learned Mr. Logan, who had always been of that sect [Quaker], was one who wrote an address to them, declaring his approbation of defensive war, and supporting his opinion by many strong arguments: He put into my hands sixty pounds to be laid out in lottery tickets for the battery, with directions to apply what prizes might be drawn wholly to that service. He told me the following anecdote of his old master William Penn, respecting defense, He came over from England, when a young man. It was war time and their ship was chased by an armed Vessel supposed to be an Enemy. Their captain prepared for defense, but told William Penn and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin; which they did, except James Logan who chose to stay upon deck, and was quartered to a gun The supposed enemy proved a friend; so there was no fighting. But when the secretary went down to communicate the intelligence, William Penn rebuked him severally for staying upon deck and undertaking to assist in defending the vessel, contrary to the principles of friends, especially as it had been required by the captain. This reproof being before all the company, piqued the secretary, who answered, "I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down; but thee was willing enough that I should stay and help fight the ship when thee thought there was danger."
My being many years in the assembly, the majority of which were constantly Quakers, gave me frequent opportunities of seeing the embarrassment given them by their principle against war, whenever application was made to them by order of the crown to grant aids for military purposes. They were unwilling to offend the gov. on the one hand, by a direct refusal, and their friends by body of Quakers on the other, by a compliance contrary to the principles. Hence a variety of evasions to avoid complying, and modes of disguising the compliance when it became unavoidable. The common mode at last was to grant Money under the phrase of its being "for the king's use" and never to inquire how it was applied.
Man hath now a greater dependence on the grace of God than he hath before the fall. He depends on the free goodness of God for much more than he did then: then he depended on God's goodness for conferring the reward of perfect obedience: for God was not obliged to promise and bestow that reward: but now we are dependent on the grace of God for much more: we stand in need of Grace, not only to bestow glory upon us, but to deliver us from hell and eternal wrath. Under the first covenant we depended on God's goodness to give us the reward of righteousness; and so we do now, And not only so, but we stand in need of God's free and sovereign grace to give us that righteousness; and yet not only so, but we stand in need of his grace to pardon our sins, and release us from the guilt and infinite demerit of it. As we are dependent on the goodness of God for more now than under the first covenant, so we are dependent on a much greater, more free and wonderful goodness. We are now more dependent on God's arbitrary and sovereign good pleasure. We were in our first estate dependent on God for holiness: we had our original righteousness from him; but then holiness was not bestowed in such a way of sovereign and good pleasure as it is now. Man was created holy, and it became God to create holy all the reasonable creatures he created: it would have been a disparagement to the holiness of God's nature, if he had made an intelligent creature unholy. But now when a man is made holy, it is from mere and arbitrary grace; God may forever deny holiness to the fallen creature if he pleases, without any diparagement to any of his perfections. And we are not only indeed more dependent on the grace of God, but our dependence is much more conspicuous, because our own insufficiency and helplessness in ourselves is much more apparent in our fallen and undone state, than it was before we were either sinful or miserable We are more apparently dependent on God for holiness, because we were first sinful, and utterly polluted, and afterwards holy; so the production of the effect is sensible, and its derivation from God more obvious.
There was scarcely a single person in the town, either old or young, that was left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world. Those that were wont to be the vainest and loosest, and those that had been most disposed to think and speak slightly and vital and experimental religion, were now generally subject to great awakenings. And the work of conversion was carried on in a most astonishing manner, and increased more and morel souls did as it were come by flocks to Jesus Christ. From day to day, for many months together, might be seen evident instances of sinners brought out of darkness into marvelous light,and delivered out of a horrible pit, and from the miry clay and set upon a rock with a new song of praise to God in their mouths.
This work of God, as it was carried on, and the number of true saints multiplied, soon made a glorious alteration in the town, so that in the spring and summer following, the town seemed to be full of the presence of God; it never was so full of love, nor so full of joy; and yet so full of distress, as it was then. There were remarkable tokens of God's presence in almost every house. It was a time of joy in families on the account of salvation being brought unto them; parents rejoicing over their children as newborn, and husbands over their wives, and wives over their husbands. The goings of God were then seen in his sanctuary, God's day was a delight, and his tabernacles were amiable. Our public assemblies were then beautiful; the congregation was alive in God's service, everyone earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly in general were, from time to time, in tears while the Word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors.
Our public praises were then greatly enlivend; God was then served in our psalmody, in some measure, in the beauty of holiness. It has been observable that there has been scarce any part of divine worship, wherein good men amongst us have had grace so drawn forth and their hearts so lifted up in the ways of God, as in singing his praises. Our congregation excelled all that ever I knew in the external part of the duty before, generally carrying regularly and well three parts of music, and the women a part by themselves.
But yet it was not long after my recovery, before I fell again into my old ways of sin. But God would not suffer me to go on with any quietness; but I had great and violent inward struggles: till after many conflicts with wicked inclinations, and repeated resolutions, and bonds that I laid myself under by a kind of vows to God, I was brought wholly to break off all former wicked ways, and all ways of known outward sin; and to apply myself to seek my salvation.
From my childhood up, my mind had been wont to be full of objections against the doctrine of God's sovereignty, in choosing whom he would to eternal life, and rejecting whom he pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in hell. It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of God, and his justice in thus eternally disposing of men, according to his sovereign pleasure. But never could give an account, how, or by what means, I was thus convinced; not in the least imagining, in the time of it, nor a long time after, that there was any extraordinary influence of God's spirit in it: but only that now I saw further, and my reason apprehended the justice and reasonableness of it. However, my mind rested in it; and it put an end to all those cavils and objections, that I had till then abode with me, all the preceding part of my life. And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, with respect to the doctrine of God's sovereignty, from that day to this; so that I scarce ever have found so much as the rising of an objection against God's sovereignty, in the most absolute sense.
:
I have often since, not only had a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine of God's sovereignty has very often appeared, an exceeding pleasant, bright and sweet doctrine to me; and absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not with this. The first that I remember that ever I found anything of that sort of inward, sweet delight in God and divine things, that I have lived much in since, was on reading those words, "Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen." As I read these words and was as it were diffused through it, a sense of glory of the Divine Being; a new sense, quite different from anything I ever experienced before. Never any words of Scripture seemed to me as these words did. I thought with myself, how excellent a Being that was; and how happy I should be, if I might enjoy, that God, and be wrapped up to God in heaven , and be as it were swallowed up in him. I kept saying, and as it were singing over these words of Scripture myself; and went to prayer, to pray to God that I might enjoy him, and prayed in a manner quite different than what I used to do; with a new sort of affection. But there never came into my thought, that there was anything spiritual or of a saving nature in this
From about that time I began to have a new kind of apprehensions and ideas of Christ, and the work of redemption, and the glorious way of salvation by him. I had an inward, sweet sense of these things, that at times came into my heart; and my soul was led away in pleasant views and contemplations of them. And my mind was greatly engaged to spend my time in reading and meditating on Christ; and the beauty and excellency of his person, and the lovely way of salvation, by free grace in him. I found no books so delightful to me, as those that treated of these subjects. Those words, Canticles 2:!, used to be abundantly with me: "I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys." The words seemed to me, sweetly to represent, the loveliness of the beauty of Jesus Christ. And the whole book of Canticles used to be pleasant to me; and I used to be much in reading it, about that time. And found, from time to time, an inward sweetness, that used, as it were, to carry me away in my contemplations; in what I know not how to express otherwise, than by a calm, sweet abstraction of soul from all the concerns of this world; and a kind of vision, or fixed ideas and imaginations, of being alone in the mountains, or some solitary wilderness, far from all mankind, sweetly conversing with Christ, and wrapped and swallowed up in God.
After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of everything was altered: there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast or appearance of divine glory, in almost everything. God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything; in the sun, moon and stars; in the clouds, and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees; in the water and all nature; which used greatly to fix my mind. I often used to sit and view the moon, for a long time; and so in the daytime, spent much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet Glory of God in these things: in the meantime, singing forth with a low voice, my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer, And scarce anything, among the works of nature, was so sweet to me as thunder and lightning. Formerly, nothing had been so horrible to me. I used to be a person uncommonly terrified with thunder; and it used to strike me with terror, when I saw a thunderstorm rising. But now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God at the first appearance of a thunderstorm. And used to take the opportunity at such times, to fix myself to view the clouds and see the lightning play, and hear the majestic and awful voice of God's thunder: which oftentimes was exceeding entertaining, leading me to sweet contemplations of my great and glorious God. And while I viewed, used to spend my time, as it always seemed natural to me, to sing or chant forth my meditations; to speak my thoughts in soliloquys, and speak with a singing voice.
My master would seem to be a very religious man, taking the sacrament (so called), and used to pray every night in his family, except even when his prayer book was lost, for he never prayed without it that I knew of. The aforesaid difference was of such a kind that it made me sick of his religion; for though I had but little myself, yet I had an idea what sort of people they should be that were so.—At length the old Enemy by institutions made me believe that there was no such thing as Religion and that the convictions I had felt from my infancy was no other than the prejudice of education, which convictions were at times so strong that I have gone alone and fallen with my face to the ground crying for mercy; but now I began to be hardened and for some months I do not remember that I felt any such thing, so was ready to conclude there was no God; that such thoughts are foolish and all Priest craft; and though I had a Great Veneration for that set of men in my youth, I now looked on them in another Manner: and what corroborated me in my Atheistical opinion was, my Master's house used to be a place of great resort to the clergy, which gave me much opportunity to make my remarks. Sometimes those that came out of the country lodged there and their evening diversion used to be cards and singing and a few minutes after, prayers and singing psalms to Almighty God. I used to think id there be a God he is a pure being, and he will not hear the prayers of polluted lips. But he that has in an abundant manner shown mercy to me (as will be seen in the sequel) did not long suffer me to doubt in this matter, but in a moment, when my feet were near the bottomless pit, plucked me back.
The pious instructions of my parents were often fresh in my mind, when I happened to be among wicked children, and were of use to me. Having a large family of children, they used frequently on first days, after meeting, to set us one after another to read the Holy Scriptures, or some religious books, the rest sitting by without much conversation; I have since often thought it was a good practice. From what I had read and heard, I believed there had been, in past ages, people who walked uprightly before God in a degree exceeding any that I knew or heard of now living: and the apprehension of there being less steadiness and firmness among people in the present age often troubled me while I was a child.
I had a dream about the ninth year of my age as follows. I saw the moon rise near the west, and run a regular course eastward, so swift that in about a quarter of an hour she reached our meridian; when there descended from her a small cloud on a direct line to the earth, which lightened on a pleasant green about twenty yards from the door of my father's house (in which I stood) and was immediately turned into a beautiful green tree. The moon appeared to run on with equal swiftness, and soon set in the east, at which time the sun arose at the place where it commonly does in the summer, and shining with full radiance in a serene air, it appeared as pleasant a morning as I ever saw.
All this time I stood still in the door, in an awful frame of mind, and observed that as heat increased by the rising sun, it wrought so powerfully on the little green tree, and the leaves gradually withered and before noon it appeared dry and dead. There then appeared a being, small of size, moving swift from the north southward, called a "Sun Worm."
Though I was a child, this dream was instructive to me.
In the fall of this year, having hired a man to work, I perceived in conversation with him that he had been a soldier in the late war on this continent; and he informed me in the evening, in a narrative of his captivity among the Indians, that he saw two of his fellow captives tortured to death in a very cruel manner. This relation affected me with sadness, under which I went to bed and the next morning, soon after I awoke, a fresh and living sense of divine love overspread my mind, in which I had a renewed prospect of the nature of that wisdom from above, which leads to a right use of all gifts, both spiritual and temporal, and gives content therein. Under a feeling thereof, I wrote as follows:--
"Hath He who gave me a being attended with many wants unknown to brute creatures given me a capacity superior to theirs, and shown be that a moderate implication of business is suitable to my present condition; and that this, attended with his blessing, may supply all my outward wants while they remain within the bounds he hath fixed, and while no imaginary wants proceeding from an evil spirit have place in me? Attend then, O my soul! to this pure wisdom as thy sure conductor through the manifold dangers of this world.
Does pride lead to vanity? Does vanity form imaginary wants? Do these wants prompt men to exert their power in requiring more from others than they would be willing to perform themselves, were the same required of them? Do these proceedings beget hard thoughts? Do hard thoughts, when ripe, become malice? Does malice, when ripe, become revengeful, and in the end inflict terrible pains on our fellow-creatures and spread desolations in the world?
Do mankind, walking in uprightness, delight in each other's happiness? And do these who are capable of this attainment, by giving way to an evil spirit, employ their skill and strength to afflict and destroy one another? Remember then, O my soul! the quietude of those in whom Christ governs, and in all thy proceedings feel after it.
Does he condescend to bless thee with his presence? To move and influence you in action/ To dwell and to walk in thee? Remember then thy station as being sacred to God. Accept of the strength freely offered to thee, and take heed that no weakness in conforming to unwise, expensive, and hard-hearted custom, gendering to discord and strife, be given way to. Does he claim my body as his temple, and graciously require that I may be sacred to him? O that I may prize this favor, and that my whole life may be comfortable to this character. Remember, O my soul! that the prince of peace is thy Lord; that he communicates his unmixed wisdom to his family, that they, living in perfect simplicity, may give no just cause of offence to any creature, but that they may walk as He walked!"
It was in my thoughts when I put it into my mouth; that if I ever returned, I would tell the world what a blessing the Lord have to such mean food. As we went along, they killed a Deer, with a young one in her; they gave me a piece of the fawn, and it was so young and tender, that one might eat the bones as well as the flesh, and yet I thought it very good. When night came on we sat down; it rained, but they quickly got up a Bark Wigwam, where I lay dry that night. I looked out in the morning, and many of them lain in the rain all night. I saw by their reeking. Thus the Lord dealt mercifully with me many times; and I fared better than many of them. In the morning they took the blood of the Deer and put it into the Paunch, and so boiled it; I could eat nothing of that; though they are it sweetly; and yet they were so nice in other things, that when I fetched water, and had put the Dish I dipped the water with into the Kettle of water which I brought, they would say they would knock me down; for they said it was a sluttish trick.


During my abode in this place Philip spake to me to make a shirt for this boy, which I did; for which he gave me a shilling; I offered the money to my master, but he bade me keep it; and with it I bought a piece of horse flesh. Afterwards I made a cap for his boy, for which he invited me to dinner; I went, and he gave me a pancake about as big as two fingers; it was made of parched Wheat, beaten and fried in Bear grease, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter meat in my life. There was a Squaw who spake to me to make a shirt for her Sannup; for which she gave me a piece of Bear. Another asked me to knit a pair of stockings, for which she gave me a quart of Pease. I boiled by Pease and Bear together, and invited my Master and Mistress to dinner; but the proud Gossip, because I served them both in one dish, would eat nothing, except one bit that he gave her upon the point of his knife.