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How nice, how coy are some about their diet,
That can their crying souls with hog's meat quiet;
All must be drest t' a hair, or else 'tis naught,
While of the living bread they have no thought.
Thus for their outside they are clean and nice,
While their poor inside stinks with sin and vice.
MEDITATIONS UPON A CANDLE
MAN'S like a Candle in a candlestick,
. Made up of tallow, and a little wick;
For what the Candle is, before 'tis lighted,
Just such be they who are in sin benighted.
Nor can a man his soul with grace inspire,
More than the candles set themselves on fire.
Candles receive their light from what they are not.
Men grace from Him, for whom at first they care not.
We manage Candles when they take the fire;
God, Men, when he with grace doth them inspire.
And biggest Candles give the better light,
As grace on biggest sinners shines most bright,
The Candle shines to make another see,
A saint unto his neighbour light should be.
The blinking candle we do much despise :
Saints dim of light are high in no man's eyes.
Again, though it may seem to some a riddle,
We use to light our Candle at the middle:
Irue light, doth at the Candle's end appear,
And grace the heart first reaches by the ear.
But 'tis the wick the fire doth kindle on,
As 'tis the heart that grace first works upon.
Thus both do fasten upon what's the main,
And so their life and vigour do maintain.
l'he tallow makes the wick yield to the fire,
And sinful flesh doth make the soul desire
That grace may kindle on it, in it burn;
So evil makes the soul from evil turn.
But Candles in the wind are apt to fiale;
And Christians, in a tempest, to despair.
We see the flame with smoke attended is;
And in our holy lives there's much amiss.
Sometimes a thief will candle-light annoy:
And lusts do seek our graces to destroy.
What brackish is will make a Candle sputter;
'Twixt sin and grace there's oft a heavy clutter.
Sometimes the light burns dim,'cause of the snuff,
And sometimes, 'tis blown quite out with a puff;
But watchfulness preventeth both these evils,
Keeps Candles light, and grace in spite of devils.
But let not suuffs nor puffs make us to doubt;
Our Candles may be lighted, though puff'd out
The Candle in the night doth all excel,
Nor sun, nor moon, nor stars then shine so well.
So is the Christian in our hemisphere,
Whose light shews others how their course to steer,
When Candles are put out, all's in confusion;
Where Christians are not, devils make intrusion.
They then are happy who such Candles have,
All others dwell in darkness and the grave.
But Candles that do blink within the socket,
And saints whose eyes are always in their pocket,
Are much alike; such Candles make us fumble;
And at such Saints, good men and bad do stumble
Good Candles don't offend, except sore eyes,
Nor hurt, unless it be the silly flies:
Thus none like burning Candles in the night,
Nor ought to holy living for delight.
But let us draw towards the Candle's end:
The fire, you see, doth wick and tallow spend;
As grace man's life, until his glass is run,
And so the Candle and the Man is done.
The Man now lays him down upon his bed;
The wick yields up its fire; and so is dead.
The Candle now extinct is, but the Man,
By grace, mounts up to glory, there to stand.
Two Sacraments I do believe there be,
Ev'n Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord:
Both mysteries Divine; which do to me,
By God's appointment, benefit afford:
But shall they be my God, or shall I have
Of them so foul and impious a thought,
To think that from the curse they can me save?
Bread, wine, nor water, me no ransom bought.
THE SUN'S REFLECTION ON THE CLOUDS IN A FAIR MORNING.
Look yonder! ah! methinks mine eyes do see
Clouds edged with silver, as fine garments be
They look as if they saw the golden face,
That makes black clouds most beautiful with grace.
Unto the saints' sweet incense of their prayer,
These smoky curled clouds I do compare.
For as these clouds seem edged, or laced witn gold,
Their prayers return with blessings manifold