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How keen are the pains of a spiritual birth,
When its dreadful attendants invade! The soul is a stranger to music and mirth,
A companion for none but the dead.
But spiritual travail is life in disguise,
Though with imminent dangers beset; The voice of the prophets calls flames from the skies ;
Yea, and Moses pursues us for debt,
All crimes from the cradle come fresh to the mind,
Transgression's presented to view ; While Satan accuses for every crime,
Yea, and Conscience repeats-it is true.
Jehovah erects his tribunal within,
And the criminal trembles with guilt; The billows of wrath stir the motions of sin, And the arrows of vengeance are felt.
His feigned profession is totally marr’d,
Both torments and terrors invade;
And the gates of Destruction display'd.
All friends stand aloof, and acquaintances hide,
And the soul is refas'd to be known;
Yea, and fathers and mothers disown.
I envy'd the brutes which dissolve with the day,
And reflected with wrath on the womb; The pains of the damn'd rack'd my mind with dismay,
And I wish'd I could end in a tomb.
I cavill'd with Mercy, and trembled at Fate,
While distraction was raging within ; And envy'd the angels their innocent state,
For I knew they were strangers to sin.
This fearing, and doubting, and hoping between ;
While the Tempter, he never gives out; His dreadful blaspemies how cutting and keen,
When my life hung impending doubt!
My follies were link'd like a chain to my soul,
And as bound for the realms of the dead: I look'd for a friend, or for some to condole,
But my friends and companions were fled!
On my wearisome bed I courted the day,
And at morning I woo'd for the night; I mourned to think in what darkness I lay,
And yet trembled as much at the light.
If I made my confession in private alone,
Then the worst of temptations began; And, though I petition'd with many a groan,
Yet I fain would have fled from his hand.
The horrors of justice, and terrors of death,
And mad desperation within !
With a conscience polluted with sin!
This sorrowful travail, what will it avail,
While my heart's too contracted to yield? Despair and distraction must, doubtless, prevail:
My wound is too deep to be heald.
My cruel companions, they daily deride,
And I'm chaf'd with the plague of my heart; My prayers to Heaven have passage deny'd,
And this wounds more than dagger or dart.
Can such a conception be found in the dead?
And, if quicken'd, why under the curse? Hope springing within me, must prove that I'm wed;
And, if barren, then why am I thus?
But, though of all strength I am wholly bereav'd,
And deliverance hid from my view; Yet, still in child-bearing the spouse must be sav'd;
Old Adam must yield to the New.
My Saviour perceiv'd me when sunk in distress,
And his love could no longer refrain : He yielded to prayer, and granted redress;
And my mountains were sunk to a plain.
He deliver'd my spirit by knowledge profound,
And rescu'd my Mind from her smart: The balm of his rays stopt the rage of my wound,
And dissolved the stone of my heart.
The Saviour perceiv'd me to melt in the flame,
Then he scatter'd his odours abroad:
And I call'd him my Lord and my God.
Now, Moses, froni bondage my soul is enlarg'd;
My Redeemer has cancell’d my debt; My fatal arrears are now wholly discharg’d,
And kind Heaven bas sent the receipt.
I thought you my friend: and you knew I was poor,
And you gave me long credit, 'tis true; But, had I suspected your rigour before,
I had ne'er struck a balance with you.
To deceive and to strip is but to defraud,
Though it does not become me to rail; Yet I must relate to my neighbours abroad,
The deception that lies in your veil.
Your tribes of disciples may boast of their head,
And the flock of the Saviour deride: Jehovah hath told us their leader is dead,
Though he speaks to accuse them of pride.
I thought to have rais'd your demand from my trade,
Till you brought in your fatal account: . But, when I perceiv'd you arrested the dead,
O what enmity rose at the Mount!
A second discharge of a bill that is past
Is a payment that never can end:
Has been fully discharg'd by a friend.
Why so many preachers, I cannot devise ;
How from death can your legions revive? All trust in a servant I hope to despise,
As Jehovah the Master's alive.
Of help from the law I for ever despair’d,
When conscience and creditor met: What mortal can think he, with truth, can be clear'd,
When sued for an infinite debt?
Vain rebels can sport with the bounds of the Mount,
Till by thundering threat’nings they're aw'd ; And wantonly dream of a balanc'd account,
Till they see the commandment so broad.
In open defiance, they daringly peep,
Till a terrible clap from the cloud
That Jehovah resisteth the proud.
They boast of escaping the deluge of wrath,
By obedience that felons perform;
From the earthquake, the wind, and the storm.
They seek for a portion with glorify'd saints,
Where all must be silent in dust; And call out for mercy, and urge their complaints,
In a way that all mortals are curs’d.