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But some of these are dead, and others aged be,
Lord, do thou supply, in thy great mercy;
How these their flocks did feed, with painful care,
Their labours, love, and fruitful works declare ;
They did not spare their time and lives to spend,
In the Lord's work, unto their utmost end :
And such as still survive do strive the more,
To do like them that have gone before :
Take courage then, for ye shall have reward,
That in this work are faithful to the Lord.
Example take hereby, you that shall come,
In after time when these their race have run.
A prudent Magistracy here was placed, By which the Churches defended were and graced ; And this new commonwealth in order held, And sin, that foul iniquity, was quell'd : Due, right, and justice, unto all was done, Without delay; men's suits were ended soon. Here were men sincere, and upright in heart, Who from justice and right would not depart: Men's causes they would scan and well debate, But all bribes and corruption they did hate ; The truth to find out they would use all means, And so, for that end, they would spare no pains. Whilst things thus did flourish and were in their prime, Men thought it happy and a blessed time, To see how sweetly all things did agree ; Both in Church and State, there was an amity ; Each to the other mutual help did lend, And to God's honour all their ways did tend, In love and peace, his truth for to retain, And God's service how best for to maintain. Some of these are gone, others do grow gray, Which doth show us they have not long to stay : But God will still for his people provide Such as be able, them to help and guide, If they cleave to him, and do not forsake His laws and his truth, their own ways to take. If thou hast view'd the camp of Israel, How God in the wilderness with them did dwell ; And led them long in that dangerous place, Through fears and trials for so long a space ; And yet they never saw more of his glory, Than in this time where he advanced them high. His great and marvellous works they here saw, And he them taught, in his most holy law.
A small emblem hereof thou mayest see,
How God hath dealt with these, in some degree ;
For much of himself they now here have seen,
And marvellous to'them his works have been.
I am loath indeed to change my theme,
Thus of God's precious mercies unto them ;
Yet I must do it, though it is most sad,
And if it prove otherwise, I shall be glad.
Methinks I see some great change at hand,
That ere long will fall upon this
Not only because many are took away,
Of the best rank, but virtue doth decay,
And true godliness doth not now so shine,
As some while it did, in the former time ;
But love and fervent zeal do seem to sleep,
Security and the world on men do creep ;
Pride and oppression, they do grow so fast,
As that all goodness they will eat out at last.
Whoredom, and drunkenness, with other sin,
Will cause God's judgments soon to break in,
And whimsy errors have now got such a head,
And, under notion of conscience, do spread ;
So as whole places with them now are stain'd,
Whereas goodness, sometime before hath reign'd.
Where godliness abates, evil will succeed,
And grow apace like to the noisome weed;
And if there be not care their growth to stop,
All godliness it soon will overtop.
Another cause of our declining here,
Is a mixt multitude, as doth appear ;
Many for servants hitherto were brought,
Others came for gain, or worse ends they sought :
And of these, many grew loose and profane,
Though some are brought to know God and his name.
But thus it is, and hath been so of old,
As by the scriptures we are plainly told ;
For when, as from Egypt God's people came,
A mixed multitude got in among them,
Who with the rest murmur and lust did they,
In wants, and fell at Kibroth Hatavah.
And whereas the Lord doth sow his good seed,
The enemy, he brings in tares and weed;
What need therefore there is that men should watch,
That Satan them not at advantage catch ;
For ill manners and example are such,
As others do infect and corrupt much : VOL. III.
Chiefly if they be unstaid and young,
And with all persons do converse among ;
Yea some are so wretched and full of vice,
As they take pleasure others to entice ;
And though it be a thing most vile and bad,
Yet they will do it, and thereat be glad ;
And laugh and scoff, when any they draw in
For to do evil, and to commit sin.
But let these, and all profane scoffers, know,
That unto God they do a reckoning owe,
And to account ere long he will them bring,
When they must answer for this, their foul sin.
Was it not enough for them evil to do,
But they must needs cause others do so too?
Herein indeed they act the devil's part,
And if they repent not, with him they'll smart ;
For God to such is a consuming fire,
And they shall perish in his dreadful ire.
But a most desperate mischief here is grown,
And a great shame it is it should be known :
But why should I conceal so foul a thing,
That quickly may our hurt and ruin bring!
For base covetousness hath got such a sway,
As our own safety we ourselves betray ;
For these fierce natives, they are now so fill'd
guns and muskets, and in them so skill'd,
As that they may keep the English in awe,
And when they please, give to them the law;
And of powder and shot they have such store,
As sometimes they refuse for to buy more ;
Flints, screw-plates, and moulds for all sorts of shot.
They have, and skill how to use them have got ;
And mend and new stock their pieces they can,
As well in most things as an Englishman.
Thus like madmen we put them in a way,
With our own weapons us to kill and slay ;
That gain hereof to make they know so well,
The fowl to kill, and us the feathers sell.
For us to seek for deer it doth not boot,
Since now with guns themselves at them can shoot.
That garbage, of which we no use did make,
They have been glad to gather up and take-;
But now they can themselves fully supply,
And the English of them are glad to buy.
And yet, if that was all, it might be borne,
Though hereby th’ English make themselves a scorn ;
But now they know their advantage so well,
And will not stick, to some, the same to tell,
That now they can, when they please or will,
The English drive away, or else them kill.
Oh base wretched men, who thus for gain
Care not at all, if their neighbours be slain !
How can they think that this should do them good,
Which thus they purchase with the price of blood !
I know it is laid upon the French or Dutch,
And freely grant that they do use it much,
And make thereof an execrable trade,
Whereby those natives one another invade ;
By which also the Dutch and French do smart
Sometimes, for teaching thern this wicked art;
But these both from us more remote do lie,
And ours from them can have no full supply.
In these quarters, it is English guns we see,
For French and Dutch, more slight and weak they be ;
And these Indians are now grown so wise,
As, in regard of these, theirs they do despise.
Fair fowling pieces, and muskets they have,
All English, and keep them both neat and brave ;
And to our shame, speak it we justly may,
That we are not furnished so well as they ;
For traders them will sell at prices high,
Whereas their neighbours of them cannot buy ;
Good laws have been made, this evil to restrain,
But, by men's close deceit, they are made vain.
The Indians are nurtured so well,
As, by no means, you can get them to tell,
Of whom they had their guns, or such supply,
Or, if they do, they will feign some false lie:
So as, if their testimony you take
For evidence, little of it you can make.
And of the English, so many are guilty,
And deal under-hand, in such secrecy,
As very rare it is some one to catch,
Though you use all due means them for to watch.
Merchants, shopkeepers, traders, and planters too,
Sundry of each, spare not this thing to do ;
Though many more that do the same abhor,
Whose innocence will one day answer for,
If (which God forbid) they should come to see,
By this means, some hurt or sad tragedy ;
And these heathen, in their furious mood,
Should cruelly shed our innocent blood.
Lord, shew mercy, and graciously spare,
For thy name's sake, those that thy servants are,
And let their lives be precious in thy sight;
Divert such judgments, as fall on them might ;
Give them not up into these heathen's power,
Who like the greedy wolves would them devour,
And exercise on them their cruel rage,
With torments great and most salvage ;
They are not content their foes only to kill,
But, most inhumanly, torment them they will.
They are men that are skilful for to destroy,
And in others misery they do take joy.
O Lord, take pity on thy people poor,
Let them repent, annend, and sin no more ;
Forgive, dear Father, what is done and past,
Oh save us still, and not away us cast.
Ourselves are weak, and have no strength to stand,
Do thou support us, Lord, by thine own hand ;
When we have need, be thou our succour then,
Let us not fall into the hands of men.
When I think on what I have often read, How, when the elders and Joshua were dead ; Who had seen those great works, and them could tell, What God had done and wrought for Israel ; Yet they did soon forget and turn aside, And in his truth and ways did not abide ; But in the next age did degenerate ; I wish this may not be New England's fate.
therefore that are for to succeed,
Unto this fair precedent, give you good heed,
And know that, being warn’d, if you do not,
But fall away, God's wrath 'gainst you'll be hot :
For if he spared not those that sinned of old,
But into the hands of spoilers them sold,
How can you think that you should then escape,
That do like them, and will no warning take.
O my dear friends, and children whom I love,
To cleave to God, let these few lines you move,
So I have done, and now will say no more,
But remember, God punished them sore.
Melius est peccatum cavere quam emendarea