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He left behind him garrisons of sins,
To make good that which every day he wins.
Here Sin took heart, and for a garden-bed
Rich shrines and oracles he purchased :
He grew a gallant, and would needs foretell
As well what should befall, as what befell.
Nay, he became a Poet, and would serve
His pills of sublimate in that conserve.
The world came both with hands and purses full
To this great lottery, and all would pull.
But all was glorious cheating, brave deceit,
Where some poor truths were shuffled for a bait
To credit him, and to discredit those,
Who after him should braver truths disclose.
From Greece he went to Rome: and as before
He was a God, now he's an Emperor.
Nero and others lodged him bravely there,
Put him in trust to rule the Roman sphere
Glory was his chief instrument of old :
Pleasure succeeded straight, when that grew cold :
Which soon was blown to such a mighty flame,
That though our Saviour did destroy the game,
Disparking oracles, and all their treasure,
Setting affliction to encounter pleasure ;
Yet did a rogue with hope of carnal joy,
Cheat the most subtle nations.
So trim, as Greece and Egypt? yet their hearts
Are given over, for their curious arts,
To such Mahometan stupidities,
As the old Heathen would deem prodigies.
How dear to me, O God, thy counsels are!
Who may with thee compare ? Only the West and Rome do keep them free From this contagious infidelity.
And this is all the Rock, whereof they boast,
As Rome will one day find unto her cost.
Sin being not able to extirpate quite
The 'Churches here, bravely resolved one night
To be a Churchman too, and wear a Mitre :
The old debauched Ruffian would turn writer.
I saw him in his study, where he sate
Busy in controversies sprung of late.
A gown and
became him wondrous well: His grave aspect had more of heaven than hell : Only there was a handsome picture by, To which he lent a corner of his eye. As Sin in Greece a Prophet was before, And in old Rome a mighty Emperor ; So now being Priest, he plainly did profess To make a jest of Christ's three Offices : The rather since his scatter'd jugglings were United now in one both time and sphere. From Egypt he took petty deities, From Greece oracular infallibilities, And from old Rome the liberty of pleasure, By free dispensings of the Church's treasure. Then in memorial of his ancient throne, He did surname his palace, Babylon. Yet that he might the better gain all nations, And make that name good by their transmigrations ; From all these places, but at divers times, He took fine vizards to conceal his crimes : From Egypt Anchorism and retiredness, Learning from Greece, from old Rome stateliness; And blending these, he carried all men's eyes, While Truth sat by, counting his victories: Whereby he grew apace and scorn'd to use Such force as once did captivate the Jews;
But did bewitch, and finally work each nation
Into a voluntary transmigration.
All post to Rome : Princes submit their necks
Either to his public foot or private tricks.
It did not fit his gravity to stir,
Nor his long journey, nor his gout and fur:
Therefore he sent out able Ministers,
Statesmen within, without doors Cloisterers;
Who without spear, or sword, or other drum
Than what was in their tongue, did overcome;
And having conquer'd, did so strangely rule,
That the whole world did seem but the Pope's mule.
As new and old Rome did one empire twist ;
So both together are one Antichrist ;
Yet with two faces, as their Janus was,
Being in this their old crack'd looking-glass.
How dear to me, O God, thy counsels are!
Who may with thee compare?
Thus Sin triumphs in Western Babylon ;
Yet not as Sin, but as Religion.
Of his two thrones he made the latter best,
And to defray his journey from the East.
Old and new Babylon are to hell and night,
As is the Moon and Sun to Heaven and light.
When the one did set, the other did take place,
Confronting equally the Law and Grace.
They are hell's landmarks, Satan's double crest :
They are Sin's nipples, feeding th' east and west.
But as in vice the Copy still exceeds
The pattern, but not so in virtuous deeds ;
So though Sin made his latter seat the better,
The latter Church is to the first a debtor.
The second Temple could not reach the first :
And the late reformation never durst
Compare with ancient times and purer years ;
But in the Jews and us deserveth tears ;
Nay, it shall every year decrease and fade;
Till such a darkness do the world invade
At Christ's last coming, as his first did find :
Yet must there such proportions be assign'd
To these diminishings, as is between
The spacious world and Jewry to be seen.
Religion stands on tiptoe in our land,
Ready to pass to the American strand.
When height of malice, and prodigious lusts,
Impudent sinning, witchcrafts, and distrusts,
(The marks of future bane), shall fill our cup
Unto the brim, and make our measure up ;
When Seine shall swallow Tiber, and the Thames,
By letting in them both, pollutes her streams :
When Italy of us shall have her will,
And all her Calendar of sins fulfil ;
Whereby one may foretell, what sins next year
Shall both in France and England domineer :
Then shall Religion to America flee:
They have their times of Gospel, even as we.
My God, thou dost prepare for them a way,
By carrying first their gold from them away :
For gold and grace did never yet agree :
Religion always sides with poverty.
We think we rob them, but we think amiss :
We are more poor, and they more rich, by this.
Thou wilt revenge their quarrel, making grace
To pay our debts, and leave our ancient place
To go to them, while that, which now their nation
But lends to us, shall be our desolation.
Yet as the Church shall thither westward fly,
So Sin shall trace and dog her instantly :
They have their period also and set times
Both for their virtuous actions and their crimes.
And where of old the Empire and the Arts
Usher'd the Gospel ever in men's hearts,
Spain hath done one; when Arts perform the other,
The Church shall come, and Sin the Church shall smother :
That when they have accomplished the round,
And met in th' East their first and ancient sound,
Judgment may meet them both, and search them round.
Thus do both lights, as well in Church as Sun,
Light one another, and together run.
Thus also Sin and Darkness follow still
The Church and Sun with all their power and skill.
But as the Sun still goes both West and East :
So also did the Church by going West
Still Eastward go; because it drew more near
To time and place, where judgment shall appear.
How dear to me, O God, thy counsels are !
Who may with thee compare ?
King of glory, King of peace,
With the one make war to cease ;
With the other bless thy sheep,
Thee to love, in thee to sleep.
Let not Sin devour thy fold,
Bragging that thy blood is cold;
That thy death is also dead,
While his conquests daily spread ;
That thy flesh hath lost his food,
And thy Cross is common wood.