Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
The Goodness of God towards All Mankind Manifold Wayes
LV. Henry Arthington
 
THE FIRST POINT:
In Creating all things for our use, and us for his glory.

O GLORIOUS 1 God! how much is man
  For ever bound to praise thy Name,
No mortall wight can rightly scan,
  As well thy workes expresse the same.
 
If man look up with fixed eyes,        5
  How wonderfully doth appeare
Thy workmanship in azure skyes,
  With all thy creatures planted there;
 
The sunne and moone above the rest,
  To guide and rule each day and night,        10
With glistering starrs all ready prest,
  To pleasure us by shining bright;
 
The clouds that hang above our heads,
  As times and seasons do require,
Their fruitfull showers abroad do spread,        15
  To satisfy our hartes’ desire.
 
If man cast down his eyes below,
  To view God’s creatures here on earth,
How do they all his love foreshew,
  Still to preserve man’s vitall breath; 2        20
 
The foules that flye in firmament,
  And all kind fishes in the sea,
To take and use for his content,
  With beastes on th’ earth to rule away; 3
 
And for man’s meat did God provide        25
  All fruitfull trees (save only one),
With every herb that beareth seed,
  For man all times to feed upon. 4
 
A pleasant place, cal’d Parradice,
  God planted mankind first therein,        30
To have all times what hart could wish,
  So long as he avoided sinne; 5
 
And that man might live in this state,
  And never die (unlesse he would),
The tree of life, thereon to eate,        35
  God planted in the sacred mould: 6
 
How truely then might mankind say,
  How much are we, Lord, bound to thee,
For all thy favours every way,
  Inlarged so aboundantly! 7        40
 
Much more if thou lift up thy mind,
  To meditate God’s love to thee,
A thousand fold thou shalt it finde
  Exceeding others in degree:
 
For, in creating all things else,        45
  God only said, Let it be so;
And so they were (as Scripture tells),
  His mighty power, by word to shoe; 8
 
But in creating man, God said,
  Let us make man; whereby we see        50
His perfect person to be made
  Even by the blessed Trinity:
 
Which proveth man did farre excell
  All former workes, it is most plaine;
As that which followes (marke it well),        55
  In our own image, doth containe. 9
 
For by God’s image, in this place,
  Is meant these special qualities, 10
(His knowledge, truth, and holinesse,)
  All which in man were pure likewise: 11        60
 
For knowledge, Adam first did name
  All living creatures in their kind;
His life also was without blame,
  And all the graces of his minde: 12
 
So that in these was no dissent        65
  ’Twixt God and man, (for gifts most cleare,)
Save (all in God were permanent,)
  But man might change, as did appeare. 13
 
Behold God’s love to man yet more,
  In placing him the supreame lord        70
Of all his creatures made before,
  To guide and governe by his worde. 14
 
And that which most did shew God’s love,
  There was but one excepted tree,
Which he forbad that man should proue,        75
  On pain of death eternally. 15
 
What could God more have done for man,
  Or how much is man to him bound,
No earthly wight can rightly scan;
  Then be not slacke his praise to sound. 16        80
 
Note 1. LV. Henry Arthington wrote “Principall Points of Holy Profession, touching these three estates of Mankind: 1. Their Creation; 2. Their Subvertion; 3. Their Restoration. Wherein, 1. God’s Mercifulnesse; 2. Satan’s Maliciousnesse; 3. And Man’s Weaknesse, is made manifeste. 4to, 1607.” [back]
Note 2. Gen. i. [back]
Note 3. Ib. [back]
Note 4. Ib. [back]
Note 5. Gen. ii. [back]
Note 6. Ib. [back]
Note 7. Ps. viii. [back]
Note 8. Gen. i. [back]
Note 9. Gen. i. 26, 27. [back]
Note 10. Gen. ii. 20. [back]
Note 11. Col. iii. 10. [back]
Note 12. Eph. iv. 24. [back]
Note 13. Gen. iii. [back]
Note 14. Gen. i. [back]
Note 15. Gen. ii. [back]
Note 16. Ps. viii. [back]
 
 
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