"For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion'. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy" (Rom 9:15-16).
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Poem: "Of Judgement" by John Bunyan
As 'tis appointed men should die, So judgment is the next That meets them most assuredly; For so saith holy text.
Wherefore of judgment I shall now Inform you what I may, That you may see what 'tis, and how 'Twill be with men that day.
This world it hath a time to stand, Which time when ended, then Will issue judgment out of hand Upon all sorts of men.
The Judge we find, in God's record, The Son of man, for he By God's appointment is made Lord And Judge of all that be.
Wherefore this Son of man shall come At last to count with all, And unto them shall give just doom, Whether they stand or fall.
Behold ye now the majesty And state that shall attend This Lord, this Judge, and Justice high When he doth now descend.
He comes with head as white as snow, With eyes like flames of fire; In justice clad from top to toe, Most glorious in attire.
His face is filled with gravity; His tongue is like a sword; His presence awes both stout and high, The world shakes at his word.
He comes in flaming fire, and With angels clear and bright, Each with a trumpet in his hand, Clothed in shining white.
The trump of God sounds in the air, The dead do hear his voice; The living too run here and there, Who made not him their choice.
Thus to his place he doth repair, Appointed for his throne, Where he will sit to judge, and where He'll count with every one.
Angels attending on his hand By thousands on a row; Yea, thousand thousands by him stand, And at his beck do go.
Thus being set, the books do ope In which all crimes are writ. All virtues, too, of faith and hope, Of love; and every whit
Of all that man hath done or said, Or did intend to do; Whether they sinn'd, or were afraid Evil to come into.
Before this bar each sinner now In person must appear; Under his judgment there to bow With trembling and with fear:
Within whose breast a witness then Will certainly arise, That to each charge will say Amen, While they seek and devise
To shun the sentence which the Lord Against them then will read, Out of the books of God's record, With majesty and dread.
But every heart shall opened be Before this judge most high; Yea, every thought to judgment he Will bring assuredly.
And every word and action, too, He there will manifest; Yea, all that ever thou didst do, Or keep within thy breast,
Shall then be seen and laid before The world, that then will stand To see thy judge open ev'ry sore, And all thy evils scann'd.
Weighing each sin and wickedness With so much equity, Proportioning of thy distress And woful misery.
With so much justice, doing right, That thou thyself shalt say, My sins have brought me to this plight, I threw myself away.
Into that gulph my sins have brought Me justly to possess, For which I blame not Christ, I wrought It out by wickedness.
But O! how willingly would these That thus in judgment be, If that they might have help or ease, Unto the mountains flee.
They would rejoice if that they might But underneath them creep, To hide them from revenging right, For fear of which they weep.
But all in vain, the mountains then Will all be fled and gone; No shelter will be found for men That now are left alone.
For succour they did not regard When Christ by grace did call To them, therefore they are not heard, No mountains on them fall.
Before this Judge no one shall shroud Himself, under pretence Of knowledge, which hath made him proud, Nor seeming penitence.
No high profession here can stand, Unless sincerity Hath been therewith commixed, and Brought forth simplicity.
No mask nor vizor here can hide The heart that rotten is; All cloaks now must be laid aside, No sinner must have bliss.
Though most approve of thee, and count Thee upright in thy heart; Yea, though preferred and made surmount Most men to act thy part,
In treading where the godly trod, As to an outward show; Yet this hold still, the grace of God Takes hold on but a few,
So as to make them truly such As then shall stand before This Judge with gladness; this is much Yet true for evermore.
The tree of life this paradise Doth always beautify, 'Cause of our health it is the rise And perpetuity.
Here stands the golden throne of grace From out of which do run Those crystal streams that make this place Far brighter than the sun.
Here stands mount Zion with her king. Jerusalem above, That holy and delightful thing, So beautified with love.
That, as a mother succours those Which of her body be, So she far more, all such as close In with her Lord; and she
Her grace, her everlasting doors Will open wide unto Them all, with welcome, welcome, poor, Rich, bond, free, high and low,
Unto the kingdom which our Lord Appointed hath for all That hath his name and word ador'd; Because he did them call
Unto that work, which also they Sincerely did fulfil, Not shunning always to obey His gracious holy will.
Besides, this much doth beautify This goodly paradise, That from all quarters, constantly, Whole thousands as the price
Of precious blood, do here arrive; As safe escaping all, Sin, hell, and satan did contrive To bring them into thrall.
Each telling his deliverance I' th' open face of heaven; Still calling to remembrance How fiercely they were driven
By deadly foe, who did pursue As swift as eagles fly; Which if thou have not, down thou must With those that then shall die The second death, and be accurs'd Of God. For certainly,
The truth of grace shall only here Without a blush be bold To stand, whilst others quake and fear, And dare not once behold.
That heart that here was right for God Shall there be comforted; But those that evil ways have trod, Shall then hang down the head.
As sore confounded with the guilt That now upon them lies, Because they did delight in filth And beastly vanities.
Or else because they did deceive With hypocritical Disguises, their own souls, and leave Or shun that best of all
Approved word of righteousness, They were invited to Embrace, therefore they no access Now to him have, but woe.
For every one must now receive According to their ways; They that unto the Lord did cleave, The everlasting joys.
Those that did die in wickedness, To execution sent, There still to grapple with distress, Which nothing can prevent.
Of which two states I next shall write, Wherefore I pray give ear, And to them bend with all our might Your heart with filial fear.