Lmightie Lord, who from thy glorious throne Seest and rulest all things evn as one: The smallest ant or atome knows thy power, Known also to each minute of an houre Much more do Common-weals acknowledge thee, And wrap their policies in thy decree, Complying with thy counsels, doing nought Which doth not meet with an eternall thought. But above all, thy Church and Spouse doth prove Not the decrees of power, but bands of love. Early didst thou arise to plant this vine, Which might the more indeare it to be thine. Spices come from the East; so did thy Spouse, Trimme as the light, sweet as the laden boughs Of Noahs shadie vine, chaste as the dove; Prepard and fitted to receive thy love. The course was westward, that the sunne might light As well our understanding as our sight. Where th Ark did rest, there Abraham began To bring the other Ark from Canaan. Moses pursud this: but King Solomon Finishd and fixt the old religion. When it grew loose, the Jews did hope in vain By nailing Christ to fasten it again. But to the Gentiles he bore crosse and all, Rending with earthquakes the partition-wall : Onely whereas the Ark in glorie shone, Now with the crosse, as with a staffe, alone, Religion, like a pilgrime, westward bent, Knocking at all doores, ever as she went. Yet as the sunne, though forward be his flight, Listens behinde him, and allows some light, Till all depart: so went the Church her way, Letting, while one foot stept, the other stay Among the eastern nations for a time, Till both removed to the western clime. To Egypt first she came, where they did prove Wonders of anger once, but now of love. The ten Commandments there did flourish more Then the ten bitter plagues had done before. Holy Macarius* and great Anthonie Made Pharaoh Moses, changing th historie. Goshen was darknesse, Egypt full of lights, Nilus for monsters brought forth Israelites. Such power hath mightie Baptisme to produce For things misshapen, things of highest use. How deare to me, 0 God, thy counsels are! Who may with thee compare? Religion thence fled into Greece, where arts Gave her the highest place in all mens hearts. Learning was posd, Philosophie was set, Sophisters taken in a fishers net. Plato and Aristotle were at a losse, And wheeld about again to spell Christ-Crosse. Prayers chasd syllogismes into their den, And Ergo was transformed into Amen. Though Greece took horse as soon as Egypt did, And Rome as both; yet Egypt faster rid, And spent her period and prefixed time Before the other. Greece being past her prime, Religion went to Rome, subduing those, Who, that they might subdue, made all their foes. The Warrier his deere skarres no more resounds, But seems to yeeld Christ hath the greater wounds, Wounds willingly endurd to work his blisse, Who by an ambush lost his Paradise. The great heart stoops, and taketh from the dust A sad repentance, not the spoils of lust: Quitting his spear, lest it should pierce again Him in his members, who for him was slain. The Shepherds hook grew to a scepter here, Giving new names and numbers to the yeare. But th Empire dwelt in Greece, to comfort them Who were cut short in Alexanders stemme. In both of these Prowesse and Arts did tame And tune mens hearts against the Gospel came: Which using, and not fearing skill in th one, Or strength in th other, did erect her throne. Many a rent and struggling th Empire knew, (As dying things are wont) untill it flew At length to Germanie, still westward bending, And there the Churches festivall attending: That as before Empire and Arts made way, (For no lesse Harbingers would serve then they) So they might still, and point us out the place Where first the Church should raise her down-cast face. Strength levels grounds, Art makes a garden there; Then showres Religion, and makes all to bear. Spain in the Empire shard with Germanie, But England in the higher victorie: Giving the Church a crown to keep her state, And not go lesse then she had done of late. Constantines British* line meant this of old, And did this mysterie wrap up and fold Within a sheet of paper, which was rent From times great Chronicle, and hither sent. Thus both the Church and Sunne together ran Unto the farthest old meridian. How deare to me, 0 God, thy counsels are! Who may with thee compare? Much about one and the same time and place, Both where and when the Church began her race, Sinne did set out of Eastern Babylon, And travelld westward also: journeying on He chid the Church away, where ere he came, Breaking her peace, and tainting her good name. At first he got to Egypt, and did sow Gardens of gods, which evry yeare did grow Fresh and fine deities. They were at great cost, Who for a god clearely a sallet* lost. Ah, what a thing is man devoid of grace, Adoring garlick with an humble face, Begging his food of that which he may eat, Starving the while he worshippeth his meat! Who makes a root his god, how low is he, If God and man be severd infinitely! What wretchednesse can give him any room, Whose house is foul, while he adores his broom? None will beleeve this now, though money be In us the same transplanted foolerie. Thus Sinne in Egypt sneaked for a while; His highest was an ox or crocodile, And such poore game. Thence he to Greece doth passe, And being craftier much then Goodnesse was, He left behinde him garrisons of sinnes To make good that which evry day he winnes. Here Sinne 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 in with hands and purses full To this great lotterie, and all would pull. But all was glorious cheating, brave deceit, Where some poore 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 hes an Emperour. Nero and others lodgd him bravely there, Put him in trust to rule the Roman sphere. Glorie was his chief instrument of old: Pleasure succeeded straight, when that grew cold. Which soon was blown to such a mightie 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 carnall joy Cheat the most subtill nations. Who so coy, So trimme, 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 deare to me, 0 God, thy counsels are! Who may with thee compare? Onely the West and Rome do keep them free From this contagious infidelitie. And this is all the Rock, whereof they boast, As Rome will one day finde unto her cost. Sinne being not able to extirpate quite The Churches here, bravely resolvd one night To be a Church-man too, and wear a Mitre: The old debauched ruffian would turn writer. I saw him in his studie, where he sate Busie in controversies sprung of late. A gown and pen became him wondrous well: His grave aspect had more of heavn then hell: Onely there was a handsome picture by, To which he lent a corner of his eye. As Sinne in Greece a Prophet was before, And in old Rome a mightie Emperour; So now being Priest he plainly did professe To make a jest of Christs three offices: The rather since his scatterd jugglings were United now in one both time and sphere. From Egypt he took pettie deities, From Greece oracular infallibilities, And from old Rome the libertie of pleasure By free dispensings of the Churches treasure, Then in memoriall 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 Anchorisme and retirednesse, Learning from Greece, from old Rome statelinesse: And blending these he carrid all mens eyes, While Truth sat by, counting his victories: Whereby he grew apace and scornd to use Such force as once did captivate the Jews; But did bewitch, and finely work each nation Into a voluntarie transmigration. All poste to Rome: Princes submit their necks Either t his publick foot or private tricks. It did not fit his gravitie to stirre, Nor his long journey, nor his gout and furre. Therefore he sent out able ministers, Statesmen within, without doores cloisterers: Who without spear, or sword, or other drumme Then what was in their tongue, did overcome; And having conquerd, did so strangely rule, That the whole world did seem but the Popes 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 crackt looking-glasse. How deare to me, 0 God, thy counsels are! Who may with thee compare? Thus Sinne triumphs in Western Babylon; Yet not as Sinne, 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, When th one did set, the other did take place, Confronting equally the Law and Grace. They are hells land-marks, Satans double crest; They are Sinnes nipples, feeding th east and west. But as in vice the copie still exceeds The pattern, but not so in vertuous deeds; So though Sinne made his latter seat the better, The latter Church is to the first a debter. The second Temple could not reach the first: And the late reformation never durst Compare with ancient times and purer yeares; But in the Jews and us deserveth tears. Nay, it shall evry yeare decrease and fade; Till such a darknesse do the world invade At Christs last coming, as his first did finde: Yet must there such proportion be assignd To these diminishings, as is between The spacious world and Jurie* to be seen. Religion stands on tip-toe in our land, Readie to passe 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 brimme, and make our measure up; When Sein shall swallow Tiber, and the Thames By letting in them both pollutes her streams: When Italie of us shall have her will, And all her calender of sinnes fulfill; Whereby one may foretell, what sinnes next yeare Shall both in France and England domineer: Then shall Religion to America flee: They have their times of Gospel, evn 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 alwaies sides with povertie. We think we rob them, but we think amisse: We are more poore, and they more rich by this. Thou wilt revenge their quarrell, making grace To pay our debts, and leave her 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 flie, So Sinne shall trace and dog her instantly: They have their period also and set times Both for their vertuous actions and their crimes. And where of old the Empire and the Arts Usherd the Gospel ever in mens hearts, Spain hath done one; when Arts perform the other, The Church shall come, & Sinne the Church shall smother: That when they have accomplished their round, And met in th east their first and ancient sound, Judgement may meet them both & search them round. Thus do both lights, as well in Church as Sunne, Light one another, and together runne. Thus also Sinne and Darknesse follow still The Church and Sunne with all their power and skill. But as the Sunne still goes both west and east; So also did the Church by going west Still eastward go; because it drew more neare To time and place, where judgement shall appeare. How deare to me, 0 God, thy counsels are! Who may with thee compare?
Line 41 Macarius and Anthony, two of the Egyptian desert ascetics known for their piety and devotion.
Line 93 Constantines British line - The Christian Roman Emperor Constantine gave the land to the Vatican so it claimed earthly and spiritual jurisdiction. Herbert claims the same double protection for the British Church.
Line 110 sallet - protective headpiece, helmet.
Line 234 Jurie - Jewry.
KIng of Glorie, King of Peace, With the one make warre to cease; With the other blesse thy sheep, Thee to love, in thee to sleep. Let not Sinne devoure thy fold, Bragging that thy bloud is cold, That thy death is also dead, While his conquests dayly spread; That thy flesh hath lost his food, And thy Crosse is common wood. Choke him, let him say no more, But reserve his breath in store, Till thy conquests and his fall Make his sighs to use it all, And then bargain with the winde To discharge what is behinde.
Explication: "L'Envoy, King of Glory, King of Peace" by Alfred Fredak. Although this is a review of the music, the poem is discussed.
|1633 Poem Index||Biblical Reference Table||George Herbert & The Temple Home Page|