A Soliloquy on the Soul (1)/А Soliloquy On the Soul

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A Soliloquy on the Soul
by Thomas Black
А Soliloquy on the Soul
4251241A Soliloquy on the Soul — А Soliloquy on the SoulThomas Black


O Thou my ſoul when thou doft hear,
what pleaſures are above
In heaven with Chriſt where all the ſaints,
are raviſh'd with his love:
That lightſome land, and wholeſome air,
where pleaſures do abound,
Where perfect joys and pure delights,
are only to be found
That quiet land and peaceable,
where none for ſtate contend,
Where ſorrows, griefs, and troubles all,
for ever have an end.
Where ſin and ſatan have no power,
to tempt let be prevail:
The city wall’d, which hell and death,
no pow'r have to aſſail.
Why doſt thou not when of this life,
the miſeries are paſt,
Deſire to have, as who would not,
their landing there at laſt.
But if for it thou doſt contend,
thou wiſely molt conſider,
What great difficulties are in,
the way that leadeth thither.
Leſt like the fooliſh builder thou,
forget to count the coſt,
And thus thine expectation be,
and hope for ever loſt.
That purpoſe ſtands not which is made
without deliberation
Therefore a few things thou most take,
into conſideration.
Conſider firſt, the way is ſtrait,
it narrow is alſo
Too ſtrait for thee and thy luſts too,
together for to go
Thy ſweet companions where thou haſt
held greateſt in reſpect,
Thou muſt abandon every one,
and utterly reject
Yea were thy luſts to thee as clear
as thy right hand or eye,
Yet part with them thou muſt, or elſe
part with a barve country
And through that ſtrait and narrow way,
thou tremble muſt and ſtrive,
At that moſt bleſs'd and happy port,
before thou canſt arrive
All who have trode this road before,
have found it ſtrait to be,
And thinkeſt thou for to get through
without difficulty
Yea thoſe who have beſtow'd moſt pains,
nothing had to ſpare.
And the moſt painful at the laſt,
but ſcarcely ſaved are,
But yet the ſtraitneſs of the way,
ſhould not make thee deſpair,
But rather ſhould the more increaſe,
thy diligence and care.
Moreover in this way ſhould meet
an oppoſition ſtrong,
Of enemies great multitudes,
in it ly all along
The ſons of Anak thou wilt meet,
thee and this way between;
All fight and wreſtle muft who wants
this kingdom to obtain
Theſe foes with whom thou haft to do
want neither ſtrength nor ſkill,
They are both bold and impudent,
ſeeking thy blood to ſpill
The Devil he'll be on thy toy,
and all the power of hell
Will ſtand in its united force
thee boldly to repel.
This old fox he doth know full well,
what way beſt to prevail,
And ſtill he'll take another courſe,
where one aſſault doth fail
Beſides his natural wit: he hath
much of acquired ſkill,
Whereby he doth his deeds deſign,
accompliſh and fulfil
And its no wonder ſince he hath
been practiſe in this art,
Now near ſix thouſand years men's ſouls
to ruin and ſubvert
He will not weary ſoon nor tire,
this is the work he loves,
Moſt conſtant and moſt tedious,
he in his tempting proves,
Sometimes he'll rage moſt furiouſly,
and muſter up his troops
By labouring to fear thee with
perplexing fears and doubts,
And by preſenting to thy view,
things to make thee deſpair,
Of ſtanding out 'gainſt his aſſaults,
that fierce and cruel are,
Sometimes more ſmoothly he,
and ſubtilly will deal,
And if thou be not on thy guard,
this way he will prevail,
What by his falſe and flattering tongue
to flatter thee ſecure,
What by his buſking up on ſin
that it may thee allure
Sometimes by granting unto thee,
ſomething to reſt upon,
And feeding up of a falſe hope
of thy ſalvation
By making thee believe thou haſt
a title to the crown,
Whereas thy portion may be
in ſorrow to lie down.
And thus more hurtful unto thee,
and dangerous may prove,
Alſo more advantageous,
and meet for him behoof,
Then when he rages moſt and makes,
moſt trouble and moſt din,
By raiſing up tumultous ſtorms
and tempeſts thee within,
For oftentimes more ground he gains
by his ſubtility.
Then by his diabolic power,
and raging tyranny.
Theſe and a thouſand ways he'll take,
which can by none be told.
For who is he that ſurely can,
his ſtratagems unfold;
The world with its united force,
will alſo thee withſtand,
And will oppoſe thee in thy way.
to that moſt bleſſed land.
Its profits and its pleaſures do,
prove great impediments,
Unto the moſt, ſince they themſelves
do therewith reſt content.
The greateſt part do fooliſhly,
place all their heaven here,
Theſe gliſtering ſhadows unto them,
of ſo much worth appear
Poor mortal man, as eager is,
theſe vanities to gain.
As if forſooth they were with him,
for ever to remain.
Theſe things do alſo ſometimes clog,
the godly in their way,
And heavily do cauſe them drive,
when mired with this clay.
It is but ſeldom that the world,
upon the godly ſmiles,
But when it doth, lo, very oft,
it ſomeway them beguiles
But though it ſhould not here prevail,
to flatter and entiſe,
Thee with its baits, and making thee,
that good land to deſpiſe.
Beware leſt it ſhould yet prevail,
another way with thee:
When it the evil repreſents,
of pinching poverty
Of ſcant and want, diſgrace, reproach
of troubles, trials, loſs,
Of ſuffering afflictions,
and bearing of the croſs.
Wherewith indeed the way to Chriſt,
oft times attended is;
Few of the ſaints while in this world,
ſuch entertainment miſs.
Who travel thither muſt reſolve,
to have it on their frown:
The world hates Chriſt's followers,
becauſe they'll not it own
And this to them ſhould not ſeem ſtrange
though it ſhould them abhor,
But patiently it bear becauſe
it hated him before.
And ſince the Lord and Maſter did,
while here meet with ſuch fare,
Why ſhould his ſervants take it ill,
to take of it a ſhare.
Not only muſt thou then reſolve,
its flat'rers to diſdain,
But alſo its ſevere aſſaults,
courageouſly ſuſtain
Its feud and favor ſtill with thee,
have both alike ſhare muſt,
Thou neither muſt regard the one,
nor on the other truſt
But yet the greateſt enemy,
within thee doth reſide,
Whom to reſiſt and overcome,
thou wilt find work indeed.
Altho' there were no foe without,
heaven's travellers to moleſt,
Yet there is much corruption,
that cleaveth to the beſt.
When by its motions unto thee,
doth ſo much trouble breed,
And in their journey cauſeth them,
they come ſo little ſpeed.
This is the thing that mars their peace,
and makes them droop and dwine,
While bitter water mingles it,
among their ſweeeteſt wine.
Altho' the good which the ſaints would,
to do they are not able,
And makes altho' their ſtate be good,
their joy to be unſtable.
In all their ſpiritual ſervices,
doth render imperfect,
And in their duties it obſtructs,
their pleaſures and delight
When they have got ſome ſight and view,
ev'n of the promis'd land;
Some light alſo, whereby their way,
they know and underſtand
Its motions in the ſoul yet may,
cauſe ſuch miſt to ariſe,
So that he wilder'd like,
where am I now he cries
Of all thy ſpiritual enemies'
it is moſt to be fear'd;
Therefore thou carefully 'gainſt it,
and watchfully muſt guard
Where'er thou goeſt, it will go,
it will be ſure to lodge,
Where thou goeſt ſtill labouring,
to make of thee a drudge.
Goeſt thou to read, to ſing, to ray
it thither will repair
Goeſt thou to meditation,
it ſurely will be there.
In every ſtep it will thee trace,
that it may thee withſtand;
At every turn it will be ſure,
to be at thy right hand.
This is the foe that dwells within,
and for the foe makes way:
Which openeth to them the door,
that To they enter in
All Satan's great aſſaults would bus
oft times prove in vain,
Were't not for thy corruptions,
that in thee doth remain
When Satan comes with his aſſaults,
that form the houſe he may,
He like a traitor lets him in,
and ſo doth thee betray.
Therefore thou muſt reſolve thy ſins,
to kill and mortify:
Or elſe thou may affore thyſelf,
they'll be thine enemy.
Here's no fantaſtic fooliſh dream,
no beating of the air;
The ſaints experienced can the truth,
ſufficiently declare
This warefare is a real thing,
no fancied flattering,
No fond conceit, proceeding from.
a crack'd diſtemper'd brain
Strong holds are here to be pull'd down,
high thoughts to be ſubdu'd;
Here ancient cuſtoms to be chang'd,
old things to be renew'd.
Now this will be a conſtant work,
not only for a while,
Yea all thy days thou wreſtle muſt
do not thyſelf beguile.
This foe will not be ſoon o'ercome
and wholly vanquiſh'd be;
Though worſted yet it really will
return again to thee.
This world may prove like cutting off
the hideous Hydra's head
Which cut off ſtill ſtandeth up
another in its ſtead.
So when that thou mayeſt think thy ſins;
are mortiſied and ſlain,
Its wounds may heal, and then it will
recover ſtrength again,
And tho' that ſometimes thou be beat,
thou muſt not quit the field,
Nor with theſe foes thou never muſe,
at all be reconcil'd.
No peace nor parley thou muſt take,
no quarters thou muſt give,
Nor never muſt thou ſuffer it,
in peace with thee to live
As long as ſin doth in thee live,
which will be all thy life,
Thou muſt oppoſe thyſelf to it,
death only ends thy ſtrife
Thus fight thou muſt, before that thou,
this kingdom can'ſt inherit,
As earneſtly as if thou could,
it purchaſe by thy merit.
Yet unto all thy pains and toils,
thou as deny'd muſt be,
As nothing thou had'ſt done, O thou,
is great difficulty.
No place there is for merit here on the
for ſtill that bleſt reward,
Is freely given to all thoſe,
for whom it is prepar'd.
For 'twixt the wages and the work,
canſt no proportion be,
For to the moſt laborious,
it is a gift moſt free.
Now ponder well, what in this way,
may unto thee befal,
That when thou come thou mayeſt not,
ſurprized be at all
Yet let not theſe difficulties,
unſuperable ſeem,
More of that country ſuffer them,
to leſſen thy eſteem
But rather ſhould theſe things the more,
it unto the commend,
And make thee for it with more pains
and earneſtneſs contend.
For the more precious any thing,
and excellent it be,
At coming at it till there is
the more difficulty
Othen my ſoul why, art thou ſo
diſcouraged and caſt down,
Becauſe of ſome difficulties,
in coming to the crown
What folly doth thee ſo poſſeſs,
what profit without pain,
What labour will not men endure to
ſome pretty thing to gain,
Can any thing unpleaſant be,
that leads to ſuch an end,
Which may the way though ſtraight to all,
ſufficiently commend.
Wilt thou prefer thy carnal mirth,
to everlaſting joys;
What wiſe man would a kingdom loſe
for trifles and for toys
Wilt thou for ſaving of thy life,
endure eternal death,
For carnal joys, and venture on
god's everlaſting wrath.
What though thy life attended be,
with troubles and with fears,
What though thine eyes ſhould never ceaſe,
from weeping and from tears.
What though they here ſhould find no eaſe,
yea not a moment's peace,
What though there ſhould not be a drop
of pleaſure in the caſe.
Will not the glory of that land
ſhining ſo bright and clear,
Theſe troubles will ſoon ſwallow up,
and make them diſappear.
What tho' thy life kiere on the earth,
a half of torments be,
If from eternal torments thou
be ſaved and ſet free;
Is it not better to endure
a little moment's pain,
Than under God's eternal wrath,
for ever to remain.
What would of water one ſmall drop
unto the ocean be
What's bounded poſting time unto
endleſs eternity
But bleſt be God this way doth nor,
with ſadneſs ſo abound;
As if no pleaſures nor delights
in it were to be found.
Yea doubtleſs is this way there is,
more pleaſures to be had,
Than in the ways of in which doth
down to deſtruction lead.
For ſure the straitneſs of the way,
nor from itſelf doth flow.
'Tis only thy corruptions,
and ſins that make it ſo
Chriſt's yoke is eaſy of itſelf,
and ſhould nor thee affright,
His burden is not grievous,
but profitable and light.
If thou theſe weights aſide would lay,
that do thee this impede.
A pleaſant and a chearful life,
thou in this way might lead.
The pleaſures of this way they are,
ſo excellent and rare,
That ſinful pleaſures all with them,
can never once compare.
For why ſin's greatest pleaſures are,
not real as they ſeem
Whatever thoſe do think that he
amidſt there pleaſures ſwim,
Yea all the pleaſures of this earth,
are ſhort and do not ſtay,
Unto themſelves they wings do take
and ſwiftly fly away.
They cannot when come to their height,
full ſatisfaction give
Nor of its trouble, in the leaſt,
the ſoul's caſe once relieve.
At when they're at the greateſt pitch,
a very little thing,
Theſe pleaſures all will mar and will
miſtune their greateſt ſpring.
But in this way the pleaſures of
another nature are,
All earthly pleaſures in the bloom
tranſcending very far.
Here are ſubſtantial delights,
here pleaſures to be found.
Nor light nor vain, but founded ſure
upon a ſolid ground
Here pleaſure which can to the ſoul
full ſatisfaction yield,
From whence they flow the fountain is,
God in Chriſt reconcil'd.
Even in the ſadeſt outward ſtate,
theſe can the ſoul ſupport,
And make thee with ſadeſt loſs,
moſt ſweetly to comfort
This fight is alſo a good fight,
it is a noble war;
Nothing there is that juſtly can,
make it at thee to ſcar.
A noble captain thou ſhalt have,
of whom thou mayeſt boaſt;
Under whoſe conduct never yet,
one ſoldier was loſt
Oh! he is mighty, and can make
the ſtouteſt foe to yield;
Who under him do fight, they ſhall
be ſure to win the field;
When thou'rt diſcourag'd and caſt down,
he can thee comfort give,
And when thou'rt tore aſſaulted he
can ſuccour and relieve.
And when you're like to faint and fall,
then he can give thee ſtrength,
Spirit and life, and courage too,
and victory at length.
His principalities and powers,
hath of their conqueſt ſpoil'd,
And being ſtronger alſo hath
them vanquiſhed and ſoil'd;
He by his death them conquered,
and gave them a death blow,
And on his croſs, triumphing he
of them did make a ſhow.
Take courage then, and in his ſtrength,
fight and not fearful be,
Then ſhall theſe wounded enemies,
as ſmoke before then fly.
But if thou ſhalt thyſelf alone,
againſt theſe foes engage,
Thou'lt not be able to reſiſt
their fury and their rage.
No wound, no bruiſe, no broken head,
on them thou wilt repay,
At thine endeavours all they will,
but laugh and thee defy
Adventure not in thy own ſtrength,
they will be ſtrong for thee,
Thro' him alone thou mayeſt expect,
to get the victory;
The weapons where with thou muſt fight,
thyſelf for to defend,
Deſervedly may alſo ſerve,
this warefare to commend;
They are not carnal, but thro' God,
do ſtrong and mighty prove;
For doing of ſuch things as are,
far nature's reach above.
There's armour here for every part,
a helmet ſword or ſhield,
And all the other pieces that
are uſeful for the field.
This armour too through ages all.
by many try'd have been,
By it brave heroes, great aſſaults,
did valiantly ſuſtain.
For by this armour great exploits,
and valiant have been wrought,
By it thro' greateſt hazards theſe:
crave worthies have been brought.
And for thy more encouragement,
thou'lt get a great reward
Which for his ſoldiers of old,
the captain hath prepar'd.
Thoſe who do fight and overcome,
a kingdom ſhall obtain,
Which ſadeth not away but doth
for evermore remain;
They crowns upon their heads ſhall get,
and palms into their hands,
And royal robes more precious,
than kings of many lands.
Theſe, who while fighting here below,
into this vale of tears
Were often compaſſed about,
with many doubts and fears,
Who oftentimes were made to doubt,
yea almoſt to deſpair,
Of getting victory, or that
they ever ſhould come there.
They having got above all theſe,
ſhall then be made to ſing,
The trophies of their victory,
to their immortal king
Who ſaved them; and in his love
them with his own blood waſh'd,
From all their ſins, and who their foes
in pieces all have daſh'd.
And when they ſhall come above,
for to devide the ſpoil
Then preſently ſhall be forgot,
their former grief and toil.
Then ſurely it ſhall ne'er them grieve,
that ever they did croſs,
Their ſinful inclinations,
that cleav'd to them ſo cloſe.
Or that they ever did take pains,
their ſtrong laſts to ſubdue,
Of this their labour ſurely then;
they'll have no cauſe to rue.
But rather it would be their grief,
if any griefs were there,
For ſuch a thing that then there did,
ſo much indulge and ſpare,
And that they did not give more pains,
and us'd more diligence,
Since for this work they had allow'd,
to them ſuch large expences
But grief and trouble all ſhall then,
for ever bid adieu;
No enemy ſhall any more,
come ever in their view;
O pleaſant way, O happy way,
O ever bleſſed be,
He who hath path'd this way and made;
it plain and ſmooth to me,
O bleſt be her who fought this fight,
when with him there was none;
And with his garments roll'd in blood,
the victory hath won.
O bleſt are they who are inclin'd,
to follow ſuch a guide;
And who in following of him,
do never turn aſide
O rather bleſt be he who doth,
poor captive captives lead!
And makes them willing to embrace
him as their only head.
Who by his pow'r them not conſtrains,
but volunteers doth make;
And not for any thing in them,
but for his own name's ſake.
O bleſſed captain who doth lead
captive captivity!
And in triumph victorious lead
captive poor captive me,
My hands to war do thou inſtruct,
my finger teach to fight,
Unleſs thou teach, I have no ſkill
to wail the weapons right,
O bleſſed guide, who leads the blind
in ways they do not know,
And who to them, while in the dark,
the way doth clearly ſhow.
Do thou me lead, do thou me guide
into that way of thine,
That ſo this gaudiſh, whoriſh hearts,
from it may not decline,
All praiſe and bleſſing be to him,
who only can do this,
While that thou breath and being have,
my ſoul, O do thou bleſs?