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And as their ashes, soules conjoyn'd did flye, Oft that wbich roaring windes could not have reft,
Which when procur'd, he did so well supply,
Bizantium's bishop for true Christian care, When Christians first to plant the gospell toil'd,
Then all her patriarks may more glory claime, To them what trouble Pagans daily gave,
For eloquence, who exquisitely rare,
O how this all the world's affection moves,
When eloquence of truth the lanterne proves ! Rome's bishops then with care did kee their flocke,
That painfull labourer in the fields of grace, (A sacrifice to every tyrant's wrath)
Interpreting the truth, translating right, Not puffed up presuming of a rock,
Who for his dwelling singled out the place, But, Peter-like, in teares, in bands, and death,
Where first our Saviour view'd this changling light; More strong then he when challeng'd by a cock,
And of fraile thoughts disturbing fleshly peace, For forfeiting the glory of his faith:
This judgement last with horrour at the height, Then mitres now with pompe so proudly borne,
Did apprehend (as marking flaming spheares) More glorious crownes those martyrs did adorne.
That still Christ's trumpet thundred in his eares. Those pastors then, farre from contentious pride,
That mother, whose kinde teares with ardour shed, All worldly honours did as rocks eschue,
Wise Ambrose said could not in vaine be spent, And onely carefull how their flocke to guide,
Here comes her sonne whom with such care she bred, Not rich, nor haughty, poore, and humble grew;
Much for bis body, for his soule more bent ; None striv'd for place, but where to lurke not spy'd, A friend, and she oft urging to repent:
Through errour's maze long intricately led, Whilst to their charge still martyrdome was due : Kings' subjects true, though subject to their wrath, By which (made famous) his conversion shines.
His eare did more his eye to reade these lines, Not torturing others, suffring for the faith.
And thus what travell huge behov'd to be, O treacherous riches, hatching many harmes ! The world's corrupter, though chiefe ground of trust, Who still in toile, the world from harme to free,
Ere this great person to the light was brought ? Of peace the poyson, daunting men in armes, The fo le of laws, a tempter to the just,
Then earst Alcides, with more monsters fought,
Of beresies most horrible to see, Nurse of all vice, who can allure with charmes,
Whose learned workes a full confusion wrought; Till even the chast (at last for thee) do lust; The onely bawd who dost abuse each state;
And yet of them he did some faults redresse, Yet for all this whom none on Earth doth bate.
Even strong in that, his weakenesse to confesse.
When barbarous Vandals did that place besiege, Thou, riches, thou, thou didst deprave each part,
Where this rare pastor his attendance gave, By which Roine's church had flourish'd first so long, Not able to resist their boundlesse rage, Empoysoning with pride her bishop's heart,
Who (grosse) such parts as his could not conceive, More weak with God, when with the world grown To flye their force, he yeelded unto age, strong;
His towne (ere stayn'd) in purity to leave: That gift which Constantine was said t' impart,
Whose happy rule still lasted with his life: If furg'd, or true, did make them first go wrong:
Thus at his funerals teares of force were rife. A wooden chalice golden priests did use, A golden chalice wooden priests abuse.
Whil'st emulous judgements who but fame affect,
To praise themselves, all others would abate; When once grown great, and lords of many lands, And where familiar, leaving due respect, Church-rulers prov'd the cause of shedding bloud; All what they reach, prize at an easie rate; The Guelphs and Gibilins oft arm'd in bands, In living men, the world doth worth neglect, Till on an emp'rour one triumphing stood; Mark'd carelesly, by envy, or by hate: And whil'st a sword fam'd terrous in his hands, And they, when gone, are by the world admir'd, The scorned keyes one drown'd in Tiber's flood : As he was straight when once from bence retird. Not to perswade, but to compell they went, As earst to save, then how to ruine bent.
Thus Hippo's bishop, th' ornament of arts,
Scarce free from stormes, was harbour'd in his port, But though smooth calmes had blunted many a When rancour raging in the Arians' hearts, Where persecution quickned all before, [minde, In Affricke made the Christians' peace but short; Yet some to zeale, franke gratefulnesse did binde,' Neare thousands five, dispers’d in sundry parts, Even in these times remisse remark'd the more ; Were after kili'd by cruelties' worst sort: And whilst by others' foils more bright they shin'd, And some dismembred, yet enjoy'd their breath, Their faith by fruits did (though secure) decore: Who (living martyrs) had triumph'd ore death. VOL. V.
A generall meeling publikely decreed,
For those whose basenesse all men thus might view, As to consult about the churche's state,
Since false to God, could not to him be true. Foure hundred fathers joya'd themselves with speed, Where doubts did challenge, freely to debate; Next comes a lady crown'd with glory forth, Ah! can religion so much mischiefe breed, Of these first two the mother, and the wife, As under trust to show the height of hate? Whose birth and vertue did adorne the north, Religion's show, God's bishops did beguile: Where first this ile did give such goodnesse life; Who met for peace, went parting in exile. O how great persons doe make worth more worth!
Her zeale in thousands bred a godly strife, Then some were burn'd to terrifie the rest, Like Sparta's queene for beauty, and in name, Whose banishment their constancy decor'd, Not of so great, but of farre better fame. Till that fierce tyrant (Affricke's fatall pest) For erring Arians fought against the Lord, Devotion at the height, (yet not a siune) And dy'd by vermine, with a stormy brest, The scorn'd extreame did come so neare to touch, Whil'st (as his minde) his body was abhorr'd: That they who follow'd, did fall grosly in; Thus he like Herod, like to him did end, [attend.” Thus superstition taught, by zeale grew such, “ Such monsters strange, strange judgernents doe Which pilgrimage and relicts did begin;
That crosse she found, did since crosse Christ too Loe, selfe-divisions still the church did marre,
much: Superfluous knowledge toiling clouds to cleare; Of whose true crosse, we but by suff'ring share, Worse then with Turkes, with Christians, Christians Here but of wood, her sonnes was drawn in th’ayre.
jarre ; In levell grounds, all ruptures most appeare,
That emp'rour's sight doth next my thoughts invite, And each small distance seemes exceeding farre, Who was by Ambrose from the church restrain'd, In them who (if not joyn'd) are naught, though neare: Whil'st once (transported with impetuous spite) Those curious doubts which good men doe eschew, His place in time of peace with bloud he stayn'd; Make many atheists, and doe better few.
Rome's power by parting, who did ruiue quite,
Though his weake sonnes (wben halfe) too much But, vent'rous Muse, a troupe we now must trace,
attain'd: Prais'd for their rarenesse at the bigher rate, He dy'd in time, whil'st still beld good and great, As eminent for parts, as in their place,
Ere barbarous squadrons came to crush the state. Their people's better each way as in state ; Them soveraignty did show, they it did grace, That ebbing time can but few emp'rours show, Not by opinion, but with reason great:
For piety, or any worth renown'd, Fraile diadems did earst adorne their brow, Some servants rose (while as their lords fell low) These everlasting are, which decke them now. Deserving and desiring to be crown'd,
As he who did Alaricus orethrow, Great Constantine, who but commend thee must? Whose beaten remnant did his hoast confound, Afflicting furies thou didst soone asswage,
Though victor still, and (save him) wanting none; Whom (ere adventring) victory to trust,
So great a moment may depend on one. A signe in Heaven for surety did engage; Thou quench’d in Tiber's streames a týrant's last, Brave Ætius thus a bloudy praise may claime, Which did in Rome exorbitantiy rage:
Who more perform'd then emp'rours durst attempt; And (persecution brought unto an end)
That great commander, with the martiall name, The Christian faith didst first by armes defend. Who Italy from bondage did exempt, [fame,
Whose trophees fill'd both th' east and west with Though great with power, a stranger still to pride, Yet dy'd a beggar, sunke below contempt: By warre prevailing, yet a friend to peace, That eunuch (mock’d) repaid his empresse soone, Herud, not raign’d, world's emperour, no, her guide, Who spun a web which never was undone. As then with men, now high with God in place; He for the church (as father) did provide,
I scarce can know a Christian at this houre, And to be gorgeous, brought her from disgrace: Of them who sway'd the empire of the east, That she who late for feare durst not be seene, Whose soveraignty seem'd sweet, but still prov'd Straight rais'd with pompe, was courted as a queene.
(Who raign'd in state, oft ending like a beast) A brave intention bad effects may breed,
Though image-breakers, foes to papall power, And things once good may be deprav'd by time; In whose vast minde, religion's part was least : This prince, bent to supply the churche's need, Those barb'rous lords whom dying Greece did breed, Did taint that purenesse which adorn'd her prime, Were types of Turkes that after should succeed. And choak'd with surfet, where he sougħt to feed, The guiltlesse authour of a casuall crime: Brave Martell's sonne, great Charles, the pride of That towne for Christians thus which reard he had, France, TheTurkes'chiefe seate, makes many a Christian sad. To plague the Pagans heritably borne,
Who over th’ Alpes bis ensignes did advance, His father once (as heath’nish) did pretend, The German's terrour, the Italian's scome, That in his campe no Christian more should dwell, Who from old foes begg'd helpe (what worse could And numbers (straight lest him they should offend) chance?) From their profession impudently fell;
And with new titles did a Gaule adorne: But them who constant were, he did commend, Ambition here joyn'd two by mutuall hopes, And from his court the others did expell:
But since few emp'rours could agree with popes.
That dignity whose virgin flower was due, Those whom that doltish time with him brought To brave commanders, victory to crowne,
(worth. Whilst but in name, and not in essence true, He makes their faults seeme worse, they grace his A Roman relict in a Grecian towne, They gave it him, (as after did ensue)
That dainty towne, the pearle of Arnes rich plains, That gratefulnesse might godlinesse presse downe: A nurcery of good wits, still friend to arts, Yet even when his owne tutor had the seate, Not mother (as one said) of haplesse swaines, He ofttax'd Rome, which straight grew grosse, when Doth now yeeld three, all prais'd for vertuous parts; great.
The first old Dante (swolne with just disdaines)
To see the errours of corrupted hearts: The next great Christian grac'd by sacred armes, Who doth their wayes (a censure) strictly trace, A glorious plant from the same bounds did spring, Yet more then God did make doth grant one place. From infidels, wbo back (by fierce alarmes) The tombe of Christ and David's throne did bring ; The next is one whose brows were crown'd with bayes, His foes all vanquish’d, and the world's base charmes, Who (chastly loving) worth did finde or faine, When both by conquest and by choice a king: He would for state be onely crown'd with thorne,
And (never jealous but of Phoebus' rayes) To him for glory, though given Christ for scorne.
His lines (still pure) no sparke of lust could staine,
When marking well of Rome the wandring wayes, Some else with him whom Heaven's chiefe stamp did (Iust fury bursting forth, indeed divine)
Which in his soule he highly did disdaine. And in their breasts just fury did infuse, (seale, Her faults (since tax’d) first clearly did designe. Not for fraile glory, but enflam'd with zeale, (use, Who for good ends, warre (man's worst meanes) did Their praise from fame no treacherous time can
Then this great poet hath a preacher neare, (try, Immortalliz'd by ravish'd Tassoe's muse, (steale, Who when French Charles the Eighth would Naples To crowne their conquest (scorning latter broils) Did tell (if bent the church from faults to cleare) With stately trophees rear'd of Pagans' spoils.
He prosper should, and else unhappy dye,
And when that king did faile (truth must appeare) That towne (a garden long for Heaven's choice He had a minde his errour to supply; By baptiz'd kings commanded for a space, (flowers) But whilst this man for Heaven a passage urg'd, Was brought to bondage by barbarian powers,
His body first fire from corruption purg'd. Farre from faire Sion when with God in grace, Yet once againe to free her stately towers, Ere taught to swimme, those soules who straight did The steps of Godfrey sundry striv'd to trace,
sinke, With German, English, French, and other bands, And (not set right) can scarce be said to stray, But fail'd in fortune, not in hearts, nor hands. Farre, farre be it from any minde to thinke,
That all were lost, who thus did lose their way: When purgatory gold enough not gave,
Some seeking Christ no toile could make to shrinke, Croisadoes then did holy warres pretend,
Though oft wrong grounds, good works, and zeale And (cosening kingdomes) did franke zeale deceive,
did sway: Whil'st publick aymes did maske a private end ; They did mistake, yet what seem'd best preferr'd, Oft princes thus (that they lesse power might have) Not in intention, but in knowledge err'd. Rome's powerfull threatnings did to Syria send, Who (jarring still) fear'd their abandon'd states,
What troupes of late damnation's number fill, Of neighbours jealous, emulous of mates.
Who (clouds remov'd) the truth did clearly know,
And reading scriptures, hearing sermons still, But what great conquest could those kings acquire, Had wicked hearts, were holy but in show? To take the crosse whom crosses did constraine,
Where such are sav'd who had more faith, lesse skil, And not resolv’dly of their owne desire,
And gave good fruits, when none their seed did sow: As courting glory, or expecting gaine?
Though once in merits too much trust they plac'd, Some (whose brave minds conceiv'd a generous ire) Who dying theirs disclaim'd, and Christ's imbrac’d. More by their friends, then by their foes in paine, With shows of vantage gladly did remove; And all that warre infortunate did prove.
Whilst ignorance to blinde the world prevail'd,
Some through her darknesse did behold the light, That simple age (rul'd by religious feares)
And marking how (their guide) example failid,
Left shows, and sought what really was right, As priests were pleas'd in every thing did deale, Who did the grounds of truth from vulgar eares,
Then with true courage, by no danger quail'd, (To breed devotion) canningly conceale,
Did venter boldly in faith's spirituall fight, Thus urging almes, and for each sinne true teares, And that when dead they should due guerdon have.
Sure, whil'st they liv'd, a number's souls to save, Whil'st want of knowledge bred prepost'rous zeale: Then superstition (lavishly devout) Not truly worship'd, but did grosly dote. Last troupes at once griev'd at the churche's wrong,
(Milde piety transform'd in sacred rage) When minds of light base ignorance depriv'd, As the Waldenses and Albigios long, (His beauties grac'd with many foils plac'd neare) Did strive against the errours of their age, To banish darknesse godly Bernard striv'd, Till Rome with passion, not in reason strong, A starre by night, more eminently cleare, As 'gainst the Turks, a generall warre did wage, Not smelling of that age in which
he liv'd, To which the reverenc'd crosse did armies call, His works were wonders then, and still are deare; Not to convert, but to subvert them all.
TUE TENTH HOURE.
This stately isle which still for worth excell'd, Such (as their doctrine) were repnted pure;
Thrice happy those, who now in time beginne,
And can no more be turn'd, repent, repent. Straight (boldly building on so solid ground)
That fatall serjeant, Death, spares no degree, From Bohem two for glory are design'd,
And Heavens straight hast to give their last decree. With learned Hierome, holy Hus renown'd, A second Stephen, first martyr of one kinde; He for that faith which in himselfe was found, And want in others whom no faith could binde, For too much goodnesse prov'd a guilty man,
DOOMES-DAY; Though callid a goose, succeeded by a swanne.
OR, Salration's worke performing as fore-told,
THE GREAT DAY OF THE LORD'S IVDGEMENT. Our great Redeemer offred up his bloud; And with like inke their blisse doth rest enrold, To nourish soules with a celestiall food, Who (when grown strong) the truth so to unfold, Could but by death make their profession good : Thus cruelty the foes of Christ doth prove,
THE ARGUMENT. And suffring is their badge whom he doth love.
To this great court, all come from every land, Their severall parts what volume could containe,
T'attend the sentence of tbeir joy or paine, Whom (whilst they guiltlesse scorn'd for feare to flie) And straight the blessed and the damned bånd, French massacres, and Mary's bloudy raigne,
Are here to part, no more to meet againe ; As Christ for them, for Christ did inake to dye;
But first the wicked and the Divell doe stand, And in all states which did the truth restraine,
Against Christ's justice grudging to complaine : The faith of numbers raging flames did try.
Till both are straight transported unto Hell, Yet naming some, lest silence others wrong,
Where they together must for ever dwell. As now in Heaven, Muse, joyne them in my song. And martyrs you who bravely march'd before, Whilst match'd with moderns do not wrath conceive; Heaven's Monarch with great majesty doth sit, When press'd by Pagans idols to adore,
His count'nance flaming from a stately throne; You chus'd to dye, ere quite your Lord to leave; This processe doth no deputy admit, These suffred have as much, and aym'd at more, But he himselfe is judge of every one ; Who (though they might themselves as Christians | Due reverence forc'd with circumstances fit, save)
Wnil'st murmuring guiltinesse doth sadly grone, Did dye ere that they would Christ's will transgresse, The bookes of conscience open doe remaine, lo substance, forme, or any way made lesse. And all accuse of that which they containe. The Levites long a darknesse huge endurid, Some seeme not apt to beare by distance made, Till that those books which did God's will containe, (Much place possess'd) when all the world are met, When found, and read, a publicke griefe procurd, O! but his voyce(which they even heard when dead) Each soule from sinne divorcing with disdaine; May to their eares who live soone passage get; Even so the truth (which ignorance obscur'd) And some would thinke their noyse for feare who James (like losias) did divulge againe :
fade, But priests of purpose would the gospell hide, Should all Heaven's circuit with confusion set: Where priests were glad to get the law for guide. If from his court each judge can tumult take,
Who order'd order may an order make.
Who can that throne imagine in his minde,
Where starres would be but staines, and terrours Since light enlarg'd by them more clearely shines; | Yet (as in gold a diamond enshrin'd)
(grace? Whilst all securely cloath'd with darkenesse slept, More glorious he who doth adorne that place; Religion's difference quickned good engines, All darknesse is, which any where hath shin'd, Which courting knowledge now tosse learned If match'd with rayes of that majesticke face: Not by implicite faith adventring soules. (scroules, And all to crowne what further can be told ?
There God in person his chiefe court doth bold. A number, loe, I view made happy here, Who by their travell, sprituall gold refind, This mighty Judge that comes downe from above. And mysteries, which doubtfull were, made cleere, No end at all in any sort can sway; Instructing all, confirming many minde,
No intercession can his judgement move, Not aym'd to others till themselves were neere, No advocates defend, no, not delay, Did leade their flockes, not driv'd, yet stay'd be- No witnesse wants, nor circumstance to prove, hinde :
Time so to gaine, as something were away:
Hence none appeales, nor can revoke when done; The minde a fury, and the thoughts turn'd snakes, A dome eternall is concluded soone.
To sting the soule, Hell's ugly monster shakes. Large is the count of life (though short) when gone, Those brests like earth-quakes, which rebounding The parting violent, the passage short,
[spaire, The judgement bitter, terrible the throne,
Charg'd with a monstrous weight, press’d by deWhich even from saints a terrour must extort; Huge are the faults, weake the discharge, else none, Where of Hell's borrours, many thousands share :
To driry dungeons would with haste be gone, The ludge is just, which rigour doth import :
It grieves the griev'd to stand, where any one, A court from whence all goe with God to dwell,
Much more where numbers joyfull doe repaire: Or with the divels for ever in the Hell.
Wbil'st mock'd by divels, whose slight no more The harvest's Lord straight takes his fanne in hand,
them blindes, And fines the fine, thence the refuse doth cbase;
Their state no helpe, no, nor yet pitty findes.
As theeves, the object of contempt and shame, The godly all are rang'd at his right hand,
Though others prove, and they their crime confesse, And all the wicked wrap'd in blacke disgrace:
Must stand till some their sentence doe proclaime, Then from the wheate, the darnell be removes,
That righted rigour have lawe's power to presse, A separation which eternall proves.
So those stain'd troupes whom sinne's black scroules
That devills them thence to execution leade.
feare) Men, angels, divels, not onely them accuse, And would themselves even willingly destroy, But God against themselves, themselves doth use. The bands design'd for blisse their courage reare All those who are for endlesse wrath prepard,
Farre from each thought that can the soule annoy, With, and within themselves (poore wretches) bring with shouts burst forth the height of heavenly joy ;
And (like bright starres triumphing in their spheare) Those witnesses, by which should be declar'd,
Not as made happie, or from trouble free,
But ravish'd with delight their Lord to see.
Whilst pilgrimes here amidst affliction's field, And what was hid, to all the world is showne.
And had of faith a diamantine shield, (sinne, That which is clear'd, and by such sure records, Which oft was bruis'd, but never entred in; None can impugne, nor controvert in ought; Their forts they (forc’d) but for a time did yeeld, It were a folly to contest in words, (thought; To death by covenant, life so to beginne; (Where deeds doe damne) with him
who knowes each | Then marchiog hence with all that was their owne, Then wit, nor power, no power to purge affords, Left earth to th' earth, remov’d, but not orethrowne. All science else to joyne with conscience brought: Sinne's deeps long smooth'd (when stirr'd) do ugly At that last conflict confidently bold, grow,
Besides the earnest which they had before, And toss'd by monsters of themselves ore-flow. Then satisfi'd, their surety rests enrollid,
Free from defects, not to be question'd more, The hoasts of darkenesse with accustom'd gall, And (by good angels naughty sprits contrould, Mindes which they long have smooth'd to tosse be- Who seeke their shipwrack, when almost at shoare) And (as their partners)
privy unto all, [ginne, They with the world all worldly troubles leave: Cite every circumstance that proves the sinne, Ere the earth their bodies, Heavens their soules reThen urge, and aggravate each forme of fall, (Since damn’d themselves) so to draw others in : What refuge (ah) can guilty caitives chuse, Thus (farre from feare of any further ill) Within whil'st conscience, divele without accuse?
Sweet quiristers enstall'd in state above, Ere Time, dismiss'd, surrender up his charge,
With troupes of angels keeping concord still, To cleare old reck’nings, cited at this throne,
As then their life, so infinite their love; Of all earst fayn'd to passe the fatall barge,
Now that his worke their maker may fulfill, He (still a witnesse) tels each action gone,
Those come rebodied where they first did move; And like a scroule wrapt up, (which had beene large) Not to be judg’d, no, but to be made cleere, Past, present, future, all contract'd in one,
And that in them God's goodnesse may appeare. Straight (so united) straines his dying flight, Else stayes accomplish'd ever all in sight.
And he who most affects the fruits of grace,
Ere forc'd to punish, franke to give reliefe, Vaine mortalls sinnes, in which they pleasure take, Whose clemency of jastice takes the place, Like mountaines them to crush remembred be, As, even for Heaven, held of all vertues chiefe, Which swallow'd sweet, but bitter when spu'd backe, He did afford, and doth confirme their peace, Breed burning agues, pests of high degree; To wicked men the first degree of griefe; So foule a forme, not Styx it selfe could make, Who marke hy them what happinesse they misse, As in minde's glasse the gazing soule doth see : And weigh their torments by upbrayding blisse.