Vigilantius, Or A Servant Of The Lord Found Ready

by Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather

Carent quia vate Sacro

Graves! Where in Dust are laid our dearest Hopes !
Pay, Passengers , your Tributary Drops ,
Your Tears Allow'd, yea, Hallowed now become,
Since Tears were drop't by JESUS on a Tomb .
Churches , Weep on; and Wounded yeild your Tears ;
Tears use to flow from hack't New-English Firrs .
Zion , Thy Sons are gone; Tho' men might see
This and that Man , brave Men, were born in thee .
Tell, what they were; Let thy True Trumpet tell
Truth of the Sons of Truth , and how they fell.
Sure, when our Sev'n did to their Seats retire,
Th' Harmonious Nine did not with them expire.
Smooth Numbers first were form'd for Themes like these;
T' immortalize deserving Memories .
First, What they were not , Say; For they were Not
Such as their Mother might account a Blot .
Not such as to the Sacred Priest-hood fly,
Meerly as to a Craft , to Live thereby.
Not , who at Church seem Serious and Demure ,
But out of it, no Strictness can Endure,
Not those who dare Jest with Gods awful Word
And lewdly can Play with the Flaming Sword .
Not the Black Folks, where nothing White we know
But what as Open'd Mouth may chance to show.

Not Snuffs , instead of Stars ; (the Room, no doubt,
Would Sweeter be, if Such were turned out.)
Not Blind-men (So the Talmuds reckon them!)
Who Dark themselves, hold Lights to other men.
Not Lads , whom for their Levity alone
The Punning Tribe, De Tribu Levi , own.
Not who to Pulpits hop Unfledg'd and there,
Talk twice a Week , and Preach not once a year.
Not those who do the Pious Neighbour Shun,
But to the Wicked Sons of Belial run.
Not those who hate their Work, as Boyes the Rod ,
And hate and flour Laborious Men of God .
If such there are; Take, Lord, thy Holy Scourge ,
And from such Nusances, thy Temple Purge!

Not such my Sons; by Zion so we're told;
Sons comparable to the Finest Gold.
But, What they were , Fair Lady, canst thou say,
What thy Lost Seven , and not faint away!
For with her Seven Sons , and such as these,
Dy'd the brave Mother of the Maccabees .
Mirrours of Piety they were, and knew
Betimes, how to be Wise and Good and True.
Early the Larks Praise to their Maker Sung;
So Saint Macarius, Old while very Young ,
The Towns to which they did their Toyls dispense
Them their Bright Glory thought, and Strong Defence .

The Tears of their Bereaved Flocks Proclaime
More than could Marble Pyramids their Name.
These were N. England's Pride ; But Humbly Show'd
Men might be so , and not themselves be Proud .
Dryden Sayes, Look the Reformation round ,
Dryden , Thou Ly'st; They Write , and more than so,
They Live Humility ; they can be low .
Low these were always in their own Esteem ,
But the more highly we Esteemed them.
Low-roof'd the Temples , but more Stately than
St. Sophy's , built by Great Justinian ,
The Proud might trample on them as on Earth ,
But glorious Mines of Worth lay underneath.
First they did all to Kiriath-Sepher go;
And then a Church did Heav'n on them bestow.
By Learning first their Lamps were made to Blaze,
And Incense each then on the Altar layes.
The Liberal Arts they knew; but understood
Most Thine, Great Antonine ; That, ( To be Good .)
And Good to Do , This was their main Delight;
For This they did all Youths vain Pleasure Sleight.

While such rare Youths must Dy, no Lawyers wit
(Not Asgils ) can abate Death's Fatal Writ ,
Must such see but a Finger of the Span
That is to measure the Frail Life of man!
Yet we'l demand Eternity for them;
And they shall Live too in Eternal Fame .

Reckon, O Jews, your Priestly Blemishes ,
Forty above an Hundred , if you please:
A Priest for each of these did lose his call:
But Ours , to all appear'd still free from all.
The Power of your fine Loadstones , wondrous Great,
Report, ye Masters of the Cabinet :
Loadstones in weight a Dram ; well-Shodden they
Pull up what near Two Hundred Drams will weigh.
Our Potent Loadstones more attractive were;
And more the Sphere of their Activity extended far.
Now, Pancirol , upon my honest Word,
The Lost Sepulchral Lamps , are Now Restor'd.
Our Saints , to whom do Serve as Oyl , our Tears,
Bright Lamps , they glare still in their Sepulchres .

My CLARK was One. And such a Clark as he
Synods of Angels would take Theirs to be.
Faintly to Praise a Youth of such Desert,
Were but to Shoot indeed vile Slanders Dart.
See but his Wasted Flesh : T'was Flaming Zeal
That Melted him: The Flame is burning still.
Methinks I see his Ravish'd Hearers wait
And long to hear still his next Heav'nly Treat .
Look; The Fat Cloud, what Oracles he pours
On Thirsty Souls in most Expedient Showres !
His Preaching much, but more his Practice wrought;
A Living Sermon of the Truths he Taught .
So all might See the Doctrines which they Heard ,
And way to Application fairly clear'd.

Strong were the Charms of that Sinceritie
Which made his Works well with his Words agree.
Painter , Thy Pencils take. Draw first, a Face
Shining , (but by himself not seen) with Grace .
An Heav'n touch'd Eye , where (what of Kens is told)
One might, MY GOD, in Capitals behold.
A Mouth , from whence a Label shall proceed,
And (O LOVE CHRIST) the Motto to be Read.
An Hand still open to relieve the Poor,
And by Dispersing to increase the Store.
Such was my CLARK; so did he Look, and so
Much more than Look , or Speak , so did he Do .
Botanists, Boast your Palm-Tree , whence arise
More than three Hundred rich Commodities.
Write, Persian Poet , that brave Tree to Praise,
As many Songs as in the year be Dayes .
My CLARK more Vertues had; So must the Tree
Too rich for Earth, to Heav'n transplanted be.

HUBBARD Another. When the Youth they saw,
So Wise , Their Love he challeng'd, and their Awe .
Older Spectators fed their wondering Eyes,
With Love , to see Young Children grow so Wise .
Envy her self grew weary of her Gall ,
And gave Consent, he should be Lov'd by all.
The Pastoral of Gregory the Great,
Won't Say how well he fill'd the Pastors Seat.
In Saving Souls his Happy Hours he spent,
And Preach'd Salvation wheresoe're he went.
A Cassius , whom the Hearers did attend,
With constant Fear , that he would make an End .

His Life a Letter , where the World might Spell
Great Basils Morals , and his Death the Seal .
The Graces which were Sparks on Earth below,
To Glorious Flames in Heav'n they now do grow.
Oh! Should a Star drop from the Sky to us,
We should with Reverence admire it thus!
For such a Child of Jacob there Unite
Th' Egyptian Weeping with the Israelite .
So has his After-Beams the Setting Sun ;
Tho' he be Set , his splendor is not gone.
Adieu, My CLARK; my HUBBARD, thus Adieu;
A Pair well Parallel'd we had in you.
Grave Plutarch , Hadst thou Liv'd till now, the Pair
Would have engross'd thy Pen, they Look so fair.
Such Gifts as these by Heav'n bestow'd on Men,
Must just be Show'n , and then call'd back agen!
Lord, Why so soon, such Fruitful Trees cut down!
No Wood of Such, was on the Altar known.
Trees not cut down , (the Glorious Answer is,)
But all Translated into Paradise .
From the Quick Seizure of the greedy Grave
Her Darling Sons my Country cannot Save.
But, Grave , Thou shalt not so thy Prey consume,
As ever Buried in Oblivions Womb.
Thus Thetis Comforted her Short-Liv'd Son,
Dy Young, Long shalt thou be Admir'd when Dead and Gone.
One of the Pleiades long since withdrew.
And Heav'n but Six , does of the Seven shew.
If all the rest should chance to hide their Face,
My Seven Stars may well Supply their Place.
Now, hold, my Pen; Plato of old would have
But Four Heroick Lines upon a Grave.

Help me, my God, at Work like them to be;
And take their Deaths as Watch-words unto me.

Ex Paulini Panegyrico in Oblitum Celsi .

Heu, quid agam? Dubia Pendens Pietate Laboro,
Gratuler an Doleam? Dignus utroque Puer.
Cujus Amor Lacrymas et Amor mihi Gaudia Suadet;
Sed Gaudere Fides, Flere jubet Pietas.
Tam Modicum Patribus, tam dulci e pignore Fructum
Defleo in Exiguo Temporis esse datum.
Laetor Obisse brevi functum Mortalia Seclo,
Ut cito divinas Consequeretur Opes.

Last updated April 01, 2023