SCRIPTURAL POEMS; BEING SEVERAL PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE DIGESTED INTO ENGLISH VERSE
I. The Book of Ruth II. The History of Samson III. Christ's Sermon on the Mount IV. The Prophecy of Jonah V. The Life of Joseph VI. The Epistle of James
BY JOHN BUNYAN
Licensed According to Order.
London: Printed for J. Blare, at the Looking Glass, on London Bridge, 1701.
ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.
This very interesting little volume of poems, we believe, has not been reprinted since the year 1701, nor has it ever been inserted in any edition or catalogue of Bunyan's works. This may have arisen from the author's having sold his entire copyright—a fact which prevented Charles Doe from publishing many other of Bunyan's treatises, when he projected his edition of the entire works, of which the first volume only was printed. With some other of Bunyan's rarest tracts, it escaped the researches of Wilson, who published the works in 1737, and also of Whitefield, Mason, and all other editors of Bunyan's works. Mr. Doe, in his very interesting pages called 'The Struggler, for the Preservation of Mr. John Bunyan's Labours,' gives a catalogue table of his books in the order in which they were published; but he had not discovered these poems, nor the Emblems, nor the Exhortation to Peace and Unity.
The volume from which this edition is printed consists of one hundred pages in crown octavo, with a very rude cut of Ruth and Boaz. It is of extreme rarity, if not unique, in a perfect state. The imprint is—London, for J. Blare, at the Looking Glass, on London Bridge, 1701. It forms part of the Editor's extensive collection of the original or early editions of Bunyan's tracts and treatises; the scarcity of which may be accounted for, from their having been printed on very bad paper, and worn out by use, being so generally and eagerly read by pious persons among the labouring classes of the community.
The style and substance of these scriptural poems are entirely Bunyan's. His veneration for the holy oracles appears through every page, by his close adherence to the text. He fully proves what he asserts in his address to the reader—
'The WORD are for the most part all the same, For I affected plainness more than fame.'
However uncouth it may appear to use a plural verb after a singular noun, it really expresses his meaning, which is evidently, that portions of the WORD of God are rendered into poetry as nearly as possible, word for word with the original; and he immediately apologizes for this rudeness, in neglecting the rules of grammar, by stating his earnest plainness of speech, and his want of education in early life.
'Nor could'st thou hope to have it better done, For I'm no poet, nor a poet's son, But a mechanic, guided by no rule, But what I gained in a grammar school In my minority.'
How exactly does this agree with his account of himself in boyhood,—'It pleased God to put it into my parent's heart to put me to school, to learn both to read and write; though, to my shame I confess, I did soon lose that I learnt, even almost utterly.'
Our surprise will be excited, not by little inaccuracies of style or departures from the rules of grammar, but at the talent of a poor mechanic, in so faithfully rendering scripture histories in such simple and striking language. As Mr. Burton says, in commending his Gospel Truths Vindicated,—'This man hath not the learning or wisdom of man, yet through grace he hath received the teaching of God, and the learning of the Spirit of Christ, which is the thing that makes a man both a Christian and a minister of the gospel (Isa 50:4). He was not chosen out of an earthly, but out of the heavenly University, and hath taken these three heavenly degrees—Union with Christ—The Anointing of the Spirit, and Experience of the Temptations of Satan; far better than all the University learning and degrees that can be had.' May Bunyan's desire be realized, and his verses prove to all our readers
'As delighting To thee in reading, as to me in writing.'
Hackney, August 22, 1849
TO THE READER.
Whoe'er thou art that shall peruse this book, This may inform thee, when I undertook To write these lines, it was not my design To publish this imperfect work of mine: Composed only for diversion's sake. But being inclin'd to think thou may'st partake Some benefit thereby, I have thought fit, Imperfect as it is, to publish it. The subjects are a part of the contents, Both of the Old and the New Testaments; The word are for the most part all the same, For I affected plainness more than fame. Nor could'st thou hope to have it better done: For I'm no poet, nor a poet's son, But a mechanic, guided by no rule, But what I gained in a grammar school In my minority: I can't commend it, Such as it is into the world I send it, And should be glad to see some hand to mend it. Would but those men whose genius leads them to't, And who have time and parts wherewith to do't, Employ their pens in such a task as this, 'Twould be a most delightsome exercise Of profit to themselves and others too: If what the learned Herbert says, holds true, A verse may find him, who a sermon flies, And turn delight into a sacrifice; Thus I conclude, and wish it as delighting To thee in reading as to me in writing.
THE BOOK OF RUTH
A VERY RUDE WOODCUT:—RUTH GLEANING.—RUTH CREEPING TO BOAZ, WHO IS ASLEEP.
In ancient times, e'er Israel knew the way Of kingly power, when judges bore the sway: A certain man of Bethlehem Juda fled, By reason of a famine that o'erspread The land, into the land of Moab, where He and his wife, and sons, sojourners were. His name Elimelech, his eldest son Was called Mahlon, t'other Chilion, His wife was Naomi, Ephrathites they were: They went to Moab and continued there: Where of her husband Naomi was bereft, And only she and her two sons were left: Who took them wives of Moab in their youth. The name of one was Orpah, t'other Ruth: And there they died ere twice five years were gone; And Naomi was wholly left alone. Then she arose, and her step-daughters with her, To leave the land of Moab altogether: For she had heard the Lord had visited Her native country, with increase of bread, Wherefore the land of Moab she forsook, And to her native place her course she took, Her daughters with her: whom she did desire, That to their mother's house they would retire. The Lord, said she, be kind to you again, As you to me, and to the dead have been. God grant you each may be with husbands blest, And in the enjoyment of them both find rest, Then she embraced them, and there withal, Down from their cheeks, the tears began to fall. They wept aloud, and said, Most surely we Unto thy people will return with thee. But Naomi replied, Wherefore will ye, My daughters, thus resolve to go with me? Are there yet any more sons in my womb, That may your husbands be in time to come? Return again, my daughters, go your way, For I'm too old to marry: should I say I've hope? Should I this night conceive a son? Would either of you stay till he is grown? Would you so long without an husband live? Nay, nay, my daughters, for it doth me grieve Exceedingly, even for your sakes, that I Do under this so great affliction lie. And here they wept again. And Orpah kiss'd Her mother, But Ruth would be not dismiss'd But clave unto her: unto whom she spake And said, Behold, thy sister is gone back, With her own gods, and people to abide, Go thou along with her. But Ruth replied, Intreat me not to leave thee, or return: For where thou goest, I'll go, where thou sojourn, I'll sojourn also. And what people's thine, And who thy God, the same shall both be mine. Where thou shalt die, there will I die likewise, And I'll be buried where thy body lies. The Lord do so to me, and more, if I Do leave thee, or forsake thee till I die. And when she saw the purpose of her heart, She left off to desire her to depart. So they two travelled along together To Bethlehem, and when they were come thither, Behold! the people were surprised, and cried, What, is this Naomi? But she replied, Oh! call me Mara, and not Naomi; For I have been afflicted bitterly. I went out from you full, but now I come, As it hath pleased God, quite empty home: Why then call ye me Naomi? Since I Have been afflicted so exceedingly. So Naomi return'd, and Ruth together, Who had come from the land of Moab with her: And unto Bethlem Judah did they come, Just as the Barley Harvest was begun.
There was a man of kin to Naomi, One that was of her husband's family, His name was Boaz, and his wealth was great. And Ruth, the Moabitess, did intreat Her Mother's leave, that she might go, and gather Some ears of corn, where she should most find favour: Go, daughter, go, said she. She went and came Near to the reapers, to glean after them: And lo, it was her hap to light among The reapers, which to Boaz did belong. Behold, now Boaz came from Bethlehem Unto his reapers, and saluted them, And they bless'd him again: and he enquired Of him that was set over them he hired, From whence the damsel was, and was inform'd She was the Moabitess that return'd With Naomi: and she did ask, said he, That here amongst the reapers she might be, And that she might have liberty to glean Among the sheaves. And she all day hath been, Ev'n from the morning until now, with us, That she hath stay'd a little in the house. Then Boaz said to Ruth, observe, my daughter, That thou go not from hence, or follow after The reapers of another field, but where My maidens are, see that thou tarry there: Observe what field they reap, and go thou there, Have I not charged the young men to forbear To touch thee? And when thou dost thirst, approach And drink of what the youths have set abroach. Then she fell on her face, and to the ground She bow'd herself, and said, Why have I found Such favour in thine eyes; that thou, to me Who am a stranger, should so courteous be? And Boaz said, it hath been fully shewn To me, what to thy mother-in-law thou'st done, Since of thine husband thou hast been bereft: How thou thy father and thy mother left, And thine own native land; to come unto A land which thou before didst never know: The Lord, the God of Israel, the defence Whom now thou'st chosen, be thy recompence. Then said she, let me in thy sight, my lord, Find favour in that thou dost thus afford Me comfort, and since thou so kind to me Dost speak, though I thereof unworthy be. And Boaz said, at meal time come thou near, Eat of the bread, and dip i' th' vinegar. And by the reapers she sat down to meat, He gave her parched corn, and she did eat, And was suffic'd; and left, and rose to glean: And Boaz gave command to the young men, Let her come in among the sheaves, said he, To glean, and let her not reproached be. Let fall some handfuls also purposely, And let her take them without injury. So she till even glean'd, and then beat out Her barley, being an ephah or thereabout. She took it up, and to the city went, And to her mother-in-law did it present: And what she had reserv'd to her she gave, When she had took what she design'd to have. Then unto her, her mother-in-law did say, In what field hast thou been to glean to-day? And where hast thou been working? Blest be he, That thus hath taken cognizance of thee. She told with whom, and furthermore did say, The man's name's Boaz, where I wrought to-day. And Naomi replied, may he be blest, Even of the Lord, whose kindness manifest Unto the living and the dead hath been: The man's our kinsman, yea, the next of kin. And Ruth, the Moabitess, said, he gave Me likewise a commandment not to leave, Or to depart from following his young men, Until they had brought all his harvest in. And Naomi said unto Ruth, my daughter, 'Tis good that thou observe to follow after His maidens, that they meet thee not elsewhere. So she to Boaz's maidens still kept near, Till barley and wheat harvest both, she saw Were done, and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
Then Naomi said, Shall I not, my daughter, Seek rest for thee, that thou do well hereafter? And is not Boaz, with whose maids thou wast, One of the nearest kinsmen that thou hast? Behold, this night he in his threshing floor Is winnowing Barley, wash thyself therefore, Anoint thee, put thy clothes on, and get down Unto the floor; but make not thyself known, Till he hath eat and drank, and shall prepare To lie him down; then take good notice where He goes about to take his night's repose, And go thou in there, and lift up the clothes From off his feet, and likewise lay thee down, And what thou hast to do he will make known. And she made answer, Whatsoever thou Hast me commanded, will I gladly do. And down unto the floor she hasted, and Forthwith fulfilled her mother-in-law's command. So now when Boaz had his heart refresh'd, With meat and drink, he laid him down to rest, Near to the heap of corn; she softly came, Uncover'd's feet, and lay down by the same. And, lo! at midnight, as he turn'd him round, He was afraid, for at his feet he found A woman lay. Who art thou? then said he. I am thine handmaid Ruth, replied she, Over thine handmaid therefore spread thy skirt, I pray, because thou a near kinsman art. Blessed be thou, said he, because thou hast Made manifest more kindness at the last, Than at the first, in that thou did'st, my daughter, No young men, whether poor or rich, go after. And now, my daughter, be not thou afraid, I will do to thee all that thou hast said: For all the city of my people knows, Thou art a woman truly virtuous; And now though I am kin and undoubtedly, Yet there is one that's nearer kin than I. Tarry this night, and when 'tis morning light, If he will like a kinsman, do thee right, We'll let him, but if not, I myself will, As the Lord lives; till morning lie thou still. And till the morning at his feet she lay, And then arose about the break of day; And he gave her a charge, not to declare That there had any womankind been there. He also said, bring here thy veil, and hold To me; she did, and thereinto he told Six measures full of barley, and did lay It on her, and she hasted thence away. And when unto her mother-in-law she came, Art thou, said she, my daughter come again? Then what the man had done she told, and said, He these six measures full of barley laid Upon me, for said he, This I bestow, Lest to thy mother thou should'st empty go. Then, said she, sit still daughter, till thou see What the event of this intrigue will be; For till the man this day hath made an end, No satisfaction will on him attend.
And Boaz went up to the city gate, And after a short space, while there he sate, The kinsman of whom he had spoke, came by, To whom he said, Ho, such a one, draw nigh, And sit down here. He came and sat him down. Then he took ten men, elders of the town, And caused them to sit down. Then to the man That was of kin, thus he his speech began, Naomi, said he, who not long since sojourn'd Among the Moabites, is now return'd; And doth intend to sell a piece of ground, The which Elimelech our brother own'd. And now to give thee notice, I thought fit, That if thou pleasest, thou may'st purchase it. In presence of these men assembled here. Then if thou wilt redeem it, now declare Thy mind, but if thou wilt not, then let me, For thou art next of kin, and I next thee. Then said the kinsman, I will it redeem. Boaz reply'd, if good to thee it seem, To buy it of the hand of Naomi, Thou also art obliged the same to buy Of Ruth the Moabitess, wife o' th' dead; On his inheritance to raise up seed. The kinsman said, I cannot do this thing Myself, lest I an inconvenience bring Upon mine own inheritance, what's mine By right, therefore I now to thee resign. Now this in Israel did a custom stand, Concerning changing and redeeming land; To put all controversy to an end, A man pluck'd off his shoe, and gave his friend; And this in Israel was an evidence, When e'er they changed an inheritance. Then said the kinsman unto Boaz, do Thou take my right. And off he pluck'd his shoe. Then Boaz to the elders thus did say And to the people, all of you this day Appear for me as witnesses, that I Have bought all of the land of Naomi, That was Elimelech's or did belong Either to Mahlon or to Chilion: And Ruth the Moabitess, who some time Was Mahlon's wife, I've purchas'd to be mine, Still to preserve alive the dead man's name On his inheritance, lest that the same Should in the gate where he inhabited, Or 'mongst his brethren be extinguished: Behold, this day, my witnesses you are. Then all the people that were present there, And elders said, We are thy witnesses: May God this woman thou hast taken bless, That she, like Rachel, and like Leah be, Which two did build up Israel's family: And thou in Ephratah exalt thy name, And through the town of Bethl'hem spread thy fame; And may the seed which God shall give to thee Of this young woman, full as prosperous be, As was the house of Pharez heretofore, (Pharez, whom Tamar unto Judah bore.) So he took Ruth, and as his wife he knew her, And God was pleased, when he went in to her To grant the blessing of conception, And she accordingly bare him a son. Then said the woman, Blessed be the Lord! Bless thou him Naomi, who doth afford To thee this day a kinsman, which shall be Famous in Israel; and shall be to thee As the restorer of thy life again, And in thy drooping age shall thee sustain: For that thy daughter-in-law, who loves thee well And in thy sight doth seven sons excel, Hath born this child. Then Naomi took the boy To nurse; and did him in her bosom lay. Her neighbours too, gave him a name, for why, This son, say they, is born to Naomi: They called him Obed, from whose loins did spring Jesse, the sire of David, Israel's king.
THE HISTORY OF SAMSON
JUDGES, CHAP. XIII.
When Israel's sins th' Almighty did provoke, To make them subject to Philistine yoke For forty years: in Zorah dwelt a man, His name Manoah, of the tribe of Dan; His wife was barren, unto whom appeared The angel of the Lord, and thus declared: Though thou, said he, art barren, time shall come Thou shalt enjoy the blessing of thy womb; Now therefore I entreat thee to refrain From wine, strong drink, and things that are unclean, For lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son, Upon whose head there shall no razor come: For he to God a Nazarite shall be, And shall begin to set his people free From the Philistine yoke. The woman came And told her husband, she had seen a man Of God: his dreadful look made me, said she, Think him an angel of the Lord to be: But I inquired not from whence he came, Neither did he make known to me his name: But thus he said, Thou shalt conceive a son; Wherefore strong drink and wine, see that thou shun, And have a care that thou be not defil'd With things that are unclean; for why, the child Shall from his separation from the womb, Become a Nazarite, ev'n to his tomb. Manoah then did supplicate the Lord, And said, O Lord, be pleased to afford This favour unto me, to send again The man of God, more fully to explain Thy will to us, that we may rightly know, When this child shall be born, what we must do. And to Manoah's prayer God gave ear, And to his wife the angel did appear Again, as she did in the field retire, At such time as her husband was not nigh her. And she made haste, and ran, and strait declared Unto her husband, that the man appeared Again, whom she had seen the other day. Manoah then arose, and went his way, And when he came, he said, Art thou the man That spakest to my wife? He said, I am. Manoah said, Now let thy words be true; How shall we use the child, What must we do? Then said the angel of the Lord, let her Of all that I have charged her beware: She may not taste of what comes of the vine, Nor may she drink strong drink, or any wine, Nor may she eat of things that are unclean, From all that I have said let her refrain. Manoah said unto the angel, stay With us, till we have dress'd a kid, I pray. But he reply'd, though thou shalt me detain, I'll eat no bread, but if thou dost design A sacrifice unto the Lord, then offer: For ne'er till now, Manoah did discover It was a man of God he spake unto. Then said he to the angel, Let me know Thy name, that when these things shall be perform'd, The honour due to thee may be return'd. Whereto the man of God made this reply, Why askest thou, since 'tis a mystery? So he a kid, and a meat-off'ring took, And offer'd to the Lord upon a rock. And there the man of God did wond'rously, The whilst Manoah and his wife stood by: For as the altar did send up the flame, The man of God ascended in the same. Manoah and his wife stood looking on, And on their faces to the ground fell down. But then the angel did appear no more. Manoah then knew who he was: therefore He said unto his wife, most surely we Shall die, for we the face of God did see. But she reply'd, If God would such a thing, He would not now accept our offering, Or would he have to us these things made known; Or told us, as at this time he hath done. And now, according to the angel's word, The woman bare a son, to whom the Lord Was pleas'd, his blessing graciously to give: She call'd him Samson, and the child did thrive. And lo! the spirit of the Lord began, At times to move him in the camp of Dan.
Now down to Timnath Samson's steps incline, Where seeing the daughter of a Philistine, He came up and did of his parents crave, That he in marriage might the woman have. Then thus his father and his mother said, 'Mongst all thy kin can'st thou find ne'er a maid; Nor yet among my people, fit to make A wife, but thou wilt this Philistine take, Of race uncircumcised? He replied, Get her for me, for I'm well satisfied. But neither of his parents then did know, It was the Lord that moved him thereto, To seek a way to accomplish his designs, Upon the then o'er-ruling Philistines. Then Samson and his parents both went down To Timnath, and as they came near the town, Among the vineyards a young lion roar'd: Then on him came the spirit of the Lord, And though unarm'd, he rent him like a kid, But he discovered not to them the deed. And he went down, and with the woman treated, And was well pleas'd to have the match completed. And in a while as he returned again To take his wife, behold, where he had slain The beast, he there a swarm of bees set eye on, And honey in the carcase of the lion: He took thereof, and eating, on he went, And to his parents did a part present: And they did also eat, but did not know That from the lion's carcase it did flow. So down his father went unto the woman, And Samson made a feast, as it was common Among young men. The Philistines provide Thirty companions with him to abide And Samson said unto them, now behold, I have a riddle for you to unfold; Which if you do before the seven days' feast Be ended, I will give to every guest A sheet and change of garments; but if ye Cannot declare it, ye shall give to me Full thirty sheets, and thirty changes too. Then said they, What's thy riddle, let us know? And Samson said, The eater sent forth meat, And from the strong there came a thing most sweet. And they could not in three days find it out, Wherefore before the seventh came about, They said unto his wife, Thou must entice Thy husband to discover this device Lest we burn thee, and all thy father's house: Is it not so, that ye have called us To make a spoil? And Samson's wife wept sore, And said, thou dost but hate me, and no more; To put a riddle to my countrymen And not tell't me. And he reply'd again, I have not told my father or my mother, And shall I now to thee this thing discover. And she continually before him wept, During the time the feasting days were kept. And now behold it came to pass that he, By reason of her importunity, Did on the seventh day to her unfold The riddle, which she to her brethren told; And e'er the sun went down on that same day, The Philistines to Samson thus did say, What is more sweet than honey? What more strong Than is a lion? And he said, how long Would it have been, e'er you had understood This thing, had you not with my heifer plow'd? Then came the spirit of the Lord upon Him, and he hasted down to Askelon, And thirty of the Philistines he slew, And took their clothes, and gave the garments due. To every one of them that had disclosed The meaning of the riddle he proposed; And towards them his anger fiercely burned, And he unto his father's house returned. But Samson's wife was given unto one That was his friend and chief companion.
But in a while, as Samson visited His wife, in the wheat harvest with a kid, To her into her chamber he would go, The which her father would not let him do; But said, I thought that thou had'st quite forsook her, Wherefore I gave consent, and thy friend took her; Doth not her sister's beauty her's exceed, Though young? I pray then take her in her stead. And Samson said, I shall more blameless be Than they, though I shall do them injury. And then he caught three hundred foxes, and Turn'd tail to tail, and put a fiery brand Between two tails, and setting fire thereto, Into the standing corn he let them go, And burnt both shocks and standing corn and vines, And all the olives of the Philistines. Then they inquired who this thing had done, And were inform'd it was the Timnite's son; Because his father took his wife away, And gave her his companion to enjoy. And the Philistines came up, full of wrath, And burnt with fire, her and her father both. And Samson said, though you have done this thing, A further evil I will on you bring; And my avenging hand shall cease hereafter; And hip and thigh he smote them with great slaughter. And he return'd, and came up to the top Of Etam, and dwelt there upon the rock. Then the Philistines up to Judah went, And in the vale of Lehi pitched their tent. Then said the men of Judah, for what reason Are you come up against us at this season? And they made answer, We are come to bind Samson, to do to him in the same kind As he hath done to us. Then there went up Three thousand men of Judah to the top Of the rock Etam, and to Samson said, Dost thou not know that we have long obey'd The Philistines? Wherefore is it that thou Hast done this thing, to bring this evil now, Upon us, let us know it? Then said he I did to them as they have done to me. Then said they we are come, and have brought bands, To bind, and give thee up into their hands. And he made answer, you shall swear unto me, That you yourselves no injury will do me. And they reply'd, no no, we will but bind thee, We will not kill thee, but to them resign thee. And they took two new cords, and therewith tied him, And from the rock where he abode convey him: Whom when they to the camp at Lehi brought, The Philistines against him gave a shout: And mightily the Spirit of the Lord Came on him, and like burning flax each cord That was upon his arms became; the bands Were likewise separated from his hands. And he the jaw-bone of an ass espied, And took and smote them till a thousand died. Then said he, with an ass's jaw-bone I Have made mine enemies in heaps to lie. Behold I have destroy'd a thousand men With this same worthless ass's jaw. And when He made an end to speak, it came to pass He cast away the jaw-bone of the ass, And said, Now let the place where this was done Be by the name of Ramath-Lehi known. And he was sore athirst, and to the Lord He cried, and said, O Lord, thou did'st afford This great deliverance, and now shall I, By reason of my thirst fall down and die, And fall into the most accursed hands Of these uncircumcis'd Philistine bands? But God was pleas'd to cleave an hollow place, Within the jaw, from whence did water pass; Whereof when he had drunk, his spirit came As heretofore, and he reviv'd again: Wherefore that place, which is in Lehi, bore Unto this day the name of En-hakkore. And in the days the Philistines bore sway, Israel for twenty years did him obey.
Then down to Gaza Samson went, and there Seeing an harlot, went in unto her. And when the Gazites heard he was come thither: Straightway they gathered themselves together To compass him about, and lay in wait All night, to take him in the city gate; And they were still all night, for why? Say they, To-morrow we shall kill him when 'tis day. And he till midnight lay, and then arose, And with the city gates away he goes, Bearing the posts and bar and all away, And on an hill near Hebron did them lay. And afterward it came to pass he saw, And lov'd a woman named Delilah, Who in the vale of Sorek dwelt, to whom There did the lords of the Philistines come, And said, If thou wilt but entice him to reveal Where lies his strength, and which way we may deal With him, to bind him, to afflict him, we Each one will give a great reward to thee. And she to Samson said, I pray thee, tell Wherein thy strength doth other men excel, And how thou may'st be bound. And he replied, If they with seven green withs that ne'er were dried, Shall bind me hand and foot, I shall be then As weak and impotent as other men. Then the Philistine lords for her provide The seven green withs which never had been dried, And she therewith did bind him, (now there were Men lying in wait whom she had placed there,) Then she cried out, and said, Now Samson stand Thy ground, for the Philistines are at hand. And straight he brake the withs, and they became Like to a thread of tow when touch'd with flame: So was his strength not found out. Then said she, Samson, behold, thou hast deceived me, And told me lies: therefore no longer blind me, But tell, I pray thee, wherewith I may bind thee. Bind me with ropes that ne'er were us'd, said he; Then weak as other men are, shall I be. She therefore took new ropes, and bound him, and Cried, Samson, the Philistines are at hand: (And in the chamber there were man lay hid) And from his arms he brake them like a thread. Then said she, Thou hast mocked me hitherto, And told me lies: now tell me what to do To bind thee. He replied, Thou with the web Must interweave the seven locks of my head. Then she his locks did fasten with the pin, And said, The Philistines are coming in, Shift, Samson, for thyself; then he awoke, And pin and web, and all away he took. Then said she, How canst thou pretend to love me, When thus thy doing towards me disprove thee? For now, behold, thou hast deceived me thrice, And hast not told me where thy great strength lies. At length his soul being vex'd exceedingly, By reason of her importunity: He told the secrets of his heart, and said, Never yet razor on my head was laid; For I have been to God a Nazarite, Even from the day that first I saw the light: Wherefore like other men, if I am shaven, I shall be weak, and of my strength bereaven. And when she saw that he had told her all The secrets of his heart, she sent to call The lords of the Philistines. Come, said she, This once, for now he hath made known to me The very truth. Then they came up together, And brought the money in their hands to give her. Then down to sleep upon her knees she laid him, And call'd a man, who of his locks betray'd him. And to afflict him she began, and then His strength became like that of other men. Then said she, Samson, thy Philistine foes Are just at hand: and he from sleep arose, And as at other times went forth to shake him, Not knowing that the Lord did now forsake him. But the Philistines seized him, and brought Him down to Gaza, having first put out His eyes, and did with brazen fetters bind And made him in the prison house to grind. Howbeit the hair upon his head began, After he had been shaved, to grow again. Then the Philistine lords together met, And a thanksigivng-day apart they set, For to rejoice, and unto Dagon pay Their highest service; For our God, say they, Did this: and when the people did behold Poor captive Samson, they their god extoll'd, And said, Our God hath given into our hand Him that destroy'd us, and laid waste our land. And in their height of mirth they sent to call Samson, to come and make sport for them all. And from the prison-house they brought him, and Between the pillars they set him to stand; And there he made them sport. Then to the lad That led him by the hand, thus Samson said; Let me now feel the pillars that sustain The house, that I myself thereon may lean. Now in the house there was a mighty throng Of men and women gather'd, and among Them, all the lords of the Philistines were. Besides, upon the roof there did appear, About three thousand men and women, who Beheld, while Samson made them sport below. And Samson, calling on the Lord, did say, O Lord, my God, remember me, I pray, This once give strength, that I aveng'd may be Of those Philistines who have blinded me. And with his right hand and his left, he held Two middle pillars which the house upheld; And said, Let me with the Philistines die, And then he bowed himself most mightily: And down the house fell on the lords, and all The people that were in't; so that the fall Thereof, slew at his dying many more Than he had slain in all his life before. Then did his brethren and his kinfolks come And took him up, and brought him with them home, And laid him in his father's sepulchre, When he had judged Israel twenty year.
CHRIST'S SERMON ON THE MOUNT
MATTHEW, CHAP. V.
And Jesus, seeing the multitudes, ascended Up to a mount, where sitting, and attended By his disciples, he began to preach; And on this manner following did them teach. Blessed are all such as are poor in spirit, For they the heavenly kingdom do inherit. Blessed are they that mourn; for in the stead Thereof shall comfort be administered. Blessed are they, whose meekness doth excel: For on the earth their portion is to dwell. Blessed are they, who after righteousness Hunger and thirst; for they shall it possess. Blessed are they, for they shall mercy find, Who to do mercifully are inclin'd. Blessed are all such as are pure in heart; For God his presence shall to them impart. Blessed are they that do make peace; for why? They shall be call'd the sons of the Most High. Blessed are they which suffer for the sake Of righteousness: for they of heav'n partake. Blessed are ye, when men shall falsely speak All kind of ill against you for my sake, And shall revile, and persecute you sore; Rejoice, and be exceeding glad therefore: For your reward in heav'n will be great: For thus of old they did the prophets treat. Ye are the salt o' th' earth; but wherewith must The earth be season'd when the savour's lost? It is from thenceforth good for nothing, but To be cast out, and trodd'n under foot. Ye are the light o' th' world; a city set Upon an hill cannot be hid; nor yet Do men a candle with a bushel cover, But set it where it lights the whole house over. So shine your light, your good works seen thereby Men may your heavenly Father glorify. Think not that to destroy the law I came, Or prophets; no, but to fulfil the same. For till the heav'n and earth shall pass away, One jot or tittle from the law, I say, Shall never pass, till all shall be complete. Whoso therefore presumes to violate, One of these least commands, and teacheth so, Shall in God's kingdom be accounted low. But he that doth, and teacheth them likewise, Shall in God's kingdom have great dignities. For I declare unto you, that unless You shall exceed the scribe and pharisees In righteousness; you shall on no condition, Into the heavenly kingdom gain admission. Ye've heard 'twas said of old, 'Thou shalt not kill.' And he incurs the judgment who shall spill His brother's blood: but I to you declare, That he that's wroth without a cause, shall bear The judgment. Likewise of the council he That sayeth 'racha' shall in danger be. But whosoe'er shall say, Thou fool, the same Shall be in danger of eternal flame. When therefore to the altar thou dost bring Thy gift, and there rememb'rest any thing Thy brother hath against thee: leave it there Before the altar, and come thou not near, Till thou hast first made reconciliation, Then may'st thou come and offer thine oblation. Make an agreement with thine adversary Whilst thou art in the way, and do not tarry; Lest he at any time deliver thee Unto the judge, and by the judge thou be Unto the officer forthwith resign'd, And in imprisonment thou be confin'd; I do affirm thou shalt not be enlarg'd, Till thou the utmost farthing hast discharg'd. Ye've heard that they of old did testify, That men should not commit adultery: But I pronounce him an adulterer, Who views a woman to lust after her. And if thy right eye shall offensive be, Pluck thou it out and cast the same from thee; For it is better lose one, than that all Thy members should into hell torments fall. And if thy right hand doth offend, cut off it, And cast it from thee, for it will thee profit Much rather that one of thy members fell, Than that they should be all condemned to hell. It hath been said, whoso away shall force His wife, shall give her a bill of divorce: But whosoe'er shall put his wife away, Except for fornication's sake, I say, Makes her adult'ress, and who marries her, So put away, is an adulterer. Again: Ye've heard, Thou shalt not be forsworn, Was ancient doctrine, but thou shalt perform Unto the Lord thine oaths: But I declare, That thou shalt not at all presume to swear; Neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth, for his foot stands thereon: Neither swear by Jerusalem, for why? It is the city of the King Most High: Nor swear thou by thine head, for thou canst make No hair thereof to be or white or black: But let yea, yea; nay, nay, in speech suffice, For what is more from evil doth arise. Ye've heard, it hath been said; Eye for an eye, And tooth for tooth: But I do testify, That you shall not resist; but let him smite Thy left cheek also, who assaults thy right. And if that any by a lawsuit shall Demand thy coat, let them have cloak and all. And whosoe'er compelleth thee to go A mile, refuse not to go with him two. Give him that asketh, and from him that may Have need to borrow, turn not thou away. Ye've heard, 'twas said: That thou shalt love thy friend And hate thy foe: But let your love extend Unto your enemies: thus I declare, Bless them that curse, do good to them that bear Ill will, and for your persecutors pray, And them that do reproach you; that you may Be children of your Father that's in heaven; For he on good and bad alike hath given His sun to rise, and in like manner doth Send rain upon the just and unjust both For what is your reward, if you love them That love you? Do not publicans the same? And if your brethren only you salute, What more than they do ye? They also do't. I will therefore that you be perfect, ev'n As is your Father perfect that's in heaven.
Take heed you do not your alms-deed bestow Before men, purposely to make a shew; For then there will no recompence be given Unto you of your Father that's in heaven: With sound of trumpet do not thou therefore Proclaim what thou art giving to the poor; As is the manner of the hypocrites To do i' th' synagogues, and in the streets; That men may give them praises. Verily They have their recompence, I testify. But when thou dost alms, let thy left hand know Not what thy right hand is about to do: That giving secretly, thy Father may, Who sees in secret, openly repay. And when thou pray'st be not as hypocrites; For they love in the corners of the streets, And in the synagogues to stand and pray, There to be seen: they've their reward I say. But thou, when thou dost make thy pray'r, go thee Into thy closet, shut thy door unto thee, And there in secret to thy Father cry, Who seeing thee shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray use not vain repetitions, As heathens do, for they think their petitions Prevail; when they the same do multiply: Be ye not like to them therefore; for why; Your Father knows what things you need before You ask him, on this wise pray ye therefore.
Our Father which art in heav'n, thy name alone Be hallowed. Thy glorious kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as 'tis in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And ev'n As we remit our debtors, grant remission To us. And lead us not into temptation, But from all evil do thou us deliver; For th' kingdom, power and glory's thine for ever. Amen.
For if you do forgive men that offend, Your heavenly Father will to you extend Forgiveness; but if not, nor will he spare, At any time when you offenders are. Moreover when you fast beware lest you Look sad, as hypocrites are wont to do; For they disguise their faces, that they may Appear to fast: they've their reward I say. But thou, when thou dost fast, anoint thine head And wash thy face, that undiscovered Thy fasting may be unto men, but rather That thou be seen in secret of thy Father: And then thy Father, who in secrecy Beholds thee, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up treasure for yourselves in store Upon the earth, where moth and rust devour, And where by thieves you may be quite bereaven. But lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven, Where neither moth, nor rust, nor thieves can enter: For where's your treasure there your hearts will centre. The eye's the light o' th' body, which if right Then thy whole body will be full of light: But if thine eye be evil, then there will A total darkness thy whole body fill. If therefore all the light that is in thee Be darkness, how great must that darkness be? No man can serve two masters, either he Will hate one, and love t'other, or will be Faithful to one, and t'other will forego. Ye cannot serve both God and mammon too. Take no thought therefore for your life, I say, What you shall eat or drink; or how you may Your bodies clothe. Is not the life much more Than meat; Is not the body far before The clothes thereof? Behold the fowls o' th' air, Nor sow nor reap, nor take they any care; How they provision into barns may gather; Yet they are nourish'd by your heavenly Father: Are ye not worth much more? Which of you can By taking thought add to his height one span? And why for raiment are ye taking thought? See how the lilies grow; they labour not, Nor do they spin; yet Solomon, I say, In all his pomp, had no such gay array. If in the field God so doth clothe the grass, Which is to-day, and doth to-morrow pass Into the oven, shall he not therefore O ye of little faith, clothe you much more? Take no thought therefore, saying, What shall we eat, Or drink, or where shall we our raiment get: (For thus the heathen people use to do) For that you need them doth your Father know. But seek God's kingdom, and his righteousness First, and then all these things you shall possess. Be not then exercis'd with care and sorrow, In making preparation for the morrow; The morrow shall things for itself prepare: Sufficient to the day is each day's care.
Judge not that you may not be judg'd; for even As you pass judgment, judgment shall be giv'n: And with such measure as you mete to men, It shall be measured unto you again. And why dost thou take notice of the mote That's in thy brother's eye; but dost not note The beam that's in thine own? How wilt thou say Unto thy brother, let me take away The mote that's in thine eye, when yet 'tis plain The beam that's in thine own doth still remain? First cast away the beam, thou hypocrite, From thine own eye, so shall thy clearer sight The better be enabled to descry, And pluck the mote out of thy brother's eye. Give not to dogs the things that are divine, Neither cast ye your pearls before the swine Lest that they should their feet them trample under, And turn upon you, and rend you asunder. Ask, and obtain; seek, and ye shall find; do ye Knock, and it shall be opened unto ye: For he that seeks, shall find; that asks, obtain, And he that knocks, shall an admittance gain. Or what man is there of you, if his son
Shall ask him bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he bestow A serpent? If then ye being evil know To give your children good gifts, how much rather To them that ask him shall your heav'nly Father. Then what you wou'd men shou'd to you, so do To them: for that's the law and prophets too. Enter in at the strait gate, for the road That doth unto destruction lead, is broad; And wide the gate; and many there be that Enter therein: because strait is the gate, And narrow is the way that is inclin'd To life, and which there are but few that find. False prophets shun, who in sheep's clothes appear, But inwardly devouring wolves they are: Ye by their fruits shall know them. Do men either Pluck grapes of thorns, or figs or thistles gather? Even so each good tree good fruit will produce; But a corrupt tree fruit unfit for use: A good tree cannot bring forth evil food, Nor can an evil tree bear fruit that's good: Each tree that bears not good fruit's hewn down And burnt, thus by their fruits they shall be known. Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, but he That doth my heav'nly Father's will shall be An heir of heaven: many in that day Will call Lord, Lord, and thus to me will say; Have we not prophesied in thy name? Cast devils out, done wonders in the same? And then will I profess I know you not; Depart from me ye that have evil wrought. Whoso therefore these sayings of mine doth hear, And doth them, to a wise man I'll compare, The which upon a rock his building founded, The rain descended and the floods surrounded, The winds arose, and gave it many a shock, And it fell not, being founded on a rock. And ev'ry one that hears these sayings of mine, And not to do them doth his heart incline, Unto a foolish man shall be compar'd; Who his foundation on the sand prepar'd: The rain descended and the floods were great, The winds did blow, and vehemently beat Against that house; and down the building came, And mighty was the downfall of the same. And now when Jesus thus had finished His sayings, the people were astonished Thereat: for not as do the scribes taught he Them, but as one that had authority.
THE PROPHECY OF JONAH
Now unto Jonah, old Amittai's son, Thus did the word of the Almighty come, And said, Arise, go thou forthwith and cry 'Gainst that great city Nineveh; for why, The sins thereof are come up in my sight. But he arose, that he to Tarshish might Flee from God's presence; and went down and found A ship at Joppa unto Tarshish bound: He paid the fare, and with them went on board For Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord. But the Almighty a great wind did raise, And sent a mighty tempest on the seas, So that the ship was likely to be broken. Then were the mariners with horror stricken; And to his God they cried every one; And overboard was the ship's lading thrown To lighten it: but down into the ship Was Jonah gone, and there lay fast asleep. So to him came the master and did say, What meanest thou, O sleeper! rise and pray Unto thy God, and he perhaps will hear, And save us from the danger that we fear. Then said they to each other, Come let's try, By casting lots, on whom the fault doth lie, In bringing all this evil now upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonas. Then said they, We entreat thee let us know, For whose cause we this evil undergo, Whence comest thou? What is thine occupation? What countryman art thou? And of what nation? And unto them himself he did declare, And said, I am an Hebrew, and do fear The living Lord, the God of heaven, who Alone hath made the sea and dry land too. Then were the men exceedingly afraid; And, wherefore hast thou done this thing? they said: (For they did understand he did forego God's presence, for himself had told them so.) What shall we do unto thee, then they said, That so the raging of the sea be stay'd? (For it did rage and foam.) Take me, said he, And cast me overboard into the sea; So shall the sea be calm, for on my score
I know it is, that thus the waves do roar. Nevertheless they rowed hard to gain The land, but all their labour was in vain; So much against them did the tempest beat. Wherefore they the Almighty did entreat, And said, We do beseech thee, and we pray, O Lord, that thou would'st not upon us lay The charge of guiltless blood, nor let it be, That now we perish, on th' account that we Take this man's life away; for thou alone As it hath pleased thee, O Lord, hast done. So they took Jonah up, and to the seas Committed him, then did the tempest cease. Then did the dread of the great God on high, Seize on the mariners exceedingly. And they did offer up a sacrifice, And vowed vows unto the Lord likewise. And now the Lord for Jonah did contrive A mighty fish, to swallow 'im up alive, And in the fish's belly for the space Of three days and three nights, poor Jonah was.
Unto the Lord his God then Jonah pray'd Out of the belly of the fish, and said, By reason of affliction, which lay sore Upon me, I the Lord God did implore, And he gave ear; and from Hell's Belly I Cry'd unto thee, and thou, Lord, heard'st my cry: For thou into the deep hadst cast me out, And there the floods did compass me about; In the midst of the sea, thy waves were sent, And all thy billows which my head o'erwent. Then said I though thy presence hath forsook Me, to thy holy temple will I look. The waters compassed about my soul, And the great deeps did round about me roll, The weeds were wrapt about my head, I went Down to the bottom of the element; The earth with her strong bars surrounded me, Yet thou, O Lord, from death hast set me free. When my soul fainted, on the Lord I thought, And to thee, to thy temple then was brought My prayer. They their own mercies do despise, Who have regard to lying vanities. But with the voice of my thanksgiving, I Will offer sacrifice to thee on high, And pay my vows which I have vow'd, each one, For why? Salvation's of the Lord alone. And now the fish, as God did give command, Did vomit Jonah out upon dry land.
And now the second time to Jonah came God's word, and said, Arise, go and proclaim To that great city Nineveh, what Have heretofore commanded thee to cry. So Jonah rose up, and prepar'd to go To Nineveh, as God had bid him do. (Now was the city Nineveh so great, That it was three days' journey long complete) And as into the city Jonah made His first day's journey, he cry'd out and said, When forty days shall be expired and past, This city Nineveh shall be laid waste. Then did the Ninevites with one accord, Believe this was the message of the Lord; And did proclaim a fast, and every one, From greatest to the least, put sackcloth on: For to the king this news was quickly flown, And he arose, and came down from his throne, And having laid aside his robes of state, He put on sackcloth, and in ashes sate: And issuing out his royal proclamation, And through the city making publication Thereof (being by the king and council sign'd) A solemn and a general fast enjoin'd; And said, I will, that neither man nor beast, Nor flock, nor herd, shall their provision taste: But let them all put sackcloth on and cry Unto the Lord with greatest fervency; Yea, let them all their evil ways refrain, And from the violence which they retain. Who knows if God will yet be pleas'd to spare, And turn away the evil that we fear? And God beheld their works, and saw that they Had turned from the evil of their way. And God turn'd from his wrath, and did revoke The dreadful judgment whereof he had spoke.
But hereat Jonah was extremely vext, And in his mind exceedingly perplext: And to the Lord his God he pray'd, and said, O Lord, I pray thee, was not I afraid Of this, when I was yet at home? Therefore I unto Tarshish took my flight before: For that thou art a gracious God I know, Of tender mercy, and to anger slow, Of great compassion, and dost oft recall The evil thou dost threat mankind withal. Now therefore, Lord, I earnestly do pray That thou would'st please to take my life away, For I had better die than live. Dost thou Do well, said God, to be so angry now? So then out of the city Jonah went, And on the east side of it made a tent, And underneath the shade thereof he sate, Expecting what would be the city's fate. And over Jonah's head behold the Lord Prepar'd, and caused to come up a gourd To shadow him, and ease him of his grief; And Jonah was right glad of this relief. But God a worm sent early the next day, Which smote the gourd; it withered away: And when the sun arose, it came to pass, That God a vehement east wind did raise; Besides the sun did beat upon his head, So that he fainted, saying, Would I were dead, For it is better for me now to die, Than thus to lead my life in misery. And to distressed Jonah, said the Lord, Dost thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he unto the Lord made this reply, I do well to be angry e'en to die. Thou hast had pity, Jonah, on the gourd, For which thou didst not labour, said the Lord, Nor madest it to grow, which also came Up in a night, and perish'd in the same. And should not I extend my gracious pity To Nineveh, so populous a city, Where more than six score thousand persons dwell, Who 'twixt their right hand, and their left can tell No difference, wherein are also found Cattle which do in multitudes abound.
THE LIFE OF JOSEPH, TAKEN OUT OF THE LATTER PART OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS.
When Jacob from his brother Esau fled, He by the hand of providence was led To Padan-aram, in Assyria, where He serv'd his uncle Laban twenty year; During which time he was in all things blest, And with a num'rous issue 'mongst the rest: Amongst whom none so pleasing in his sight As Joseph was, who was his chief delight: Who by the time that Jacob was return'd Into the land, where's fathers had sojourn'd, Was full arrived at seventeen years of age; And by his hopefulness did then presage, He was endued with a noble mind, That would to virtuous actions be inclin'd; For being sent to feed his father's flock, Among his brethren he great notice took Of what they did, and if in any sort They did amiss, he thereof made report Unto his father, and did thus create His father's favour, but his brethren's hate. His father loved him better than the rest, As being the son wherewith his age was blest. And that his kindness might the more appear, Made him a party colour'd coat to wear. But as it often haps, his father's love Did in his brethren greater hatred move. But that which most incens'd them was his dreams, By which, in a prophetic way, he seems Their low submission, and his future state Of greatness plainly to prognosticate. For to his brethren thus his dreams he told, And said, As we were binding sheaves, behold, My sheaf arose and stood up in the field, And all your sheaves stood round about, to yield Obeisance unto mine: And what, must we Indeed, say they, be subject unto thee? Their wrath increas'd, this added to his crime. And Joseph dreamed yet a second time; And said, Behold, I saw the sun and moon, And the eleven stars to me fall down. At which his father highly was offended, And for these words, the lad he reprehended, And said, Fond youth, dost thou pretend to shew That I, thy mother, and thy brethren too, Must all submit to thee? Thou dost but dream: But Jacob kept his words, and thought of them. Now Jacob's sons did feed their flocks in Shechem, And he desired Joseph to go seek them, And find them out, and come again and tell If all things with them and their flocks were well. So Joseph went, and wander'd here and there, But could not find out where his brethren were, Until a man had told him their intent Of going to Dotham, where he also went. And when his brethren at a distance saw him, They held a consultation how to slay him, And said, Here comes the dreamer, we shall see What the event of all his dreams will be; For we will kill, and in a pit will hide him, And say some beast or other hath destroy'd him. But Reuben somewhat tend'rer than the rest, Endeavour'd to persuade them to desist From murder, saying, Into this pit let's cast him, And this he said in hopes to have releas'd him. And now when Joseph came not dreading ought, They stript him of his party colour'd coat, And led him to a pit that was hard by, And threw him into't, but the pit was dry. And sitting down to eat, they chanc'd to spy, A company of Ishmaelites pass by, Who with balm, myrrh, and spice, their camels lading, From Gilead came, and were to Egypt trading. Then Judah said, 'Twill do us little good To slay our brother, and conceal his blood; Come therefore, brethren, be advis'd by me, Let's sell him to these Ishmaelites, for he Is our own flesh, and 'tis a cruel deed, To kill him, and to this they all agreed. Their brother then out of the pit they hale, And to these merchants offer'd him to sale: Who, him for twenty silver pieces bought, And with them to the land of Egypt brought. But Reuben, ignorant of what was done, Came to the pit, and seeing the lad was gone, He rent his clothes in a great consternation, Returning back with heavy lamentation. And now that they might make their story good They kill'd a kid, and dipped in the blood Their brother Joseph's coat, and home they came, And to their father's view expos'd the same, And said, This we have found, now thou dost know Whether it be thy son's coat, yea or no. And Jacob knew the coat full well, and said, Now hath some evil beast devour'd the lad; Joseph is torn in pieces without doubt, For, too, too well I know this is his coat. He rent his clothes, and putting sackcloth on, He for a long time mourned for his son. His children striving to assuage his grief Endeavour'd to administer relief: But he refus'd, and said, Since he is gone, I will in sorrow to the grave go down. Such lamentation made he for his son.
And now these merchants, sons of Ishmael, Again did poor afflicted Joseph sell, To an Egyptian, named Potiphar, The captain of King Pharaoh's men of war. And God was with him, and did greatly bless, And crown his undertakings with success. Whereof his master being well aware, Committed all he had to Joseph's care; And made him overseer of his house, And, from the time his master us'd him thus, The Lord was pleas'd to give him to partake, So many blessings, e'en for Joseph's sake: Of that with plenty he was hedg'd about, And prospered within door and without. Such was his master's love, and he so just, That all things were committed to his trust. Now Joseph was grown up to manly stature, Of goodly presence, and most comely feature. Wherefore his mistress, with a lustful eye, Beheld his beauty, and resolv'd to try, If to unchaste embraces she could gain The youth, but her endeavours prov'd in vain: For he refus'd, and said, My master knows In all the house of nothing that he owes, For his concerns are all at my dispose: There's not a thing that he hath kept from me But all is in my hand, save only thee; Then how can I commit so foul a fact, And the displeasure of my God contract? Yet still she sued, and still did he deny her, Refusing to be with her, or lie by her. Now on a time when all the men were gone Out of the house, and she was left alone: And Joseph at that instant coming in, About some business he'd to do within; She took advantage of their being together, And held his clothes to force him to lie with her. But Joseph strove, and from her hands got loose, And left his coat, and fled out of the house. And when she saw that he had made's escape, She call'd her servants, and proclaim'd a rape: Come see now how this Hebrew slave, said she, Your master's favourite, hath affronted me. He came to violate my chastity, And when he heard that I began to cry, And call for help, afraid lest you should find him, He's fled, and left his garment here behind him. And now to give her words the greater credit, Until her husband's coming home, she hid it, To whom she spake, and said, Why hast thou brought This Hebrew here, to set me thus at nought? The slave attempted to defile my bed, And when I cry'd, he left his coat and fled, See here it is. Which when he saw, and heard The heavy accusation she preferr'd, He was exceeding wroth at his behavior, And utterly cashier'd him from his favour; Nay more, he cast him into prison, where In fetters bound, King Pharaoh's pris'ners were. But Joseph's God, who never yet forsook Him in extremity, was pleas'd to look With great compassion on his injuries, And gave him favour in the keeper's eyes; So that he was entrusted with the care And charge of all the pris'ners that were there: All were committed unto Joseph's hand, And what was done, was done at his command. The prison-keeper took no care at all, Of ought that he entrusted him withal; Because he saw that God was with him, and All things did prosper that he took in hand.
And now, whilst Joseph in confinement lay, It came to pass upon a certain day, That Pharaoh King of Egypt, being wroth With his chief butler, and chief baker both, For their offences, put them both in ward, In the house of the captain of the guard: Into the place where Joseph was confin'd, Unto whose custody they were resign'd; And he attended on them in the prison. And there they were continue'd for a season, During which time it chanced both of them Did in the same night dream each man his dream: Which dreams, according to interpretation, Had to themselves particular relation. And Joseph coming early the next day, Into the room where Pharaoh's servants lay, Beheld their countenances much dejected: Wherefore he said, What evil hath effected This melancholy frame, what is't that causes These marks of discontentment in your faces? Then said they, We have dream'd each man his dream, And there is no man to interpret them. Then Joseph said, Your dreams to me make known. Interpretations are from God alone. Then unto Joseph the chief butler told His dream, and said, Methought I did behold A vine, whereon three branches did appear, Which seem'd to bud, to blossom, and to bear Clusters of full ripe grapes, which to my thinking I press'd into the cup for Pharaoh's drinking. And Joseph said, Thy dream doth signify, Thou shalt enjoy thy former dignity: The branches which thou sawest are three days, In which King Pharaoh will his butler raise And to thy place again will thee restore, And thou shalt serve him as thou'st done before: But do not, when it shall be well with thee, Forget me, but show kindness unto me, And unto Pharaoh represent my case, That I may be deliver'd from this place; For I was stol'n out of the Hebrew's land, And also here am wrongfully detained. Then the chief baker having understood, That the interpretation was so good, He told his dream to Joseph too, and said, Lo, I had three white baskets on my head, And in the uppermost there seem'd to be, Of baked provision, great variety, Fit for King Pharaoh's table, and there came A flock of birds, and seem'd to eat the same. And Joseph said, Thy dream portends thy fall, For at the end of three days Pharaoh shall Lift up thy head, and hang thee on a tree, So that the birds shall feast themselves on thee. And on the third day Pharaoh made a feast Unto his servants, and among the rest The butler and the baker were brought forth, The day being kept in memory of his birth. And to his place King Pharaoh did restore His butler, and he served him as before. But the chief baker he condemn'd to die, According unto Joseph's prophecy. Yet though the butler had regain'd his place, He was unmindful of poor Joseph's case.
And now when two years' time was fully past, And Joseph from confinement not releast, It came to pass that Pharaoh dream'd, and He seemed by a river-side to stand, Whence he seven fat well-favour'd kine beheld, Come up and grazed in the neighbouring field. And after them there came up seven more, Lean and ill-favour'd, and did soon devour The seven fat kine which came up just before. So Pharaoh 'woke, and mus'd awhile, and then Soon as his sleep his dream returned again: Wherein he saw upon one stalk there stood Seven ears of corn exceeding rank and good, And seven others, with the east wind blasted, And withered, sprang up, and quickly wasted The seven good ears, and quite devour'd them: And Pharaoh 'woke, and lo, it was a dream. And in the morning he was discontent, And for the wise men and magicians sent, To ease his mind; but there was none of them That could interpret to the king his dream. Then the chief butler, making his address Unto King Pharaoh, said, I now confess My former faults, for when the king was wroth With his chief butler, and chief baker both, It pleased him, to put us both in ward, In the house of the captain of the guard: And in one night we dream'd a dream, each one According to 's interpretation: And there was then an Hebrew there in ward, A youth that serv'd the captain of the guard: To whom we told whereof we had been dreaming, And he interpreted to us the meaning; And what he said fell out accordingly, Me he restored to my dignity, But told the baker he should surely die. Then Pharaoh sent a messenger in haste, And Joseph from the dungeon was releas'd: And having shav'd himself and chang'd his clothes, Into the presence of the king he goes. To whom King Pharaoh said, I have been told Thou canst the meaning of a dream unfold: Now I have dream'd a dream, and there is none Can give me the interpretation. And Joseph said, I cannot do this thing Myself, but God shall answer thee, oh king. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, In my dream, As I stood by a river's side, there came Up from the river seven well-favour'd kine, And fed upon the banks, all fat and fine, And after them there came up seven more, Lean and ill-favour'd, and exceeding poor: Such as the land of Egypt never bred, And on the seven well-favour'd kine they fed, And eat them up, but 'twas not to be seen That they had eat them, they look'd still so thin. So I awoke, and mus'd awhile, and then Soon as my sleep, my dream return'd again; Wherein I saw upon one stalk there stood Seven ears of corn, exceeding rank and good: Then seven others, with the east wind blasted, And withered, came up, and quickly wasted The seven good ears, and quite devoured them. And being unsatisfied about my dream, I sought unto the wise men of the nation, But they could give me no interpretation. And Joseph said, Thy dream, oh king! is one, God shews to Pharaoh what he will have done. The seven fat kine and seven good ears agree To shew, seven years of plenty there shall be. The seven lean kine, and seven blasted ears, Denote there shall be famine seven years. This I declare to Pharaoh, God doth shew To thee, oh king! what he's about to do. Behold seven years of plenty are at hand, Which shall be very great throughout the land. And after them seven years of famine shall Arise, and shall consume the land, and all The former plenty shall not be perceiv'd, So much the land with famine shall be griev'd. And since the dream was doubl'd to the king, It is because God hath decreed the thing, And on this land the same will shortly bring: Now therefore if I may the king advise, Let him look out a man discreet and wise, And make him overseer of the land: And substitute men under his command To gather a fifth part for public use, Of what the seven plenteous years produce; And in the cities lay it up for store, Against the famine in the land grows sore; And let it be repos'd in Pharaoh's hand, That so the famine may not waste the land. And when King Pharaoh and his servants heard The propositions Joseph had preferr'd, They were acceptable in Pharaoh's eyes, And in the eyes of all his court likewise: So that he said, Can such an one be found? A man in whom God's Spirit doth abound. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch As God's great kindness unto thee is such, As to reveal this thing to thee, I know No man so wise or so discreet as thou. Be thou therefore the ruler of the land, And let my people be at thy command; Thou shalt in all things be as great as I, Save only in the royal dignity. Behold this day I have advanced thee Said he, to be a man of high degree Throughout the land. And therewithal the king Bestow'd on Joseph his own royal ring; And him with robes of state did richly deck, And put a chain of gold about his neck, And in his second chariot made him ride, And as he past, Bow down the knee they cry'd, With so great honour was he dignifi'd. And Pharaoh said moreover, I am king, No man shall dare to purpose any thing, Or move his hand or foot in all this nation, Unless it shall be by thy approbation. He also gave to Joseph a new name, And for a wife gave him a princely dame, Who was the daughter of a priest of fame. (Now Joseph had attained his thirtieth year, When he before King Pharaoh did appear.) And he went out from Pharaoh's presence, and Began his progress over all the land. Now in the seven plenteous years, the field Did its increase in great abundance yield. And Joseph gather'd all that plenteous crop, And in th' adjacent cities laid it up: Which like unto the sand upon the shore, Did so abound that he could count no more, Such was the plenty that the earth then bore. And unto Joseph there was born a son, Even by the daughter of the priest of On, Before the years of famine were begun; The which he call'd Manasseh, for, said he, God makes me to forget my misery, And all my father's house. And after him Was born another he called Ephraim; For God, saith he, hath made me to possess Abundance in the land of my distress. And when the seven plenteous years were gone, The seven years of famine next came on, As Joseph said, and there was a great dearth In every nation throughout all the earth; But in the land of Egypt there was bread. And when the people almost famished, Complained to the king, he bade them go To Joseph, and whate'er he said to do. And now the famine daily waxing sore, Joseph began to bring forth of his store, Which he had laid up for the public good; To whom th' Egyptians came and bought their food. And people from all countries far and near To Egypt came to buy provision there; For in all lands the famine was severe.
And now, behold, when Jacob had been told That there was corn in Egypt to be sold, He said unto his sons, Why stand ye thus? Go down to Egypt and buy corn for us; That so our craving stomachs may be fed, And not be here and die for lack of bread. Thus Jacob's ten sons were to Egypt sent, But Joseph's brother Benjamin ne'er went. For why, his father said, I will not send him, Lest peradventure some ill chance attend him. And Joseph's brethren came among the rest To buy provision, for they were distress'd. Now he was governor of all the land, And all the corn of Egypt in his hand. Wherefore his brethren, when they came to treat With him for corn, bow'd down e'en at his feet: And he no sooner saw them but he knew them, And show'd himself extremely strange unto them: And very roughly asked who they were, From whence they came, and what their bus'ness there. And they made answer, We thy servants from The land of Canaan to buy food are come. Now tho' they knew him not, yet he knew them, And calling now to mind his former dream, He said, I do suspect ye're come as spies, To see in what distress our country lies. But they reply'd again, My lord, we're come Only to buy some food to carry home. Think not thy servants spies, but true men rather, For we are all the children of one father. Nay, nay, said he, but ye are come to pry Into the nation's great necessity. But they reply'd again, Thy servants are Inhabitants of Canaan, and declare, That we're twelve brethren, whom one man begot, The youngest is at home, and one is not Well then, said Joseph, hereby shall I know, Whether ye're spies, as I have said, or no; Now by the life of Pharaoh do I swear, Until your brother come I'll keep you here. Send one of you and fetch the lad to me, And you shall be confin'd, so shall there be A proof of what you say before mine eyes, Or by the life of Pharaoh ye are spies. Then he for three days put them all in ward, And on the third day said, I have regard To equity, therefore if ye are true And honest men, do this; let one of you Be bound in prison here, and let the other Go carry corn home and bring me your brother; So shall ye be approv'd and shall not die. And they prepared to do accordingly. And as they were discoursing to each other, They said, We were in fault about our brother, In that we saw his soul in great distress, And yet were so exceeding pitiless, As not to hearken to his earnest cries: This is the cause of these our miseries. And Reuben said, You know I did forewarn, And beg that you would do the child no harm; But you would not do then as I desir'd, And now his blood is at our hands requir'd. Thus they discours'd about the cause that brought Their present trouble, but they little thought That Joseph knew of what they did confer, Because he spake by an interpreter. And he being moved at their words withdrew To weep, and then returned to renew His former talk; and choosing Simeon out, Before them all he bound him hand and foot. And gave command to fill their sacks with grain, And to restore their money to 'em again; And for their journey gave them food to eat; In such sort Joseph did his brethren treat. Then with their asses laden towards home They went, and when into their inn they come As one of them his sack of corn unty'd, To give his ass some provender, he spy'd His money in his sack again return'd; Wherefore he call'd his brethren and inform'd Them that his money was returned back. Behold, said he, it is here in my sack. On sight whereof their hearts were sore dismay'd, And being very much affrighted said, What is the thing that God's about to do, That we do thus these troubles undergo? Then coming to their father they related, After what sort they were in Egypt treated: And said, the man that's lord of all the land, And hath the store of corn all in his hand, Spake roughly to us, and affirm'd that we Were come the weakness of the land to see. To whom we said, We are all honest men; We are twelve brethren, whereof here are ten, And two elsewhere, all which one man begot, The youngest's with our father, one is not. Then said the ruler of the land, Hereby Shall I make proof of your integrity: Let one of you continue here with me, And take provision for your family; And get you gone and bring the youngest hither, That so I may be satisfied whether Ye are true men, as you make protestation, Then I'll release him, and give toleration To you to come and traffic in the nation. And now behold as they their sacks unloos'd To empty out their corn, there was unclos'd In each man's sack his money therein bound, As when they came from home, which when they found, Both they and their old father were afraid; And to his sons afflicted Jacob said, You of my children have bereaved me, Joseph and Simeon now do cease to be; And of my Benjamin you would deprive me, These things do ev'n into distraction drive me. Then Reuben said, My father I resign To thy disposing these two sons of mine; Give me the lad, and let them both be slain, If I do not return him safe again. But he reply'd, I will not let him go, For why his brother is deceas'd you know; And if upon the way some evil thing Should happen to the lad, you then will bring These my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave; For he's the only comfort that I have.
And now the famine still continuing sore, And having spent all their late purchas'd store, Their father bids them to go down for more To whom when Judah had himself address'd, He said, The man did solemnly protest, If we without our brother came again, To seek his face would be for us in vain: If therefore thou wilt send him, well and good, Then will we willingly go down for food; But if thou wilt not, we must let thee know, We are resolved that we will not go: For, as I said before, the ruler swore Without him we should see his face no more. Then Israel said, Why were you so unkind To say you had a brother left behind? The man, said they, was so inquisitive, He asked if our father were alive, Or if we had a brother, whereunto Accordingly we answer'd, could we know If he would bid us bring the lad or no? Moreover Judah to his father said, If thou wilt but entrust me with the lad, We will begone, that so both thou and we May be preserved with our family: I will be surety for him, if I fail To bring him back, on me the blame entail; For if we had not lingered, we had been By this time here the second time again. Well then, said Isr'el, if it must be so, My sons, take my advice before you go; Provide some of the best fruits of the land, To give the man a present from your hand; Balm, myrrh, and spices, and a little honey, Some nuts and almonds, and take double money, For peradventure it was a mistake, In that our money was returned back. And take your brother Benjamin and go, And God Almighty grant the man may shew You mercy, that you may bring back again Your other brother, and my Benjamin, And if I am bereav'd, so have I been. Then did the men prepare the present, and They took their money double in their hand With Benjamin, and down to Egypt went, Who unto Joseph did themselves present. Who, when he saw that Benjamin was come, Order'd his steward to conduct them home, And to provide a dinner, for, said he, I do intend these men shall dine with me. Then did the steward as his master said, And brought them home, whereat they were afraid, And said, The man hath caus'd us to come in, Because our money was return'd again; To take occasion now to fall upon us, And make us slaves, and take our asses from us. Unto the steward they drew nigh therefore, And thus communed with him at the door: O sir, say they, we came at first indeed To buy provision to supply our need; And in our inn as we our sacks unloos'd, We found our money therein all inclos'd In its full weight, whereat surpris'd with fear, Not knowing who had put our money there, We now have brought it in full weight again, And other money too, to buy more grain. Peace, peace, said he, let not fear seize upon you For I had the disposing of your money: God, unto whom you and your father bow, Hath giv'n you treasure in your sacks I trow. And then releasing Simon, who had been Confin'd in Joseph's house, he brought them in And set them water, and they wash'd their feet; And gave their asses provender to eat. Then they made ready, against Joseph came, Their gifts, in order to present the same At noon; for they were told he did design To have their company with him to dine. And now when Joseph was returned home, Into his presence they with rev'rence come, And brought their presents in and laid before him, And fell down at his feet for to adore him. Then he inquired if they all were well, And said, When you were here I heard you tell Of an old man, your father, how does he? Is he in health, or doth he cease to be? Whereto in humble sort they thus reply'd, Thy servant, ev'n our father, doth abide In perfect health, which having said, They bowed their heads and great obeisance made. And Joseph viewing Benjamin his brother (They being both the children of one mother) He asked if he were the lad of whom They spake, then said, God give thee grace, my son. Then making haste to find a secret place To weep, because his bowels yearn'd apace Upon his brother, to his chamber went, Where having giv'n his troubled spirits vent, He washed his face, and did himself refrain, And to his brethren then came forth again, And bade his servants they should set on bread. At his command the tables were all spread; One for himself, and for his friends another, And for the Egyptians one apart from either, That so they might not eat bread altogether; For it is held a great abomination For them to eat among the Hebrew nation, And they were placed as their age required, The eldest first, whereat the men admired. And from his table Joseph sent them messes; But in a larger manner he expresses To Benjamin his kindness, which was such, That he appointed him five times as much As to the rest: and they drank plenteously, Till they were merry in his company.
And to his steward Joseph spake, and said, Give these men corn as much as they can lade; And in their sacks bind each man's money up, And in the youngest's put my silver cup Besides his money: and he made haste and did According as his master had commanded. And in the morning by the break of day, With asses laden they were sent away: And now, e'er they had scarce the town's end pass'd, He sent his steward after them in haste, And said, Go, follow them, and ask them why They have dealt by me so ungratefully? And say unto them, You have done great evil To rob my master, who hath been so civil, And steal the cup wherein he drinks his wine; Is it not it whereby he doth divine? Then he pursu'd and quickly overtook Them, and these very words to them he spoke. To whom they said, Why hath my lord such thought? Oh, God forbid that we should be so naught; Behold, thou know'st we brought the money back The which we found bound up in each man's sack, Which shews that we had no design to cheat; How then should we now steal your master's plate? With which of us thy servants it is found Let him be slain, and we to slavery bound. Now as you say, said he, so let it be, He shall be bound, but you shall all go free. Then they unladed ev'ry man his beast, And to his view expos'd their sacks in haste. And he from first to last them searched round, And lo, the cup on Benjamin was found: Thereat surpris'd, each man his garment rent, And lade his beast, and back again they went. And now when Judah and the rest were come To Joseph's house, (for he was yet at home) They fell before him to the ground, to whom He said, What deed is this that you have done? Are you not sensible that such a one As I, can certainly thereof make trial? Then Judah said, My lord, there's no denial: We cannot clear ourselves. The Lord hath sent, For our misdeed, this heavy punishment. Behold, to be thy slaves we all are bound, Both we, and he on whom the cup was found. Then Joseph said, The Lord forbid that I Should exercise so great severity: For he with whom 'tis found, and he alone Shall be my servant, you may all be gone. Then unto Joseph, Judah drawing near, Said, O my lord! I pray be pleas'd to hear Thy servant speak, and be not angry now, For as King Pharaoh is ev'n so art thou. My lord did bid thy servants to discover Whether we had a father or a brother; And we made answer that thy servants had An ancient father and a little lad, The child of his old age, who was our brother, And he the only child left of his mother, His brother being dead; and that this lad Was all the comfort that our father had. Then thou wert pleas'd to bid thy servants bring The lad, that thou might'st have a sight of him. And we made answer, if the lad should leave His father, it would bring him to his grave: And thou didst then protest it was in vain For us without him to come here again. Then towards home thy servants went their way, And told our father what my lord did say. And in a while, when all our corn was spent, Thy servant, ev'n our father, would have sent To buy more food; to whom thy servant said, We cannot go except thou send the lad. Because the man did solemnly declare, Unless we brought him we should not come there. And then thy servant, ev'n our father, said, Ye know that by my wife two sons I had, And one of them went forth and came no more, Which made me think some beast did him devour. And if I now should also condescend To let this go, and mischief should attend, You will with sorrow bring me to my end. When to my father I shall come therefore, And he shall see that I do not restore The lad again, he certainly will die, (Since in his life my father's life doth lie) And we shall bring him to his grave thereby. For I became a surety for the lad Unto my father, unto whom I said, If I do not in safety him deliver, Then let me bear the blame to thee for ever. I humbly pray thee, therefore, to accept Me in his stead, and let me here be kept My lord's bond-slave, and let the lad go free: For how can I, thy servant, bear to see The evil that shall on my father come, If that the lad return not safely home.