Friday, October 31, 2008

Calvin's Commentaries on Isaiah

I read the following poem this morning in Calvin's Commentary on Isaiah. I wanted to share it with you.

An Epigram vpon the Translation of
M. Caluins Commentarie vpon the Prophecie of Isaiah.

THRICE happie (England) if thou knew'st thy blisse,
Since Christs eternall Gospell in thee shin'd
Thou art. H'is beetle-blind that sees not this,
Brutishly ingrate that with a thankfull mind
Doth not acknowledge Gods great Grace herein,
And learne thereby for to forsake his sinne.

Gods word hat long in thee been soundly taught,
The sound thereof hath rung throughout the Land,
And many a Soule by Fishers net been caught,
Which erst lay thrall in Satans cruell band:
This fauour great by none can be exprest,
But such as haue it felt in their owne brest.

Thy natiue sonnes in thine owne bowels bred,
Like faithfull Shepheards haue done worthilie,
And thee with store of heauenlie Manna fed,
Forcing the Wolues to leaue their crueltie,
To slinke aside, and hide themselues in holes,
In caues and dens, like pur-blind Backs and Moles.

The Gospell preacht by word, by life, by death:
To second them haue spent their vitall breath.
In hot pursuit of that great Romish Bore,
Who spoiled quite this English vine before.

I spare to speake of DEERINGS siluer voice,
Of GREENHAMS zeale, of PERKINS labours sound,
Of hundreds moe of Zion-builders choice,
The like whereof can scarce elsewhere be found:
Such ground-worke they of Gods truth here haue plac'd
As neuer shall by Hels whole force be razt.

Besides all these, of forren Lights the chiefe,
BEZA, and VRSINUS, many other moe,
MARTYR, MUSCULUS, for thy more reliefe
Are seene in English weed abroade to goe
From place to place in euery Shire and Towne,
To teach the Truth and throw all Errors downe.

And here presented is vnto thy sight
The Roiall Prophet Esaias Euangel:
For so me thinkes I may it terme aright,
That Prince of holy Prophets doth so well,
So liuely Christs whole historie presage,
As if h'had liu'd in that same very Age.

Whose Oracles great CALUIN doth vnfold
In thine owne natiue Tongue for thy Soules health.
Here maist thou gather precious Stones and Gold,
And store vp heapes of Heauenly lasting wealth;
Here maist thou find with very little paine
Which would'st not lose for thousand Worlds againe.

Here maist thou see the black-mouth'd Atheists
Confounded quite by Demonstration cleare;
The cunning Papist put vnto his shifts,
And made in his right Colours to appeare;
Her's Christ, his Truth, and Life, thee set before,
Heauens Gates set open wide: what would'st thou more?

By FRANCIS HERING, Doctor in Physicke.

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