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I have a Faith will carry me on high,
Until it lift me to Eternity:
I have a Hope, that neither want nor spite,
Nor grim Adversity, shall stop this flight;
But that, undaunted, I my course shall hold,
Though twenty thousand devils cross me should.
Yet, I confess, in this my pilgrimage,
I, like some infant, am of tender age;
For, as the child, who from his father hath
Stray'd in some grove through many a crooked path,
Is sometime hopeful, that he finds the way,
And sometime doubtful he runs more astray,
Sometime with fair and easy paths doth meet,
Sometime with rougher tracts that stay his feet;
Here runs, there goes, and yon amazed stays;
Now cries, and straight forgets his care, and plays;
Then hearing where his loving father calls,
Makes haste, but through a zeal ill-guided falls;
Or runs some other way, until that he,
Whose love is more than his endeavours be,
To seek this wanderer forth himself doth come,
And take him in his arms, and bear him home.
So, in this life, this grove of ignorance,
As to my homeward, I myself advance :
Sometime aright, and sometime wrong I go;
Sometime my pace is speedy, sometime slow;
Sometime I stagger, and sometime I fall;
Sometime I sing, sometime for help I call.
One while, my ways are pleasant unto me;
Another while, as full of cares they be.
Now, I have courage, and do nothing fear;
Anon, my spirits half dejected are;
I doubt and hope, and doubt and hope again,
And many a change of passions I sustain
In this my journey ; so that now and then
I lost may seem, perhaps, to other men;
Yea, to myself awhile, when sins impure
Redeemer's love from me obscure.
But, whatsoe'er betide, I know full well,
My Father, who above the clouds doth dwell,
An eye upon his wandering child doth cast,
, And He will fetch me to my home at last. For, of God's love, a witness want not I; And whom He loves, He loves eternally,
I have within my breast, a little heart, Which seems to be composed of a part Of all my friends ; for, truly, whensoe'er They suffer any thing, I feel it there; And they no sooner a complaint do make, But presently, it falls to pant and ache.
I have a love, that is as strong as fate, And such as cannot be impair’d by hate.
And, whatsoever the success may prove,
I want not yet, the comforts of my love.
These are the jewels that do make me rich:
These, while I do possess, I want not much ;
And I so happy am, that still I bear
These riches with me; and so safe they are,
That pirates, robbers, no device of man,
Or tyrant's power, deprive me of them can.
And were I naked, forced to exile,
More treasure I should carry from this isle
Than should be sold, though for it I might gain
The wealth of all America and Spain.
For, this makes sweet my life; and when I die,
Will bring the sleep of death on quietly:
Yea, such as greatest pomp in life-time have,
Shall find no warmer lodging in their grave.
Besides, I want not many things they need,
Who me in outward fortunes do exceed.
I want no guard, or coat of musket-proof :
My innocence is guardian'd strong enough.
I want no title ; for to be the son
Of the Almighty, is a glorious one.
I want no followers; for, through faith, I see
A troop of Angels still attending me.
Through want of friendship need I not repine ; For God, and good men, are still friends of mine.
And when I journey to the North, the East,
The pleasant South, or to the fertile West,
I cannot want for proffer'd courtesies,
As far as our Great Britain's empire lies :
shire and corner of the land
To welcome me do houses open stand,
Of best esteem; and strangers to my face
Have thought me worth the feasting, and more grace
Than I will boast of, lest you may suspect
That I those glories, which I scorn, affect.
Of my acquaintance were a thousand glad,
And sought it, though not wealth nor place I had,
For their advantage. And, if some more high,
Who on the multitudes of friends rely,
Had but a fortune equal unto me,
Their troop of followers would as slender be;
And those, 'mong whom they now esteem have won
Would scarcely think them worth the looking on.
I want no office; for, though none be void,
A Christian finds he may be still employ’d.
I want no pleasures; for I pleasures make :
Whatever God is pleas'd, I undertake.
Companions want I not; for know, that I
Am one of that renown'd society,
Which, by the name we carry, first was known
At Antioch so many years agone ;*
It was at Antioch where the name of Christians was first given to the followers of Jesus Christ.
And greatest kings themselves have happy thought,
That to this noble order they were brought.
I want not arms to fit me for the field;
My prayers are my sword, my faith my shield;
By which, howe'er you prize them, I have got
Unwounded thorough twenty thousand shot ;
And with these arms, I heaven think to scale,
Though hell the ditch were, and more high the wall.
A thousand other privileges more
I do possess, in which the world is poor ;
Yea, I so long could reckon, you would grant,
That though I nothing have, I nothing want.
And did the King but know how rich I were,
I durst to pawn my fortunes, he would swear
That were he not the King, I had been he
Whom he, of all men, would have wish'd to be.