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Corrected Date of Publication (TCP Date of Publication)
The historie of the perfect-cursed-blessed man setting forth mans excellency by his generation, miserie [by his] degeneration, felicitie [by his] regeneration. By I.F. Master of Arts, preacher of Gods word, and rector of Wilbie in Suff.
Fletcher, Joseph, 1577?-1637.; Cecil, Thomas, fl. 1630, engraver.
STC 11078; ESTC S105608
Mercy or what Attributes soe're But Heav'n Earth shall know what Truth affirms Iehovahs Zeal for Iustice sake confirms VVhen mighty Angels did them-selves exalt Down from the Heav'ns to Hels infernall vault I threw them instantly how than Can this proud worm this trait'rous cative-Man That hath not pow'r weak motions to withstand How can He scape the force of my strong hand For 'fore that Heav'ns should grant Man a remission And not on some equivalent condition Or that the Earth should yeeld Him nutriment By annuall-successive increment The fruitfull plains with barrenness I 'le strike And make his dwelling places Sodom-like The showring clouds I 'le turn to banks of brass And th' Earth to iron that so fruitfull was The flintie Rocks to shivers I will tear And kernell-sands to mightie mountains rear The gladsome day and rest-affording night That by their intercourse had wont delight I 'le turn to timeless motions never changing Their constant changes of unconstant ranging Among th' Infernall Furies where the Man Shall be tormented while those Furies can To plague Him thus is rightly to reward Him From which nor heav'n nor earth shall ever guard him Yea all the forces they are able make As thunder lightning famine plague earth-quake And whatsoever else as grave and hell Angels and Devils all I will compell To become furious Agents in the cause So strict and pow'full are Iehovah's lawes Thus as Truth said Mans state you may bewail But to redeem 't you never shall prevail Peace here-upon for Mercy could not answer She was through Wraths peremptory censure So speechless grown and heartless like to fall But Peace stept-in affected like to all And with soft speech did sweetly moderate What these her Sisters could not arbitrate First she began with mildest exhortation To move them to take-heed of emulation For that quoth she doth often kindle hate The bane of Bliss and ruine of a State We Sisters are in one we must consent And not by strict exactions once dissent We know our parts wherfore let be our care Them to discharge as it comes to our share You Wrath Truth Iustice ye desire no more But as Man sinn'd so Man be plagu'd therefore Well fear it not but constantly expect The constant God will duly it effect And Sister Mercy you desire no less Than for Mans Sin that God give forgiveness Desire so still that by importunitie God may be mov'd to grant him immunitie Which yet beleeve it may not prejudice Th' inviolable right of strict Iustice Nor any of our worthy Sisters dear VVho equally to God are seated near And though nor you nor I Iustice nor Truth Can see the mean wherby our God renu'th The broke estate of miserable Man Yet certainly our Sister Wisdome can For what soe're our Sov'raign God decrees She th'equitie therof alwaies fore-sees Yea she deviseth things beyond all thought And then propoundeth how they may be wrought And happy they whose actions she directs For only them in favour Gods respects To her therfore have ye recourse for this And ye shall see she 'll not devise amiss Herewith was Mercy inwardly well pleas'd Truth Iustice Wrath were ev'ry one appeas'd To Wisdome then they all referr'd the cause When she making a long but decent pause For Wisdome's alwaies slow to speak enclin'd She doth so duly ponder all in minde When she this controverted cause had waigh'd She orderly the same before them laid The one side pleads quoth she that since Man-kind From Life to Death by Sin are all declin'd Then Death due wage to all our God must give Else can nor Wrath nor Truth nor Iustice live If all Man-kinde the other side replies Must suffer Death for their iniquities No pitie had of any in Gods sight Then Mercy Pitie Peace are banisht quite So prejudiciall then since th' issue is That Man or sav'd or damn'd all is amiss Iustice if sav'd but Mercy if He die That th' one of these perforce from Heav'n must fly And many other of our Heav'nly train Shall therby base indignity sustain My doom is this To salve and keep all eav'n That Man by Death to Life by Hell to Heav'n Shall take his course T'enabl'Him for which end Let all the punishments Iustice can send Be all made good yea Sin and Death and Hell And whatsoever most with Evill swell Let all of them be made good unto Man And then let Wrath inflict ev'n what she can So Mercie may for Mans Sin satisfie And Iustice punish Mans iniquitie Most rev'rend Truth exactly shall appear And austere Iustice strictly dominere Consuming Wrath shall sweetly be appeas'd And all-preserving Mercy shall be pleas'd Remorsefull Pitie shall be highly praised And death-deserving Man to new life raised Contentment thus we Sisters all may have And all of us accomplish what we crave So God in all and of all shall be knowne The God of Life Death Glory Praise Renown No sooner Wisdome had this case decided But Heav'n and Earth who stood by Sin divided VVere both of them with wonderment astonisht At th'equity of what she had admonisht All things with joy 'gan instantly be cheared As soon as hope of reconcilement ' peared Twixt God and Man Yet Reason made this Quaere How Sin how Death how Hell so dark so dreary How these could be made good since for Mans fall They are the pain to plague the Man withall To second this saith Truth there 's none so good That ever yet did spring from tainted blood VVho Man 's depraved Nature could controule By changing Ill to Good to save his soule To change Ill into Good t is to create A work of inf'nite Pow'r wherefore no state Of finite force can be so virtuall As to make Death to Life effectuall By Sin Man did an inf'nite Pow'r offend Which none but inf'nite Pow'r can amend Neither can God Mans Mediatour be For who offended was by sin but He 'T is God in Iustice that looks for amends Therfore not He which satisfaction sends Who then is it that makes this Evill Good Nor God nor Man by Reason they 'r withstood T is I quoth Goodness I as Wisdome bod Will heale Mans sores and make all eav'n that 's od I 'le make his Evill Good his Death the way Wherby eternall Life attain He may I 'le yeeld my selfe my uncorrupted Essence To purifie his Soule his Sp'rite his Sense Yea here behold I offer all I have I 'le with-hold nought that 's needfull Man to save Quoth Truth again kinde Sister you doe well You offer more than Angels tongues can tell Yet cannot your beneficence alone Vnright'ous Man with right'ous God attone 'T is more to reconcile Man to his Maker Than one can doe who ere be th'undertaker When Charity who all this while attended Did understand how Goodness was commended For her kinde offer and withall did hear No one of th' Heav'nly Pow'rs sufficient were Both to