Henry Arthington

(1592-1607 / England)

How Gods Iustice And Mercy Ioyne Both Together In Mankinds Restoration. - Poem by Henry Arthington

Almighty God, beholding Man,
Depryued of his blessednesse,)
To looke with visage pale and wan,
(By reason of his wretchednesse.)

And knowing him in least default,
No Tempter (as the others were)
But sore abusd (by their assault)
And vtter spoyld (as did appeare.)

Then, In his great compassion,
Of mankinds extreame misery,
God entred consultation,
Their rewfull state to remedy,

That, Where their sins deserued death,
(Euen by iust doome for euermore)
Mercy alone, (as Scripture saith)
Could not mans happy state restore,

Vnlesse Gods Iustice therewithall,
(By suffering death, were satisfied,)
Then God to counsell did both call,
And (by consent) hath thus decreed.

That: Where Mans nature did offeud,
And so deserued for to dye,
Mans nature, should that fault ameud
And suffer death accordingly.

Yet so: (as he should ouercome)
Both Death and Sathan, Prince of Hell,
And so restore mankinds freedome,
In euerlasting ioyes to dwell.

And, for that Angels were to weake,
(To conquer these great enimies,)
The Sonne of God did vndertake,
This high most worthy enterprize.

Whereto, his Father gaue consent,
He should descend from Heauen so high,
On earth for to be resident,
Till he had got the victory.

And to that end, it was his will,
Of blessed Virgin to be borne,
The holy Scripture to fulfill,
And vs to helpe that were forlorne.

By his two natures vnited,
(Both God and Man, one person pure)
He might be alwaies furnished,
Our former freedome to procure.

In Mans Nature (as capable,
To vndergo all kind of paine)
In Gods Nature, (as alwaies able)
To help himselfe and vs againe.

First, with our nature to begin,
(Where that was stayned in Gods sight,)
Christ tooke our Nature (without sinne)
Conceyued, (through Holy--ghost his might)

And of the Virgin Mary borne,
(As Th'angel did fore--prophesie)
Else had all mankind beene forlorne,
Without all hope of remedy.

And that all people then might know,
He was of power to saue vs all,
His very name, the same did show,
As Th'angell (Iesus) did him call.

Likewise, (because he vndertooke,
To be our Prophet, King, and Priest,)
It is recorded in Gods Booke,
That he was also called Christ.

Which is, (Annoynted of the Lord,)
To execute those offices,
That (by his sauing worke and word)
He might our freedome accomplish.

Thus, Iesus Christ, (He being borne)
And growing vp to Mans degree,
Doth thinke on vs, that were forlorne,
In former state to set vs free.

For, Well he knew, our sinfull fall,
Did spoyle vs all of blessednesse,
And brought vs likewise to be thrall,
To euerlasting cursednesse.

Because we neither could fulfill,
The law of God, that leads to blisse,
Nor beare his wrathfull vengeance still,
Till we had quited his iustice.

Without both which, Christ knew right well,
That we were left remedilesse,
From euer scaping out of Hell,
Or getting former happinesse.

Both which Christ did, in our Nature,
Well vndertake for to supply,
And so from time to time made sure,
His Fathers wrath to pacifie.

For, whereas without righteousnesse,
We could not come to blessed rest,
Christ liu'd in vpright holinesse,
(As in the Scripture is exprest.)

Not onely in auoyding,
But euer doing good withall,
His Fathers will for to fulfill,
For vs (through sinne) still kept in thrall.

That so our nature full of sinne,
Before Gods throne of grace in Christ,
Might be presented pure in him,
In whom our comfort doth consist.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 7, 2010

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