Henry Arthington

(1592-1607 / England)

The Goodnesse Of God Towards - Poem by Henry Arthington

The First Point.
In Creating all thinges for our vse, and vs for his glory.

O Glorious God, how much is Man,
For euer bound to praise thy Name,

No mortall wight can rightly scan,
As all thy workes expresse the same.

If man looke vp with fixed eyes,
How wonderfully doth appeare,
Thy workmanship in azure skyes,
With all thy creatures planted there.

The Sunne and Moone aboue the rest,
To guide and rule each day and night,
With glistering Starres all ready prest,
To pleasure vs by shining bright.

The Clouds that hang aboue our heads,
(As times and seasons do require)
Their fruitfull shewers abroad do spread,
To satisfie our hartes desire.

If Man cast downe his eyes below,
To view Gods Creatures heare on earth,
How do they all his loue foreshew,
Still to preserue Mans vitall breath.

The Foules that flye in firmament,
And all kind Fishes in the Sea,
To take and vse, for his content,
With Beastes on th'earth to rule alway.

And, for mans meat, God did prouide,
All fruitefull trees (saue onely one)
With euery Hearb that beareth seed,
For man all times to feede vpon.

A pleasant place cald Parradice,
God planted mankind first therein,
To haue all times what hart could wish,
So long as he auoyded sinne.

And that man might liue in this state,
And neuer dye (vnlesse he would)
The tree of life, thereon to eate,
God planted in that sacred mould.

How truely then, might mankind say,
How much are we (Lord) bound to thee,
For all thy fauours euery way,
Inlarged so aboundantly.

Much more. If thou lift vp thy mind,
To meditate Gods loue to thee,
A thousand fould thou shalt it finde,
Exceeding others in degree.

For, In creating all things else,
God onely said, (Let it be so?)
And so they were, (as Scripture tels)
His mighty power, (by word to shoe.)

But, In creating Man, God said,
Let vs make Man: where by we see,
His perfect person to be made,
Euen by the blessed Trinity.

Which proueth, man did farre excell,
All former workes, it is most plaine:
As that which followes (marke it well)
In our owne Image doth containe.

For (by Gods Image) in this place,
Is meant these speciall qualities,
(His Knowledge, Truth, and Holinesse)
All which in Man, were pure likewise.

For Knowledge, Adam first did name,
(All liuing Creatures in their kind)
His Life also, was without blame,
And all the graces of his minde.

So that in these was no dissent,
Twixt God and Man, (for gifts most cleare)
Saue (all in God, were permanent)
But man might change, (as did appeare)

Behold Gods loue to man, yet more,
In placing him the supreame Lord,
Of all his Creatures made before,
To guide and gouerne by his word.

And that, which most did shew Gods loue,
There was but one excepted Tree,
Which he forbad that man should proue,
On paine of death eternally.

VVhat could God, more haue done for man,
Or, how much is man to him bound,
No earthly wight can rightly scan,
Then be not slacke, his praise to sound.

The Second Point,
Describing the malice of Sathan towardes Mankind, in ouerthrowing their happy estate in Parradise.

Sathan the Deuill, our deadly foe,
(Enuying our first happinesse)
Did forthwith seeke to breede our woe,
And bring vs into wretchednesse.

VVho, knowing Adam and his wife,
To be most wise (of Creatures)
He chose the next, to worke their strife,
And so the Serpent, he allures.

Directing him, first to beginne,
(VVith Eue, the weaker, as he knew)
And (if he could) to make her sinne,
That afterwardes they both might rew.

The Serpent then, (vpon her speech)
(They might not eate of euery Tree)
Did seeke there by to ouerreach
Her vnconstant simplicity.

And thereupon, He answered,
Hath God forbidden to eate of all,
(As who should say be not afraid)
Small signe of loue, you may it call.

The woman heareunto replyes,
God giues vs both free liberty,
To eate all fruit before our eyes,
(Saue onely one) Least then we dye.

And heare behold, her weakenesse great,
To doubt of that, (which God said plaine)
At what time thereon ye shall eate,
(Ye shall not doubt) but dead remaine.

The Serpent seeing her made doubt,
To eate thereof for feare of death,
Doth answer (like a Champion stoute)
(You shall not dye) feare not his breath.

For, Well God knowes, the very day,
That you shall eate thereon your fill,
You shall be like to him alway,
In knowledge of both good and euill.

The woman then distrusting God,
And trusting Serpents subtiltyes,
Did yeeld to eate the fruit forbad,
(In hope his words would proue no lyes.)

But, That she should soone reape thereby,
Both honor, profit, and pleasure,
And hauing tast thereof, did bye,
Her Husband likewise to allure.

VVho, (by her smooth and flattering tongue)
Did eate thereof, with her also,
And thereby did himselfe great wrong,
To wrap them both in endlesse woe.

Whereby, they lose that Image pure,
In which God did them first create,
Both them, and theirs, still to incure,
Most extreame thrall, and cursed state.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 7, 2010

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