Archive for Category: poetry

Poets, don’t try this at home.

Religion When advanc’d in pow’r,
Will make you Husband every hour.
‘Twill make Men strive with all their might,
And therein Find a sweet delight.
If there were Nought besides that pay
Christ gives To cheer us in our way;
Should we not Do the best we can?
For there’s No such reward from man.
Shall others Work, and not regard
Their strength To get a small reward?
Whilst we Turn slugs and loiter thus?
0 that Their zeal might quicken us.
Why are our Hands, and feet so slow,
When we Unto our business go?
How can we Then Christ’s pay expect,
And yet the Christians work reject,
If this, then Also that embrace
Them both; If not, we both disgrace.
Some if They could these two divide,
‘Twould Please them well, with Christ to side
But if they May not, then it were
As good Cease pleading, they’ll not hear:
Rouse up From sloth, my soul betake
Thee to thy Work, no cavils make.
O strive And try, saints say that even,
The pain they Take hath much of heaven.
But yet Their best wine’s kept till last,
Their rest and Ease comes all so fast.

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John Flavel

(1628-1691) was the son of a Puritan minister who died in prison. He was educated at University College, Oxford, and labored in the ministry at Dartmouth, Devon. His writings are deeply spiritual and experiential. This poem is from his 6 volume collected works.

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Afterthoughts:

The word “religion” has fallen upon hard times, lately. It’s a biblical word and just means how life relates to God. It’s often mistakenly contrasted in our day with a relationship with God. Granted, one can have one without the other but they shouldn’t be viewed in contradistinction.

The final couplet, which is read downward (!) through the capitalized words in each line, is a needful antidode for those who believe that “being” in Jesus Christ excludes “doing.”

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOES the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

I don’t believe this poem has seen the light of day in a long time. It did not appear in the google index. Enjoy!

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