|Wigglesworth was a Puritan clergyman,
who wrote this "jeremiad" in verse.
"God's Controversy with New England"
(Written in the Time of the Great
Drought, Anno 1662.)
Are these the men that prized libertee
To walk with God according to their
To be as good as he would have them
To serve and worship him with all
Before the pleasures which a fruitfull
And country flowing-full of all
good things, could yield, . . .
Are these the men whose gates with
peace I crown'd,
To whom for bulwarks I salvation
Whilst all things else with rattling
And mortall frayes send thousands
to the grave?
Whilest their own brethren bloody
In brothers blood, and fields with
carcases bestrewed? . . .
If these be they, how is it that
In stead of holiness Carnality,
In stead of heavenly frames an Earthly
For burning zeal luke-warm Indifferency,
For flaming love, key-cold Dead-heartedness,
For temperance (in meat, and drinke,
and cloaths) excess?
Whence cometh it, that Pride, and
Debate, Deceit, Contention, and
False-dealing, Covetousness, Hypocrisie
(With such like Crimes) amongst
them arc so rife,
That one of them doth over-reach
And that an honest man can hardly
trust his Brother?
How is it, that Security, and Sloth,
Amongst the best are Common to be
That grosser sins, in stead of Graces
Amongst the many more and more abound?
I hate dissembling shews of Holiness.
Or practise as you talk, or never
more profess. . . .
This O New-England hast thou got
By riot, & excess:
This hast thou brought upon thy
By pride & wantonness.
Thus must thy worldlyness be whipt.
They, that too much do crave,
Provoke the Lord to take away
Such blessings as they have.
We have been also threatened
With worser things then these:
And God can bring them on us still,
To morrow if he please.
For if his mercy be abus'd,
Which helpe us at our need
And mov'd his heart to pitty us,
We shall be plagu'd indeed.
Beware, O sinful Land, beware;
And do not think it strange
That sorer judgements are at hand,
Unless thou quickly change.
Or God, or thou, must quickly change;
Or else thou art undon:
Wrath cannot cease, if sin remain,
Where judgement is begun.
Ah dear New England! dearest land
Which unto God hast hitherto been
And mayst be still more clear than
If to his voice thou wilt incline
Consider wel & wisely what the
Wherewith thou art from year to
Instructeth thee. Repent, &
turn to God,
Who wil not have his nurture be
Thou still hast in thee many praying
Of great account, and precious with
Who dayly pour out unto him their
And strive to please him both in
deed & word.
Cheer on, sweet souls, my heart is
with you all,
And shall be with you, maugre Sathan's
And whereso'ere this body be a Thrall,
Still in New-England shall be my
From: Prof. Bruce Dorsey, Swarthmore