THE Court Convert: OR, A Sincere Sorrow for SIN, Faithfully TRAVERS'D; Expressing the Dignity of a True Penitent. Drawn in Little by ONE, whose Manifold Misfortunes Abroad, have render'd him Necessitated, to seek for Shelter Here; By Dedicating Himself and this small POEM.

By H. A. Gent.

Printed for the Author.

TO THE HONOURED Ioseph Boyeck Esqr:

Sr

THE Author's Condition being at pre­sent on a Level, and the Basis of his former Fortune Overthrown, to get Clear of the Dilemma, and prevent his future Inter­ment in the Ruins; Humbly takes leave to Dedicate this small Poem (the Off-spring of a Penny-less Muse) to Your kind Accep­tance: Having nothing in this Iron Age, wherewith to support him, but a Feeble Quill. He knows it is not Practicable to Trade for Wealth in the Poets Territories, he might as well depend on the Wheel of Fortune for a Benefit, which only Turns to the advan­tage of her Favourites, than Fish for Pearl in the Muses Helicon, where are only Wrecks, and no Riches; he has only play'd [Page]a little about the Brink; which, if not we done, is submitted to Correction: But, b [...] lieving the spirit of Goodness and true Hu­mility, resides in your Generous Breast, as Rich Gemm in a Noble Cascate, he is En­courag'd to Lay this the aforesaid Brat a [...] your Hospitable gate; for they whose Estimate of Men, and things Proceed not from a Blind and Popular Applause; Lives u [...] most near the Example of our SAVIOUR who, when on Earth Declin'd the Conver­sation of a Proud Tetrarch, for that of a Poor Lazer, and Valu'd more the Holy acts of an Humble Fisher, then all the Great and Heroick Deeds of a Haughty Caesar.

I am Your Honours most Dutiful Servant, Henry Anderson

THE COURT CONVERT.

DEluding World, which hath so long amus'd,
And with false Shapes my dreaming Soul a­bus'd;
[...]yrannick Court, where simple Mortals buy,
With Life and Fortune, splendid Slavery;
[...]ence-forth Adieu; my goodly Stock of Years,
[...]aid out for that, I now lament with Tears.
Monarchs, who with amazing Splendor glare,
[...]nd Favorites, who their Reflections are;
[...]oth shine, 'tis true, but 'tis like Glass they do;
[...]rittle as that, and made of Ashes too:
The Hour is set, wherein they must disown
The Royal Pomp, the Treasure, and the Throne:
The dazling Lustre of Majestick State
Shall be extinguish'd by the Hand of Fate;
Highness must stoop into the hollow Grave,
And keep sad Court in a cold dampish Cave.
Beauty, and jovial Youth, decays apace;
Age still, and Sickness, oft doth both deface,
The Favorite whom all adore and fear,
Whose Strength doth so unshakable appear,
It's but a Tower built on flitting Sands,
No longer than the Tempest sleepeth, stands:
Nor can the Calm of Fortune long insure;
Or Monarch's Favour, crazy Man secure:
We moulder of our selves, and soon or late,
We must resign beloved Life to Fate.
From stately Palaces we must remove,
The narrow Lodging of a Grave to prove:
Leave the fair Train, and the light-guilded Room,
To lie alone benighted in the Tomb.
GOD only is Immortal; Man not so:
Life to be paid, upon demand, we owe.
The rigid Laws of Fate, with none dispense,
From the least Beggar, to the greatest Prince.
The crooked Sythe, that no Distinction knows,
Monarchs, and Slaves, indifferently mows.
One Day we'd pity those we now admire,
When after all the Glory they acquire;
When after all the famous Conquests they have made,
Fierce Death their Lawrels in the Dust hath laid.
Those Heads and Hands, which States and Princes steer,
Who Rule in Peace, and Conquer in the War,
Shall, by a sad, and certain Change of State,
Be doom'd a Prize to Death, and rigid Fate:
Then be no more; their very Name will die
To Fame, unless preserv'd by History.
'Tis Heaven's Great KING alone, whom Angels serve
Who does our Hearts, our Care, our Love, deserve;
To HIM all's due, there's nought at our command,
But must be paid at his Divine Demand:
To HIM the Christian ought to make his Court,
His Love the only Matter of Import:
Not, but that Honour must to Kings be paid,
Being by Heav'n, Heav'n's Vicegerents made;
To such we dedicate our Hearts and Hands,
With due Submission to their just Commands;
And their unjust ones, tho we cannot do,
We must the Mulct, with Patience, undergo:
Tis Sacrilege (in any Case) to pry
[...]nto the God-like Power of Majesty;
And mere Typheon insolence to strive,
Law to a King, with lawless Arms to give.
But all good Subjects should adore the Hand,
By which Kings, and the Crowns they wear, do stand;
And while the Earth's great Master we revere,
Pay Homage also to the Thunderer;
To GOD, whom Kings obey; whose Bounty gave
Their Scepters, Crowns, and all the Goods they have:
To GOD, whose Sun-beams guilded Royal State,
And Glory gives to each great Monarch's Fate;
With whose unknown, but to HIM easy, Skill,
Manages Powers, and Princes as HE will.
Now for to get in favour with this Prince,
There needs no more, but simple Innocence:
No Honour at his Court is bought with Gold;
But for cheap Love are all Preferments sold:
And in proportion to the Love you bring,
You shall have Power from the KING of Kings:
With a good Stock of Love there one may climb,
To a great Fortune, in a little time.
Nor is it hard me-thinks to love a GOD,
Who is himself so Loving, and so Good.
In other Courts a Man doth lose himself,
Oft for a little, and long drudg'd for Pelf;
In Business bearing an uncertain State,
Made void (sometimes) by Envy, or by Hate,
Rendring Possession of too short a Date.
For as a Dropsie makes the Body grow,
(At the same time, that it brings Nature low)
O're-whelm'd with Water, choak'd with Wind,
So Wealth at once swells up, and starves the Mind;
[...]t GOD, the Soul's Capacity doth fill;
[...]is Bounty over-flows Man's boundless Will:
[...]nd since the Earth cannot our Nature bless,
[...]nd the great World's too little for the less,
[...]is boundless Self he gives us, is so good
(As Romans hold) the Sacramental Food
[...]o regale us, with's Body and His Blood,
With Heavenly Manna, Angels tasteful Meat,
The same he gave His loving Twelve to Eat:
[...]imself the Treater, and Himself the Treat.
Come all that Hunger to the Royal Feast;
Come ev'ry one and wear the Nuptial Vest:
[...]et the King's Splendor dash, or dazle none;
Or being Mean, discourage any one.
[...]our Host is known to be as Meek, as Great;
And will alike the King and Beggar treat.
Spare not his Board, you cannot make him poor;
The more he gives, the greater is his Store:
His Bounty, like his Treasure's unconfin'd,
By giving, still to Give the more inclin'd.
Come then, and crowd into his Royal Court,
And to the Source of Goodness all resort.
Love H I M, whose Goodness Words cannot express;
And whose Ail-flowing Bounty is not less;
Lift up your Reason then, and have a care,
No foolish worldly Baubles enter there:
With such Precaution you'll acquire his Grace,
And purchase in his glorious Court a Place,
Where you will bless the Day you first awoke,
The happy Time in which your Slumber broke:
Crowds of all Blessings will your Hearts invade,
And your fresh blooming Joys will never fade.
No more the Storms of Princes you will fear,
That cause so many Wrecks, and Wretches here,
Where in a Moment all the Cargo's lost,
Which your whole Stock of anxious Care has cost;
One Day [with GOD] affords you more Content,
Than twenty Lives, in Courts of Princes spent;
An angry Word, a Slight, a gloomy Frown,
Will be enough to cast a Courtier down:
[...]f he would beg a Favour of his King,
Let his Request be ne'er so mean a thing,
A hundred Journeys he must undertake,
His Suit to this and that great Courtier make:
Thousands of Legs, and Cringes it will cost;
[...]nd after all, perhaps his Labour's lost.
[...]ut with GOD's Votaries it is not so;
We cannot ask so fast, as He'll bestow;
His EAR is still, to hear our Suits, inclin'd,
And to each Suitor daily proveth kind.
HE often hears, before we are aware,
And our least Wants by HIM consider'd are;
The smallest Hair falls not beside HIS Care.
On HIM we cannot our good Thoughts displace,
Unless we madly throw away HIS Grace.
Only to Him our Hearts should yield the Sway,
And not, by false Obedience, Heaven betray:
For first GOD doth what he would have us do,
Love with a Love, beyond Example true:
His Charming Law is LOVE, His Yoke is sweet,
Both for the King and poorest Beggar meet:
Easy and Light, alike to Great and Small,
And the same Hire proposed to them all.
Of Monarchs, he to Him is Great alone,
Who to himself becomes a Little One.
The only Greatness which poor Man can have,
[...]s to be here his Great Redeemer's Slave:
That King that doth not Heav'n's just King obey,
A Traitor is himself to Majesty.
The simple Shepherd, who with chast Desire,
The cheerful Innocence to Heav'n aspires:
The honest painful Labourer, who sweats
[...]rom Morn to Night, to get the Bread he eats;
[...]f he serves Heaven, is indeed more Great
Than Kings, with all their Pride and Purple State.
Thrice brave those Monarchs, who had dar'd to fly
[...]rom all th' alluring Charms of Majesty;
Lay down the Sword, their conqu'ring Troops forsake,
Unarm'd alone the Heaven of Heavens t'attack,
A Holy War with Hosts of Pleasures wage,
[...]nd tho the Flesh did for the Foe ingage,
Triumph'd o'er Foreign and Domestick Rage.
[...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...]
Thrice blest are those, who fled from being Great,
From Courts to safer Cottages retreat:
Heaven kindly doth their humble Thoughts defeat;
For Greatness, while they strive to shun, they meet.
They are made Great, and so more glorious Kings,
By being just, than by all earthly Things.
Ah! how we win, in losing for our GOD,
While Heav'n is gain'd for a poor sorry Clod
Of Earth: When for a short Grief here endur'd,
We are of Everlasting Joys assur'd:
Since for one Pleasure we refuse our Sense,
We shall have Millions for our Recompence.
Poor abus'd Men, unlucky Flock, they stray
Without the Shepherd, void of the right Way.
Unthinking Souls, that perish with Delight,
Which all the Threats of Heav'n cannot affright:
F [...]r sure those Pains, which do on Sin attend,
[...]ins which begin, but never must have end;
[...]e immaterial Fire that burneth still,
[...]t to their great Misfortune cannot kill;
[...]he Devil's Dungeon, and all sorts of Pain,
[...]hich Human Fortitude cannot sustain,
[...]ight (one wou'd think) Mens brutish Courage shake,
[...]nd in our Souls a noble Fear awake:
[...]t if the Racks of Hell can't Sin subdue,
[...]ffer the Lord of Hosts to conquer you;
[...]pose Him not unwisely, but imbrace
[...]e favourable Offers of his Grace:
[...]store Him to the Kingdom of your Hearts,
[...]st without Mercy, by the Devil's Arts:
[...]he old Ʋsurper's lawless Power disown,
[...]epose the hellish Tyrant from the Throne;
[...]d let King JESUS reign in it alone.
His Law is much more easy to observe,
Than those o'th' World (which yet we gladly serve
It neither hurts the Body, nor the Mind;
But is indeed to one and t'other kind:
A Check sometimes it may afford to Sense;
But is, at length, its own Benevolence.
O Divine Law! O easy Law of Love!
Let ME observe thee, and thy Wages prove:
But then i'th' World a hundred Laws there be,
Void of all Sense, but full of Tyranny;
Where foppish Form, our Liberty restrains,
And cripples us with false fantastick Chains.
You must pretend to Love whom you Detest;
Fawn on the Great One, when by him opprest;
With sneering Praise guild o'er his blackest Crimes,
And all those Humours which debauch the Times:
[...]sk your Displeasure with a smiling Face,
[...]d swear you're highly pleas'd with your Disgrace;
[...]iumph in shew, when you are overthrown,
[...]d all your Discontents and Griefs disown;
[...]tting off quite (with base uneasy Art)
[...]e honest Commerce of the Mouth and Heart.
[...]hameful Slavery of poor Mankind,
[...]worthy of a Man, or Christian Mind!
[...]tead of CHRIST, whom always we shou'd own,
[...]se Tyranny and Passion we enthrone;
[...]nging to those that from all Vertue run,
[...] serve a thousand Masters in their turn.
[...]e crouded Way of Vice cou'd never show
[...] Pleasure, which true Vertue doth bestow;
[...]m Innocence a native Joy accrues,
[...] wracking Sorrow always Guilt pursues.
The Ill Man's never Quiet nor Content;
The Good is full of Chear, [...]ho Penitent.
His inward Calm upon his Brow appears,
And Halcyon like, no blustring Storm he fears.
Him, all the Turns of Fate's prepar'd to find,
Meets Frowns and Favours with an equal Mind.
If Sickness warns him of approaching Death,
Or Fortune robs him of his worldly Wealth,
It cannot his unshaken Courage move,
Who, above Earth, hath plac'd in Heav'n his Love
His Health, his Riches, and his sole Delight,
Is here to serve his GOD with all his Might;
And that great Master faithfully to trace,
Whose Death was Triumph, Pleasure a Disgrace;
He lov'd the Cross; O Cross! O happy Wood!
That once was manur'd with our Saviour's Blood,
And moisten'd with his Tears, with Tears of Grief,
Whilst He that shed them, dy'd for our Relief;
Whose all-revenging Death [by th' Cross] did quell
Th' usurped Force of Sin, and Power of Hell;
The Stygian Monster's Power, and so set free
[...]enowned Heroes from Captivity.
Twas by this Cross that he to Heav'n did climb,
[...]nd order'd all Mankind to follow HIM.
[...] Cross! O CHRIST! O Wounds! O Streams of Blood!
[...] KING! to your ungrateful Slaves too Good!
[...]y Heart's Delight, my lingring Soul's Desire,
[...]y Love, that burns me with a Jambent Fire.
[...]y JESUS! Blessed Body, and his Blood,
[...]rought down from Heav'n above to be Man's Food:
[...]our LOVE, I find, does to such height amount,
[...]y Gratitude is lost in the Account.
When Punishment was to my Actions due,
Amazing Favours my Misdeeds ensue;
Instead of being by your Justice thrust,
With sudden Thunder, into native Dust:
While with my Works I earn'd the Fire of Hell,
And Satan triumph'd o'er my wretched Will;
When I provok'd your Justice with the height
Of base Ingratitude, and Earth's Delight,
You did ev'n then, O depth of Goodness! deign,
My Heart of all innated Vice to drain;
Which first, in being Yours, was truly blest,
Till I (vile Wretch) my MASTER dispossest:
YOƲ were its Lord, its Monarch; and what more?
Vouchsaf'd t' espouse a thing so mean and poor,
To the expence of Your dear Blood and Breath;
Your purple Sweat and Tortures, worse than Death,
So dear it cost YOƲ; yet I bore away,
Tho you have (once more) made the Wretch your Prey.
Dear Lord, I wander'd in the Paths of Vice,
And grop'd on blindfold to the Precipice:
[...]nstead of loving YOƲ, the only Good,
[...] made each empty Vanity my God:
But, O Excess of Mercy! YOƲ repay,
With Grace and Gifts Your Slave's black Treachery,
Whom the false World, and falser Court deceiv'd;
Whom Sin and Satan wretchedly enslav'd.
What dismal Blindness did possess my Mind,
[...]or silly short-liv'd Toys to have resign'd
A blest Eternity; and you dear Lord,
Who can a real heavenly Good afford!
Eyes, on my Cheeks let trickling Tears run down,
Your guilty selves in your own Waters drown.
False Guides, that led me to the Hunter's Snare;
When by my self, left wholly to your Care:
Ah poor, ambitious, fond, deluded Sight,
Thus on the sorry Creature to delight!
Your Fellow-Slave, a Bit of Earth, a Dream,
E'en a poor wretched Nothing to esteem.
For what avails a Mitre or a Crown,
Or all that here a Man can call his own?
Those whom our fawning Flatterers call Great,
Whom baser Mankind prostrate at their Feet,
In the Divine Eternal Glass appear
As little as the meanest Mortal here.
When th' Eye in Darkness sets, and Life's warm Fire
With th' Ice of Death, in Sorrow doth expire;
What matters Gold, by some Men so ador'd?
What Pleasure will a starry Crown afford?
This Garb ill fits a pale and lifeless Head,
And that bright Metal shines not to the Dead;
Corruption then will not forbear its Prey,
For fear of dead and helpless Majesty;
Nor will that Lustre, which amaz'd poor Man,
Dazle the Legions of bold Vermin then:
Alas! There's no Distinction in the Grave,
Between the greatest King and meanest Slave:
All Flesh is there unto one Change design'd,
And leaves all worldly Goods and Fame behind.
But different Fates the righteous Souls attend,
From theirs that here do make a wicked End.
Those of the Good, to Heaven's Great King repair,
The unknown Pleasures of his Court to share,
[...]n Peace and glorious Triumph to enjoy
The Fruit of their laborious Victory:
But those who lodg'd in Bodies, did defy,
With unrepented Crimes, the Deity,
Condemn'd to Chains, and hopeless of Relief,
Die to all Bliss, but ever live to Grief.
It is a doleful Scene, to see base Man
Provoke his patient MAKER all he can;
Shun Happiness, so easy to be won,
And take a world of Pains to be undone;
Even employ his whole Life-long, to buy
A wretched Right to endless Misery.
Thus he, who studies to indulge his Earth,
And quite neglects the Meaning of his Birth,
Into the gaping Jaws of Satan runs,
And the inviting Arms of JESUS shuns:
Those Arms that stand still open to receive
All weary Prodigals that Sin do leave;
Arms full of Love and Pity, which display,
Even to Foes and Traitors, Sanctuary:
[...]or those he left his Father's bright Abode,
Made Son of Man, to make Man Son of GOD.
To cure their Wounds, He Life's Elixir bled,
And dy'd a Death, to raise them from the Dead.
Dear JESUS, who with such a charming Art,
[...]ath soften'd and reduc'd Man's sinful Heart;
Did likewise, on the Day the Church renews
The Annual Obsequies of her dead Spouse,
[...]rom worldly Vice her Votary set free,
[...]nd from the Court an [...] World deliver'd me:
[...]o from my self, thus freed, didst after deign,
[...]o bind me with your Love's enlarging Chain:
[...]or such your Favours, shew me but the way,
[...]ood Lord, my due Acknowledgment must pay.
[...]OU had the Goodness, for my sake, to dye,
Which I, for YOU, will do most willingly:
And since my Life cannot suffice to pay
For the least Breath of that You gave away;
I wish the Lives of all the World were mine,
That all, for Your dear sake, I might resign.
But a rent Heart, since You will not despise,
And a bruis'd Reed, to You in Sacrifice,
My Prayers I humbly offer; and adore
The GOD that doth accept a Gift so poor.
I love You, Lord, as bed-rid Men love Health,
Close Prisoners Freedom, or starv'd Beggars Wealth
My Soul thirsts after Thee, pure Spring of Good,
As the chac'd Deer after a cooling Flood.
Nor do I love You for your HEAVEN; no,
For Your blest sake all Comfort I'll forego.
The sharpest Pain from thence will easy be,
And nought but HELL can be a Grief to me.
FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.