THOMAS LAW BELL-MAN.

His Christmass Greeting to his Masters of St. Giles Cripplegate, within the Freedom, presenteth his Love and humble Endeavours, as followeth.

I.
For the King and Queen.
NN other Psalme this Morne I intend to sing,
But Lord thy prayers for our Sacred King,
And Sacred Consort, his deserving Queen,
In which blest Union Lord, as thou wert seen,
From whose consent in mercy it did proceed,
So let be seen thy mercy in their Seed,
That from the most deserving Loines of theirs,
The Kingdome may obtaine deserving Heires.
II.
Our Royal Navy Lord Protect and bless,
and Crown their just endeavours w [...]th success.
To vindicate our Cause that justly goes
Against our unjust and incroaching Foes:
Whose thundering Cannons from the Goodings-Sands,
Rings peals of terror to their Neighbouring Lands,
Who if they might, would use him as they please,
Whom the Lord hath deputed o're the narrow Seas.
III.
All you that on your bedds in safety lie,
Call to your mind that all th [...]ngs borne must dye:
And not the healthy'st of you all can say,
That he shall live a year, a moneth, a day:
And who knows but his glass so near is run,
That he may dye before this morning Sun.
IV.
Fly man the vanity of being proud,
And think how near thou may'st be to thy shrowd:
Consider the condition of us right,
And frailty of our state by day and night:
Sleeping, we death resemble, and by day
We are at best but walking lumps of clay.
V.
The House-keeper would watch, if he but knew,
What houre of the night the Thiefe would venter:
And doubtless so would ever one of you,
knew you the certaine hour when death would enter:
Strengthen our Souls Lord, by thy gratious power,
That we may still keep watchful for that hour.
VI.
All you that on your feeble Beds do lye,
Lift up your hearts and hands to God on high;
And so reflect upon the day of Doome,
What time our Saviour through the Clowds will come
With Troops of Angels, and with Trumpets call
To give us summons, and to judge us all.
VII.
After your sweet repose of nightly rest,
Collect, and think on God who hath you blest:
And ere you do prepare your selves to rise,
Offer to him your Morning Sacrifice
Of faithful Prayers, that God may still persever
His mercys towards you, and forsake you never.
VIII.
VVhat a good Conscience still would man retaine,
Could he avoid all pleasures that are vaine.
If he could cast away all worldly care,
And only think on things that Heav'nly are:
And wholly trust in God? what joy of mind
[...]ould he possess? what comfort would he find?
IX.
COnsider man with dilligence and care,
VVhat harmes thou may'st avoyd if thou beware:
VVhat comforts at Deaths pinch may thee befriend,
If alwayes thou be thinking on thy end:
And ever so endeavouring to live here,
Thou may'st at Death, rather rejoyce then fear.
X.
Death (Masters) doth not use to knock nor call,
But like a Thiefe, he st [...]aleth [...]n us all:
And merciless (as h [...] is) he puts us [...]ill
In hope of living, when he means to kill:
Unhappy is that man that doth depend
On Deaths Reprevement, and n [...]glects his End.
XI.
Squalled, and Meagre is the face of Death,
And known by the shortness of h [...]s breath:
He speaks to [...] word, but kill,
Yet has this Death [...] power one Soul to spill.
Grace makes the [...], Joyes aspire,
Or [...] comm [...] it to e [...] [...]al [...]re.
XII.
Doubtful and swift is [...] in her course,
And Death takes all, for better and for worse:
The rich and poor (to him) a [...]e all alike,
The weak and strong, the healthy and the sick:
For the great Bridegroome then prepare thy heart,
And ha [...]g with mourning thy aspiring part,
Thy Soul; which through a true repentance may
Prevent some blushes on that Marriage day.
XIII.
VVe have no cause to wonder (gentle friends)
Neither at timely, nor untimely ends:
Death's common unto all both you and I,
And every living earthly thing must dye:
Swift time doth carry all things to destruction,
All natures frame is guilty of Corruption:
God grant we endeavour here, whil'st we have breath,
Not to be guilty of the second death.
XIV.
This world's a VVilderness, all set with snares,
A Laberinth full of confuse [...] cares:
A Sea fill'd up with hos incensing Lusts,
Subject to all temptations, hellish gusts:
Still raising billowes in our flesh and blood,
More dangerous and threatning then the Flood:
This gulfe hath founder'd many a barke of clay,
And many an Owner of them cast away.
XV.
Note that the gentle Crafts-man makes his end,
He doth his threads to several lengths extend:
So are we drawn from the Clue of life,
To the Fates heedless and uneven knife:
Let us be careful then, that we do spin
Our threads of life, without the knots of sin:
And God will sure in Deaths uncertaine doles,
Grant us good ends, to benefit our Soules.
XVI.
Remember man the weakness of thy frame,
And humble thee to God who knows the same:
And unto him for grace and mercy call,
That thou may'st hope to rise, but fear to fall.
XVII.
MAns life is like a bubble in a brook,
That's broken in the twinckling of a look?
Or Globe upon a point perami [...]al,
That still on every side is like to fall:
Lay hould upon Repentance man; renew
Thy peace with God, and for his mercy sue:
That in Deaths case, and dismal times of danger,
Thou may'st not pass from hence to him a stranger.
XVIII.
Behould the grass so beautiful to sight,
Green in the morning, and cut down e're night:
So suddenly man falleth to decay,
And withers in his flesh as grass to hay:
Then le [...] all Christians, early and late,
Be truly mindful of our mortal state:
In gracefulness may we daily thrive,
And glory our mortality survive.
XIX.
Like to the withered leafe before the winde,
Vaine man on earth no resting place can find;
For wheresoere [...]nes his eare or eye,
He is encounter'd still with vanity:
How then must man order his resolution,
To obtaine rest? by natures dissolution?
Beware man! if thou unrepented fall,
Thy birth was better then thy burial.
XX.
Uncertaine is the distance that we have,
Between the Womb that bare us and the grave:
Some as the Gourd of Ionas by the worme,
Are by Death strangl'd, soon as they are borne:
Others perhaps, bring seaventy years about,
Or live some longer date of Nature out:
But which of all, come safest unto reft?
Not they who live the longest, but the best.
XXI.
Although long life, be a reward indeed,
By promise due to all obedient seed:
Yet 'tis not th'age of old Mathusalem,
Can bring us safest to Ierusalem:
To which most happy, they that mind their course;
But heedless Souls that do, through Babels force,
Put their Conversions off from day to day,
The longer liv'd, the more they loose their way.
XXII.
What Pestilence could not invite us to,
Nor cruel War compel our hearts to doe:
Londons sad chance, may make us understand,
And tremble at the Rigor of Gods hand,
VVho with his flameing sword, hath now at last
Mow'd down her streets, and lay'd her all to wast:
Sad case: but far more sad to tempt Gods ire,
Or mind him not, till he appears in fire.
XXIII.
No sooner hath Saint ANDREW crown'd November
But Boreas from the North, brings cold December:
And I have often heard a many say,
He brings the VVinter Moneth New Castle way:
For comfort here of poor distressed Soules,
VVould he had with him brought a Fleet of Coles.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1666.

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