Cogitations upon death, or, The mirror of man's misery (1)

Cogitations upon death, or, The mirror of man's misery (1)  (1820-1830) 





Mirror of Man's Misery;

Being very Choice and





To which is added,

The New Jerusalem.



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I HAVE such dread when I should die,
Not knowing how, nor in what place,
Thro' course of kind he comes to me,
Into his arms would me embrace,
He spares not the rich for their riches,
Nor on the poor hath he pity,
This causes me to say, Alas!
And have such dread when I should die.
When I lie sick on my death-bed,
And all my life brought to an end;
Then all the sins that e'er I did,
Will all come fresh into my mind.
Crying, We are all works of thine,
And now we are to go with thee,
To bear witness what thou hast done,
Which makes me dread when I should die.
Then growth of grief and great despair,
Will melt my heart and break my gall,
That for my flesh I took such care,
But gain'd no graçe for my poor soul:
And now no time remains at all,
To mend my life that none may see,
But go to judgement general,
This makes me dread when I should die.
Then when my breath begins to fail,
My feet and hands do lose their might,
My fear is for the fiends of hell!
For they come flying on a flight.
And every one shall see that sight,
For at our ending they shall be,
Reaving our souls, if they have right;
This makes me dread when I should die.
And then I fear that bitter pain,
How death shall come and break my heart
With many thratch and grievous groan,
When he shall strike me with his dart.
He will make me to feel the smart,
And sting of death most cruely,
Before my life from me depart;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
And then I fear this wilsome way,
Where I must wend when I am gone,
For none come back by night nor day,
Their friends and neighbours to forewarn,
Whether they be in joy or pain,
They must remain continually,
For we are valued at our worth;
This makes me dread, when I should die.
I fear what shall become of me,
In that great day of God's just wrath,
Then furious flames of fire on high,
O'rspread the surface of the earth,
Which will amaze all his creatures,
Both man and beast, and fowls that fly,
And every thing that draweth breath;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then Christ the king of righteousness,
Who ruleth all at his command,
Will come with glory thro' the skies,
With angels bright, a full great band.
Then round about him they shall stand,
Beholding still his Majesty;
His face shall shine through all the land;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then shall he send his good angels,
With trumpets sounding loud and shrill,
Throughout the parts of all the earth,
To raise the dead and bring him till,
Although it be against their will,
To come before his Majesty,
Yet force and might shall them compel;
This makes me dread when I should die.
The heaven and earth shall fly away,
And hide them from his angry face;
Before that he begins to try
All sinners for their wickedness;
Alas! that is a woeful case,
For sinners all in each degree,
When heaven & earth shall take the chace,
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then all the dead both great and small,
Shall be brought in for breach of law,
Then Christ shall charge his servants all,
To set them right upon a raw.
And he his bloody wounds will shew,
Saying, What hast thou done for me?
Then sinful men shall stand great awe;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
And thus our courts begin to make,
When we are call'd to our misdeeds,
None shall escape for any's sake,
But every one his own roll reads,
He shall tell forth with all good speed,
Both good and evil whate'er it be,
And every one his sins shall read;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Into his book there shall be writ,
All their misdeeds and wicked works,
All profane words that they have spoke,
And all unclean and wandering thoughts.
Their love to sin shall be dear bought,
For then they shall both prove and see,
The wage shall be as they have wrought;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
This large market of God's free grace,
That stood ay since Christ Jesus came,
Shall be cry'd down but longer space,
And ne'er to be proclaim'd again.
Because they would not take their time,
Therefore the gates of his mercy,
For ever shall be clos'd on them;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then Satan with a great army,
Of damned spirits will come on flight,
Crying, O judge who sits on high,
On sinners all now do me right,
Who set thy law far out of sight,
And served me most willingly,
With cares and pains both day and night;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
What malice have ye had at me,
Then Christ shall say to sinners all,
That ran to serve my enemy,
And me disdain'd when I did call.
Was I and my reward so small,
That ye disdain'd to worship me?
Therefore I'll now disown you all;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
I gave you life like to myself,
With wisdom, wit, and holiness,
And made you lords o'er all the earth,
Both fish and fowl, and its fulness,
Yea, over all these my creatures,
Which were for your commodity:
And after ye broke my commands,
And brought yourself in snare of death,
I left my glory in the heavens,
Humbled myself and came to earth,
To suffer sorrow, pain, and grief,
With scorn, disgrace and misery,
Yet where is all your thankfulness,
And duty ye did owe to me?
They bound me like a common thief,
My back and sides with scourges dang,
They plait, and put upon my head,
A crown of thorns both sharp and lang,
My sight grew dim, my head hang down,
I lost my life most painfully,
But now where's all your thankfulness,
And duty ye did owe to me?
And then they led me to the cross,
And nail'd me fast both feet and hands,
Full oft they spat into my face,
A spear throughout my side they ran,
The streams of blood which then outran,
Ran down my sides most piteously;
But now no part have ye therein;
This may you dread when thou'rt to die.
You have embrac'd more joyfulness,
In one hour's pleasure of your sin,
Than all the love you had to me,
Since I put life your breast within.
My precious blood full fast did run,
Out thro' my side abundantly,
Yet now no part have ye therein;
Which may thee dread when thou'rt to die.
When Christ begins for to propound,
The dreadful doon of life and death,
The hopeless soul shall faint and groan,
Before the sentence pass their teeth;
With weeping eyes and doleful voice,
They shall lament most piteously,
That ever they were made, alas!
This makes me dread when I shall die.
They shall be safe, I dare well say,
Who are well ruled at his right hand,
And pass to heaven the sell same day,
With music, mirth, and angels sound.
But wretches all who have done wrong,
Shall cry to hills and mountains high,
That they would fall them down upon;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then in wrath he shall cry forth,
Depart from me, ye cursed band,
For on the poor ye had no reuth,
Nor stood in awe at my command;
Therefore begone, no longer stand,
My face again ye shall ne'er see,
But still in darkness to remain;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then if your doom be once out gone,
Remeid shall then be past for ay,
Tho' they would weep and make great moan,
Even till their eyes would melt away,
And tho' they would both kneel and pray;
Even till their flesh were from their knee,
Yet all shall not avail that day;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
And then tho' all the saints above,
And eke the glorious angels all,
Would kneel down at the feet of Christ,
And mercy beg for one poor soul,
Yet Christ would then deny them all,
And say nay, nay, that cannot be,
They would not hear when I did call;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then hope of health they shall gi' o'er,
When cries and tears make them no stead,
And then blaspheme for great despair,
And curse the thing that did them good,
Yea, curse their father that them begat,
The mother that bare in her belly,
And eke the earth whereon they sat;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then God who gave them life & breath,
And made them all of dust and clay,
They shall him curse into his face,
Because he hath cast them away;
Crying, wo, wo, and wail away,
That ever we this day did see,
For we are lost for ever and ay;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
The precious blood of Jesus Christ,
They shall it curse with great disdain,
That bought so many thousand souls,
Because no drop was shed for them.
To save them from that bitter pain,
Which by no craft they now can flee,
Nor, yet by force of might or main;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
But Christ he will not suffer long,
Then to blaspheme in his presence;
But soon will bid cast over them,
In the black vale of his vengeance,
And then lead them away from thence,
And cast them in with that menzie,
Into the pit of endless pain;
This makes me dread when I must die.
Then Christ shall close the mouth of hell,
And bar them from the light of day,
Then shall this all both shout and yell,
When flesh and blood begins to fry,
In firey flames most furiously,
Without a hopes to be set free,
For evermore therein to ly;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Then shall they swarm in that great flame
Like worms into an earthly fire,
And they therein shall still remain,
Till that God's wrath begins to tire;
But sure that time will never come,
When God's just wrath reveng'd shall be,
Upon their silly souls for sin;
This makes me dread when I must die.
Alas! it is a longsome night,
Where day will never dawn again;
Alas! it is a fearful sight,
Where there is everlasting pain;
Alas! it is a longsome cry,
Which God nor man will not pity,
Nor hear their moan wherein they lie;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
These blasphemers who stand no awe,
God's holy name for to abuse;
But make it like a childish ba'
To catch it on where'er they please,
Their souls shail there get no more ease,
But in these flames shall scorched be,
By wicked spirits and damned devils;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
These gluttons and these drunkards all,
Who made a god of their belly,
But gain'd no grace for their poor soul,
Shall then be forc'd to cry sorely,

For one small drop of cold water,
And yet it shall not granted be,
To cool their tongue in flaming fire;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
These whores who have no modestly,
Nor any shame, or saving grace,
But live in lust and lechery,
Hunting their prey in every place,
Their arms shall then be made embrace,
Both night and day continually,
The doleful flames of black darkness;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
These proud persons that brag & boast,
Of honour, wealth, and their great King,
But car'd not to dishonour Christ,
Rejecting saints belong to him;
These idols Christ shall put from him,
And cloath all most dolefully,
With long black robes of lasting shame;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
These covetous and worldly worms,
Who put their trust in their riches,
And will not deal the poor on alms,
When they stand crying at their gate;
Therefore in hell they shall be sure,
To cry out for recovery,
When there is none them to relieve;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
These murderers and common thieves,
Who labour not with honesty,
But set themselves to steal and reave,
As if they were no God to see.
The Lord shall then bereave them all,
Of all his gifts and glory,
And banish them to hell's sore pains;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
To sing I will no longer stay,
For fear that I do you molest,
Of choices then I have but two,
Therefore be sure to choose the best.
The first is love, and joy, and rest,
The next is pain without pity,
For we are call'd away in haste;
This makes me dread when I shall die.
Therefore my counsel to us all,
Is to repent and mend with speed,
And to prepare for the poor soul,
Before the time be past remeid:
And ау hold sin at deadly feud,
And serve our God most carefully,
Then shall we have no cause to dread,
Nor fear the time that we should die.

An Epitome of Promises, for the Saint's
Support in time of Trouble.
That God hath freely Loved his Elect in
Christ Jesus.

I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy, Exod. xxxix. 19.

I even I, am be that blotteth out transgression for mine own name sake, Isa.xliii. 25.

I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, Isa. xliv. 22.

I will heal love their backslidings: I will love them freely, Hos. xiv. 4.

That God hath given Christ to death for
his Elect.

I will put enmity between thee and the woman; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel, Gen. iii. 15.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, Isa. liii. v.

When he shall make his soul an offering for sin, ver. 10.

He was numbered with the transgressors, and bare the sins of many, ver. 12.

Seventy weeks are determined upon by my people, to finish transgression and to make an end of sin, Dan. iv. 24.

That we are freely justified by

So by the obedience of one, many shall be made righteous, Rom. v. 13.

And are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ JESUS, Eph. iii. 34.




O MOTHER dear Jerusalem,
when shall I come to thee,
When shall my sorrows have an end?
thy joys when shall I see?
O happy harbour of God's saints!
O sweet and pleasant soil;
In thee no sorrow may be found,
no grief, no care, no toil.

In thee no sickness is at all,
no grief, no toil, no care,
There is no death nor ugly sight,
but life for evermore.
No dimning clouds o'ershadow thee,
no dim nor darksome night,
For every soul shines as the sun,
for God himself gives light.
There lust nor lucre cannot dwell,
there envy bears no sway,
There is no hunger, thirst nor heat,
but pleasure every way.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
would God I were in thee,
O that my sorrows had an end,
thy joys that I might see;
No pains no pangs no bitter griefs,
no woful night is there,
No sigh, no sob, no cry is heard,
no willaway nor fear.
Jerusalem the city is,
of God our King alone,
The Lamb of God the light thereof,
sits there upon the throne.
Ah! God, that I Jerusalem,
with speed may go behold,
For why? the pleasures there abound,
with tongue cannot be told.

Thy turrets and thy pinnacles,
with carbuncles doth shine;
With jasper, pearls, and crysolyte,
surpassing pure and fine.
Thy houses are of ivory,
thy windows chrystal clear;
Thy streets are laid with beaten gold,
where angels do appear.
Thy walls are made of precious stones,
thy bulwarks diamonds square;
Thy gates are made of orient pearl,——
O God! if I were there.
Within thy gates nothing can come,
that is not passing clear;
No spider's web, no dirt, no dust,
no filth may there appear.
Jehovah, Lord, now come I pray,
and end my grief and plaints,
Take me to thy Jerusalem,
and place me among the saints:
Who there are crown'd with glory great,
and see God face to face,
They triumph all, and do rejoice,
most happy is their case.
But we who are in banishment,
continually do moan,
We sigh, we mourn, we sob, we weep.
perpetually we groan.
Our sweetness mixed is with gall,
our pleasures are but pain;
Our joys are not worth looking ou,
our sorrows still remain.
But there they live in such delight,
such pleasure and such play,
That unto them a thousand years,
seem but as yesterday.
O my sweet home Jerusalem,
thy joys when shall I see?
Thy king sitting upon his throne,
and thy felicity.
Thy vineyards and thy orchards,
so wonderfully rare,
Are furnish'd with all kinds of fruits,
most beautiful and fair.
Thy gardens and thy goodly walks,
continually are green,
There grow such sweet and pleasant flowers,
as nowhere else are seen.
There cinnamon and sugar grows,
there nard and balm abound,
No tongue can tell, no heart can think,
what pleasures there are found.
There nectar and ambrosia spring,
the musk and civit sweet,
There many a fine and dainty drug,
is trodden under feet.
Quite thro' the street with pleasant sound
the blood of life doth flow,
Upon the bank on ev'ry side,
the Tree of Life doth grow,
These trees each month do yield their fruit,
for evermore they spring;
And all the nations in the world,
to thee their honours bring.
Jerusalem, God's dwelling place,
full sore I long to see,
O that my sorrows had an end,
that I might dwell with thee!
There David stands with harp in hand,
into the heavenly choir,
A thousand times that man was blest,
who might this music hear.
There Mary sings Magnificat,
with tunes surpassing sweet,
And all the virgins bear their part,
sitting around her feet.
To Deum doth St Ambrose sing,
St Austin doth the like,
Old Simeon and Zachary,
have not their songs to seek.
There Magdalen hath left her moan,
and chearfully doth sing,
With all blest saints, whose harmony,
through every street doth ring.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thy joys fain would I see,
Come quickly, Lord, and end my grief
and take me home to thee.
O plant thy name in my forehead,
and take me hence away,
That I may dwell with thee in bless,
and sing thy praises ay.
Jerusalem, the happy throne,
Jehovah's throne on high.
O sacred city, queen and wife,
of Christ eternally
O comely queen, with glory clad,
with honour and degree,
All fair thou art, excelling bright,
no spot is found in thee.
I long to see Jerusalem,
the comfort of us all;
For thou art sweet and beautiful,
no ill can thee befal.
In thee Jerusalem, I say,
no darkness dare appear,
No night, no shade, no winter foul,
no time doth alter there.
No candles need, no moons to shine,
no glittering stars to light,
For Christ the sun of righteousness,
for ever shineth bright.
A lamb unspotted, white and pure,
to thee doth stand in lieu
Of light so great; the glory is
thy heavenly king to view.
He is the King of kings, beset
in midst his servants right,
And they his happy household all,
do serve him day and night,
There, there the quire of angels bright,
there the supernal sort
Of citizens, who hence are freed
from danger's deep resort.
There be the prudent prophets all,
th' apostles six and six,
The glorious martyrs in a row,
and confessors betwixt.
There doth the crew of righteous men,
and matrons all consist,
Young men and maids who here on earth
their pleasures did resist.
The sheep and lambs that hardly, 'scapt
the snares of death and hell,
Triumph in joy eternally,
whereof no tongue can tell;
And though the glory of each one,
doth differ in degree,
Yet the joy of all alike,
and common as we see.
There love and charity do reign,
and Christ is All in All,
Whom they, most perfectly behold,
in glory spiritual.
They love, they praise, they praise, and love,
they holy, holy, cry;
They neither toil, nor faint, nor end,
but laud continually.
O happy thousand times were I,
if after wretched days,
I might with listening ears conceive,
these heavenly songs of praise,
Which to th' eternal King are sung
by heavenly wights above,
By sacred souls and angels sweet,
to praise the God of love.
Oh passing happy were my state,
might I be worthy found;
To wait upon my God and King,
his praises there to sound.
And to enjoy my Christ above,
his favour and his grace,
According to his promise made,
which here I interlace.
"O Father dear," said he, "let them,
whom thou hast given of old,
To me, be there where so I am,
my glory to behold.
Which I with thee, before the world,
was laid, in perfect ways,
Have had, from whence the blessed Sun,
of glory doth arise.
Again, if any man will serve,
then let him follow me,
That where I am, be thou right sure,
there shall my servant be.
And still if any man loves me,
him loves my father dear,
Whom I do love, to him myself,
in glory shall appear."
Lord take away my misiries,
that then I may be bold,
With thee in thy Jerusalem,
thy glory to behold.
And so in Zion see my King,
my love, my lord, my all;
Whom now as in a glass I see,
then face to face I shall.
O blessed be the pure in heart,
their Sovereign they shall see,
O ye most happy heavenly wights,
which of God's household be.
O Lord with speed dissolve my bonds,
those gins and fetters strong;
For I have dwelt within the tents,
of Kedar over long.

Yet once again I pray thee Lord,
to quit me from all strife,
That to thy hill I may obtain,
and dwell there all my life.
With cherubim and seraphim,
and holy souls of men,
To sing thy praise, O Lord of hosts,
for evermore. Amen.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.