Satan's decoy, or, The youth's faith in Christ (1)
Youth's Faith in Christ.
SATAN'S DECOY, &c.
YE vicious youth a while I pray draw near,
A pious patern I have for you here,
If you will but observe what I have pen’d,
You'll gain a crown of glory in the end,
’Tis of a youth eleven years of age,
A Merchants Son of Bristol, as 'tis said,
Who in his did take great delight,
And made it all his study day and night,
He was a comfort to his parents dear,
Who brought him up the lord of life to fear.
A youth he was so comely meek and mild,
His parents they were blest with such a child.
As he to school one morning took his way,
Over a field where flowers grew so gay,
All of a sudden he a man did meet,
Dress'd all in black who did him kindly greet,
He said my loving youth, where now so soon,
The child said Sir, I’m going straight to school,
To fit myself my maker dear to serve,
from his strict commands I’ll never swerve.
The devil then made this reply,
Such foolish talk as this I pray lay by;
In yonder village there is kept a fair,
And if you ll go a slow you will see there
No, sir, I beg that you will me excuse,
To go with you indeed I must refuse;
Besides a stranger sir you are to me,
Your conversation won't with me agree,
You talk as if you did not better know,
Of having me to see a gallant show.
For, if my learning I neglect at school,
I surely could be taken for a fool.
Then Satan said, my lovely youth so fair,
Will you the pleasures of this world forbear,
The child replied I needs must tell you plain,
That all your talk to me it is in vain,
Then finding he could no impression make,
Upon this he immediately did take
Out of his pocket a large purse of gold,
Saying here, my pretty boy, here this behold.
All this I do intend to give to thee,
If unto my advice you will agree,
I'd have you take your pleasure while you're here
And never think so much of worldly care.
It is a pity such a youth as you,
Should be debarr d his pastime to persue,
But always be confin'd to go to school,
It is enough to make a child a fool.
Be rul'd by me and go to balls and plays,
And take some pleasure in your youthful days,
Ne'er spend your time as you till now have done,
For if you do you'll into sorrow run,
Money at your command you still shall have,
And all things in life that you desire or crave,
You nothing here shall want while you on earth,
So ne'er take thought of what comes after death
The child reply'd I can't think who you be,
That now has given such bad advice to me,
Verily you do not think there is a God,
Your expressions to me they are so very odd.
What pleasure can I take more than I do,
The Gospel of the Lord I will persue,
To serve my maker is my whole delight,
And slaive to walk within the paths of light.
At last he happened to cast down his eyes,
And Satan's cloven feet at last he spy's,
At which he was not daunted in the least,
But to reprove him, backward did rehearse.
You've missed your aim, your ends you shant obtain
Of me, for all your subtile feares are vain;
You're like a lion seeking to devour,
But over me you shall not have your power.
At this the devil gave a horrid look,
And in a flash of fire the fields forsook;
This heavenly youth he then knelt down to pray.
And when he'd done to school he took his way.
The Prayer that he made himself in the Field.
AL mighty and ever living God, who did suffer thine only son to be tempted by the devil in the wilderness after he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights; and as thou hast been pleased at this time to defend me from his snares and subtility, to rule my heart so that I withstood all his temptations. I return the humble and hearty thanks for the same, for which I hope I shall find rest at the last day; and give thanks to my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
His Discourse with his School master.
HIS Master said I pray where have you run,
That you no sooner unto school did come,
You did not use to stay so long from me,
Tell me the reason pray now instantly.
The reason that I from the school did stay,
When from my fathers house I took my way,
I met the devil in the shape of man,
Dressed in black, who unto me did run,
He ask'd me whither I was going so soon,
I made this answer, no where but to school,
The fittest place for such a youth as I,
But with my reasoning he would not comply.
He fain would have me go unto a fair,
Saying it was better than to come here;
Which I refus'd and for it him reprov'd,
Saying such things are what I never lov'd.
Then finding that he could not me entice,
Out of his pocket he pulled out a trice,
A purse of gold which he offered unto me,
If I co his advice would but agree.
But all his wicked snares they were in vain,
I told him a just God in heaven did reign,
Whom I would serve as long as I had life,
And all such vain discourse I'd banish quite.
I told him what our Savior dear,
Had suffer'd for us sinful mortals here,
All for to save the precious souls of men,
I said you crucify him now again.
By advising me to shun Gods heavenly grace,
You'd have me run a sinful wicked race;
As other children in this world have done,
And daily do, but there at last will come.
A reckoning day, which for it they must pay,
So now this vain discourse forbear I pray;
Then I said, Sir, tho' I am but a youth,
You'll find what I have told you is a truth.
He still persisted that it was the best,
To follow worldly pleasures while on earth,
I little thinking who it was so nigh,
Till at last his cloven foot I did espy.
At which I was not daunted in the least,
But did begin to upbraid him to his face;
I said you old deceiver of mankind,
Begone from me, no prey you here will find.
For all your subtile feares I do defy,
Your shinning gold will not make me comply,
I prize my soul into a better state,
Than you can purchase, for my saviour's sake,
Which words being said he gave me a grim look
And in a flash of fire the fields forsook;
He being vanish, I fell down to pray.
Unto the Lord, when done I came my way.
His master when he heard what he had said,
Cry'd out there is but few of this sad age,
That ever will the conduct have to shun
The snares of Satan as you now have done,
Ye youths who are around pray warning take,
And like this child all wickedness forsake,
Serve God, likewise obey your parents dear,
Then you the snares of Satan need not fear.
Blessed be thou, O Lord God who has reproved us and given us grace to withstand the many snares and temptations of the devil. We humbly beseech thee, to keep our hearts from all evil thoughts and vain desires, so that whatsoever we do or say may contribute to thy honour and glory: and that we may be thy servants from henceforth and for ever more, Amen.