Meditations on Death and the Grave

I crave your calm attention now
Till I reveal my Mind to you,
And tell you where my Thoughts were led
Out in the Tombs among the dead.

'Twas when the Care of Life had sled
And Night's dark curtain spread his shade,
And sweet Repose had clos'd mine Eyes
I heard a voice that bid me rise —

Arise, go view your other Bed
That death is making with the dead:
Another dwelling you must have,
Though little thought on, 'tis the Grave.

O solemn, solemn was the Time
When first this Messenger came in,
For to invite me for to come
And view my lodging in the Tomb.

What frightful Apprehensions run
In trickling Streams through ev'ry Vein.
Dare not refuse, dare not obey — —
Beneath these frightful Thoughts I lay.

And here I shrunk, I darn't comply,
But yet he did repeat this cry:
I yielded then to go and head
The gloomy Mansions of the dead.

Then I arose at his command
And went to view the solemn Land
While thoughts most frightfully did roll,
That overwhelm'd my fainting Soul.

So great, so solemn was the thought
To think how soon I must be brought
To view Death's gloomy dark abode,
I fell beneath the heavy load.

But soon a Voice to me was said,
Arise, arise, be not afraid;
Why do you fear to go and view
This lodging soon will be for you,

Then I received strength and pow'r
Sufficient for that very Hour.
Then walking onwards to the Gate,
That leads unto this solemn Place.

How slow, how solemn did the Door
Move back for me to enter there,
Till I had pass'd, there it remain'd,
Then slowly moved back again.

Soon as we got within the Wall
My guide gave me another call,
Saying, come see the seat of sin,
Walk round and see what it has done.

Then I went forth at his command,
Walk'd round and viewed that solemn land,
There I beheld the fatal Wound,
Lie mouldering there beneath the Ground.

My thoughts soon back to Adam run
And cried out, what have you done?
Is this the dreadful Wound you gave,
A Wound that sinks down to the Grave.

But I another wonder found
To view the solemn Court around,
All bound in Bands of Vanity,
In perfect peace and Harmony.

How strangely did this sight appear
To see the great and small lie here?
The rich, the poor, the bond and free
In band of Harmony agree.

There lay the gallant and the brave
Both mouldering in the silent Grave.
The Fool, the Beggar fill'd a seat
As high as any in this Court.

There mighty Kings and Princes lay
Chain'd down in silence in the Clay.
There Counsellors and Judges cease
To grant Advice or give release.

There I beheld the highest trust,
Pull'd down, lay level'd with the Dust,
The great, the mighty and the proud,
They all lay equal'd in the croud.

Sworn Enemies there I beheld
Had laid aside both sword and shield,
The Hand forever had forgot
To draw the spear, or heave a shot.

The slandrous and backsliding Tongue
Lay bound in silence in the Tomb:
the furious Temper's cease to rage
And lay in Death's cold gloomy shades.

The bold Plasphemer's Tongue lay bound
With chains of silence in the ground:
His Oaths that once defil'd the Air
Lay bound in Death's cold Prison there.

I saw the vigorous boldest Face
Lay mouldering in this solemn Place;
The active Limbs lost all ther Power
In Death's decisive solemn Hour.

There I beheld and lo I found
A lovely youth lye in the Ground:
'Twas but a little while before
I saw him flourish like a Flower.

But O the shaft of Death was flung
And cut the tender Flower down.
Death's sharpen'd Arrows gave the wound,
And now he moulders in the Ground.

The lovely Flesh, the sparkling Eyes
Lay mouldering in Eternity;
The blooming Cheek that once was worn
Is now a Feast for odious Worms.

The lovely Frame the active Hands
Lay bound in Death's cold Prison Bands,
The burning Flesh, the harmless Tongue
Lay mouldering in the silent Tomb.

The tender Skin, the curious Frame,
The blooming Countenance was gone,
The softest Flesh, the lovely Charms
Lay clasp'd in Death's cold icy arms.

But here my thoughts they took a wing,
Flew back and view'd the Race of Man,
And lo I found the num'rous Throng
Lay down in Death's cold shady Tomb.

Alas! the Ruins here I found
Of all Mankind, lay in the Ground;
From Adam down unto this Day.
They all lay mouldering in Clay.

What Millions! Millions! had been slain
By Death, that conquering, mighty King?
What crowds of num'rous corps I found
Lay cold and mouldering in the Ground.

Here was a melancholly Land;
And Death, the King of Terrors reign'd,
His mighty Hand his Sword he hurl'd,
Made Inroads through the lower World.

But ah how frail this num'rous crowd?
I view'd grim Death not satisfy'd
Although he'd struck from Shore to Shore,
The hungry Grave still cried more .

No nor enough he ne'er will have
Till he has crouded in the Grave;
His Mouth will never be confin'd
Till he's devour'd all human Kind.

This faint Idea mine Eyes have seen
Of things that's over, past and gone —
And now upon another Theme
Of things that's present, and to come.

M Y Mind it has been faintly lead
Down in the Tombs among the dead,
But on the living now I turn'd,
To view his Paths and where he's bound.

There I upon a Hill behold
Mine Eyes survey'd the boundless World,
I saw all Nature's human race
Move swiftly on towards the Place.

Yonder I saw a num'rous crowd
All marching in this solemn Read,
What steady step their feet did have,
Advancing forward to the Grave.

What countless Millions in the Band,
I saw them come from ev'ry Hand;
All Nature seem'd to move along
With equal speed towards the Tomb.

I saw Death mounted on a Horse,
And riding through this num'rous Host;
His Darts with cruel Death did fly
Commissioned from God on high.

Some he would strike with sickness down
On Beds of languishing and pain,
And others with a mortal Shot
He'd strike them dead upon the spot.

What great Commotions there remains,
Some mourning for the loss of Friends,
Others on Beds of racking Pains
And groaning out expiring Pangs.

Others were drinking with the drunk
Till all their active Powers were sunk,
And some their idle Frolicks have,
Yet all lead forward to the Grave,

But here among the rest I found
A few that follow'd Christ the Lamb;
With Heart and Hand they'd sign'd their names
Chose him their Captain and their King.

I saw some poor convicted youths,
Trembling at God's eternal Truths,
With earnest Prayer they sought to God
To wash them in Christ Jesus Blood.

I saw that little Company
Surrounded with the Enemy,
Satan was arm'd with all his Pow'r
Their precious Souls for to devour.

But Christ the Mediator stood
And plead before the Bar of God.
'Twas for these Souls whom Satan's bound
I spilt my Blood upon the Ground.

Th' almighty Judge he sets them free
From Satan's Chains of slavery.
He takes them in the Arms of Love
And makes them heirs of Heaven above.

But O I saw ten thousand run,
Stupid as stocks they do go on
In the broad Road that leads to Hell,
Where tortured Souls in Torment dwell.

What precious Moments do they waste
To please their sinful carnal Taste?
Forgetful that their Souls must live
Eternally beyond the Grave.

Here they on carnal things do feast
Like dumb, like stupid thoughtless Beasts,
And while on dainty Feasts they dine,
Their precious Souls do strave within.

Alas the Soul that is worth more
Than thousand World of Golden and Ore,
When once 'tis lost and no Relief
My Heart was filled with pain and Grief.

Trembling and sorrow seiz'd me round,
In Prayer I fell upon the Ground.
My Soul addrest God's holy Throne,
To shower his blessed Spirit down.

Almighty God, make bare thine Arm,
Jehovah sound the loud Alarm.
Hell and Damnation is prepar'd
For those that slight God's holy Word.

Shew Sinners their undone Estate;
Their precious Souls now lie at stake;
A few more sinful steps remains
And they'r in everlasting Flames.

Arise dead Souls, and beg of God,
To teach you how to read his Word,
And change your Heart by power Divine
That in your Heart may honor him

I CRAVE your calm attention now
Till I reveal my Mind to you,
And tell you where my Thoughts were led
Out in the Tombs among the dead.

'Twas when the Care of Life had sled
And Night's dark curtain spread his shade,
And sweet Repose had clos'd mine Eyes
I heard a voice that bid me rise — —

Arise, go view your other Bed
That death is making with the dead:
Another dwelling you must have,
Though little thought on, 'tis the Grave.

O solemn, solemn was the Time
When first this Messenger came in,
For to invite me for to come
And view my lodging in the Tomb.

What frightful Apprehensions run
In trickling Streams through ev'ry Vein.
Dare not refuse, dare not obey — —
Beneath these frightful Thoughts I lay.

And here I shrunk, I darn't comply,
But yet he did repeat this cry:
I yielded then to go and head
The gloomy Mansions of the dead.

Then I arose at his command
And went to view the solemn Land
While thoughts most frightfully did roll,
That overwhelm'd my fainting Soul.

So great, so solemn was the thought
To think how soon I must be brought
To view Death's gloomy dark abode,
I fell beneath the heavy load.

But soon a Voice to me was said,
Arise, arise, be not afraid;
Why do you fear to go and view
This lodging soon will be for you,

Then I received strength and pow'r
Sufficient for that very Hour.
Then walking onwards to the Gate,
That leads unto this solemn Place.

How slow, how solemn did the Door
Move back for me to enter there,
Till I had pass'd, there it remain'd,
Then slowly moved back again.

Soon as we got within the Wall
My guide gave me another call,
Saying, come see the seat of sin,
Walk round and see what it has done.

Then I went forth at his command,
Walk'd round and viewed that solemn land,
There I beheld the fatal Wound,
Lie mouldering there beneath the Ground.

My thoughts soon back to Adam run
And cried out, what have you done?
Is this the dreadful Wound you gave,
A Wound that sinks down to the Grave.

But I another wonder found
To view the solemn Court around,
All bound in Bands of Vanity,
In perfect peace and Harmony.

How strangely did this sight appear
To see the great and small lie here?
The rich, the poor, the bond and free
In band of Harmony agree.

There lay the gallant and the brave
Both mouldering in the silent Grave.
The Fool, the Beggar fill'd a seat
As high as any in this Court.

There mighty Kings and Princes lay
Chain'd down in silence in the Clay.
There Counsellors and Judges cease
To grant Advice or give release.

There I beheld the highest trust,
Pull'd down, lay level'd with the Dust,
The great, the mighty and the proud,
They all lay equal'd in the croud.

Sworn Enemies there I beheld
Had laid aside both sword and shield,
The Hand forever had forgot
To draw the spear, or heave a shot.

The slandrous and backsliding Tongue
Lay bound in silence in the Tomb:
the furious Temper's cease to rage
And lay in Death's cold gloomy shades.

The bold Plasphemer's Tongue lay bound
With chains of silence in the ground:
His Oaths that once defil'd the Air
Lay bound in Death's cold Prison there.

I saw the vigorous boldest Face
Lay mouldering in this solemn Place;
The active Limbs lost all ther Power
In Death's decisive solemn Hour.

There I beheld and lo I found
A lovely youth lye in the Ground:
'Twas but a little while before
I saw him flourish like a Flower.

But O the shaft of Death was flung
And cut the tender Flower down.
Death's sharpen'd Arrows gave the wound,
And now he moulders in the Ground.

The lovely Flesh, the sparkling Eyes
Lay mouldering in Eternity;
The blooming Cheek that once was worn
Is now a Feast for odious Worms.

The lovely Frame the active Hands
Lay bound in Death's cold Prison Bands,
The burning Flesh, the harmless Tongue
Lay mouldering in the silent Tomb.

The tender Skin, the curious Frame,
The blooming Countenance was gone,
The softest Flesh, the lovely Charms
Lay clasp'd in Death's cold icy arms.

But here my thoughts they took a wing,
Flew back and view'd the Race of Man,
And lo I found the num'rous Throng
Lay down in Death's cold shady Tomb.

Alas! the Ruins here I found
Of all Mankind, lay in the Ground;
From Adam down unto this Day.
They all lay mouldering in Clay.

What Millions! Millions! had been slain
By Death, that conquering, mighty King?
What crowds of num'rous corps I found
Lay cold and mouldering in the Ground.

Here was a melancholly Land;
And Death, the King of Terrors reign'd,
His mighty Hand his Sword he hurl'd,
Made Inroads through the lower World.

But ah how frail this num'rous crowd?
I view'd grim Death not satisfy'd
Although he'd struck from Shore to Shore,
The hungry Grave still cried more .

No nor enough he ne'er will have
Till he has crouded in the Grave;
His Mouth will never be confin'd
Till he's devour'd all human Kind.

This faint Idea mine Eyes have seen
Of things that's over, past and gone —
And now upon another Theme
Of things that's present, and to come.

M Y Mind it has been faintly lead
Down in the Tombs among the dead,
But on the living now I turn'd,
To view his Paths and where he's bound.

There I upon a Hill behold
Mine Eyes survey'd the boundless World,
I saw all Nature's human race
Move swiftly on towards the Place.

Yonder I saw a num'rous crowd
All marching in this solemn Read,
What steady step their feet did have,
Advancing forward to the Grave.

What countless Millions in the Band,
I saw them come from ev'ry Hand;
All Nature seem'd to move along
With equal speed towards the Tomb.

I saw Death mounted on a Horse,
And riding through this num'rous Host;
His Darts with cruel Death did fly
Commissioned from God on high.

Some he would strike with sickness down
On Beds of languishing and pain,
And others with a mortal Shot
He'd strike them dead upon the spot.

What great Commotions there remains,
Some mourning for the loss of Friends,
Others on Beds of racking Pains
And groaning out expiring Pangs.

Others were drinking with the drunk
Till all their active Powers were sunk,
And some their idle Frolicks have,
Yet all lead forward to the Grave,

But here among the rest I found
A few that follow'd Christ the Lamb;
With Heart and Hand they'd sign'd their names
Chose him their Captain and their King.

I saw some poor convicted youths,
Trembling at God's eternal Truths,
With earnest Prayer they sought to God
To wash them in Christ Jesus Blood.

I saw that little Company
Surrounded with the Enemy,
Satan was arm'd with all his Pow'r
Their precious Souls for to devour.

But Christ the Mediator stood
And plead before the Bar of God.
'Twas for these Souls whom Satan's bound
I spilt my Blood upon the Ground.

Th' almighty Judge he sets them free
From Satan's Chains of slavery.
He takes them in the Arms of Love
And makes them heirs of Heaven above.

But O I saw ten thousand run,
Stupid as stocks they do go on
In the broad Road that leads to Hell,
Where tortured Souls in Torment dwell.

What precious Moments do they waste
To please their sinful carnal Taste?
Forgetful that their Souls must live
Eternally beyond the Grave.

Here they on carnal things do feast
Like dumb, like stupid thoughtless Beasts,
And while on dainty Feasts they dine,
Their precious Souls do strave within.

Alas the Soul that is worth more
Than thousand World of Golden and Ore,
When once 'tis lost and no Relief
My Heart was filled with pain and Grief.

Trembling and sorrow seiz'd me round,
In Prayer I fell upon the Ground.
My Soul addrest God's holy Throne,
To shower his blessed Spirit down.

Almighty God, make bare thine Arm,
Jehovah sound the loud Alarm.
Hell and Damnation is prepar'd
For those that slight God's holy Word.

Shew Sinners their undone Estate;
Their precious Souls now lie at stake;
A few more sinful steps remains
And they'r in everlasting Flames.

Arise dead Souls, and beg of God,
To teach you how to read his Word,
And change your Heart by power Divine
That in your Heart may honor him
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