Memoirs of the Life and Worth: Lamentations for the Death, and Loss of the Every Way Admirable Mr. Urian Oakes

Weep with me, Reader! Never Poet had
His Quill employ'd upon a Theme so sad
As what just Providence (Grief grumble not)
Do's with black Warrant Press mee to! O what?
This! OAKES is dead! One of the bittrest Pills
(Compounded of three Monosyllables)
That could have been dispensed! Absalom
Sure felt not more Distress, Death, Danger , come
With the three Darts of Joab ! — — —
Blest Shade ! an Universal Tax of Sorrow
Thy Country ows thee! Ah! we need not borrow
The Prasica's: Say, Oakes is dead ! and there!
There is enough to squeese a briny Tear
From the most flinty Flint: Once at the Blow
Of Moses , from a Rock a Stream did flow;
But look! th' Almightye's Rod now Smites us home
Oh! what Man won't a Mourner now become?
Dear Saint! I cannot but thy Herse bedew
With dropping of some Fun'ral Tears ! I Rue
Thy Death! I must, My Father ! Father ! say,
Our Chariots and our Horsemen where are they?
I the dumb son of Crasus 'fore mine Eyes
Have sett, and will cry when my Father dyes.
Oh! but a Verse to wait upon thy Grave,
A Verse our Custome , and thy Friends will have:
And must I brue my Tears? ah! shall I fetter
My Grief, by studying for to mourn in Metre ?
Must too my cloudy Sorrows rain in Tune ,
Distilling like the softly Showrs of June ?
Alas! My Ephialtes takes me! See't!
I strive to run , but then I want my feet .
What shall I do? Shall I go invocate
The Muses to mine aid? No, That I hate!
The Sweet New England-Poet rightly said,
It is a most Unchristian Use and Trade
Of Some that Christians would be thought . If I
Call'd Help, the Muses mother Memory
Would be enough: He that Remembers well
The Use and Loss of Oakes , will grieve his fill.
Ih'd rather pray, that Hee, in whose just Eyes
The Death of his dear Saints most preciose is ,
And Hee who helped David to bewail
His Jon'than , would not my Endeavours fail.
A sprightly Effort of Poetick Fire
Would e'en Transport mee to a mad Desire:
How could I wish, Oh! that the nimble Sun
Of thy short Life before thy Day was done
Might backward Ten Degrees have moved! or
Oh! that thy Corps might but have chanced for
To have been buried near Elish's bones!
Oh! that the Hand which rais'd the Widows Song
Would give thee to thy Friends again! But, Fy!
That Passion's vain! To sob, Why didst thou dy?
Is but an Irish Note : Death won't Restore
His Stolen Goods till Time shall be no more.
Shall I take what a Prologue Homer hath
Lett mee Relate the Heavenly Powers Wrath?
Or shall I rather join with Jeremie ,
And o're our great and good Josiah sigh,
O that my Head were waters, and mine Eyes
A fountain were, that Hadadrimmon's Cryes
Might bubble from mee! O that Day and Night
For the Slain of my People weep I might!
Ah! Why delay I? Reader, step with mee,
And what is for thee on Grief's Table see
Memoria, Praeteritum is
The Dish I call thee to: Come taste of this.
Oakes was! Ah! miserable word! But what
Hee was . Let Never, Never be forgot.
Beleeve mee once, It were a worthy thing
Of's Life and Worth a large Account to bring
To publick View , for general Benefit .
I would essay (with Leave, Good Reader) it,
So far as feet will carry mee; but know it
From first to last, Grief never made good Poet .
Hee that lasht with a Rod could versify ,
Attain'd, and could pretend far more than I!
Short was thy Life ! Sweet Saint! & quickly run
Thy Race ! Thy Work was, oh! how quickly done!
Thy Dayes were ( David's measure ) but a Span ;
Five Tens of Years roll'd since thy Life began.
Thus I remember a Greek Poet Rhimes,
They whom God Loves are wont to dy betimes.
Thus Whit'ker, Perkins, Preston , Men of Note,
Ay! many such, Never to fifty got.
And thus (Rachel New-England!) many Seers
Have left us in the akme of their Years.
Good Soul! Thy Jesus who did for thee dy ,
In Heaven longed for thy Company .
And let thy Life be measur'd by thy Deeds ,
Not by thy Years ; Thy Age strait nothing needs.
Divert, My Pen! Run through the Zodiac
Of Oakes his Life: And cause I knowledge lack
Of most Occurrents, let mee now and then
Snatch at a Passage worthy of a Pen.
Our Mother England , ev'n a Village there
( Fuller , insert it!) did this Worthy bear.
Over the Ocean in his Infancy
His Friends with him into New-England fly:
Here, while a lad, almost a miracle
(As I have heard his Aged Father tell)
Sav'd him from drowning in a River: Hee
Would (guess) a Miracle and Moses bee.
Now did Sweet Nature in him so appear
A Gentlewoman once cry'd out, If ere
Good Nature could bring unto Heaven, then
Those wings would thither carry Urian.
Prompt Parts , and early Piety now made
Men say of him, what once observers said
Of great John Baptist , and of Ambrose too,
To what an one will this strange Infant grow?
Her Light and Cup did happy Harvard give
Unto him; and from her he did receive
His Two Degrees: (A double Honour to
Thee ( Harvard! Own it !) did by this accrue!)
So being furnisht with due burnisht Tools
The Armour and the Treasure of the Schools ,
To Temple-work he goes: I need not tell
How he an Hiram , or Bezaleel
Did there approve himself; I'le only add
Roxbury his first-fruits ( first Sermon ) had.
Some things invite: Hee back to England goes;
With God and Man hee there in favour growes:
But whilst he lives in that Land, Tichfield cryes
Come over, Sir, and help us ! He complyes:
The Starr moves thither! There the Orator
Continu'd charming sinful mortals for
To close with a sweet Jesus: Oh! he woo'd,
He Thundred: Oh! for their eternal good
How did he bring the Promises , and how
Did he discharge flashes of Ebal ? Now
Hee held Love's golden Scepter out before
The Humble Soul; Now made the Trumpet roar
Fire, Death, and Hell against Impenitent
Desp'rates, untill hee made their hearts relent.
There did hee merit Sibs's Motto, I
Just like a Lamp, with lighting others dy.
Ah! like a Silk-worm , his own bowels went
To serve his Hearers, while he soundly spent
His Spirits in his Labours. O but there
He must not dy (except Death Civil ) Here
(Why mayn't we Sigh it! here) dark Bartholmew
This gallant and heroic Witness slew.
Silenc't he was! not buried out of sight!
A worthy Gentlemen do's him invite
Unto him; and like Obadiah , hide
Him, dear to them with whom he did reside,
Finding his Prayers and Presence to produce
An Obed-Edom 's blessing on the House.
A Spirit of great Life from God do's enter
Within a while into him: Hee do's venture
To stand upon his feet : Hee prophesy's;
And to a Congregation Preacher is,
Join'd with a loving Collegue ; who will not
Be buried, till Symmons be forgot.

But our New-England-Cambridge wants him, and
Sighs, " Of my Sons none takes me by the hand,
" Now Mitchel 's gone! Oh! where's his parallel?
" Call my Child Urian ! Friendly Strangers tell
" An OAKE of my own breed in England is,
" That will support mee Pillar-like; and this
" Must be resolv'd; I'le Pray and Send ! Agreed!
Messengers go! and calling Council , speed!
The good Stork over the Atlantic came.
To nourish and cherish his Aged Dam .

Welcome! great Prophet! to New-England shore!
Thy feet are beautiful ! A number more
Of Men like thee with us would make us say,
The Moral of More 's fam'd Utopia
Is in New-England ! yea, (far greater!) wee
Should think wee Twisse's guess accomplisht see,
When New Jerusalem comes down, the Seat
Of it, the wast America will bee't .
Cambridge ! thy Neighbours must congratulate
Thy Fate! Oh! where can thy Triumvirate
Meet with its Mate? A Shephard ! Mitchel ! then
An Oakes ! These Chrysostoms , these golden Men ,
Have made thy golden Age ! That fate is thine
(To bee blest with the Sun's perpetual Shine)
What Sylvius sais of Rhodes . Sure thou mayst call
Thy Name Capernaum ! But oh! the fall
Of that enlightened Place wee'l humbly pray
Dear Lord! Keep Cambridge from it! — — —
But Quill! where fly'st thou? Let the Reader know
Cambridge some years could this brite Jewel show,
Yet here a Quartane Ague does arrest
The Churches Comfort, & the Countryes Rest.
But this (Praise Mercy) found some Ague-frighter ,
Hee mends, and his Infirmity grows lighter,
Ev'n that his dear Orestes smil'd, So small
Your Illness, you'd as good have none at all.
Well! the poor Colledge faints! Harvard almost
(An Amnesty cryes' st !) gives up the ghost!
The branches dwindle! But an OAK so near
May cherish them! 'Twas done! The gloomy fear
Of a lost Colledge was dispell'd! The Place,
The Learning, the Discretion, and the Grace
Of that great Charles , who long since slept & dy'd
Lov'd, and Lamented, worthy Oakes supply'd.
His Nurse he suckles ; and the Ocean now
Refunds what th' Earth in Rivers did bestow.
Pro Tempore (a sad Prolepsis ) was
For a long time his Title ; but just as
Wee had obtain'd a long'd for Alteration,
And fixt him in the Praesident's firm Station,
The wrath of the Eternal wields a blow
At which my Pen is gastred! — — —
— — —
But Up! — Lord! wee're undone! — Nay! Up and Try!
Heart! Vent thy grief ! Ease Sorrow with a Sigh !
Lett's hear the matter! Write de Tristibus !
Alas! Enough! — — — Death hath bereaved us !
The Earth was parch't with horrid heat: We fear'd
The blasts of a Vast Comet's flaming Beard .
The dreadful Fire of Heaven inflames the blood
Of our Elijah , carrying him to God.
Innumerable Sudden Deaths abound!
Our OAKES a Sudden blow laid on the ground,
And gives him blessed Capel 's wish, which the
Letany prayes 'gainst, To dy Suddenlie .
The Saints hope to have the Lord's Table Spread;
But with astonishment they find him dead
That us'd to break the Bread of Life: O wee
Deprived of our Ministers often bee
At such a Season . Lord, thy Manna low
In our blind Eyes we fear is wont to go!
The Man of God at the first Touch do's feel
[With a Praesage ] his call to Heavens weal;
Hee fits himself for his last conflict ; Saw
The ghastly King of Terrors Icy claw;
Ready to grapple with him; then he gives
A Look to him who dy'd and ever lives;
The great Redeemer do's disarm the Snake;
And by the Hand his faithful Servant take,
Leading him thorow Death's black Valley , till
Hee brings him in his arms to Zion's Hill .
Fall'n Pillar of the Church! This Thy Translation
Has turn'd our Joyes into this Lamentation !
Sweet Soul! Disdaining any more to trade
With fleshly Organs , that a Prison made,
Thou'rt flown into the World of Souls , and wee
Poor, stupid Mortals lose thy Companie.
Thou join'st in Consort with the Happy gone ,
Who (happ'er than Servants of Solomon )
Are standing round the Lamb's illustrious Throne
Conversing with great Isr'el's-Holy-One.
Now could I with good old Grynaeus say
" Oh! that will be a bright and gloriose Day,
" When I to that Assembly come; and am
" Gone from a world of guilt, filth, sorrow, shame!
I read how Swan-like Cotton joy'd in Thought,
That unto Dod , and such he should be brought.
How Bullinger deaths grim looks could not fright
Because twould bring him to the Patriarchs Sight.
(Well might it be so! Heathen Socrates
In hopes of Homer , Death undaunted sees.)
Who knows but the Third Heaven may sweeter be
Thou Citizen of it! (dear Oakes !) for thee?
Sure what of Calvin Beza said; and, what
Of thy forerunner Mitchel, Mather wrote,
I'le truly add, Now Oakes is dead, to mee
Life will less sweet, and Death less bitter bee.
Lord! Lett us follow! — — —

Nay! Then, Good Reader! Thou and I must try
To Tread his Steps ! Hee walk't Exemplar'ly !
Plato would have none to be prais'd, but those
Whose Praises profitable wee suppose:
Oh! that I had a ready Writer's Pen ,
(If not Briareus hundred Hands !) and then
I might limn forth a Pattern . Ah! his own
Fine Tongue can his own worth Describe alone
That's it I want; and poor I! Shan't I show
Like the man, whom an Hero hired to
Forbear his Verses on him ! Yet a lame
Mephiboshoth will scape a David 's blame.

Well! Reader! Wipe thine Eyes! & see the Man
(Almost too small a word!) which Cambridge can
Say, I have lost! In Name a Drusius ,
And Nature too! yea a compendious
Both Magazine of worth , and Follower
Of all that ever great and famose were.
A great Soul in a little Body . (Add!
In a small Nutshell Graces Iliad .)
How many Angels on a Needle's point
Can stand, is thought, perhaps, a needless Point:
Oakes Vertues too I'me at a loss to tell:
In short, Hee was New-England's SAMUEL ,
And had as many gallant Propertyes
As ere an Oak had Leaves; or Argus Eyes .
A better Christian would a miracle
Be thought! From most he bore away the Bell!
Grace and good Nature were so purely mett
In him, wee saw in Gold a Jewel sett.
His very Name spake Heavenly; and Hee
Vir sui Nominis would alwayes bee.
For a Converse with God; and holy frame,
A Noah , and an Enoch hee became.
Urian and George are Names aequivalent;
Wee had Saint George , though other Places han't.
Should I say more, like him that would extol
Huge Hercules , my Reader'l on me fall
With such a check; Who does dispraise him ? I
Shall say enough, if his Humility
Might be described. Witty Austin meant
This is the First, Second , and Third Ornament,
Of a Right Soul, should be esteem'd. And so
Our Second Moses , Humble Dod , cry'd, Know .
Just as Humility mens Grace will bee,
And so much Grace so much Humilitie.
Ah! graciose Oakes , wee saw thee stoop; wee saw
In thee the Moral of good Nature 's Law ,
That the full Ears of Corn should bend , and grow
Down to the ground: Worth would sit alwayes low .
And for a Gospel Minister , wee had
In him a Pattern for our Tyro's; Sad!
Their Head is gone: Who ever knew a greater
Student and Scholar? or beheld a better Preacher and Praesident? Wee look't on him
As Jerom in our (Hungry) Bethlechem;
A perfect Critic in Philology;
And in Theology a Canaan's Spy .
His Gen'ral Learning had no fewer Parts
Than the Encyclopaedia of Arts:
The old Say, Hee that something is in all,
Nothing's in any; Now goes to the wall.
But when the Pulpit had him! there hee spent
Himself as in his onely Element:
And there hee was an Orpheus: Hee'd e'en draw
The Stones , and Trees: Austin cryes, If I saw
Paul in the Pulpit, of my Three Desires:
None of the least (to which my Soul aspires)
Would gratify'd and granted bee . Hee might
Have come and seen't, when OAKES gave Cambridge Light.
Oakes an Uncomfortable Preacher was
I must confess! Hee made us cry, Alass !
In sad Despair ! Of what? Of ever seeing
A better Preacher while wee have a beeing.
Hee ! oh! Hee was, in Doctrine, Life , and all
Angelical , and Evangelical .
A Benedict and Boniface to boot,
Commending of the Tree by noble Fruit .
All said, Our Oakes the Double Power has
Of Boanerges , and of Barnabas:
Hee is a Christian Nestor! Oh! that wee
Might him among us for three Ages see!
But ah! Hee's gone to Sinus Abrahae .
What shall I say? Never did any spitt
Gall at this Gall-less, Guile-less Dove; nor yet
Did any Envy with a cankred breath
Blast him: It was I'me sure the gen'ral Faith,
Lett Oakes Bee, Say , or Do what e're he wou'd,
If it were OAKES , it must be wise, true, good .
Except the Sect'ryes Hammer might a blow
Or two, receive from Anabaptists , who
Never lov'd any Man, that wrote a Line
Their naught, Church-rending Cause to undermine.
Yett after my Encomiastick Ink
Is all run out, I must conclude (I think)
With a Dicebam , not a Dixi ! Yea,
Such a course will exceeding proper bee:
The Jews , whene're they build an House , do leave
Some part Imperfect , as a call to grieve
For their destroy'd Jerus'lem ! I'le do so!
I do't! — — —

And now let sable Cambridge broach her Tears!
(They forfeit their own Eyes that don't; for (here's
Occasion sad enough!) Your Sons pray call
All Ichabod; and Daughters, Marah ! Fall
Down into Sack-cloth, Dust, and Ashes! (To
Bee senseless Now, Friends, Now! will be to show
A CRIME & BAGD of Sin and Folly !) Try
Your fruitfulness under the Ministry
Of that kind Pelican , who spent his Blood
To feed you! Dear Saints ! Have ye got the Good
You might? And let a Verse too find the Men
Who fly'd a Sermon ! Oh! Remember when
Sirs! Your Ezekiel was like unto
A lovely Song of (Been't deaf Adders you)
One with a pleasant Voice! and that could play
Well on an Instrument! And i'n't the Day,
The gloriose Day, to dawn (ah! yet!) wherein
You are drawn from the Egypt-graves of Sin
Compelled to come in? For shame come in !
Nay! Join you all! Strive with a noble Strife ,
To publish both in Print (as well as Life )
Your preciose Pastor's Works ! Bring them to view
That wee may Honey tast, as well as you.
But, Lord! What has thy Vineyard done, that thou
Command'st the Clouds to rain no more? O shew
Thy favour to thy Candlestick ! Thy Rod
Hath almost broke it: Lett a Gift of God ,
Or a sincerely Heaven-touch't Israelite
Become a Teacher in thy Peoples sight.

At last I with License Poetical
(Reader! and thy good leave) address to all
The children of thy People! Oh! the Name
Of Urian Oakes , New-England! does proclame
SURE I AN OAK was to thee! Feel thy Loss!
Cry, ( Why forsaken, Lord !) Under the Cross!
Learn for to prize Survivers ! Kings destroy
The People that Embassadors annoy.
The Counsil of God's Herald , and thy Friend ,
[Bee wise! Consider well thy latter End!]
O lay to heart! Pray to the heavenly Lord
Of th' Harvest , that (according to his Word)
Hee would thrust forth his Labourers: For why
Should all thy Glory go, and Beauty dy
Through thy default? — —
— — Lord! from they lofty Throne
Look down upon thy Heritage ! Lett none
Of all our Breaches been unhealed! Lett
This dear, poor Land be our Immanuel's yett!
Lett's bee a Goshen still! Restrain the Boar
That makes Incursions ! Give us daily more
Of thy All-curing Spirit from on High!
Lett all thy Churches flourish! And supply
The almost Twenty Ones , that thy Just Ire
Has left without Help that their Needs require!
Lett not the Colledge droop, and dy! O Lett
The Fountain run! A Doctor give to it!
Moses 's are to th' upper Canaan gone!
Lett Joshua's Succeed them! goes when one
Elijah , raise Elisha's! Pauls become
Dissolv'd ! with Christ! Send Tim'thees in their room!
Avert the Omen , that when Teeth apace
Fall out, No new ones should supply their place!

Lord! Lett us Peace on this our Israel see!
And still both Hephsibah , and Beulah bee!
Then will thy People Grace ! and Glory ! Sing,
And every Wood with Hallelujah's ring.
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