by Edward Taylor (c. 1642–1729)
Oh! What a thing is man? Lord, who am I?
That Thou shouldest give him law (Oh! golden line)
To regulate his thoughts, words, life thereby;
And judge him wilt thereby too in Thy time.
A court of justice Thou in heaven holdst
To try his case while he's here housed on mold.
How do Thy angels lay before Thine eye
My deeds both white and black I daily do?
How doth Thy court Thou pannel'st there them try?
But flesh complains: 'What right for this? Let's know.
For, right or wrong, I can't appear unto't.
And shall a sentence pass on such a suit?'
Soft; blemish not this golden bench, or place.
Here is no bribe, nor colorings to hide,
Nor pettifogger to befog the case,
But justice hath her glory here well tried.
Her spotless law all spotted cases tends;
Without respect or disrespect them ends.
God's judge himself; and Christ attorney is;
The Holy Ghost registerer is found.
Angels the serjeants are; all creatures kiss
The book, and do as evidences abound.
All cases pass according to pure law,
And in the sentence is no fret nor flaw.
What say'st, my soul? Here all thy deeds are tried.
Is Christ thy advocate to plead thy cause?
Art thou His client? Such shall never slide.
He never lost His case: He pleads such laws
As carry do the same, nor doth refuse
The vilest sinner's case that doth Him choose.
This is His honor, not dishonor: nay,
No habeas corpus gainst His clients came;
For all their fines His purse doth make down pay.
He non-suits Satan's suit or casts the same.
He'll plead thy case, and not accept a fee.
He'll plead sub forma pauperis for thee.
My case is bad. Lord, be my advocate.
My sin is red: I'm under God's arrest.
Thou hast the hint of pleading; plead my state.
Although it's bad, Thy plea will make it best.
If Thou wilt plead my case before the king,
I'll wagon-loads of love and glory bring.
Ordained Servant Online, October 2018.