John Bunyan (28 November 1628 – 31 August 1688 / Elstow, Bedfordshire, England.)
An Introduction To The Ensuing Discourse.
These lines I at this time present
To all that will them heed,
Wherein I show to what intent
God saith, Convert with speed.
For these four things come on apace,
Which we should know full well,
Both death and judgment, and, in place
Next to them, heaven and hell.
For doubtless man was never born
For this life and no more:
No, in the resurrection morn
They must have weal or woe.
Can any think that God should take
That pains, to form a man
So like himself, only to make
Him here a moment stand?
Or that he should make such ado,
By justice, and by grace;
By prophets and apostles too,
That men might see his face?
Or that the promise he hath made,
Also the threatenings great,
Should in a moment end and fade?
O! no, this is a cheat.
Besides, who is so mad, or worse,
To think that Christ should come
From glory, to be made a curse,
And that in sinners' room,
If nothing should by us be had
When we are gone from hence,
But vanities, while here? O mad
And foolish confidence.
Again, shall God, who is the truth,
Say there is heaven and hell
And shall men play that trick of youth
To say, But who can tell?
Shall he that keeps his promise sure
In things both low and small,
Yet break it like a man impure,
In matters great'st of all?
O, let all tremble at that thought,
That puts on God the lie,
That saith men shall turn unto nought
When they be sick and die.
Alas, death is but as the door
Through which all men do pass,
To that which they for evermore
Shall have by wrath or grace.
Let all therefore that read my lines,
Apply them to the heart:
Yea, let them read, and turn betimes,
And get the better part.
Mind therefore what I treat on here,
Yea, mind and weigh it well;
'Tis death and judgment, and a clear
Discourse of heaven and hell.
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