"A pure heart hath a golden Frontispice, / It loves fair vertue, and abhors foul vice."

— Billingsley, Nicholas (bap. 1633, d. 1709)

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"A pure heart hath a golden Frontispice, / It loves fair vertue, and abhors foul vice."
Metaphor in Context
Where there is a good conscience, there will
Be a good conversation, pure hearts still
Go with pure lives, when with its golden beams
Grace shines abroad, how beautiful it seems!
If the stream be corrupt, we may suspect
The Spring to be impure, a Saint will act
For God, of God he very often talks,
And with God, Noah-like, he always walks,
Is exercis'd in Angels work, always
Serving his God, and singing to his praise:
A Christian is full of spir't'al mirth,
His life's a very Heaven upon Earth;
The conversation of Saints is where
God is, in Heaven e're themselves come there,
Shall we account them pure, whose conversation
Is not in Heaven, Gods Holy habitation;
But in hell rather, Satans dwelling place?
How justly may such as are voyd of grace,
Reproach and scorn Religion when they see't
Thus kicked down, with our unholy feet.
The Clock hath not its motion within
Alone, without there moves the Dyal-pin:
Sincerity of heart is seen upon
The Dyal of the conversation.
A pure heart hath a golden Frontispice,
It loves fair vertue, and abhors foul vice,

Grace like new wine, will have vent, cannot be
Concealed, the fruits do manifest the Tree,
Although within Religions main work lies,
Yet must our light shine forth to others eyes,
The Saints are called Jewels in the sight
Of others, they reflect a lustre bright,
When we have Gospel-conversations,
We in Gods Church, are sparkling Diamonds.
Saints lives come near to Christ their all in all,
As the Transcript to the Original.
Christ in his conversation, lovely seems,
His life was purer than the sunny beams;
'Twas a fair copy never any one,
Wrote without blotting, saving Christ alone,
Who knew no sin; his lips never did speak
A word amiss, his feet did never tread
A step awry, and he who was a way
For others to walk in, did never stray
Out of the way himself, his life's throughout,
A pattern of good works, he went about
Still doing good even from the cratch unto
The Cross, he never any ill did do.
As Moses face did shine when he had bin
With God, so we in holiness must shine.
Our carri'ge and deportment should declare,
That of Heavens City, Burgesses we are.
And that we to Jerusalem above
Are going, thorough the high-way of Love.
Sincer'ty in the heart as holy leaven,
Makes the heart to swell, & rise as high as Heaven.
The upright man orders his conversation
Aright, and God will shew him his salvation.
Some brag they have good hearts, but their lives are
Crooked, they hope to go to heaven, but their
Foot-steps take hold of Hell, while Saints set on
Religions head an honourable Crown,
Adorn the Gospel; such shall reign no doubt,
Who copy in their lives the Bible out.
Searching in HDIS (Poetry)
Nicholas Billingsley, Thesauro-Phylakion, or A Treasury of Divine Raptures. Consisting of Serious Observations, Pious Ejaculations, Select Epigrams. Alphabetically Rank'd and Fil'd by a Private Chaplain to the Illustrious and Renowned Lady Urania The Divine and Heavenly Muse. (London: Parkhurst, 1667). <Link to EEBO>
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.