"Good Conscience on God it self can roul; / 'Tis Aquavitæ to the swouning soul."

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

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"Good Conscience on God it self can roul; / 'Tis Aquavitæ to the swouning soul."
Metaphor in Context
The Conscience was ever, and is still
The fountain of all actions, good or ill;
And all the actings, whether foul or fair,
Of men, are as their Consciences are.
Conscience goes with us where e're we go,
To bear record of whatsoe're we do.
Conscience is Gods Vice-Roy in the Soul,
And all are liable to its controul.
Conscience is Christs Vicar in mans heart,
It keeps Court there, and acts the Judges part.
Its verdict can be by no pow'r repeal'd,
Its stroaks are wounds that never can be heal'd:
It's the Souls Anchor, boldness it maintains
In judgment, and is of unwearied pains.
Conscience is most like God, it is supreme,
But under God this Jewel, O esteem
For its great worth, as rarest next to Christ;
It is our Patron, our Apologist;
It is impartial, active, and sincere,
Gods Register in us; his Harbinger
For to prepare his way; this is beside
Mans faithful Surety, Treasurer and Guide.
The evidence of a good Conscience will
Find with the judge of hearts acceptance still;
Good Conscience is the only Ark that can
Ding down the Dagons of all deeds prophane.
A Conscience unstain'd with blushing crimes,
Holds out in all changes of States and Times.
Mount Sion and good Conscience abide
For ever, and tentations can deride.
A Conscience that is kept free from blame,
Laughs at the false reports of long-tongu'd fame.
Good Conscience will speak within, when all breath,
The doors are shut to ev'ry vocal call.
When riches, husband, wife, parents, friends, breath,
Life, patience, firm hope, assured faith
Have left us; a good Conscience is so fast
A friend, that it sticks to us till the last.
A right good Conscience term this we may,
To live therein until our dying day.
Good Conscience still keeps Holy-day, is bent
To feasting ev'ry day; there is no Lent,
No Fasting-days that interrupt this Feast,
But still the chear is more and more encreas'd.
Who keeps his Conscience from offences clear,
That man keeps Hil'ry Term throughout the year
But he that shipwracks a good Conscience shall
Let in great riches, but the Devil withal.
Good Conscience, as Davids Instrument,
Drives away th'evil Spirit of discontent.
Good Conscience can suck content divine,
From bitt'rest drugs, turn Marah into Wine.
Can sweetly smile, ev'n in afflictions sharp,
This made Pauls Prisons-songs, tun'd Davids harp.
It is a Paradise with pleasures fraught,
All our best duties are without it naught.
It's to the Castle of the Heart a Wall
Of Brass: it is a Christians coat of Mail,
How many do for want of it miscarry!
It is a cordial Electuary:
And very many good ingredients go
Therein, Meat, Drink, Sleep, Ease, Refreshment too.
Good Conscience on God it self can roul;
'Tis Aquavitæ to the swouning soul
A Conscience that from wickedness is pure,
Can in the Cannons mouth repose secure.
No such provision 'gainst an evil day,
As a good Conscience; this is they say
A constant Feast; who hath a Conscience good,
Fares well although he have no other Food.
A sincere heart will not do any thing
'Gainst Conscience, is bold in suffering;
But ah! fearful of sin, such as upright
would walk, must have God always in their sight.
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.