"'Tis sure, thy heart hath too too many leaks, / Which sacred things let out, and then let in / Satans suggestions, the world, and sin"

— Slater, Samuel (c.1629-1704)

"'Tis sure, thy heart hath too too many leaks, / Which sacred things let out, and then let in / Satans suggestions, the world, and sin"
Metaphor in Context
Christian, this ev'n thy soul-distempers speaks;
'Tis sure, thy heart hath too too many leaks,
Which sacred things let out, and then let in
Satans suggestions, the world, and sin.

All is not as it should be, in this life
Grace will imperfect be, corruptions rise.
Mourn therefore that this Cabinet of thine
Framed by Gods own hand for things divine,
And to be fill'd with Christ and Grace should be
Thus stufft with dross, and dung, and vanitie.
Our souls our glory are, on purpose made
To carry on a never ceasing trade
With Heaven, and upon their God attend,
Like Angels in his presence without end.
Grieve then that thine thus should the Lacquey play
On every toy that summons it away.
Let mourning upon wanderings attend,
Sadly bewail what yet thou canst not mend.
But be not out of heart, these spots are seen
On Gods own children, that have washed been
In Christs most precious blood. All of them do
Hate wandring thoughts, and yet they have them too.
That soul which upon Christ is fixt in love,
May in its duties often fluttering prove.
Wandrings either from carelesness procede,
Or unto them meer weakness doth thee lead.
If carelesness be cause of them, thy God
Will visit for them with a smarting rod.
If they arise only from weakness, he
Will never charge those failings upon thee.
He is a Father, with loves mantle can
Hide multitudes of such in humbled man.
The child is troubled with a Palsie, and
Cannot hold fast what he hath in his hand.
His Father is not angry with him sure,
But first him pities, then looks out for cure.
God is a Father too, none such, and so
Accepteth what thou dost with weakness do.
Know further, this is not thy case alone,
On this side Heaven of all the Saints there's none
But will with sadness say, Just so am I:
This is the burden under which I lie.
When they mount upward unto God, they feel
Their weaker minds all on a sudden wheel,
And downward rowl again. Though Heaven be
Their Element, place of felicitie,
Yet like to fishes in the water, they
E're and anon frisk out in wanton play.
Then do not with despair thy self bemoan,
Thy case is sad, but not thy case alone.
Let that be thy support, in misery
It is some comfort to have company.
Further, I know, as vanity doth mix
With thy best duties, when thou wouldest fix
Only on God, and bid'st all things be gone,
That thou mai'st please thy self with him alone;
So as these cheating vanities do steal
Some of thy precious time; thy soul doth feel
(In midst of this incroaching worlds affairs
Which fills thy mind with many thoughts and cares,)
Secret withdrawings of thine heart from all,
Holy ascendings at thy Father's call.
As there are heavy weights that do depress
And bear thee down in solemn services:
So there's a mighty principle of love,
Which sweetly carrieth thy soul above.
When other things needs would it here detain,
Upon that mighty wing it flies amain.
And when 'tis fetter'd with the world, what smart
Dost feel until (those fetters broke) thou art
Again restor'd to spiritual libertie,
And made for holy meditation free.
If Satan and the world have crouded in
To Church and Closet, cheer up, God hath been
With thee in house and street. This wandring heart
Out of its six days hath carv'd God apart.
As in thy purest manchet there is leaven,
So in thy daily bread there's some of Heaven.
But since, O Soul thy stay with God is short,
See that to him thou frequently resort.
Do not thy thoughts with him abide? be sure
Long absence from him thou do not endure.
Thy head indeed is weak, thy grace not strong,
Pray therefore oft, because thou canst not long.
While others visit once, do thou go twice;
Thy falls are frequent, frequent be thy rise.
Thy duties interrupted are, this do,
Piece duty unto duty, mend all too.
Since all thy lambs are blemisht, without fail
Of all thy flock offer to God the male.
And since thy thoughts wiil from thee often part,
Be sure in all thy work there be thy heart.
And know, this weakness shall be cur'd, God will
Give thee of fellowship with him thy fill
When once thou com'st to Heaven, thou shalt be
Fixed upon him to eternitie.
He that is thy desire and thy delight,
Shall minded be, and serv'd with all thy might.
Thy thoughts and thy affections shall come
And dwell on him their everlasting home.
Thine enemies shall all away be flown,
Temptation there sha'nt be, corruption none.
Thine heart shall then be rais'd, and no more fall
To earth or sin, God shall be all in all.
Grieve not too much, though here thou wander still,
Thou shalt not wander, when up Zion-hill.
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Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.