Waller, Edmund - Divine Poems - 03 Of Divine Love
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Not willing terror should His image move;
He gives a pattern of eternal love;
His Son descends to treat a peace with those
Which were, and must have ever been, His foes.
Poor He became, and left His glorious seat
To make us humble, and to make us great;
His business here was happiness to give
To those whose malice could not let Him live.
Legions of angels, which He might have used,
(For us resolved to perish) He refused;
While they stood ready to prevent His loss,
Love took Him up, and nail'd Him to the cross.
Immortal love! which in His bowels reign'd,
That we might be by such great love constrain'd
To make return of love. Upon this pole
Our duty does, and our religion, roll.
To love is to believe, to hope, to know;
'Tis an essay, a taste of heaven below!
He to proud potentates would not be known;
Of those that loved Him He was hid from none.
Till love appear we live in anxious doubt;
But smoke will vanish when the flame breaks out;
This is the fire that would consume our dross,
Refine, and make us richer by the loss.
Could we forbear dispute, and practise love,
We should agree as angels do above.
Where love presides, not vice alone does find
No entrance there, but virtues stay behind;
Both faith, and hope, and all the meaner train
Of mortal virtues, at the door remain.
Love only enters as a native there,
For, born in heaven, it does but sojourn here.
He that alone would wise and mighty be,
Commands that others love as well as He.
Love as He loved!--How can we soar so high?--
He can add wings, when He commands to fly.
Nor should we be with this command dismay'd;
He that examples gives, will give His aid;
For He took flesh, that where His precepts fail,
His practice as a pattern may prevail.
His love, at once, and dread, instruct our thought;
As man He suffer'd, and as God He taught.
Will for the deed He takes; we may with ease
Obedient be, for if we love we please.
Weak though we are, to love is no hard task,
And love for love is all that Heaven does ask.
Love! that would all men just and temp'rate make,
Kind to themselves, and others, for His sake.
'Tis with our minds as with a fertile ground,
Wanting this love they must with weeds abound,
(Unruly passions), whose effects are worse
Than thorns and thistles springing from the curse.