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A Collection of Emblemes

Ancient and Moderne: Quickened VVith Metricall Illvstrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. By George Wither

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Illvstr. III
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Illvstr. III

[When God-Almighty first engrav'd in stone]

The Law is given to direct;
The Sword, to punish and protect.

When God-Almighty first engrav'd in stone
His holy Law; He did not give the same
As if some common Act had then beene done;
For, arm'd with Fires and Thunders, forth it came.
By which, that great Law-maker, might inferre
What dreadfull Vengeance would on those attend,
Who did against those holy Precepts erre;
And, that, his Power, well-doers could defend.
Thereto, this Emblem, also doth agree;
For, loe, before the Tables of the Lawe,
A naked Sword is borne, whose use may bee
As well to keepe in Safety, as in Awe.
Whence, Princes (if they please) this note may take,
(And it shall make them happily to raigne)
That, many good and wholsome Lawes to make
Without an Executioner, is vaine.
It likewise intimates, that such as are
In Soveraigne place, as well obliged be
Their zeale for true Religion to declare,
As, what concerneth Manners, to foresee.
It lastly, showes that Princes should affect
Not onely, over others to Command,
But Swords to weare, their Subjects to protect;
And, for their Guard, extend a willing hand.
For, Lawes, or Peace to boast of; and, the whiles,
The Publique-weale, to weaken or disarme,
Is nor the way to hinder Civill-Broyles,
Nor to secure it from a Forraigne-harme.
For, As by Lawes a Land is kept in frame;
So, Armes is that, which must protect the same.