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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. XLI.

[When (Reader) thou hast first of all survayd]

Let him, that at Gods Altar stands,
In Innocencie, wash his Hands.

When (Reader) thou hast first of all survayd
That Reverend Priest, which here ingraven stands,
In all his Holy Vestiments array'd,
Endeavouring for Purifyed-Hands;
Collect from hence, that, when thou dost appeare
To offer Sacrifice of Prayse or Prayer,
Thou oughtst the Robes of Righteousnesse, to weare,
And, by Repentance, thy defects repaire.
For, thou, that, with polluted Hands presum'st
Before Gods Altar to present thy Face;
Or, in the Rags of thine owne Merits com'st,
Shalt reape Displeasure, where thou look'st for Grace.
Then, if thou be of those that would aspire
A Priest, or Prelate, in Gods Church to be;
Be sure, thou first those Ornaments acquire,
Which, may be suting to that High-Degree.
Intrude not, as perhaps too many doe,
With Gifts unfit, or by an Evill meane:
Desire it with a right Intention too;
And, seeke to keepe thy Conversation cleane.
For, they that have assum'd this Holy-Calling,
With Hands impure, and Hearts unsanctify'd,
Defame the Truth; give others cause of Falling,
And, scandalize their Brethren, too, beside:
Yea, to themselves, their very Sacrifice
Becomes unhallow'd; and, their Thankes and Prayers,
The God of Purity, doth so despise,
That, all their Hopes, he turneth to Despaires:
And, all their best Endeavours, countermands,
Till they appeare with unpolluted Hands.