SWeet were the dayes, when thou didst lodge with Lot,1 Struggle with Jacob,2 sit with Gideon,3 Advise with Abraham,4 when thy power could not Encounter Moses5 strong complaints and mone: Thy words were then, Let me alone. One might have sought and found thee presently At some fair oak,6 or bush,7 or cave,8 or well:9 Is my God this way? No, they would reply: He is to Sinai gone, as we heard tell: List, ye may heare great Aarons bell.10 But now thou dost thy self immure11 and close In some one corner of a feeble heart: Where yet both Sinne and Satan, thy old foes, Do pinch and straiten thee, and use much art To gain thy thirds12 and little part. I see the world grows old, when as the heat Of thy great love, once spread, as in an urn Doth closet up it self, and still retreat, Cold Sinne still forcing it, till it return, And calling Justice, all things burn.
General Note: The first stanza describes the "Sweet days," then the conflicts and contacts with the patriarchs and prophets, and ends with "Let me alone." These were the "Sweet days." The second stanza depicts all the places people have met with God; and yet we are told He has gone to Mt. Sinai, and we are left with a substitute (not Aaron, whom God chose, but the sound of Aaron's bell [the remembrance of other people's contact with God]).
1 Lot : Genesis 19:1 And there came two angels
to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose
up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2
And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's
house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early,
and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street
all night.(King James Version) [Return]
For these and others see the Biblical Reference Table.
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