[The Court of the Temple, Jerusalem, Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   The Method

                          POor heart, lament.
For since thy God refuseth still,
There is some rub, some discontent,
                          Which cools his will.

                          Thy Father could
Quickly effect, what thou dost move;
For he is Power: and sure he would;
                          For he is Love.

                          Go search this thing,
Tumble thy breast, and turn thy book.
If thou hadst lost a glove or ring,
                          Wouldst thou not look?

                          What do I see
Written above there? Yesterday
I did behave me carelessly,
                          When I did pray.

                          And should Gods eare
To such indifferents chained be,
Who do not their own motions heare?
                          Is God lesse free?

                          But stay! what's there?
Late when I would have something done,
I had a motion to forbear,
                          Yet I went on.

                          And should Gods eare,
Which needs not man, be ty'd to those
Who heare not him, but quickly heare
                          His utter foes?

                          Then once more pray:
Down with thy knees, up with thy voice.
Seek pardon first, and God will say,
                          Glad heart rejoyce.

Prose Translation of stanzas 4-7: If I don't listen to what I'm saying when I pray, why should God?
If I see what I should do and don't do it, and I see what I shouldn't do and do that, why should God be quick to listen to me and the rest of His enemies? [RA]

Related Criticism: "Show and tell: George Herbert, Richard Sibbes, and communings with God." by Daniel W. Doerksen. Christianity and Literature, Wntr 2002 v51 i2 p175(17). [Works cited: "The Holdfast," "Clasping of Hands," "Assurance," "A true Hymne," "The Pearl," "The Crosse," "Coloss. 3.3," "The Flower," "Unkindnesse," "The Method," "Church-lock and key," "Praise (II)"]

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