Philips, Katherine. "On Controversies in Religion"Poems by the most deservedly admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the matchless Orinda; to which is added Monsieur Corneille's Pompey & Horace, tragedies; with several other translations out of French, Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, 1667. Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. https://anthologydev.lib.virginia.edu/work/Philips/philips-religion. Accessed: 2020-04-05T22:50:44.819Z
On Controversies in Religion
1Religion, which true Policy befriends,
2Design’d by God to serve Man’s noblest ends,
3Is by that old Deceiver’s subtle Play
4Made the chief Party in its own decay,
5And meets that Eagle’s destiny, whose Breast
7For that great Enemy of Souls perceiv’d,
8The notion of a Deity was weav’d
9So closely in Man’s Soul; to ruin that,
10He must at once the World depopulate.
11But as those Tyrants who their Wills pursue,
12If they expound old Laws, need make no new:
13So he advantage takes of Nature’s Light,
14And raises that to a bare useless height;
15Or while we seek for Truth, he in the Quest
16Mixes a Passion, or an Interest,
17To make us lose it; that, I know not how,
18’Tis not our Practice, but our Quarrel now.
19As in the Moon’s Eclipse some Pagans thought
20Their barb’rous Clamours her Deliv’rance wrought:
21So we suppose that Truth oppressed lies,
22And needs a Rescue by our Enmities.
23But ’tis Injustice, and the Mind’s Disease,
24To think of gaining Truth by losing Peace.
25Knowledge and Love, if true, do still unite;
26God’s Love and Knowledge are both Infinite.
27And though indeed Truth does delight to lye
28At some Remoteness from a common Eye;
29Yet ’tis not in a Thunder or a Noise,
30But in soft Whispers and the stiller Voice.
31Why should we then Knowledge so rudely treat,
32Making our Weapon what was meant our Meat?
33’Tis Ignorance that makes us quarrel so;
34The Soul that’s dark will be contracted too.
35 make a Noise, swelling and vain,
36And soon resolve to their own Smoak again.
37But a true Light the Spirit doth dilate,
38And robs it of its proud and sullen State;
39Makes Love admir’d because ’tis understood
40And makes us Wise because it makes us Good.
41’Tis a right Prospect of things that we
42Owe our Uprightness and our Charity.
43For who resists a Beam when shining bright,
44Is not a Sinner of a common height.
45That State’s a Forfeiture, and Helps are spent,
46Not more a Sin, than ’tis a Punishment.
47The Soul which sees things in their native Frame,
48Without Opinion’s Mask or Custom’s Name,
49Cannot be clogg’d to Sense, or count that high
50Which hath its Estimation from a Lie.
51(Mean forbid Things, which by mistake we prize,
52And absent covet, but enjoy’d despise.)
53But scorning these hath robb’d them of their Art,
54Either to swell or to subdue the Heart;
55And learn’d that gen’rous Frame to be above
56The World in hopes, below it all in love:
57Touch’d with Divine and Inward Life doth run,
58Not resting ‘till it hath its Centre won;
59Moves steadily until it safe doth lye
60I’ th’ Root of all its Immortality;
61And resting here hath yet activity
62To grow more like unto the Deity;
63Good, Universal, Wise and Just as he,
64(The fame in kind, though diff’ring in degree)
65‘Till at the last ’tis swallow’d up, and grown
66With God and with the whole Creation one;
67It self, so small a part, i’ th’ whole is lost,
68And Generals have Particulars engross’d.
69That dark contracted Personality,
70Like Mists before the Sun, will from it flie.
71And then the Soul, one shining Sphere, at length
72With true Love’s Wisdom fill’d and purged Strength,
73Beholds her highest Good with open Face,
74And like him all the World she can embrace.