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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

In Praise of Master Stone

By John Cotton (1585–1652)

[To my Reverend Dear Brother, Mr. Samuel Stone, Teacher of the Church at Hartford. 1652.]

HOW well, dear Brother, art thou called Stone?

As sometimes Christ did Simon Cephas own.

A Stone for solid firmness fit to rear

A part in Zion’s wall, and it upbear.

Like Stone of Bohan, bounds fit to describe

’Twixt Church and Church, as that ’twixt tribe and tribe.

Like Samuel’s Stone, erst Eben-Ezer hight,

To tell the Lord hath helped us with his might.

Like Stone in David’s sling, the head to wound

Of that huge Giant-Church, so far renowned,

Hight the Church Catholic œcumenical,

Or at the lowest compass National;

Yet Politic Visible, and of such a fashion

As may or rule a world or rule a nation.

Which though it be cried up unto the Skies

By Philistines and Israelites likewise,

Yet seems to me to be too near akin

Unto the Kingdom of the Man of sin.

In frame, and state, and constitution,

Like to the first beast in the Revelation

Which was as large as Roman empire wide,

And ruled Rome, and all the world beside.

Go on, good Brother, gird thy sword with might,

Fight the Lord’s battles, plead his Church’s right.

To Brother Hooker thou art next akin,

By office-right thou must his pledge redeem.

Take thou the double portion of his spirit,

Run on his race, and then his crown inherit.

Now is the time when Church is militant,

Time hast’neth fast when it shall be triumphant.