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The Binding of the Heart with the Cords of Christ (Francis Quarles)

My sins made thee a cruel bondage prove
O bind my heart to thee with cord of love

Hosea 11:4 - I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.

My sins, I do confess a cord were found, 
heavy and hard by thee, when thou wast bound
Great Lord of love, with them; but thou hast twin'd, 
Gentle love-cords my tender heart to bind

What! could those hands,
That made the world, be subject unto bands?
Could there a cord be found,
Where with Omnipotence itself was bound?
Wonder, my heart, and stand amaz'd to see
The Lord of liberty
Led captive for thy sake, and in thy stead.
Although he did
Nothing deserving death, or bands, yet he
Was bound, and put to death, to see thee free

Thy sins had ty'd
Those bands for thee, wherein thou should'st have dy'd
And thou didst daily knit
Knots upon knots, whereby thou mad'st them sit
Closer and faster to thy faulty self.
Helpless and hopeless, friendless and forlorn
The sink of scorn,
And kennel of contempt, thou should'st have lain
Eternally enthrall'd to endless pain

Hand not the Lord
Of love and life been pleased to afford
His helping hand of grace,
And freely put himself into thy place
So were thy bands transferr'd, but not unty'd
Until the time he dy'd,
And by his death, vanquish'd and conquer'd all
That Adam's fall
Had made victorious, sin, death and hell,
Thy fatal foes, under his footstool fell.

Yet he meant not
That thou should'st use the liberty he got
As it should like thee best
To wander as thou lists, or to rest
In soft repose, careless of his commands:
He that hath loos'd those bands,
Whereby thou wast enslaved to the foes,
Binds thee with those
Wherewith he bound himself to do thee good,
The bands of love, love writ in lines of blood.

His love to thee
Made him to lay aside his majesty,
And, clothed in a vail
Of frail, though faultless flesh, become thy bail
But love requireth love: and since thou art
Loved by him, thy part
It is to love him too: and love affords
The strongest cords
That can be: for it ties, not hands alone,
But heads, and hearts, and souls, and all in one.

Come then, mine heart,
And freely follow the prevailing art
Of thy Redeemer's love.
That strong magnetic tie hath pow'r to move
The steel'st stubbornness. If thou but twine
And twist his love with thine
And, by obedience, labour to express
Thy thankfulness;
It will be hard to say on whether side
The bands are surest, which is fastest ty'd.


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