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I’m surely made a gazing stock to all

The holy angels wonder: and the mock

Of devils (pining that they miss it all)

To these beams gild me a stupid stock.

Thy argument is good, Lord point it, come

Let’t lance my heart, till true love’s vein doth run.

But that there is a crevice for one hope

To creep in, and this message to convey

That I am thine, makes me refresh. Lord ope

The door so wide that love may skip and play.

My spirits then shall dance thy praise. I’m thine

And present things with things to come are mine.

Summary: I am ridiculous before all creation, angels and devils. But you have something good God. Let your promise cut my heart so that it flows in love. The thought that I belong to you gives me hope, it refreshes my spirit. Let that hope so work upon my heart that I will dance with joy in praise to you. If I have that, I have everything. 


I’m surely made a gazing stock

There are a pair of allusions in this section of the poem:

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 

1 Corinthians 4:9 

Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 

1 Peter 1:12 

This whole event of salvation, of God redeeming and sanctifying human beings with all their flaws and failures is a marvel to angels and devils.  To follow after Christ is to be made a spectacle, or a “gazing stock” – a thing to be gazed upon – to all of creation.

The angels wonder, the devils mock, but all are interested: and this is not because of the inherent value of human conduct, but because God takes such interest in human beings. How can this be? 

pining that they miss it all: I hope that the devils don’t look upon me.

To these beams gild me a stupid stock.

The “beams” refers to the sight upon him. The idea was that when one looked upon something, there were beams from the eye. The beams shining upon him, “gild him” and what he becomes is “stupid stock”. Something unspeaking and blank. 

Thy argument is good

The offer of salvation and forgiveness. There are any number of such passages which would support this line. Here is one 

12          Therefore also now, saith the Lord, 

Turn ye even to me with all your heart, 

And with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 

13          And rend your heart, and not your garments, 

And turn unto the Lord your God: 

For he is gracious and merciful, 

Slow to anger, and of great kindness, 

And repenteth him of the evil. 

14          Who knoweth if he will return and repent, 

And leave a blessing behind him; 

Even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? 

Joel 2:12–14 

            Lord point it, come

Let’t lance my heart,

“Let’t” is one syllable. 

This is prayer that he will be cut to the heart. An allusion seems to be response to Peter’s Pentecost sermon:

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 

Acts 2:37–39. The use of “point” may help support this as an allusion, it is a prick, not a slash. 

till true love’s vein doth run.

My heart has become encrusted and covered over with filth such that it does not function properly. Cut me anew – like that first repentance – and let true love for you again flow. 

That one’s love could grow cold and needs to be restored is an allusion to Jesus’ rebuke to the church at Ephesus:

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 

Revelation 2:4–5  

But that there is a crevice for one hope

To creep in,

Not every avenue for the work of God is closed. There is still a crevice through which hope could enter. Let hope enter through that place, let it creep in. My heart has become stone, but there is still one avenue for restoration. 

This image and line come as a sort of revelation to the poet. Wait, I see something, there is a crevice through which a single hope to creep through. 

            this message to convey

That I am thine

This is the content of that hope: I belong to you. I am thine. It is such a wonderful part of love to belong. I recently saw a dust up when someone publicly used the language of “treasure” to refer to his wife, as if she were something which belonged to him. Such people have no knowledge of love. And in the case of our relationship to Christ, it is unquestionably a matter of belonging. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:20, “for you were bought with a price.”

That is the ground of hope, just as it the ground of sanctification: I am not my own. 

                                                Lord ope

The door so wide that love may skip and play.

Let me be filled with this knowledge: give me not just a passing sense of belonging but a profound sense. Let it fill me until I am filled with joy.

The image of skipping and dancing (in the next line) are in such a marked contrast to the painful introspection which precedes it. This tells us something important about this searching and praying and repenting: it has a goal of joy and repentance.

                                                I’m thine

And present things with things to come are mine.

He ends here with a theme which has began in Meditation 31. The progression and repetition of this theme opens a door to Taylor’s meditations. He has been dwelling upon this idea for some time: all things are mine. The discussion of Meditation 31 begins here: