Smoking Spiritualized

Ralph Erskine (1685-1752)

In Two Parts.

The first Part being
an old Meditation upon Smoking Tobacco;

the second, a new Addition to it, or Improvement of it.


Part One: The Law


THIS Indian weed now wither’d quite,
Tho’ green at noon, cut down at night,
Shows thy decay;
All flesh is hay.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The pipe, so lily-like and weak,
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak
Thou art ev’n such,
Gone with a touch.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,
Then thou behold’st the vanity
Of worldy stuff,
Gone with a puff.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the pipe grows foul within,
Think on thy soul defil’d with sin;
For then the fire,
It does require.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And seest the ashes cast away;
Then to thyself thou mayest say,
That to the dust
Return thou must.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

Part Two: The Gospel


WAS this small plant for thee cut down!
So was the Plant of great renown;
Which mercy sends
For nobler ends.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

Doth juice medicinal proceed
From such a naughty foreign weed?
Then what’s the power
Of Jesse’s flower?

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The promise, like the pipe, inlays,
And by the mouth of faith conveys
What virtue flows
From Sharon’s rose.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

In vain th’ unlighted pipe you blow;
Your pains in outward means are so,
Till heav’nly fire
The heart inspire.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The smoke, like burning incense, tow’rs;
So should a praying heart of yours,
With ardent cries,
Surmount the skies.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

         

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