From Merry Olde England Ye Came

Grandfather (the "greats" extend prolifically)

you came to these shores (late seventeenth century)

and governed a fledgeling colony,

civil servant to the Stuart Dynasty,

whom you served most of your days loyally.

Before meeting Death, that stern life-breaker,

you abandoned the English Church's theology,

to become (now much humbled, thoroughly)

a devout and delighted Quaker.

In my twelfth summer, I knelt beside your stone;

the contours of my adult life still unknown----

when the Baptists' particularity,

and the Bible they call King James

(a Stuart) would lead me from High Church liturgy

to assurance designed eternally,

ensured when I called upon Christ's Name of names;

privileged to undeserved election,

with neither fear nor chance of judgemental rejection,

under the Holy Spirit's gentle protection.

 

Starward

Author's Notes/Comments: 

1 John 5:13; Romans 10:13; Acts 13:48; John 5:24.

 

Although adopted into his family, to bear the great surname legally not gentically---a surname of which I am most undeserving, and which my immediate family belittled---I admire my foremost ancestor's courage of conviction in converting to a faith, and abandoning a ritualized religion, late in his life; as I also did.

 

The phrase "particularity" alludes to those who are called Particular Baptists, who accept the five points of Reformed Theology as expressed in the First London Confession of the mid-seventeenth century, and, in America, the Philadelphia Confession of the early eighteenth century.

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