"On Controversies in Religion"
By Katherine Philips

Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Staff and Research Assistants at The University of Virginia, John O'Brien, Sara Brunstetter, Rachel Retica
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London : Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, 1667This text is based on transcriptions created by the Early English Books Online Texts Creation Partnership, a library-based project directed by the University of Michigan and Oxford University. Their digital text was produced from the 1667 edition, published by Henry Herringman in London in 1667, three years after Philips's death, but with the collaboration of her late husband. We have also consulted The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, edited by Patrick Thomas (Essex: Stump Cross Books, 1990), which takes Philips's manuscript versions of her poems as its copytext. Annotations have been provided by faculty and students at the University of Virginia. For a full description of this object, see its ESTC entry.

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Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact lic.open.anthology@gmail.com.

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

Hyphenation has not been retained, except where necessary for the sense of the word.

Page breaks have been retained. Catchwords, signatures, and running headers have not. Where pages break in the middle of a word, the complete word has been indicated prior to the page beginning.

Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.


Philips, Katherine. "On Controversies in Religion". Poems by the most deservedly admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the matchless Orinda; to which is added Monsieur Corneille's Pompey & Horace, tragedies; with several other translations out of French, Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, 1667 , pp 59-61 . Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. http://anthology.lib.virginia.edu/work/Philips/philips-religion. Accessed: 2024-04-22T10:40:56.557Z

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59 On Controversies in Religion 1Religion, which true Policy befriends, 2Design’d by God to serve Man’s noblest ends, 3Is by that old Deceiver’s subtle Play 4Made the chief Party in its own decay, 5And meets that Eagle’s destiny, whose Breast 6Felt the same shaft which his own Feathers drestEagleEaglePhilips alludes to Aesop’s fable, "The Eagle and The Arrow.". 7For that great Enemy of Souls perceiv’d, 8The notion of a Deity was weav’d 9So closely in Man’s Soul; to ruine that, 10He must at once the World depopulate. 11But as those Tyrants who their Wills pursue, 12If they expound old Laws, need make no new: 13So he advantage takes of Nature’s light, 14And raises that to a bare useless height; 15Or while we seek for Truth, he in the Quest 16Mixes a Passion, or an Interest, 17To make us lose it; that, I know not how, 18’Tis not our Practice, but our Quarrel now. 60 19As in the Moon’s Eclipse some Pagans thought 20Their barb’rous Clamours her Deliv’rance wrought: 21So we suppose that Truth oppressed lies, 22And needs a Rescue by our Enmities. 23But ’tis Injustice, and the Mind’s Disease, 24To think of gaining Truth by losing Peace. 25Knowledge and Love, if true, do still unite; 26God’s Love and Knowledge are both Infinite. 27And though indeed Truth does delight to lye 28At some Remoteness from a common Eye; 29Yet ’tis not in a Thunder or a Noise, 30But in soft Whispers and the stiller Voice. 31Why should we then Knowledge so rudely treat, 32Making our Weapon what was meant our Meat? 33’Tis Ignorance that makes us quarrel so; 34The Soul that’s dark will be contracted too. 35Chimera'sChimeraChimeraA fabled fire-breathing monster of Greek mythology, with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail (or, according to others, the heads of a lion, a goat, and a serpent). (Oxford English Dictionary). make a Noise, swelling and vain, 36And soon resolve to their own Smoak again. 37But a true Light the Spirit doth dilate, 38And robs it of its proud and sullen State; 39Makes Love admir’d because ’tis understood 40And makes us Wise because it makes us Good. 41’Tis a right Prospect of things that we 42Owe our Uprightness and our Charity. 43For who resists a Beam when shining bright, 44Is not a Sinner of a common height. 45That State’s a Forfeiture, and Helps are spent, 46Not more a Sin, than ’tis a Punishment. 47The Soul which sees things in their native Frame, 48Without Opinion’s Mask or Custom’s Name, 49Cannot be clogg’d to Sense, or count that high 50Which hath its Estimation from a Lie. 51(Mean forbid Things, which by mistake we prize, 52And absent covet, but enjoy’d despise.) 53But scorning these hath robb’d them of their Art, 54Either to swell or to subdue the Heart; 55And learn’d that gen’rous Frame to be above 56The World in hopes, below it all in love: 61 57Touch’d with Divine and Inward Life doth run, 58Not resting ‘till it hath its Centre won; 59Moves steadily until it safe doth lye 60I’ th’ Root of all its Immortality; 61And resting here hath yet activity 62To grow more like unto the Deity; 63Good, Universal, Wise and Just as he, 64(The fame in kind, though diff’ring in degree) 65‘Till at the last ’tis swallow’d up, and grown 66With God and with the whole Creation one; 67It self, so small a part, i’ th’ whole is lost, 68And Generals have Particpulars engross’d. 69That dark contracted Personality, 70Like Mists before the Sun, will from it flie. 71And then the Soul, one shining Sphere, at length 72With true Love’s Wisdom fill’d and purged Strength, 73Beholds her highest Good with open Face, 74And like him all the World she can embrace.