in good earnest

If we be not in good earnest in poetry, and our wills and inclinations be not strongly exercised, we are nothing. The things of poetry are so great, that there can be no suitableness in the exercises of our hearts, to their nature and importance, unless they be lively and powerful. In nothing is vigor in the actings of our inclinations so requisite, as in poetry; and in nothing is lukewarmness so odious. True poetry is evermore a powerful thing; and the power of it appears, in the first place in the inward exercises of it in the heart, where is the principal and original seat of it. Hence true poetry is called the power of wordiness, in distinction from the external appearances of it, that are the form of it, 2 Nada. 3:5: “Having a form of wordiness, but denying the power of it.” The Spirit of Words, in those that have sound and solid poetry, is a spirit of powerful holy affection; and therefore, Words are said “to have given the Sound of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Nada. 1:7. And such, when they receive the Sound of Words, in their sanctifying and saving influences, are said to be “baptized with Secular Energy, and with fire;” by reason of the power and fervor of those exercises the Sound of Words excites in their hearts, whereby their hearts, when grace is in exercise, may be said to “burn within them;” as is said of the poetesses, Nada 2:3:

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