Page images

Who faithfully the welcome truth receive,
Rejoice, and closer to their Saviour cleave :
Poor Christless sinners, wounded by the word,
(Lively and sharper than a two-edged sword,
Spirit and soul almighty to divide,)
Drop, like autumnal leaves, on every side,
Lamenting after Him they crucified !
While God inspires the comfort, or the dread,
Wider and wider still the cry is spread,
Till all perceive the influence from above,
O'erwhelm'd with grief, or swallow'd up in love.

What multitudes repent, and then believe,
When God doth utterance to the Preacher give!
Whether he speaks the words of sober sense,
Or pours a flood of artless eloquence,
Ransacks the foul apostate creature's breast,
And shows the man half-devil, and half-beast;
Or warmly pleads his dear Redeemer's cause;
Or pity on the poor and needy draws;
“ The Deist scarce from offering can withhold,
And misers wonder they should part with gold :"
Opposers struck, the powerful word admire,
In speechless awe, the hammer and the fire,
While WHITEFIELD melts the stubborn rocks, or breaks,
In consolation or in thunder speaks,
From strength to strength our young Apostle goes,
Pours like a torrent, and the land o'erflows,

Resistless wins his way with rapid zeal,
Turns the world upside down, and shakes the gates of hell !

Such for a length of years his glorious race
He ran, nor e'er look'd back, or slack'd his pace ;
Starting afresh, on this alone intent,
And straining up the steep of excellent,
Forgetting still the things already done,
And reaching forth to those not yet begun,
Eager he press'd to his high calling's prize,
By violent faith resolved to scale the skies,
And apprehend his Lord in paradise.

Through his abundant toils, with fix'd amaze
We see revived the work of ancient days;
In his unspotted life with joy we see
The fervours of primeval piety:
A pattern to the flock by Jesus bought,
A living witness of the truths he taught,
Meek, lowly, patient, wise above his years,
Redeem'd from earth, with all their hopes and fears,
Not to the vain desires of men he lived,
Not with delight their high applause received,

But praised the Lord for what his grace had done, And simply lived to serve his will alone.

The heavenly principle of faith within,
The strong, divine antipathy to sin,
The Spirit’s law, the meek, ingrafted word,
The vital knowledge of a heart-felt Lord,
The nature new, the’ incorruptible seed,
Its power throughout his life and actions spread,
And show'd the man regenerate from above,
By fraudless innocence, and child-like love.

For friendship form’d by nature and by grace,
(His heart made up of truth and tenderness,)
Stranger to guile, unknowing to deceive,
In anger, malice, or revenge to live,
He lived himself on others to bestow,
A ministerial spirit while here below,
Beloved by all the lovers of his Lord,
By none but Satan's synagogue abhorr’d.

Nor did their fierce abhorrence always last :
When on the right the Gospel net he cast,
The powerful charms of soft persuasion tried,
And show'd them their Redeemer's hands and side,
Love irresistible they could not bear,
Or stand against the torrent of his prayer;
By bleeding love their hatred he o'ercame,
And seized the lawful spoils in Jesu's name.

Betwixt the mountain and the multitude,
His life was spent in prayer and doing good :
To search the sacred leaves his soul's delight,
And pray them o'er and o'er by day and night,
To wrestle on for faith, and faith's increase,
To follow after peace and holiness,
At Jesu's feet to catch the quick’ning word,
And into nothing sink before the Lord.

Though long by following multitudes admired,
No party for himself he e'er desired,
His one desire to make the Saviour known,
To magnify the name of Christ alone :
If others strove who should the greatest be,
No lover of pre-eminence was he,
Nor envied those his Lord vouchsafed to bless,
But joy'd in theirs as in his own success,
His friends in honour to himself preferr'd,
And least of all in his own eyes appear’d.

[ocr errors]

When crowds for counsel or relief applied,
No surly rustic he, with cruel pride,
To bid the sorrowful intruders wait,
Or send the suppliants weeping from his gate ;
But ever list’ning to the wretch's call,
Courteous, and mild, and pitiful to all.
No Prophet smooth to men of high estate,
No servile flatterer of the rich or great,
Their faults he dared with freedom to reprove,
The honest freedom of respectful love,

And sweetly forced their consciences to own
He sought not theirs, but them, for Jesu's sake alone.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Single his eye, transparently sincere
His upright heart did in his words appear,
His cheerful heart did in his visage shine ;
A man of true siinplicity divine,
Not always as the serpent wise, yet love
Preserved him always harmless as the dove :
Or if into mistake through haste he fell,
He show'd what others labour to conceal;
Convinced, no palliating excuses sought,
But freely own'd his error, or his fault,
Nor feard the triumph of ungenerous foes,
Who humbler from his fall, and stronger, rose.
When Satan strove the brethren to divide,
And turn their zeal to,-“Who is on my side?”
One moment warm’d with controversial fire,
He felt the spark as suddenly expire,
He felt revived the pure ethereal flame,
The love for all that bow'd to Jesu's name,
Nor ever more would for opinions fight
With men whose life, like his, was in the right.
His soul disdain’d to serve the selfish ends
Of zealots, fierce against his bosom-friends,
(Who urged him with his bosom-friends to part,
Might sooner tear the fibres from his heart,)
He now the wiles of the accuser knew,
And cast him down, and his strong-holds o’erthrew,
With each partition-wall by men design’d,
To put asunder those whom God had join'd,

How have we heard his generous zeal exclaim,
And load with just reproach the bigot's name !
The men by sameness of opinion tied,
Who their own party love, and none beside ;
Or like the Romish sect infallible,
Secure themselves, and send the rest to hell !
Impartial, as unfeign’d, his love o’erflow'd
To all, but chiefly to the house of God;
To those who thought his sentiments amiss-
O that their hearts were half as right as his ;
Within no narrow party-banks confined,

open and enlarged to all mankind !

Lover of all mankind, his life he gave,
Christ to exalt, and precious souls to save :
Nor age nor sickness could abate his zeal,
To feed the flock, and serve his Master's will.
Though spent with pain, and toils that never ceased,
He labour'd on, nor ask'd to be released;
Though daily waiting for the welcome word,
Longing to be dissolved, and meet his Lord,
Yet still he strangely lived, by means unknown,
In deaths immortal till his work was done ;
And wish'd for Christ his latest breath to spend,
That life and labour might together end.

What after God he asks can God deny?
Ripe for the summons, “Get thee up and die ;”
Mature in grace, and ready to depart,
The spirit cries all-powerful in his heart,
“O that to-day might close my ministry!
O that I might to-day my Saviour see ! ”

He speaks-and dies! transported to resign
His spotless soul into the hands divine !
He sinks into his loving Lord's embrace,
And sees his dear Redeemer face to face !

O what a God is ours ! so true and just
To all that in his faithful mercies trust!
Our kind, omnipotent, eternal Friend,
Who freely loved, and loves us to the end !
He now receives his honour'd servant up,
Nor lets us grieve, as Heathen without hope,
Like them who lose their friends at death, like them
Who never knew our Lord and God supreme;
With whom the spirits of the righteous rest,
Till all the church are gather'd to his breast.

Even now the cordial hope my sorrow cheers,

And stops the current of these needless tears : VOL. II.


« PreviousContinue »