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Down with her to the pit, to Tophet doom
A Church emerging from the dregs of Rome !
Can there in such a Church salvation be?
Can any good come out of Popery?”.
Ye moderate Dissenters,-come and see !
See us, when from the Papal fire we came,
Ye frozen sects, and warm you at the flame,
Where for the truth our host of martyrs stood,
And clapp'd their hands, and seal'd it with their blood!
Behold Elijah's fiery steeds appear,
Discern the chariot of our Israel near !
That flaming car, for whom doth it come down?
The spouse of Christ? or whore of Babylon?
For martyrs, by the scarlet whore pursued
Through racks and fires into the arms of God.
These are the Church of Christ, by torture driven
To thrones triumphant with their friends in heaven;
The Church of Christ, (let all the nations own,)
The Church of Christ and England-is but one !
Yet vainly of our ancestors we boast,
We who their faith and purity have lost,
Degenerate branches from a noble seed,
Corrupt, apostatized, and doubly dead :
Will God in such a Church his work revive?
It cannot be that these dry bones should live,
But who to teach Almighty Grace shall dare ?
How far to suffer, and how long to spare ?
Shall man's bold hand our candlestick remove,
Or cut us off from our Redeemer's love?
Shall man presume to say?- There is no hope :
God must forsake, for we have given her up :
To save a Church so near the gates of hell,
This is a thing—with God impossible!”
And yet this thing impossible is done,
The Lord hath made his power and mercy known,
Strangely revived our long-forgotten hope,
And brought out of their graves his people up.
Soon as we prophesied in Jesu's name,
The noise, the shaking, and the Spirit came !
The bones spontaneous to each other cleaved,
The dead in sin his powerful word received,
And felt the quick’ning breath of God, and lived.
Dead souls, to all the life of faith restored,
(The house of Israel now,) confess the Lord,
His people and his Church out of their graves
They rise and testify that Jesus saves ;
That Jesus gives the multiplied increase,
While one becomes a thousand witnesses.
Nor can it seem to souls already freed
Incredible, that God should wake the dead,
Should farther still exert his saving power,
And call, and quicken twice ten thousand more,
Till our whole Church a mighty host becomes,
And owns the Lord, the opener of their tombs.
Servant of God, my yoke-fellow and friend,
If God by us to the dry bones could send,
By us out of their graves his people raise,
By us display the wonders of his grace,
Why should we doubt his zeal to carry on
By abler instruments the work begun,
To build our temple that in ruins lay,
And re-convert a nation in a day,
To bring our Sion forth, as gold refined,
With all his saints in closest union join'd,
A friend, a nursing-mother to mankind?
Surely the time is come for God to rise,
And turn upon our Church his glorious eyes ;
To show her all the riches of his grace,
And make her throughout all the earth a praise.
For 0! his servants think upon her stones,
And in their hearts his pleading Spirit groans.
It pitieth them to see her in the dust,
Her lamp extinguish’d, and her Gospel lost ;
Lost, till the Lord, the great Restorer, came;
Extinguish’d, till his breath revived the flame ;
His arm descending lifted up the sign,
His light appearing bade her rise and shine ;
Bade her glad children bless the heavenly ray,
And shout the prospect of a Gospel-day,
Meanest and least of all her sons, may I
Unite with theirs my faith and sympathy!
Meanest and least, yet can I never rest,
Or quench the flame enkindled in my breast :
Whether a spark of nature's fond desire,
That warms my heart, and sets my soul on fire ;
Or a pure ray from yon bright throne above,
That melts my yearning bowels into love;
Even as life, it still remains the same,
My fervent zeal for our Jerusalem ;
Stronger than death, and permanent as true,
And purer love, it seems, than nature ever knew,
For her, whom her apostate sons despise,
I offer up my life in sacrifice;
My life in cherishing a parent spend,
Fond of my charge, and faithful to the end :
Not by the bonds of sordid interest tied,
Not gain’d by wealth or honours to her side ;
But by a double birth her servant born;
Vile for her sake, exposed to general scorn,
Thrust out as from her pale, I gladly roam,
Banish myself to bring her wanderers home.
While the lost sheep of Israel's house I seek,
By bigots branded for a schismatic;
By real schismatics disown'd, decried,
As a blind bigot on the Church's side ;
Yet well content, so I my love may show,
My friendly love, to be esteem'd her foe;
Foe to her order, governors, and rules,
The song of drunkards, and the sport of fools ;
Or, what my soul doth as hell-fire reject,
A Pope, a Count, and leader of a sect.
Partner of my reproach, who justly claim
The larger portion of the glorious shame,
My pattern in the work and cause divine,
Say, is thy heart as bigoted as mine?
Wilt thou with me in the old Church remain,
And share her weal or woe, her loss, her gain ;
Spend in her service thy last drop of blood,
And die, to build the temple of our God?
Thy answer is in more than words express'd,
I read it through the window in thy breast ;
In every action of thy life I see
Thy faithful love and filial piety.
To save a sinking Church, thou dost not spare
Thyself, but lavish all thy life for her:
For Zion's sake thou wilt not hold thy peace,
That she may grow, impatient to decrease ;
To rush into thy grave, that she may rise,
And mount with all her children to the skies.
What then remains for us on earth to do,
But labour on with Jesus in our view ?
Who bids us kindly for his patients care,
Calls us the burden of his Church to bear;
To feed his flock, and nothing seek beside,
And nothing know, but Jesus crucified.
When first sent forth to minister the word,
Say, did we preach ourselves, or Christ the Lord ?
Was it our aim disciples to collect,
To raise a party, or to found a sect?
No; but to spread the power of Jesu's name,
Repair the walls of our Jerusalem,
Revive the piety of ancient days,
And fill the earth with our Redeemer's praise.
Still let us steadily pursue our end,
And only for the faith divine contend ;
Superior to the charms of power and fame,
Persist through life, invariably the same :
And if indulged our hearts' desire to see,
Jerusalem, in full prosperity,
To pristine faith and purity restored,
How shall we bless our good redeeming Lord ;
Gladly into his hands our children give,
Securely in their mother's bosom leave;
With calm delight accept our late release,
Resign our charge to God, and then depart in peace!
AN ELEGY ON THE REV. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, M. A., WHO
DIED SEPTEMBER 30th, 1770, IN THE FIFTY-SIXTH YEAR OF HIS AGE. BY CHARLES WESLEY, M.A., PRESBYTER OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
And is my WHITEFIELD enter'd into rest ?
With sudden death, with sudden glory, blest ?
Left for a few sad moments here behind,
I bear his image on my faithful mind;
To future times the fair example tell
Of one who lived, of one who died, so well;
Pay the last office of fraternal love,
And then embrace my happier friend above.
O thou who didst in our degenerate days
This chosen vessel for thy glory raise,
My heart with my companion's zeal inspire,
And touch my lips with the celestial fire,
That while thy servant's labours I record,
Sinners may see and magnify his Lord,
Bow to the saving Name, and thankful own
The good on earth perform’d is wrought by God alone.
His sovereign grace vouchsafed a worm to choose,
The vessel fitting for the Master's use :
God from the womb set for himself apart
A Pastor fashion'd after his own heart;
Infused the infant wish, the warm desire,
To minister like that angelic quire,
And bade his simple soul to heaven aspire.
Awed and delighted with a God unknown,
By glimpses of his face led gently on,
The powerful, sweet attraction he pursued,
And fear'd the crowd, and sigh'd for solitude ;
His sins and wants in secret to declare,
Or wait for blessings in the house of prayer,
Devotion by the altar-fire to raise,
And join the first-born church in solemn songs of praise.
But now the Lord, who sends by whom He will,
Ready his own great purpose to fulfil,
Inclined the creature's heart as passive clay,
And pointed out his providential way
To learning's seats, for piety design'd,
For knowledge sound, with pure religion join'd,
Schools of the Prophets' sons, and well employ'd,
When training servants for the courts of God.
'Twas there he dared his fathers' God pursue,
Associating with the derided few,
(Who newly started in the Christian race,
Were blindly following after righteousness,
Outcasts of men, and fools for Jesus' sake!)
He long’d their glorious scandal to partake,
Couragiously took up the shameful cross,
And, suffering all things in the Saviour's cause,
Vow'd to renounce the world, himself deny,
And following on with them, with them to live and die.
Can I the memorable day forget,
When first we by divine appointment met?
Where undisturb'd the thoughtful student roves,
In search of truth, through academic groves,
A modest, pensive youth, who mused alone,
Industrious the frequented path to shun,
An Israelite without disguise or art,
I saw, I loved, I clasp'd him to my heart,
A stranger as my bosom-friend caress’d,
And unawares received an angel-guest.
Mark'd for an angel of the church below,
Must he not first severe temptation know,
Fly from the flaming mount with guilty awe,
And quake to hear the thunders of the law,