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Heard at conventicle, where worthy men,
And quaint, in its deportment and attire,
He that negociates between God and man, As God's ambassador, the grand concerns Of judgment and of mercy, should beware Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful To court a grin, when you should woo a soul; To break a jest, when pity would inspire Pathetic exhortation; and t' address The skittish fancy with facetious tales, When sent with God's commission to the heart! So did not Paul. Direct me to a quip Or merry turn in all he ever wrote, And I consent you take it for your text, Your only onc, till sides and benches fail".
REGULAR OPERATIONS OF NATURE
WHAT prodigies can pow'r divine perform More grand than it produces year by year, And all in sight of inattentive man? Familiar with th' effect we slight the cause, And, in the constancy of nature's course, The regular return of genial months, And renovation of a faded world, See nought to wonder at. Should God again, As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race Of the undeviating and punctual sun, llow would the world admire! but speaks it less An agency divine, to make him know His moment when to sink and when to rise, Age after
than to arrest his course? All we behold his miracle; but, seen So duly, all is miracle in vain.
Some say that, in the origin of things, When all creation started into birth, The infant elements receiv'd a law, From which they swerve not since. That under force Of that controuling ordinance they move, And need not his immediate hand, who first Prescrib’d their course, to regulate it now. Thus dream they, and contrive to save a God Th’incumbrance of his own concerns, and spare The great Artificer of all that moves, The stress of a continual act, the pain Of unremitted viligence and care, As too laborious and severe a task. So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems, To span omnipotence, and measure might, That knows no measure, by the scanty rule And standard of his own, that is to-day, And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down! But how should matter occupy a charge Dull as it is, and satisfy a law So vast in its demands, unless impellid To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force, And under pressure of some conscious cause? The Lord of all, himself through all diffus’d,
Sustains, and is the life of all that lives.