Page images
PDF
EPUB

Spoke like an oracle, they all exclaim,
And add Right Rev'rend to Sınug's honour'd name.

And yet our lot is giv'n us in a land,
Where busy arts are never at a stand ;

440 Where Science points her telescopick eye, Familiar with the wonders of the sky ; Where bold inquiry, diving out of sight, Brings many a precious pearl of truth to light ; Where naught eludes the persevering quest,

445 That fashion, taste, or luxury, suggest.

But above all, in her own light array'd, See Mercy's grand apocalypse display'd! The sacred book no longer suffers wrong, Bound in the fetters of an unknown tongue; 450 But speaks with plainness, art could never mend, What simplest minds can sooncst comprehend. God gives the word, the preachers throng around, Live from his lips, and spread the glorious sound; That sound bespeaks Salvation on her way, 455 The trumpet of a life-restoring day ; 'Tis heard where England's eastern glory shines, And in the gulfs of her Cornubian mines, And still it spreads. See Germany send forth Her sons* to pour it on the farthest north:

460 Fir'd with a zeal peculiar, they defy The rage and rigour of a polar sky, And plant successfully sweet Sharon's rose On icy plains, and in eternal snows.

O bless'd within th' enclosure of your rocks, 465 Nor herds have ye to boast, nor bleating flocks ; No fertilizing streams your fields divide, That show revers'd the villas on their side ; No groves

have ye; no cheerfui sound of bird, Or voice of turtle in your land is heard ;

470 Nor grateful eglantine regales the smell Of those that walk at ev'ning where ye dwell ;

* The Moravian Missionaries in Greenland. See Krantz Vou. I.

9

But winter, arm’d with terrours here unknown,
Sits absolute on his unshaken throne;
Pilns up his stores amidst the frozen waste, 475
And bids the mountains he has built stand fast:
Beckons the legions of his storms away
From happier scenes, to make your land a prey ;
Proclaims the soil a conquest he has won,
And scorns to share it with the distant Sun. 480
-Yet truth is yours, remote, unenvied isle !
And Peace, the genuine offspring of her smile ;
The pride of letter'd Ignorance that binds
In chains of errour our accomplish'd minds,
That decks with all the splendour of the true, 485
A false religion is unknown to you.
Nature, indeed, vouchsafes for our delight
The sweet vicissitudes of day and night :
Soft airs and genial moisture feed and cheer
Field, fruit, and flow'r, and ev'ry creature here; 490
But brighter beams than his who fires the skies,
Have ris'n at length on your admiring eyes,
That shoot into your darkest caves the day,
From which our nicer opticks turn away.

Here see the encouragemont Grace gives to vico,
The dire effect of mercy without price!

496 What were they? what enme fools are made by art, They were by nature, atheists head and heart. The gross idolatry blind heathens teach, Was too refin'd for them, beyond their reach. 500 Not e'en the glorious Sun, though men revere The monarch most, that seldom will appear, And tho' his beams, that quicken where they shine, May claiın some right to be esteem'd divine, Not e'en the Sun, desirable as rare,

5!3 Could bend ono knee, engage one votary there ; They wețe, what base Credulity believes True Christians are, dissemblers, drunkards, thieves : The full-gorg'd savage, at his nauseous feast Spent half the darkness, and snor'd out the rest, 510

Was one, whom Justice, on an equal plan
Denouncing death upon the sins of man,
Might almost have indulg'd with an escape,
Chargeable only with a human shape.
What are they now ?-Morality may spare

515
Her grave concern, her kind suspicions there :
The wretch, who once sang wildly, danc'd, and laughid,
And suck'd in dizzy madness with his draught,
Has wept a silent flood, revers'd his ways,
Is sober, meek, benevolent, and prays,

520
Feeds sparingly, communicates his store,
Abhors the craft he boasted of before,
And he that stole has learn'd to steal no more.
Well spake the prophet--Let the desert sing,
Where sprang the thorn, the spiry fir shall spring, 525
And where unsightly and rank thistles grew,
Shall grow the myrtle and luxuriant yew.

Go now, and with important tone demand
On what foundation virtue is to stand,
If self-exalting claims be turn'd adrift,

530
And grace be grace indeed, and life a gift;
The poor reclaim'd inhabitant, his eyes
Glist'ning at once with pity and surprise,
Amaz'd that shadows should obscure the sight
Of one, whose birth was in a land of light, 535
Shall answer, Hope, sweet Hope, has set me free,
And made all pleasures else mere dross to me.

These amidst scenes as waste as if denied The common care that waits on all beside, Wild as if Nature there, void of all good,

540 Play'd only gambols in a frantick mood (Yct charge not heavenly skill with having plann á A play thing world, unworthy of his hand ;) Can see his love, though secret evil lurks In all we touch, stamp'd plainly on his works ; 545 Deem life a blessing with its num'rous woes, Nor spurn away a gift a God bestows.

Hard task indeed o'er arctick seas to roam!
Is hope exotick ? grows it not at home
Yes, but an object, bright as orient morn, 50
May press the eye too closely to be borne ;
A distant virtue we can all confess,
It hurts our pride, and moves our envy less.

Leuconomus, (beneath well-sounding Greek,
I slur a name, a poet must not speak,)

555 Stond pilloried on Infamy's high stage, And bore the pelting scorn of half an age: The very butt of Slander, and the blot For ev'ry dart that Malice ever shot. The man that mention'd him at once dismiss'd 560 All mercy from his lips, and sneer'd and hiss'd; His crimes were such as Sodom never knew, And Perjury stood up to swear all true; His aim was mischief, and his zeal pretence, His speech rebellion against common sense ;

565 A knave, when tried on honesty's plain rule; And when by that of reason, a mere fool ; The World's best comfort was, his doom was pass d: Die when he might, he must be damn'd at last.

Now, Truth, perform thinc office; waft aside 570 The curtain drawn by Prejudice and Pride, Rereal, (the man is dead) to wond'ring eyes, This more than monster in his proper guise. He lov'd the world that hated him ; the tear That dropp'd upon his Bible was sincere :

475 Assail'd by scandal and the tongue of strife, His only answer was a blameless life; And he that forg'd, and he that threw the dart, Had each a brother's int'rest in his heart. Paul's love of Christ, and steadiness unbrib'd, 480 Were copied close in him, and well transcribd. He follow'd Paul ; his zeal a kindred flame, His apostolick charity the same. Like him, cross'd cheerfully tempestuous seas, Forsaking country, kindredi, friends, and easo ; 585

Like him he labour'd, and like him content
To bear it, suffer'd shame where'er he went.
Blush Calumny! and write upon his tomb,
If honest Eulogy can spare thee room,
Thy deep repentance of thy thousand lies, 590
Which, aim'd at him, have pierc'd th' offended skios !
And say, Blot out my sin, confess'd, deplor'd,
Against thine image, in thy saint, O Lord'

No blinder bigot, I maintain it still,
Than he who must have pleasure, come what will :
He laughs, whatever weapon Truth may draw, 596
And deems her sharp artillery mere straw.
Scripture indeed is plain; but God and he
On Scripture ground are sure to disagree;
Some wiser rule must teach him how to live, 600
Than this his Maker has seen fit to give;
Supple and flexible as Indian cane,
To take the bend his appetites ordain ;
Contriv'd to suit frail Nature's crazy case,
And reconcile his lust with saving grace.

605 By this, with nice precision of design, He draws upon life's map a zigzag line, That shows how far 'tis safe to follow sin, And where his danger and God's wrath begin. By this he forms, as pleas'd he sports along,

610 His well-pois'd estimate of right and wrong ; And finds the modish manners of the day, Though loose, as harmless as an infant's play.

Build by whatever plan Caprice decrees, With what materials, on what ground you please ; 615 Your hope shall stand unblam'd, perhaps admir'd, If not that hope the Scripture has requir'd. The strango conceits, vain projects, and wild dreams, With which hypocrisy for ever teems, (Though other follies strike the publick eye,

620 And raise a laugh,) pass unmolested by ; But if, unblamable in word or thought, A man arise, a man whom God has taught

« PreviousContinue »