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Mercy is infinite, and man is weak;
295 And Heav'n no doubt shall be their home at last.
Come then—a still small whisper in your ear-
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare ;
Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, Pillow and bobbins all her little store ; Content, though mean, and cheerful if not gay Shuffling her threads about the livelong day, 390 Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night Lies down secure, her heart and socket light; She, for her humble sphere by nat re fit, Has little understanding, and no wit, Receives no praise ; but though her lot be such, 325 (Toilsome and indigent,) she renders much: Just knows, ar.d knows no more, her Bible true A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ; And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes Her title to a treasure in the skies.
330 O happy peasant ! Oh unhappy bard!
His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward ;
335 She, safe in the sim licity of hers.
Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound In science, win one inch of heavenly ground. And is it not a mortifying thought Tlie poor should gain it, and the rich should not. 340 No,—the voluptuaries, who ne'er forget One pleasure lost, lose Heav'n without regret ; Regret would rouse them, and give birth to pray'r, Pray'r would add faith, and faith would fix them there. Not that the Former of us all, in this,
345 Or ought he does, is govern'd by caprice ; The supposition is replete with sin, And bears the brand of blasphemy burn'd in. Not so—the silver trumpet's heav'nly call Sounds for the poor, but sounds alike for all : 350 Kings are invited, and would kings obey, No slaves on earth morc welcome were than they ; But royalty, nobility, and state, Are such a dead preponderating weight, 'That endless bliss, (how strange soe'er it seem,) 355 In counterpoise, flies up and kicks the beam. 'Tis open, and ye cannot enter,—why? Because ye will not, Conyers would replyAnd he says much that many may dispute And cavii at with ease, but none refute.
360 O bless'd effect of penury and want, The seed sown there, how vig'rous is the plant ! No soil like poverty for growth divine, As leanest land supplies the richest wine. Earth gives too little, giving only bread,
365 To nourish pride, or turn the weakest head : To them the sounding jargon of the schools Seems what it isma cap and bells for fools: The light they walk by, kindled from above,
Shows then the shortest way to lifo and love ;
370 They, strangers to the controversial field, Where deists, always loild, yet scorn to yield, And never check'd by what impedes the wise, Believo, rush forward, and possess the prize. Envy, yo great, the dull unletter'd small : 375 Ye have much cause for envy—but not all. We boast sourc rich ones whom the Gospel sways, And one who wears a coronet, and prays ; Like gleanings of an olive tree they show Here and there one upon the topmost bough. 380
How readily upon the Gospel plan, That question has its answer—What is man? Sinful and weak, in ev'ry sense a wretch ; An instrument, whose chords, upon the stretch, And strain'd to the last screw that he can bcar, 385 Yield only discord in l.is Maker's ear,: Once the bless'd residence of truth divine, Glorious as Solyma's interiour shrine, Where, in his own oracular abode, Dwelt visibly the light-creating God :
390 But made lang since like Babylon of old, A den of mischiefs never to be told ; And she, once mistress of the realms around, Now scatter'd wide, and no where to be found, As soon shall rise and reascend the throne, 395 By native pow'r and energy her own, os Nature at her own peculiar cost, Restore to man the glorics he has lost. Go--bid the winter cease to chill the year, Peplace the wand'ring comet in his sphere, 100 Then boast, (but wait for that unhop'd-for hour,) 'The self-restoring arm of human pow'r. But what is man in his own proud esteem? Ilear him-himself the poet and the theme: A monarch cloth'd with majesty and awe,
405 His wind, his kingdom, and his will, his law; Grace in his inien, and glory in his eyes, •
Suprenio on earth, and worthy of the skies,
425 Though that of all most worthy of his care ; And like an infant, troublesome awake, Is left to sleep for peace and quiet sake.
What shall the man deserve of human kind, Whose happy skill and industry combin'd
430 Shall prove, (what argument could never yet,) The Bible an imposture and a cheat? The praises of the libertine profess'd, The worst of men, and curses of the best. Where should the living, weeping o'er his woes ;
435 The dying, trembling at the awful close ; Where the betray'd, forsaken, and oppress'd, The thousands whom the world forbids to rest, Where should they find, (those comforts at an end The Scripture yields,) or hope to find a friend ? 440 Sorrow inight muse herself to madness then, And seeking exile from the sight of men, Bury herself in solitude profound, Grov: frantick with her pangs, and bite the ground. Thus often Unbelief, grown sisk of life,
Flies to the tempting pool, or felon knife.
455 Feels herself happy amidst all her grief, Forgets her labour as she toils along, Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song.
But the same word, that, like the polish'd share, Ploughs up the roots of a believer's care,
460 Kills, too, the flow'ry weeds, where'er they grow, That bind the sinner's Bacchanalian brow. Oh that unwelcome voice of heavenly love, Sad messenger of mercy from above! How does it grate upon his thankless ear,
465 Crippling his pleasures with the cramp of fear! His will and judgment at continual strife, That civil war imbitters all his life : In vain he points his pow'rs against the skies. In vain he closes or averts his eyes,
470 Truth will intrude—she bids him yet beware ; And shakes the sceptick in the scorner’s chair.
Though various foes against the truth combine,
And is the soul indeed so lost?-she cries, Fall’n from her glory, and too weak to rise ? 480 Torpid and dull beneath a frozen zone, Has she no spark that may be deem'd her own ? Grant her indebted to what zealots call