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Pleasure and wonder in his features mix'd,
His passions tamed and all at his control,
How perfect the composure of his soul !
Complacency has breathed a gentle gale
O’er all his thoughts, and swell’d his easy sail :
His books well trimm'd and in the gayest style,
Like regimental coxcombs, rank and file,
Adorn his intellects as well as shelves,
And teach him notions splendid as themselves :
The Bible only stands neglected there,
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 humankind,
Whose happy skill and industry combined,
Shall prove (what argument could never yet)
The Bible an imposture and a cheat ?
The praises of the libertine profess'd,
The wor of men, and curses of the best.
Where should the living, weeping o'er his woes,
The dying, trembling at their 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 ?
That field of promise, how it flings abroad
Its odour o'er the Christian's thorny road ;
The soul, reposing on assured relief,
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, 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,
Crippling his pleasures with the cramp of fear !
His will and judgment at continual strife,
That civil war embitters all his life;
In vain he points his pow'rs against the skies,
In vain he closes or averts his eyes.
Truth will intrude—she bids him yet beware-
And shakes the sceptic in the scorner's chair.
Though various foes against the truth combine,
Pride above all opposes her design ;
Pride, of a growth superior to the rest,
The subtlest serpent, with the loftiest crest,
Swells at the thought, and kindling into rage,
Would hiss the cherub Mercy from the stage.
Hear then how Mercy, slighted and defied,
Retorts th' affront against the crown of pride.
Perish the virtue, as it ought, abhorr'd,
And the fool with it that insults his Lord.
Th’ atonement a Redeemer's love has wrought
Is not for you, the righteous need it not.
Marshalling all his terrors as He came,
Thunder and earthquake and devouring flame,
From Sinai's top Jehovah gave the law,
Life for obedience, death for every flaw.
When the great Sov'reign would His will express,
He gives a perfect rule; what can He less ?
And guards it with a sanction as severe
As vengeance can inflict, or sinners fear :
Else His own glorious rights He would disclaim,
And man might safely trifle with His name ;
He bids him glow with unremitting love
To all on earth, and to Himself above;
Condemns the injurious deed, the sland'rous tongue,
The thought that meditates a brother's wrong :
Brings not alone, the more conspicuous part,
His conduct to the test, but tries his lıeart.
Hark! universal nature shook and groan'd,
'Twas the last trumpet-see the Judge enthroned ;
Rouse all your courage at your utmost need,
Now summon every virtue, stand and plead.
What, silent? Is your boasting heard vo more ?
That self-renouncing wisdom, learn'd before,
Had shed immortal glories on your brow,
That all your virtues cannot purchase now.
All joy to the believer! He can speakTrembling, yet happy, confident, yet meek.
Since the dear hour that brought me to Thy foot, And cut up all my follies by the root, I never trusted in an arm but Thine, Nor hoped, but in Thy righteousness divine ; My prayers and alms, imperfect and defiled, Were but the feeble efforts of a child, Howe'er perform’d, it was their brightest part, That they proceeded from a grateful heart; Cleansed in Thine own all-purifying blood, Forgive their evil and accept their good ; I cast them at Thy feet-my only plea Is what it was, dependence upon Thee ;, While struggling in the vale of tears below, That never
fail’d, nor shall it fail me now. Angelic gratulations rend the skies, Pride falls unemptied, never more to rise ; Humility is crown'd, and faith receives the prize.
“Tantane, tam patiens, nullo certamine tolli
Dona sines ?”
HY weeps the muse for England ? What
appears In England's case to move the muse to tears? From side to side of her delightful isle, Is she not clothed with a perpetual smile ? Can nature add a charm or art confer A new-found luxury not seen in her ? Where under heaven is pleasure more pursued, Or where does cold reflection less intrude ? Her fields, a rich expanse of wavy corn, Pour'd out from plenty's overflowing horn, Ambrosial gardens, in which art supplies The fervour and the force of Indian skies ; Her peaceful shores, where busy commerce waits To pour his golden tide through all her gates, All speak her happy_let the muse look round From East to West, no sorrow can be found, Or only what, in cottages confined, Sighs unregarded to the passing wind; Then wherefore weep for England, what appears In England's case to move the muse to tears ? The prophet wept for Israel, wish'd his eyes Were fountains fed with infinite supplies ; For Israel dealt in robbery and wrong, There were the scorner's and the sland'rer's tongue, Oaths used as playthings or convenient tools, As int'rest biass'd knaves, or fashion fools. He saw his people slaves to ev'ry lust, Lewd, avaricious, arrogant, unjust; He heard the wheels of an avenging God
Groan heavily along the distant road;
Saw Babylon set wide her two-leaved brass
To let the military deluge pass ;
Jerusalem a prey, her glory soil'd,
Her princes captive, and her treasures spoil'd;
Wept till all Israel heard his bitter cry,
Stamp'd with his foot and smote upon his thigh ;
But wept, and stamp'd, and smote his thigh in vain.
Pleasure is deaf when told of future pain,
And sounds prophetic are too rough to suit
Ears long accustom'd to the pleasing lute;
They scorn'd his inspiration and his theme,
Pronounced him frantic and his fears a dream,
With self-indulgence wing'd the fleeting hours,
Till the foe found them, and down fell the tow'rs.
When He that ruled them with a shepherd's rod,
In form a man, in dignity a God,
Came not expected in that bumble guise,
To sift, and search them with unerring eyes,
He found conceal'd beneath a fair outside,
The filth of rottenness and worm of pride,
Their piety a system of deceit,
Scripture employ'd to sanctify the cheat,
The pharisee the dupe of his own art,
Self-idolised, and yet a knave at heart.
When nations are to perish in their sins,
'Tis in the church the leprosy begins :
The priest, whose office is with zeal sincere
To watch the fountain, and preserve it clear,
Carelessly nods and sleeps upon the brink,
While others poison what the flock must drink;
Or, waking at the call of lust alone,
Infuses lies and errors of his own :
His unsuspecting sheep believe it pure,
And tainted by the very means of cure,