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As God's ambassador, the grand concerns
Of judgment and of mercy, should beware
Of lightness in his fpeech. 'Tis pitiful
To court a grin, when you should woo a soul ;
To break a jest, when pity would inspire
Pathetic exhortation ; and to address
The skittish fancy with facetious tales,
When fent with God's commiffion 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 one, till sides and benches fail.
No: he was serious in a serious cause,
And understood too well the weighty terms,
That he had taken in charge. He would not stoop
To conquer those by jocular exploits,
Whom truth and fobernefs affailed in vain,
Oh popular applaufe! what heart of man Is proof against thy sweet feducing charms ? The wiseft and the best feel urgent need Of all their caution in thy gentlest gales; But swelled into a guft--who then alas! With all his car vass fet, and inexpert, And therefore heedless, can withstand thy power? Praise from the riveled lips of toothless bald
Decrepitude, and in the looks of lean
And craving poverty, and in the bow
Respectful of the smutched artificer,
Is oft too welcome, and may much difturb
The bias of the purpose. How much more,
Poured forth by beauty splendid and polite,
In language soft as adoration breathes?
Ah 1pare your idol! think him human ftill.
Charms he may have, but he has frailties too!
Dote not too much, nor fpoil what ye admire.
All truth is from the sempiternal source Of light divine. But Egypt, Greece, and Rome, Drew from the stream below. More favoured we Drink, when we choose it, at the fountain head. To them it flowed much mingled and defiled With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams Illufive of philosophy, so called, But falfely. Sages after sages ftrove In vain to filter off a crystal draught Pure from the lees, which often more enhanced The thirst than Naked it, and not seldom bred Intoxication and delirium wild. In vain they pushed inquiry to the birth And spring-time of the world; asked, Whence is man? Why formed at all? and wherefore as he is ?
Where muft he find his Maker ? with what rites
Adore him. Will he hear, accept, and bless ?
Or does he fit regardless of his works?
Has man within him an immortal seed ?
Or does the tomb take all ? If he survive
His ashes, where? and what weal or woe?
Knots worthy of solution, which alone
A Deity could folve. Their answers, vague
And all at random, fabulous and dark,
Left thein as dark themselves. Their rules of life
Defective and unfanctioned, proved too weak
To bind the roving appetite, and lead
Blind nature to a God not yet revealed.
'Tis revelation satisfies all doubts,
Explains all mysteries, except her own,
And so illuminates the path of life,
That fools discover it, and stray no more.
Now tell me, dignified and sapient fir,
My man of morals, nurtured in the shades
Of Academus is this false or true ?
Is Chrift the abler teacher, or the schools ?
If Christ, then why resort at every turn
To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
Of man's occasions, when in him reside
Grace, knowledge, comfort--an unfathomed store?
How oft, when Paul has served us with a text,
Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully, preached !
Men that, if now alive, would fit content
And humble learners of a Saviour's worth,
Preach it who might. Such was their love of truth,
Their thirft of knowledge, and their candour too!
And thus it is.—The paftor, either vain
By nature, or by flattery made so, taught
To gaze at his own fplendour, and to exalt.
Absurdly, not his office, but himself;
Or unenlightened, and too proud to learn;
Or vicious, and not therefore apt to teach ;
Perverting often, by the stress of lewd
And loose example, whom he should inftru&t;
Exposes, and holds up to broad disgrace,
The noblest function, and discredits much
The brightest truths, that man has ever seen.
For ghoftly counsel; if it either fall
Below the exigence, or be not backed
With Tow of love, at least with hopeful proof
Of some sincerity on the giver's part;
Or be dishonoured in the exterior form
And mode of its conveyance by such tricks,
As move derision, or by foppish airs
And histrionic mummery, that let down
The pulpit to the level of the stage ;
Drops from the lips a disregarded thing.
The weak perhaps are moved, but are not taught,
While prejudice in men of stronger minds
Takes deeper root, confirmed by what they fee.
A relaxation of religion's hold
Upon the roving and untutrred heart
Soon follows, and, the curb of conscience snapt,
The laity run wild.—But do they now?
Note their extravagance, and be convinced.
As nations, ignorant of God, contrive A wooden one ; so we, no longer taught . By monitors, that mother church supplies, Now make our own. Pofterity will alk (If e'er pofterity fee verse of mine) Some fifty or an hundred luftrums hence, What was a monitor in George's days? My very gentle reader, yet unborn, Of whom I needs muft augur better things, Since heaven would sure grow weary of a world Productive only of a race like our's, A monitor is wood - plank saven thin. We wear it at our backs. There, closely braced And neatly fitted, it compreffes hard The prominent and moft unfightly bones, And binds the shoulders flat. We prove its uso