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Than by the labour and the skill it cost;
Are occupations of the poet's mind
So pleasing, and that steal away the thought
With such address from themes of sad import,
That, lost in his own musings, happy man!
He feels th' anxieties of life, denied
Their wonted entertainment, all retire.
Such joys has he that sings. But ah! not such,
Or seldom such, the hearers of his song.
Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps“
Aware of nothing arduous in a task
They never undertook, they little note
His dangers or escapes, and haply find
Their least amusement where he found the most.
But is amusement all? Studious of song,
And yet ambitious not to sing in vain,
I would not trifle merely, though the world
Be loudest in their praise, who do no more.
Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay !
It may correct a foible, may chastise
The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress,
Retrench a sword-blade, or displace a patch;
But where are its sublimer trophies found?
What vice has it subdued ? whose heart reclaimed
By rigour, or whom laughed into reform?
Alas! Leviathan is not so tamed:
Laughed at he laughs again ; and stricken hard,
Turns to his stroke his adamantine scales,
That 'fear no discipline of human hands.
The pulpit, therefore, (and I name it filled
With solemn awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing)
The pulpit (when the satirist has at last,
Strutting and vapouring in an empty school,
Spent all his force and made no proselyte)
I say the pulpit (in the sober use ,
Of its legitimate, peculiar powers)
Must stand acknowledged, while the world shall stand,
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause.
There stands the messenger of truth : there stands
The legate of the skies !-His theme divine,
His office sacred, his credentials clear.
By him the violated law speaks out
Its thunders; and by him in strains as sweet
As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace.
He stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
Reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart,
And, armed himself in panoply complete
Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms
Bright as his own, and trains, by every rule
Of holy discipline, to glorious war, h The sacramental host of God's elect ! la, all such teachers ?--would to Heaven all were!
-the doctor's voice fast wedged between o empyrics hes
yrics he sunds, and with swoln cheeks
aspires the news, his trum net. Keener far
Than all invective is his bold lharangue.
While through that public orgaly of report
He hails the clergy; and, defying shame,
Announces to the world his own aiad theirs !
He teaches those to read, whom schools dismissed,
And colleges, untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in score, and gives to prayer
Th’adagio and andante it demands.
He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use ; transforms old print
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gallery critics by a thousand arts.
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware?
O, name it not in Gath it cannot be,
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid.
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before-
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church!
I venerate the man, whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose lise,
Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause.
To such I render more than mere respect,
Whose actions say, that they respect themselves.
But loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse;
Frequent in park with lady at his side, .
Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes;
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyships, a stranger to the poor ;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well-prepared, by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love of world,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride ;
From such apostles, O ye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On sculls, that cannot teach, and will not learn.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes :
A messenger of grace to guilty men.
Behold the picture !-Is it like ?-Like whom ?
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again : pronounce a text; :
Cry-hem; and reading what they never wrote
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene !
In man or woman, but far most in man,
And most of all in man that ministers
And serves the altar, in my soul I loathe
All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn;
Object of my implacable disgust.
What!--will a man play tricks, will he indulge
A silly fond conceit of his fair form,
And just proportion, fashionable mien,
And pretty face, in presence of his God?
Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes,
As with the diamond on his lily hand,
And play his brilliant parts before my eyes,
When I am hungry for the bread of life?
He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames
His noble office, and, instead of truth,
Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock.
Therefore avaunt all attitude, and stare,
And start theatric, practised at the glass !
I seek divine simplicity in him,
Who handles things divine; and all besides, [mired
Though learned with labour, and though much ad-
By curious eyes and judgments ill informed,
To me is odious as the nasal twang
Heard at conventicle, where worthy men,
Misled by custom, strain celestial themes
Through the pressed nostril, spectacle bestrid.
Some decent in demeanor while they preach,
That task performed, relapse into themselves ;
And, having spoken wisely, at the close
Grow wanton, and give proof to every eye,
Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not!
Forth comes the pocket mirror--First we stroke
An eyebrow; next compose a straggling lock;
Then with an air most gracefully performed
Fall back into our seat, extend an arm,
And lay it at its ease with gentle care,
With handkerchief in hand depending low :
The better hand more busy gives the nose
Its bergamot, or aids the indebted eye