« PreviousContinue »
The facramental host of God's elect.
Are all such teachers ? would to heav'n all
were ! But hark-the Doctor's voice-fast wedg'd be
Two empirics he stands, and with swoln cheeks
Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
Than all invective is his bold harangue,
While through that public organ of report
He hails the clergy ; and defying shame,
Announces to the world his own and theirs.
He teaches those to read, whom schools dismiss'd,
And colleges untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in fcore, and gives to pray'r
Th' adagio and andante it demands.
He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use; transforms old print
To zig-zag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gall’ry critics by a thousand arts.-
Are there who purchase of the Doctor's ware?
Oh name it not in Gath !-it cannot be,
That grave and learned Clerks should need such
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Affuming 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
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 inorals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse,
Trequent in park, with lady at his fide,
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 prepar’d by ignorance and floth,
By infidelity and love of world,
To make God's work a finecure ; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride.-
From such apostles, oh, 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 fimple, grave, sincere ;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain ;
And plain in manner. Decent, folemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture. Much impress'd
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 2-Like whom?
The things that mount the roftrum 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 whifper 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 loath
All affectation. 'Tis my perfect fcorn;
Object of my implacable disgust.
What will a man play tricks, will he indulge
A filly 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 di'mond on his lily hand,
And play his brilliant parts before my eyes
When I ain hungry for the bread of life?
He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames
His noble office, and, inftead 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 fimplicity in him
Who handles things divine ; and all beside,
Though learn'd with labour, and though much
By curious eyes and judgments ill-inform’d,
To me is odious as the nasal twang
Heard at conventicle, where worthy men,
Mifled by custom, strain celestial themes
Through the preft noftril, spectacle-bestrid.
Some, decent in demeanor while they preach,
That tak perform'd relapse into themselves,
And having fpoken wifely at the close
Grow wanton, and give proof to ev'ry eye-
Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not.
Forth comes the pocket mirror. First we stroke
An eye-brow ; next, compose a straggling lock ;
Then with an air, most gracefully perform’d,
Fall back into our seat, extend an arm,
And lay it at its ease with gentle care,
With handkerchief in land, depending low.
The better hand more busy, gives the nose
Its bergamot, or aids th' indebted eye
With op'ra glafs to watch the moving scene,
And recognize the flow-retiring fair.
Now this is fulfоme ; and offends me more
Than in a churchman flovenly neglect
And ruftic coarsenefs would. An heav'nly mind
May be indiff'rent to her house of clay,
And flight the hovel as beneath her care ;
But how a body fo fantastic, trim,
And quaint in its deportment and attire,
Can lodge an heav'nly mind-demands a doubt,
He that negotiates between God and man,
As God's ambaffador, the grand concerns
Of judgment and of mercy, should beware
Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful
To court a grin, when you should woo a soul ;
To break a jest, when pity would inspire -
Pathetic exhortation; and t address
The skittish fancy with facetious tales,
When fent with God's commission 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 fides and benches fail.
No: he was serious in a serious cause,
And understood too well the weighty terms