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That good diffus'd may more abundant grow,
And speech may praise the pow'r that bids it flow.
Will the sweet warbler of the livelong night,
That fills the list’ning lover with delight,
Forget his harmony, with rapture heard,
To learn the twitt'ring of a meaner bird?
Or make the parrot's mimicry his choice,
That odious libel on a human voice ?
No-Nature, unsophisticate by man,
Starts not aside from her Creator's plan ;
The melody that was at first design'd
To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind, zo'
Is note for note deliver'd in our ears,
In the last scene of her six thousand
Yet fashion, leader of a chatt'ring train,
Whom man, for his own hurt, permits to reign,
Who shifts and changes all things but his shape,
And would degrade her vot’ry to an ape,
The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong,
Holds a usurp'd dominion o'er his tongue;
There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace,
Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace,
And, when accomplish'd in her wayward school,
Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool.
Tis an unalterable, fix'd decree,
That none could frame or ratify but she,
That heav'n and hell, and righteousness and sin,
Snares in his path, and foes that lurk within,
God and his attributes (a field of day
Where 'tis an angel's happiness to stray),
Fruits of his love and wonders of his might,
Be never nam'd in ears esteem'd polite.
That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave,
Shall stand proscrib'd, a madman or a knave,
A close designer not to be believ'd,
Or, if excused that charge, at least deceiv'd.
Oh, folly worthy of the nurse's lap,
Give it the breast, or stop its mouth with pap!
Is it incredible, or can it seem
A dream to any, except those that dream,
That man should love his Maker, and that fire,
Warming his heart, should at his lips transpire ? .
Know then, and modestly let fall your eyes,
And veil your daring crest that braves the skies ;
That air of insolence affronts your God,
You need his pardon, and provoke his rod :
Now, in a posture that becomes you more
Than that heroic strut assum'd before,
Know your arrears with ev'ry hour accrue
For mercy shown, while wrath is justly due.
The time is short, and there are souls on earth,
Though future pain may serve for present mirth,
Acquainted with the woes, that fear or shame,
By fashion taught, forbade them once to name,
And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest,
Have prov'd them truths too big to be express'd.
Go seek on revelation's hallow'd ground,
Sure to succeed, the remedy they found;
Touch'd by that pow'r that you have dard to mock
That makes seas stable, and dissolves the rock,
Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream,
That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream.
It happen'd on a solemn eventide,
Soon after He that was our Surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclind,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of the great event :
They spake of him they lov'd, of him whose life.
Though blameless, had incurr'd perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
The recollection, like a vein of ore,
The farther trac'd, enrich'd
them still the more; They thought him, and they justly thought him, one Sent to do more than he appear'd t' have done ;
T exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else, and wonder'd he should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend,
And ask'd them, with a kind, engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begg'd a share.
Inform’d, he gather'd up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
Explain'd, illustrated, and search'd so well
The tender theme, on which they chose to dwell,
That, reaching home,“ The night," they said, “is near
We must not now be parted, sojourn here."
The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
And, made so welcome at their simple feast,
He bless'd the bread, but vanish'd at the word,
And left them both exclaiming, 'Twas the Lord !
Did not our hearts feel all he deign'd to say?
Did not they burn within us by the way?
Now theirs was converse, such as it behoves
Man to maintain, and such as God approves :
Their views, indeed, were indistinct and dim,
But yet successful, being aim'd at him.
Christ and his character their only scope,
Their object, and their subject, and their hope,
They felt what it became them much to feel,
And, wanting him to lose the sacred zeal,
Found him as prompt, as their desire was true,
To spread the new-born glories in their view.
Well—what are ages and the lapse of time,
Match'd against truths, as lasting as sublime ?
Can length of years on God himself exact?
Or make that fiction, which was once a fact?
No-marble and recording brass decay,
And, like the graver's mem’ry, pass away;
The works of man inherit, as is just,
Their author's frailty, and return to dust :
But truth divine for ever stands secure,
Its head is guarded, as its base is sure ;
Fix'd in the rolling flood of endless years, otsib
The pillar of th' eternal plan appears, and be
The raving storm and dashing wave defies, vis
Built by that architect who built the skies.it
Hearts may be found, that harbour at this hour
That love of Christ, and all its quick’ning pow'r;
And lips unstain’d by folly or by strife,
Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life,
Tastes of its healthful origin, and flows
A Jordan for th' ablution of our woes.
0, days of heav'n, and nights of equal praise,
Serene and peaceful as those heav'nly days,
When souls drawn upwards in communion sweet,
Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat,
Discourse, as if releas'd and safe at home,
Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come, and
And spread the sacred treasures of the breast
Upon the lap of covenanted Rest.
Sub What, always dreaming over heav'nly things, W Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings? Canting and
whining out all day the word, And half the night? Fanatic and absurd ! ) Mine be the friend less frequent in his pray’rs, Who makes no bustle with his soul's affairs, Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day, And chase the splenetic, dull hours away; gube Content on earth in earthly things to shine, Who waits for heav'n ere he becomes divine, Leaves saints t' enjoy those altitudes they teach, And plucks the fruit plac'd more within his reach.
Well spoken, advocate of sin and shame, Known by thy bleating, Ignorance thy name. Is sparkling wit the world's exclusive right? The fix'd fee-simple of the vain and light ? Can hopes of Heav'n, bright prospects of an hour, That come to waft us out of Sorrow's pow'r,asta Obscure or quench a faculty, that findst Its happiest soil in the serenest minds?
Religion curbs indeed its wanton play,
brings the trifler under rig’rous sway, slib
But gives it usefulness unknown before,
And, purifying, makes it shine the more.
A Christian's wit is inoffensive light,
A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight;
Vig'rous in age as in the flush of youth;
'Tis always active on the side of truth;
Temp’rance and peace ensure its healthful state, And make it brightest at its latest date. Oh, I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain, Ere life go down, to see such sights again) A vetran warrior in the Christian field, Who never saw the sword he could not wield; Grave without dulness, learned without pride, Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-ey'd; A man that would have foil'd at their own play A dozen would-be's of the modern day; Who, when occasion justified its use, Had wit as bright as ready to produce, Could fetch from records of an earlier age, Or, from philosophy's enlightend page, His rich materials, and regale your ear With strains it was a privilege to hear: Yet, above all, his luxury supreme, And his chief glory, was the Gospel theme; There he was copious as old Greece or Rome, His happy eloquence seem'd there at home, Ambitious not to shine or to excel, But to treat justly what he lov'd so well.
It moves me more perhaps than folly ought, When some green heads, as void of wit as thought, Suppose themselves monopolists of sense, And wiser men's ability pretence. Though time will wear us, and we must grow old, Such men are not forgot as soon as cold; Their fragrant mem'ry will outlast their tomb, Embalm'd for ever in its own perfume.