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He stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
Reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart,
And, arm’d 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
The sacramental host of God's elect!
Are all such teachers ?-would to Heaven all were!
But hark—the doctor's voice! - fast wedged 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 score, and gives to prayer
The' 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?
0, name it not in Gath-it cannot be said.
That grave and learned clerks should need such
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before-
Grand caterer and drynurse of the church!
I venerate the man whose heart is warm, Whose hands are pure,whose doctrines 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 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 skulls 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 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?-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,
Though learn'd with labour, and though much ad-
· mired By curious eyes and judgments ill inform’d, To me is odious as the nasal twang Heard at conventicle, where worthy men, Misled by custom, strain celestial themes Through the press'd nostril spectacle-bestrid. Some decent in demeanour while they preach, That task perform’d, 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 perform’d
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
With opera-glass, to watch the moving scene,
And recognise the slow-retiring fair.-
Now this is fulsome; and offends me more
Than in a churchman slovenly neglect
And rustic coarseness would. A heavenly mind
May be indifferent to her house of clay,
And slight the hovel as beneath her care;
But how a body so fantastic, trim,
And quaint in its deportment and attire,
Can lodge a heavenly mind-demands a doubt.
He that negociates between God and man,
As God's ambassador, 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 to address
The skittish fancy with facetious tales,
When sent 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 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 soberness assail'd in vain.
O Popular Applause! -what heart of man
Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms!
The wisest and the best feel urgent need
Of all their caution in thy gentlest gales;
But swell'd into a gust—who then, alas!
With all his canvass set, and inexpert,
And therefore heedless, can withstand thy power?
Praise from the rivel'd lips of toothless, bald
Decrepitude, and in the looks of lean
And craving Poverty, and in the bow
Respectful of the smutch'd artificer,
Is oft too welcome, and may much disturb
The bias of the purpose. How much more,
Pour'd forth by beauty splendid and polite,
In language soft as adoration breathes!
Ah, spare your idol! think him human still.
Charms he may have, but he has frailties too!
Dote not too much, nor spoil what ye admire.
All truth is from the sempiternal source Of Light Divine. But Egypt, Greece, and Rome Drew from the stream below. More favour'd we Drink, when we choose it, at the fountainhead. To them it flow'd much mingled and defiled With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams Illusive of philosophy, so callid But falsely. Sages after sages strove In vain to filter off a crystal draught Pure from the lees, which often more enhanced The thirst than slaked it, and not seldom bred Intoxication and delirium wild.