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Or does he sit regardless of his works?
Has man within him an immortal seed ?
Or does the tomb take all ? If he survive
His ashes, where ? and in what weal or wo?
Knots worthy of solution, which alone
A Deity could solve. Their answers, vague
And all at random, fabulous and dark,
Left them as dark themselves. Their rules of life
Defective and unsanction'd, prov'd too weak
To bind the roving appetite, and lead
Blind nature to a God not yet reveal'd.
'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 sir,
My man of morals, nurtur'd in the shades
of Academus—is this false or true ?
Is Christ the abler teacher or the schools
If Christ, then why resort at ev'ry turn
To Athens, or to Rome, for wisdom shore
of man's occasions, when in him reside
Grace, knowledge, comfort-an unfathom'd store?
How oft, when Paul has serv'd us with a text,
Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully, preach'd !
Men that, if now alive, would sit content
And humble learners of a Saviour's worth,
Preach it who might. Such was their love of truth
Their thirst of knowledge, and their candour too.
And thus it is.— The pastor, either vain
re, or by flatt'ry made so, taught
To gaze at his own splendour, and t exalt
Absurdly, not his office, but hiinself
Or unenlighten'd and too proud to learn ;
>r vicious, and not therefore apt to teach i terverting often by the stress of lewd
And looge example, whom he should instruct;
Exposes, and holds up to broad disgrace,
The noblest (unction, and discredits much
The brightest truths that man has ever seen.
Por ghostly counsel ; if it either fall
Below the exigence, or be not back'd
With show of love, at least with hopeful proof
Of some sincerity on the giver's part;
Or be dishonour'd in the exterior form
And mode of its conveyance, by such tricks
As move derision, or by foppish airs
And histrionick mu mm'ry that let down
The pulpit to the level of the stage ;
Drops from the lips a disregarded thing.
The weak perhaps are mov'd, but are not taught
While prejudice in men of stronger minds
Takes deeper root, confirm'd by what they see.
A relaxation of religion's hold
Upon the roving and untutor'd heart
Soon follows, and, the curb of conscience snapp'd
The laily run wild. But do they now?
Note their extravagance, and be convinc'd.
As nations, ignorant of God, contrive
A wooden one : so we, no longer taught
By monitors, that mother church supplies,
Now make our own. Posterity will ask,
(If e'er posterity see verse of mine,)
Some fifty or a hundred lustrüms hence,
What was a monitor in George's days?
My very gentle reader, yet unborn,
of whom I needs must auger better things,
Since Heav'n would sure grow weary of a world
Productive only of a race like ours,
A monitor is wood-plank shaven thin.
We wear it at our backs. There, closely brac'd
And neatly fitted, it compresses hard
The prominent and most unsightly bones,
And binds the shoulder fiat. We prove its use
Sov'reign and most effectual to secure
A form, not now gymnastick as of yore,
From rickets, and distortion, else our lot.
But thus admonish’d, we can walk ereot-
One proof at least of manhood! while the friend
Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge.
Our habits, costlier than Lucullus wore,
And by caprice as multiplied as his,
Just please us while the fashion is at full,
But change with every moon. The sycopbant,
Who waits to dress us, arbitrates their date ;
Surveys his fair reversion with keen eye ;
Finds one ill made, another obsolete,
This fits not nicely, that is ill conceiv'd;
And, making prize of all that he condemns,
With our expenditure defrays his own.
Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavour. We have run
Through ev'ry change, that Fancy at the loom
Exhausted, has had genius to supply ;
And studious of mutation still, discard
A real elegance, a little us'd,
For monstrous novelty and strange disguise.
We sacrifice to dress, till husehold joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires ;
And introduces hunger, frost, and wo,
Where peace and hospitality might reign.
What man that lives, an that knows how to live,
Would fail t' exhibit at the publick shows
A form as splendid as the proudest there,
Though appetite raise outcries at the cost'?
A man o th' town dines late, but soon enough,
With reasonable forecast and despatch,
T ensure a side-box station at half price.
You think, perhaps, so delicate his dress,
His daily fare as delicate. Alas!
He pieks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
with an old tavern quill, is hungry yet!
The rout is Folly's circle, which she draws
With magick wand. So potent is the spell,
That done, decoy'd into that fatal ring,
Unless by Heav'n's peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early gray, but never wise ;
There form connexions, but acquire no friend;
Solicit pleasure hopeless of success;
Waste youth in occupations only fit
For second childhood, and devote old age
l'o sports, which only childhood could excuse.
There, they are happiest who dissemble best
Their weariness; and they the most polite
Who squander time and treasure with a smile,
Though at their own destruction. She that asks
Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all,
And hates their coming. They (what can they less:)
Make just reprisals; and with cringe and shrug,
And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her.
All catch the frenzy, downward from her grace,
Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies,
And gild our chamber ceilings as they pass,
To her, who, frugal only that her thrift
May seed excesses she can ill afford,
Is hackney'd home unlackey'd ; who, in haste
Alighting, turns the key in her own door,
And, at the watchman's lantern horrowing light,
Pinds a cold bed her only comfort left.
Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their wives,
Om Fortune's velvet allar oftring up
Their last poor pittance-Fortune, most severe
of goddesses yet known, and costlier far
Than all that held their routs in Juno's Heav'n.
So fare we in this prison house, the World ;
And 'tis a fearful spectacle to see
So many maniacks dancing in their chains.
They gaze upon the links, that hold them fast,
With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot,
Then shake them in despair, and dance again!
Now basket up the family of plagues,
That waste our vitals; peculation, sale
Of honour, perjury, corruption, frauds
By forgery, by subterfuge of law,
By tricks and lies as num'rous and as keen
As the necessities their authors feel :
Then cast them, closely bundled, ev'ry brat
At the right door. Profusion is the sire.
Profusion unrestrain'd, with all that's base
In character, has litter'd all the land,
And bred, within the mem'ry of no few,
A priesthood, such as Baal's was of old,
A people, such as never was till now.
It is a hungry vice :-it eats up all
That gives society its beauty, strength,
Convenience, security, and use :
Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd
And gibbeled, as fast as catchpole claws
Can seize the slippery prey: unties the knot
Of union, and converts the sacred band
That holds mankind together, to a scourge.
Profusion deluging a state with lusts
Of grossest nature and of worst effeets,
Prepares it for its ruin: hardens, blinds,
And warps, the consciences of public men,
Till they can laugh at Virtue ; mock the fools
That trust them; and in th’ end disclose a face,
That would have shock'd Credulity herself.
Unmask'd, vouchsafing this their sole excuse