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The truth is, (if the truth may suit your ear,
And prejudice have left a passage clear,)
Pride has attain'd its most luxuriant growth,
And poison'd every virtue in them both,
Pride may be pamper'd while the flesh grows lean;
Humility may clothe an English dean ;
That grace was Cowper's—his, confess’d by all —
Though placed in golden Durham's second stall.
Not all the plenty of a bishop's board,
His palące, and his lacqueys, and “My Lord,"
More nourish pride, that condescending vice,
Than abstinence, and beggary, and lice; 5
It thrives in misery, and abundant grows -
In misery fools upon themselves impose.
But why before us Protestants produce
An Indian mystic, or a French recluse ?
Their sin is plain; but what have we to fear,
Reform'd and well instructed? You shall hear.
Yon ancient Prude, whose wither'd features shew
She might be young some forty years ago,
Her elbows pinion'd close upon her hips,
Her head erect, her fan upon her lips,
Her eye-brows arch'd, her eyes both gone astray
To watch yon am'rous couple in their play,
With boney and unkerchief'd neck defies
The rude inclemency of wint'ry skies,
And sails with lappet-head and mincing airs
Duly at clink of bell to morning prayers,
To thrift and parsimony much inclined,
She yet allows herself that boy behind ;
The shiv'ring urchin, bending as he goes,
With slipshod heels, and dewdrop at his nose,
His predecessors' coat advanced to wear,
Which future pages yet are doom'd to share,
Carries her Bible tuck'd beneath his arm,
And hides his hands to keep his fingers warm.
She, half an angel in her own account, Doubts not hereafter with the saints to mount, Though not a grace appears on strictest search, But that she fasts, and, item, goes to church,
Conscious of age, she recollects her youth,
And tells, not always with an eye to truth,
Who spann'd her waist, and who, where'er he came,
Scrawld upon glass Miss Bridget's lovely name ;
Who stole her slipper, fill'd it with tokay,
And drank the little bumper every day.
Of temper as envenom'd as an asp,
Censorious, and her every word a wasp;
In faithful mem'ry she records the crimes,
Or real or fictitious, of the times ;
Laughs at the reputations she has torn,
And holds them dangling at arm's length in scorn.
Such are the fruits of sanctimonious pride,
Of malice fed while flesh is mortified :
Take, madam, the reward of all your prayers,
Where hermits and where bramins meet with theirs ;
Your portion is with them— Nay, never frown,
But, if you please, some fathoms lower down.
Artist, attend—your brushes and your paint-
Produce them- take a chair-now, draw a Saint.
Oh, sorrowful and sad! the streaming tears
Channel her cheeks--a Niobe appears !
Is this a saint? Throw tints and all away
True piety is cheerful as the day ;
Will weep indeed, and heave a pitying groan
For others' woes, but smiles upon her own.
What purpose has the King of saints in view ?
Why falls the Gospel like a gracious dew?
To call up plenty from the teeming earth,
Or curse the desert with a tenfold dearth ?
Is it that Adam's offspring may be saved
From servile fear, or be the more enslaved ?
To loose the links that gali'd mankind before,
Or bind them faster on, and add still more?
The freeborn Christian has no chains to prove,
Or, if a chain, the golden one of love :
No fear attends to quench his glowing fires,
What fear he feels, his gratitude inspires.
Shall he, for such deliv'rance freely wrought,
Recompense ill? He trembles at the thought.
His Master's interest and his own combined
Prompt every movement of his heart and mind :
Thought, word, and deed, his liberty evince,
His freedom is the freedom of a prince.
Man's obligations infinite, of course
His life should prove that he perceives their force;
His utmost he can render is but small -
The principle and motive all in all.
You have two servants — Tom, an arch, sly rogue,
From top to toe the Geta* now in vogue,
Genteel in figure, easy in address,
Moves without noise, and swift as an express,
Reports a message with a pleasing grace,
Expert in all the duties of his place;
Say, on what hinge does his obedience move ?
Has he a world of gratitude and love ?
No, not a spark—'tis all mere sharper's play;
He likes your house, your housemaid, and your pay;
Reduce his wages, or get rid of her,
Tom quits you, with—Your most obedient, sir.
The dinner served, Charles takes his usual stand,
Watches your eye, anticipates command;
Sighs, if perhaps your appetite should fail ;
And if he but suspects a frown, turns pale ;
Consults all day your intrest and your ease,
Richly rewarded if he can but please ;
And, proud to make his firm attachment known,
To save your life would nobly risk his own.
Now which stands highest in your serious thought ?
Charles, without doubt, say you—and so he ought;
One act, that from a thankful heart proceeds.
Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds.
Thus Heaven approves, as honest and sincere,
The work of gen'rous love and filial fear;
But with averted eyes th' omniscient Judge
Scorns the base hireling and the slavish drudge.
Where dwell these matchless saints ?-old Curio cries.
E'en at your side, sir, and before your eyes,
The favour'd few — th’ enthusiasts you despise.
* Geta, name of a lacquey in Terence. .. .
And pleased at heart, because on holy ground
Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found,
Reproach a people with his single fall,
And cast his filthy raiment at them all.
Attend !-an apt similitude shall shew
Whence springs the conduct that offends you so.
See where it smokes along the sounding plain,
Blown all aslant, a driving, dashing rain,
Peel upon peel redoubling all around,
Shakes it again and faster to the ground;
Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play,
Swift beyond thought the lightnings dart away.
Ere yet it came the traveller urged his steed,
And hurried, but with unsuccessful speed ;
Now drench'd throughout, and hopeless of his case,
He drops the rein, and leaves him to his pace.
Suppose, unlook'd for in a scene so rude,
Long hid by interposing hill or wood,
Some mansion, neat and elegantly dress'd,
By some kind hospitable heart possessid,
Offer him warmth, security, and rest;
Think with what pleasure, safe and at his ease,
He hears the tempest howling in the trees,
What glowing thanks his lips and heart employ,
While danger past is turn’d to present joy.-
So fares it with the sinner, when he feels
A growing dread of vengeance at his heels :
His conscience, like a glassy lake before,
Lash'd into foaming waves, begins to roar;
The law, grown clamorous, though silent long,
Arraigns him, charges him with ev'ry wrong,
Asserts the rights of his offended Lord,
And death, or restitution, is the word :
The last impossible, he fears the first,
And, having well deserved, expects the worst,
Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home ;
Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come!
Crush me, ye rocks ! ye falling mountains hide,
Or bury me in ocean's angry tide.
The scrutiny of those all-seeing eyes
Į dare not — And you need not, God replies ;
The remedy you want I freely give:
The Book shall teach you-- read, believe, and live!
'Tis done - the raging storm is heard no more,
Mercy receives him on her peaceful shore;
And Justice, guardian of the dread command,
Drops the red vengeance from his willing hand.
A soul redeem'd demands a life of praise ;
Hence the complexion of his future days,
Hence a demeanour holy and unspeck’d, '
And the world's hatred, as its sure effect.
Some lead a life unblameable and just,
Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust;
They never sin -- or if, as all offend,
Some trivial slips their daily walk attend,
The poor are near at hand, the charge is small,
A slight gratuity atones for all !
For though the Pope has lost his intrest here,
And pardons are not sold as once they were,
No papist more desirous to compound,
Than some grave sinners upon English ground.
That plea refuted, other quirks they seek -
Mercy is infinite, and man is weak;
The future shall obliterate the past,
And heaven, no doubt, shall be their home at last.
Come then a still, small whisper in your ear-He has no hope who never had a fear; And he that never doubted of his state, He may, perhaps - perhaps he may—too late.
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare ; Learning is one, and wit, however rare. The Frenchman, first in literary fame, (Mention him, if you please. Voltaire ? The same) With spirit, genius, eloquence, supplied, Lived long, wrote much, laugh'd heartily, and died. The Scripture was his jest-book, whence he drew Bon mots to gall the Christian and the Jew; An infidel in health, but what when sick ? Oh- then a text would touch him at the quick. View him at Paris in his last career : Surrounding throngs the demigod revere;