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We just as wisely might of heav'n complain
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
When his lewd father gave the dire disease. .
Think we like some weak prince, th’Eternal Cause,
Prone for his fav’rites to reverse his laws ?
Shall burning Etna, if a sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recal her fires ? On air or sea new motions be impress’d, O blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast ? When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease, if
you go by? Or some old temple nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ?
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contents us not. A better shall we have?
A kingdom of the just then let it be:
But first consider how those just agree.
The good must merit God's peculiar care;
Another deems him instrument of hell :
If Calvin feel heaven's blessing, or its rod,
This cries there is, and that there is no God.
What shocks one part will edify the rest,
very best will variously incline,
Was made for Cæsar---but for Titus too:
And which most blest? who chain's his country,
Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
“But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed."
What then?---Is the reward of virtue bread ?
That, vice may merit---'tis the price of toil;
Add health, and pow'r, and ev'ry earthly thing : “ Why bounded pow'r? why private? why no
king? Nay, why external for internal giv'n? Why is not man a god, and earth a heav'n?"
Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive
God gives enough, while he has more to give : Immense the pow'r, immense were the demand ; Say, at what part of nature will they stand?
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, The soul's calm sun-shine, and the heart-felt joy, Is Virtue's prize:---a better would you fix? Then give Humility a coach and six, Justice a conq'ror's sword, or Truth a gown, Or public Spirit its great cure, a crown.
Weak, foolish man! will heav'n reward us there,
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?
The boy and man an individual makes,
As well as dream such trifles are assign’d,
Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind,
The lover and the love of human kind,
Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear,
Because he wants a thousand pounds a year.
Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.