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Thy deep repentance of thy thousand lies, [skies; Which, aim'd at him, have pierced the offended And say, Blot out my sin, confess'd, deplored, Against thine image, in thy saint, O Lord!
No blinder bigot, I maintain it still, Than he who must have pleasure, come what will: He laughs, whatever weapon Truth may draw; And deems her sharp artillery mere straw. Scripture indeed is plain; but God and he On scripture ground are sure to disagree; Some wiser rule must teach him how to live, Than this his maker has seen fit to give ; Supple and flexible as Indian cane, To take the bend his appetites ordain; Contrived to suit frail Nature's crazy case, And reconcile his lusts with saving grace. By this, with nice precision of design, He draws upon life's map a zig-zag line, That shows how far 'tis safe to follow sin, And where his danger and God's wrath begin. By this he forms, as pleased he sports along, His well poised estimate of right and wrong; And finds the modish manners of the day, Though loose, as harmless as an infant's play. Build by whatever plan caprice decrees, With what materials, on what ground you please; Your hope shall stand unblamed, perhaps admired, If not that hope the scripture has required. The strange conceits, vain projects, and wild dreams, With which hypocrisy for ever teems,
(Though other follies strike the public eye,
To storm the citadels they build in air,
And place, instead of quirks themselves devise,
Throughout mankind, the Christian kind at least,
Rejects all treaty, penetrates all wiles,
Drives through the realms of sin, where riot reels, And grinds his crown beneath her burning wheels! Hence all that is in man, pride, passion, art, Powers of the mind, and feelings of the heart, Insensible of truth's almighty charms,
Starts at her first approach, and sounds to arms!
Parent of Hope, immortal Truth! make known Thy deathless wreaths and triumphs all thine own: The silent progress of thy power is such,
Thy means so feeble, and despised so much,
That, while I trembling trace a work divine,
And light and shade, and every stroke be thine. If ever thou hast felt another's pain,
If ever when he sigh'd hast sigh'd again,
If ever on thy eyelid stood the tear
Friendship and love seem'd tenderly at strife,
Politely learn'd, and of a gentle race,
Good breeding and good sense gave all a grace, And whether at the toilette of the fair
He laugh'd and trifled, made him welcome there,
He now perceives where earthly pleasure ends;
As when a felon, whom his country's laws Have justly doom'd for some atrocious cause, Expects in darkness and heart-chilling fears The shameful close of all his misspent years; If chance, on heavy pinions slowly borne, A tempest usher in the dreaded morn, Upon his dungeon walls the lightning play, The thunder seems to summon him away, The warder at the door his key applies, Shoots back the bolt, and all his courage dies: If then, just then, all thoughts of mercy lost, When Hope, long lingering, at last yields the ghost, The sound of pardon pierce his startled ear, He drops at once his fetters and his fear; A transport glows in all he looks and speaks, And the first thankful tears bedew his cheeks. Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs The comfort of a few poor added days, Invades, possesses, and o'erwhelms the soul Of him whom Hope has with a touch made whole. 'Tis heaven, all heaven descending on the wings Of the glad legions of the King of kings; 'Tis more 'tis God diffused through every part, 'Tis God himself triumphant in his heart.
O welcome now the sun's once hated light,