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That he had ta'en in charge. He would not stoop
To conquer those by jocular exploits,
Whom truth and fobernefs affail'd in vain.
Oh, popular applause! what heart of man
Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms ?
'The wifeft and the best feel urgent need
Of all their caution in thy gentlest gales ;
But swell'd into a guft-who then, alas!
With all his canvass fet, 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 sinutch'd artificer,
Is oft too welcome, and may mach disturb
The bias of the purpose. How much more
Pour'd forth by beauty splendid and polite,
In language foft as adoration breathes ?
Ah spare your idol! think him human ftil).
Charms he may have, but he has frailties too,
Doat not too much, nor spoil what ye admire.
All truth is from the fempiternal source
Of light divine. But Egypt, Greece, and Rome,
Drew from the stream below. More favour'd, we
Drink, when we chuse it, at the fountain head.
To them it flow'd much mingled and defild
With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams
Illusive of philosophy, so call'd,
But falfely. Sages after fages ftrove,
In vain, to filter off a crystal draught
Pure from the lees, which often more enhanc'd
The thirft than slak'd it, and not seldom bred
Intoxication and delirium wild.
In vain they pulh'd enquiry to the birth
And spring-time of the world ; ask'd, whence is
Why form’d at all? And wherefore as he is ?
Where must he find his Maker ? With what rites
Adore him ? Will he hear, accept, and bless ?
Or does he fit 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 woe ?
Knots worthy of folution, which alone
A Deity could folve. Their answers vague,
And all at random, fabulous and dark,
Left them as dark themselves. Their of
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 fatisties all doubts,
Explains all mysteries, except her own,
And fo illuminates the path of life,
That fools discover it, and stray no more :
Now tell me, dignified and fapient fir,
My man of morals, nurtur'd in the shades
Of Academus, is this false or true ?
Is Christ the able teacher, or the schools ?
If Christ, then why resort at ev'ry turn
To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
Of man's occafions, when in him relide
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 fit content
And humble learners of a Saviour's worth,
Preach it who might. Such was their love of
Their thirst of knowledge, and their candour too.
And thus it is. The pastor, either vain
By nature, or by flatt'ry made fo, taught
To gaze at his own fplendor, and t' exalt
Absurdly, not his office, but himself;
Or unenlighten'd, and too proud to learn,
Or vicious, and not therefore apt to teach,
Perverting often by the stress of lewd
And loose example, whom he should instruct,
Exposes and holds up to broad disgrace
The noblest function, and discredits much
The brightest traths that man has ever seen.
For ghostly counsel, if it either fall
Below the exigence, or be not back'd
With show of love, at least with hopeful proof
Of fome fincerity on the giver's part;
Or be dishonour'd in th' exterior form
And mode of its conveyance, by such tricks
As move derifion, or by foppish airs
And histrionic mumm'ry that let down
The pulpit to the level of the stage,
Drops from the lips a disregarded thing :
The weak perhaps are moved, but are not taught,
While prejudice in men of stronger minds
Takes deeper root, confirm’d by what they fee.
A relaxation of religion's hold
Upon the roving and untutor'd heart
Soon follows, and the curb of conscience snapts.
The laity run wild.-But do they now?
Note their extravagance, and be convinc'd.
As nations ignorant of God, contrive
A wooden one, fo we, no longer taught
By monitors that mother church supplies,
Now make our own. Pofterity will ask
(If e'er posterity fee verse of mine)
Some fifty or an hundred lustrums hence,
What was a monitor in George's days?
My very gentle reader, yet unborn,
Of whom I needs must augur 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 compreffes hard
The prominent and most unfightly bones,
And binds the shoulders flat. We prove its ufe
Sov’reign and most effectual to secure
A form not now gymnastic as of yore,
From rickets and distortion, else, our lot.
But thus admonilli'd we can walk erect,
One proof, at least of manhood ; while the friend
Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge.
Our habits cofilier than Lucullus wore,
And by caprice as multiplied as his,
Just please us while the fashion is at full,
But change with ev'ry moon. The fycophant
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,