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Brav'd and defied, and in our own sea pror'd
290 The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast, And force them sit, till he has pencil'd off A faithful likeness of the forms he views ; Then to dispose his copies with such art, That each may find its most propitious light, 295 And shine by situation, hardly less Than by the labour and the skill it cost ; Are occupations of the poet's mind So pleasing, and that steal away the thought, With such address from themes of sad import, 300 That, lost in his own musings, happy man! He feels the anxieties of life denied Their wonted entertainment ; all retire. Such joys bas he that sings. But ah! not such, Or seldom such, the hearers of his song.
305 Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps Aware of nothing arduous in a task They never undertook, they little noto His dangers or escapos, and haply find
Their least amusement where he found the most. 310
325 The pulpit, therefore-(and I name it fillid With solemn awe, that bids me well beware With what intent I touch that holy thing)-The pulpit-(when the sat’rist has at last, Strutting and vap'ring in an empty school, 330 Spent all his force, and made no proselyte) I say the pulpit (in the sober use Of its legitimate peculiar pow'rs) Must stand acknowledg'd, while the world shall stand, The most important and effectual guard,
335 Support, and ornament, of Virtue's cause. There stands the messenger of truth; there stands The legate of the skies !--His theme divine, His office sacred, his credentials clear. By him the violated law speaks out
340 Its thunders : and by him, in strains as sweet As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace. He 'stablishes the strong, restores the weak, Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart, And, arm'd himself in panoply complete
345 Of heav'nly temper, furnishes with arms Bright as his own, and trains, by every rule
Of holy discipline, to glorious war
355 He hails the clergy ; and, defying shame, Announces to the world his own and theirs ! He teaches those to read whom' schools dismiss'd, And colleges, untaught : sells accent, tone, And emphasis in score, and gives to pray'r 360 Th’ adagio and andante it demands. He grinds divinity of other days Down into modern use ; transforms old print To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes Of gall’ry critics by a thousand arts.
365 Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware? O, name it not in Gath it cannot be, That grave and learned clerks should need such aid. He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll, Assuming thus a rank unknown before
370 Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church!
I venerate the man, whose heart is warm, Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life, Coincident, exhibit lucid proof That he is honest in the sacred cause.
375 To such [ render more than mere respect, Whose actions say that they respect themselves. But loose in morals and in manners vain, In conversation frivolous, in dress Extreme at once rapacious and profuse ;
380 Frequent in park with lady at his side, Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes ; But rare at home, and never at his books, Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card ; Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyships, a stranger to the poor ;
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul, 395 Were he on Earth, would hear, approve, and own, Paul should himself direct me. I would trace His master-strokes, and draw from his design. I would express him simple, grave, sincere ; In doctrine uncorrupt ; in language plain, 400 And plain in manner ; decent, solemn, chaste, And natural in gesture ; much impress'd Himself, as conscious of his awful charge, And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds May feel it too; affectionate in look,
405 And tender in address, as well becomes A messenger of grace to guilty men. Behold the picture !-Is it like ?-Like whom ? The things that mount the rostrum with a skip, And then skip down again ; pronounce a text; 410 Cry-hem; and, reading what they never wrote Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work, And with a well-bred whisper close the scene !
In man or woman, but far most in man, And most of all in man that ministers
416 And serves the altar, in my soul I loathe All affectation. "T'is my perfect scorn ; Object of my implacable disgust. What !-will a man play tricks-will he indulge A silly fond conceit of his fair form,
420 And just proportion, fashionable mien, And pretty face, in presence of his God ? Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes,
As with the diamond on his lily hand,
430 And start theatrick, practis'd at the glass ! I seek divine simplicity in him Who handles things divine ; and all besides, Though learn'd with labour, and though much admir'd By curious eyes and judgments ill-inform’d,
435 To me is odious as the nasal twang Heard at conventicle where worthy men, Misled by custom, strain celestial themes Through the press'd nostril, spectacle-bestrid. Some, decent in demeanour while they preach, 440 That task perform’d, relapse into themselves ;. And, having spoken wisely, at the close Grow wanton, and give proof to ev'ry eye, Whoe'er was edify'd, themselves were not ! Forth comes the pocket-mirror. First we stroke 445 An eyebrow; next compose a straggling lock ; Then with an air most gracefully perform'd, Fall back into our seat, extend an arm, And lay it at its ease with gentle care, With handkerchief in hand depending low ;
450 The better hand more busy gives the nose Its bergamot, or aids th' indebted eye With op'ra glass, to watch the moving scene, And recognise the slow retiring fair.Now this is fulsome; and offends me more 455 Than in a churchman slovenly neglect And rustic coarseness would. A heavenly mind May be indiff'rent to her house of clay, And slight the hovel as beneath her care ; But how a body so fantastic, trim,