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Where he that fills an office shall esteem
Th' occasion it presents of doing good
More than the perquisite;—where law shall speak
Seldom, and never but as wisdom prompts
And equity; not jealous more to guard
A worthless form, than to decide aright:-
Where fashion shall not sanctify abuse,
Nor smooth good-breeding (supplemental grace)
With lean performance ape the work of love!
Come then, and, added to thy many crowns, Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth, Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine By ancient covenant, ere nature's birth; And thou hast made it thine by purchase since, And overpaid its value with thy blood. Thy saints proclaim thee king; and in their hearts Thy title is engraven with a pen Dipt in the fountain of eternal love. Thy saints proclaim thee king; and thy delay
Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see The dawn of thy last advent, long-desir’d, Would
into the bowels of the hills, And flee for safety to the falling rocks. The very spirit of the world is tir'd Of its own taunting question, ask'd so long, “ Where is the promise of your Lord's approach?” The infidel has shot his bolts away, Till, his exhausted quiver yielding none, He gleans the blunted shafts that have recoil'd, And aims them at the shield of truth again. The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands, That hides divinity from mortal eyes; And all the mysteries to faith propos’d, Insulted and traduc'd, are cast aside, As useless, to the moles and to the bats. They now are deem'd the faithful, and are prais'd, Who, constant only in rejecting thee, Deny thy Godhead with a martyr's zeal, And quit their office for their error's sake.
Blind, and in love with darkness! yet ev’n these
Worthy, compar'd with sycophants, who knee
Thy name adoring, and then preach thee man!
So fares thy church. But how thy church may fare
The world takes little thought. Who will may
And what they will. All pastors are alike
To wand'ring sheep, resolv'd to follow none,
Two gods divide them all —Pleasure and Gain:
For these they live, they sacrifice to these,
And in their service wage perpetual war
With conscience and with thee. Lustin their hearts,
And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth
To prey upon each other; stubborn, fierce,
High-minded, foaming out their own disgrace.
Thy prophets speak of such; and, noting down
The features of the last degen'rate times,
Exhibit ev'ry lineament of these.
Come then, and, added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest,
Due to thy last and most effectual work,
Thy word fulfill’d, the conquest of a world!
He is the happy man, whose life ev'n now Shows somewhat of that happier life to come; Who, doom'd to an obscure but tranquil state, Is pleas’d with it, and, were he free to choose, Would make his fate his choice; whom peace, the
Of virtue, and whom virtue, fruit of faith,
Prepare for happiness; bespeak him one
Content indeed to sojourn while he must
Below the skies, but having there his home.
The world o'erlooks him in her busy search
Of objects, more illustrious in her view;
And, occupied as earnestly as she,
Though more sublimely, he o’erlooks the world.
She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not;
He seeks not her's, for he has prov'd them vain.
He cannot skim the ground like summer birds
Pursuing gilded flies; and such he deems
Her honours, her emoluments, her joys.
Therefore in contemplation is his bliss,
Whose pow'r is such, that whom she lifts from earth
She makes familiar with a heav'n unseen,
And shows him glories yet to be reveald.
Not slothful he, though seeming unemploy'd,
And censur'd oft as useless. Stillest streams
Oft water fairest meadows, and the bird
That flutters least is longest on the wing.
Ask him, indeed, what trophies he has rais'd,
Or what achievements of immortal fame
He purposes, and he shall answer-None.
His warfare is within. There unfatigu'd
His fervent spirit labours. There he fights,
And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself,
And never with’ring wreaths, compar'd with which
The laurels that a Cæsar reaps are weeds.
Perhaps the self-approving haughty world,
That as she sweeps him with her whistling silks