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Alas! Leviathan is not so tam'd:
Laugh'd at, he laughs again; and, stricken hard,
Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales,
That fear no discipline of human hands.
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,
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
The most important and effectual guard,
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
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
Of heav'nly temper, furnishes with arms,
Bright as his own, and trains, by ev'ry rule
Of holy discipline, to glorious war,
The sacramental host of God's elect!
Are all such teachers ?-would to heav'n all were!
But hark—the doctor's voice!—fast wedg’d be
Two empirics he stands, and with swoln cheeks Inspires the news, his trumpet.
Keener far Than all invective is his bold harangue, While through that public organ
report He hails the clergy; and, defying shame, Announces to the world his own and their's !
He teaches those to read, whom schools dismiss'd,
And colleges, untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in score, and gives to pray'r
Th' adagio and andante it demands.
He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use; transforms old print
To zig-zig manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gall’ry critics by a thousand arts.
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware?
Oh, 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-
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church!
I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose
Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause.
To such I 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;
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;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well-prepar’d, by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love of world,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride:
From such apostles, oh, ye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On sculls that cannot teach, and will not learn.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own
Paul should himself direct me.
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
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,
And tender in address, as well becomes
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;
Cry-hem; and, reading what they never wrote,
Just fifteen minutes, huddle
their work, And with a well-bred whisper close the scene!
In man or woman, but far most in man,