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And aims them at the shield of truth again.
The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands,
That hides divipity from mortal eyes ;
And all the mysteries to faith propos'd,
Insulted and traduc'd, are caft afide,
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 fake.
Blind, and in love with darkness!
ev’n these Worthy, comparid 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 preach, 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. Luft in 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 dows The fcatures of the laft 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 effe&tual work,
Thy word fulÁll'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 obfcure but tranquil state, Is pleas’d with it, and, were he free to choose, Would make his fate his choice; whom peace, the fruit Of virtue, and whôm virtue, fruit of faith, Prepate før happinefs ; 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 fublimely, he o'erlooks the world. She scorns his pleasures for she knows them not; He seeks not her's, fór he has prov'd them vaina He cannot skim the ground like summer birds Pursuing gilded fies; and fuch he deems Her honours, her emoluments, her joys. Therefore in contemplation is his bliss, Whose pow'r is such, that whom the lifts from earth
She makes familiar with a heav'n unseen,
And shows him glories yet to be reveal'd.
Not Nothful he, though seeming unemploy'd,
And censur'd oft as useless. Stillest streams
Oft water faireft 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 fervant 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 Gilks
Scarce deigns to notice him, or, if she fee,
Deems him a cypher in the works of God,
Receives advantage from his noiseless hours,
Of which she little dreams. Perhaps the owes
Her funshine and her rain, her blooming spring
And plenteous harvest, to the pray'r he makes,
When, Isaac like, the folitary faint
Walks forth to meditate at even-tide,
And think on her, who thinks not for herself.
Forgive him, then, thou bustler in concerns
Of little worth, an idler in the best,
If, author of no mifchief and fome good,
He seek his proper happiness by means
That may advance, but cannot hinder, chine.
Nor, though he tread the secret path of life,
Engage no notice, and enjoy much ease,
Account hitn an incumbrance on the state,
Receiving benefits, and rend'ring none.
His sphere though humble, if that humble Sphere
Shine with his fair example, and though fmall
His influence, if that influence all be spent
Io soothing forrow and in quenching Itrife,
In aiding helpless indigence, in works
From which at least a grateful few derive
Some taste of comfort in a world of wo,
Then let the supercilious great confess
He serves his country, recompenses well
The state, beneath the shadow of whose vine
He fits secure, and in the scale of life
Holds no ignoble, though a flighted, place.
The man, whose virtues are more felt than feen,
Mult drop indeed the hope of public praise ;
But he may boast what few that win it can
That, if his country stand not by his skill,
At least his follies have not wrought her falli.
Polite refinement offers him in vain
Her golden tube, through which a sensual world
Draws gross impurity, and likes it well,
The neat conveyance hiding all th' offence.
Not that he peevishly rejects a mode
Because that world adopts it. If it bear
The stamp and clear impression of good sense,
And be not costly more than of true worth,
He puts it on, and, for decorum fake,
Can wear it e'en as gracefully as she.
She judges of refinement by the eye,
He by the test of conscience, and a heart
Not foon deceiv'd; aware that what is base
No polish can make sterling; and that vice,
Though well perfum'd and elegantly dress'd
Like an unburied carcase trick'd with flow'rs,
Is but a garnish'd nuisance, fitter far
For cleanly riddance than for fair attire.
So life glides smoothly and by stealth away,
More golden than that age of fabled gold
Renown'd in ancient song; not vex'd with care
Or stain'd with guilt, beneficent, approv'd
Of God and man, and peaceful in its ead.
So glide my life away! and so at last,
My share of duties decently fulfilled,
May fome disease, not tardy to perform
Its destip'd office, yet with gentle stroke,