Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life;

But friends that chance to differ

On points, which God has left at large,
How freely will they meet and charge!
No combatants are stiffer.

To prove at last my main intent
Needs no expense of argument,

No cutting and contriving-
Seeking a real friend we seem
To adopt the chymist's golden dream,
With still less hope of thriving.

Sometimes the fault is all our own,
Some blemish in due time made known
By trespass or omission;
Sometimes occasion brings to light

Our friend's defect long hid from sight,
And even from suspicion.

Then judge yourself, and prove your man
As circumspectly as you can,

And, having made election,
Beware no negligence of yours,
Such as a friend but ill endures,
Enfeeble his affection.

That secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,
That constancy befits them,

Are observations on the case,
That savour much of common-place,
And all the world admits them.


But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone,
An architect requires alone,

To finish a fine building-
The palace were but half complete,
If he could possibly forget

The carving and the gilding.

The man that hails you Tom or Jack, And proves by thumps upon your back How he esteems your merit,

Is such a friend, that one had need

[blocks in formation]

As similarity of mind,

Or something not to be defined,
First fixes our attention;
So manners decent and polite,
The same we practised at first sight
Must save it from declension.

Some act upon this prudent plan,
"Say little, and hear all you can."
Safe policy, but hateful-

So barren sands imbibe the shower,
But render neither fruit nor flower,
Unpleasant and ungrateful.

The man I trust, if shy to me,
Shall find me as reserved as he;
No subterfuge or pleading
Shall win my confidence again;
I will by no means entertain
A spy on my proceeding.

These samples for alas! at last
These are but samples, and a taste
Of evils yet unmentioned-

May prove the task a task indeed,
In which 'tis much if we succeed,
However well intentioned.

Pursue the search, and you will find
Good sense and knowledge of mankind
To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast
A principal ingredient.

The noblest Friendship ever shown
The Saviour's history makes known,
Though some have turned and turned it;
And, whether being crazed or blind,
Or seeking with a hiassed mind,
Have not, it seems, discerned it.

O Friendship, if my soul forego
Thy dear delights while here below;
To mortify and grieve me,
May I myself at last appear
Unworthy, base, and insincere,
Or may my friend deceive me!



BLINDED in youth by Satan's arts
The world to our unpractised hearts
A flattering prospect shows;

Our fancy forms a thousand schemes
Of delights and golden dreams,
And undisturbed repose.

So in the desert's dreary waste,
By magic power produced in haste,
(As ancient fables say)

Castles, and groves, and music sweet,
The senses of the traveller meet,
And stop him in his way.

But while he listens with surprise,
The charm dissolves, the vision dies,
'Twas but enchanted ground;
Thus if the Lord our spirit touch,
The world, which promised us so much,
A wilderness is found.

At first we start and feel distressed,
Convinced we never can have rest
In such a wretched place;

But He whose mercy breaks the charm,
Reveals his own Almighty arm,

And bids us seek his face.

Then we begin to live indeed,

When from our sin and bondage freed

By this beloved Friend;

We follow him from day to day, Assured of grace through all the way

And glory at the end.


GOD moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform ;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,

He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace ;*
Behind a frowning Providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,*
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

• John xiii. 7.

« ForrigeFortsett »