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The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands,
1 hat 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
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 ! yet ev'n these
Worthy, compar’d with fycophants, 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
i 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 facrifice to these, And in their service wage perpetual war With conscience and with thee. Lust 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 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 chuse, Would make his fate his choice ; whom peace,
the fruit 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, occupy'd as earnestly as she, Though more sublimely, he o'erlooks the world. She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not; He seeks not hers, 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
She makes familiar with a heav'n unseen,
And shows him glories yet to be reveal'd.
Not slothful he, though seeming unemploy'd,
And censur'd oft as uselefs. Stilleft streams
Oft water faireft meadows, and the bird
That flutters leaft, is longest on the wing.
Ak him, indeed, what trophies he has rais'd,
Or what atchievements of immortal fame
He purposes, and he thall 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
The laurels that a Cæsar reaps are weeds.
Perhaps the self-approving haughty world,
That as she sweeps him with her whistling Glks
Scarce deigns to notice him, or if she fee
Deems himn a cypher in the works of God,
Receives advantage from his noiseless hours
Of which she little dreams. Perhaps she owes
Her sunshine 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, and idler in the best,
If, author of no mischief and some good,
He seek his.proper happiness by means
That may advance, but cannot hinder thine.
Nor though he tread the secret path of life,
Engage no notice, and enjoy much ease,
Account him 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 small
His influence, if that influence all be spent
In soothing forrow and in quenching. strife,
In aiding helpless indigence, in works
From which at least a grateful few derive
Some taste of comfort in a world of woe,
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 slighted place.
The man whose virtues are more felt than seen,
Must 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 fall,
Polite refinement offers him in vain
Hér 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 sake
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 deceivid; 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 fong ; not vex'd with care
Or stain’d with guilt, beneficent, approv'd
Of God and man, and peaceful in its end.
So glide my life away! and so at last,
My share of duties decently fulfill'd,
May some disease, not tardy to perform
Its destin's office, yet with gentle stroke,
Dismiss me weary to a safe retreat
Beneath the turf that I have often trod.
It shall not grieve me, then, that once when call’d
To dress a Sofa with the flow'rs of verse,
I play'd awhile, obedient to the fair,