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The facramental hoft of God's elect.
Are all fuch teachers? would to heav'n all
But hark-the Doctor's voice-fast wedg'd be
Two empirics he stands, and with fwoln cheeks
Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
Than all invective is his bold harangue,
While through that public organ of report
He hails the clergy; and defying shame,
Announces to the world his own and theirs.
He teaches thofe to read, whom schools dismiss'd,
And colleges untaught; fells 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 ufe; transforms old print
To zig-zag 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 fhould need fuch
He doubtless is in fport, and does but droll,
Affuming thus a rank unknown before,
Grand-caterer and dry-nurse of the church.
I venerate the man, whofe heart is warm,
Whofe hands are pure, whofe doctrine and whose
Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honeft in the facred caufe.
To fuch I render more than mere respect.
Whose actions fay that they respect themselves.
But loofe in morals, and in manners vain,
In converfation frivolous, in drefs
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse,
Frequent in park, with lady at his fide,
Ambling and prattling fcandal as he goes,
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, fave when he fcrawls a card;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyfhips, a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepar'd by ignorance and floth,
By infidelity and love of world,
To make God's work a finecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride.-
From fuch apostles, oh, ye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On fculls that cannot teach, and will not learn.
Would I defcribe a preacher, fuch as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and
Paul fhould himfelf direct me. I would trace
His master strokes, and draw from his design.
I would exprefs him fimple, grave, fincere ;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain;
And plain in manner. Decent, folemn, chaste,
And natural in gefture. Much impress'd
Himself, as confcious 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
A meffenger of grace to guilty men.
Behold the picture !-Is it like ?-Like whom?
The things that mount the roftrum with a skip,
And then skip down again; pronounce a text,
Cry, hem; and reading, what they never wrote,
Juft fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whifper close the scene.
In man or woman, but far most in man,
And most of all in man that ministers
And ferves the altar, in my foul I loath
All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn;
Object of my implacable difguft.
What !—will a man play tricks, will he indulge
A filly fond conceit of his fair form
And juft proportion, fashionable mien,
And pretty face, in presence of his God?
Or will he feek to dazzle me with tropes,
As with the di'mond on his lily hand,
And play his brilliant parts before my eyes
When I am hungry for the bread of life?
He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames
His noble office, and, inftead of truth,
Difplaying his own beauty, ftarves his flock.
Therefore, avaunt! all attitude and ftare,
And ftart theatric, practifed at the glass.
I feek divine fimplicity in him
Who handles things divine; and all befide, Though learn'd with labour, and though much admir'd
By curious eyes and judgments ill-inform❜d,
To me is odious as the nafal twang
Heard at conventicle, where worthy men,
Mifled by cuftom, ftrain celeftial themes
Through the preft noftril, fpectacle-bestrid.
Some, decent in demeanor while they preach,
That task perform'd relapse into themselves,
And having spoken wifely at the clofe
Grow wanton, and give proof to ev'ry eye-
Whoe'er was edified, themfelves were not.
Forth comes the pocket mirror. First we stroke
An eye-brow; next, compose a straggling lock;
Then with an air, moft gracefully perform'd,
Fall back into our feat, extend an arm,
And lay it at its eafe with gentle care,
With handkerchief in hand, depending low.
The better hand more bufy, gives the nose
Its bergamot, or aids th' indebted eye
With op'ra glafs to watch the moving scene,
And recognize the flow-retiring fair.
Now this is fulfome; and offends me more
Than in a churchman flovenly neglect
And ruftic coarsenefs would. An heav'nly mind
May be indiff'rent to her house of clay,
And flight the hovel as beneath her care;
But how a body fo fantaftic, trim,
And quaint in its deportment and attire,
Can lodge an heav'nly mind-demands a doubt.
He that negotiates between God and man,
As God's ambaffador, the grand concerns
Of judgment and of mercy, fhould beware
Of lightness in his fpeech. 'Tis pitiful
To court a grin, when you should woo a foul;
To break a jeft, when pity would inspire
Pathetic exhortation; and t' address
The skittish fancy with facetious tales,
When fent with God's commiffion to the heart.
So did not Paul. Direct me to a quip
Or merry turn in all he ever wrote,
And I confent you take it for your text,
Your only one, till fides and benches fail.
No he was ferious in a serious cause,
And understood too well the weighty terms.