Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Then laugh at all you trembled at before;
And, joining the free-thinkers brutal roar,
Swallow the two grand noftrums they dispense
That scripture lies, and blafphemy is sense.
If clemency revolted by abuse
Be damnable, then damn'd without excuse.
| Some dream that they can filence when they will
The storm of passion, and say, Peace, be fill;
But “ Thus far and no farther,” when address’d
To the wild wave, or wilder human breast,
Implies authority that never can,
That never ought to be the lot of man.

But, muse, forbear; long flights forebode a fall; Strike on the deep-ton'd chord the sum of all.

Hear the just law—the judgment of the skies ! He that hates truth shall be the dupe of lies : And he that will be cheated to the last, Delusions, strong as hell, shall bind him fast. But, if the wand'rer his mistake discern, Judge his own ways, and figh for a return,

Owe

a rer

Bewilder'd once, must he bewail his loss
For ever and for ever? No—the cross!
There, and there only (though the deist rave,
And atheist, if earth bear fo base a Nave);
There, and there only, is the pow'r to save.
There no delusive hope invites despair ;
No mock’ry meets you, no deception, there.
The spells and charms, that blinded you before,
All vanish there, and fascinate no more.

I am no preacher, let this hint fuffice
The cross, once seen, is death to ev'ry vice:
Else he that hung there suffer'd all his pain,
Bled, groan'd, and agoniz'd, and died, in vain,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Man, on the dubious waves of error tofs’d,
His ship half founder'd, and his compass loft,
Sees, far as human optics may command,
A sleeping fog, and fancies it dry land :
Spreads all his canvass, ev'ry finew plies;
Pants for't, aims at it, enters it, and dies !
Then farewell all felf-fatisfying schemes,
His well-built fyftems, philosophic dreams ;

Deceitful views of future bliss, farewell!
He reads his sentence at the flames of hell.

Hard lot of man--to toil for the reward
Of virtue, and yet lose it! Wherefore hard ?-
He that would win the race must guide his horse
Obedient to the customs of the course ;
Else, though unequall’d to the goal he fies,
A meaner than himself shall gain the prize.
Grace leads the right way: if you choose the wrong,

Take it, and perish; but restrain your tongue.
Charge not, with light sufficient, and left free,
Your wilful suicide on God's decree.

Oh how unlike the complex works of man,
Heav'n's easy, artless, unincumber'd, plan!
No meretricious graces to beguile,
No clust'ring ornaments to clog the pile;
From ostentation, as from weakness, free,
It stands like the cerulean arch we see,
Majestic in its own fimplicity.
Inscrib'd above the portal, from afar
Conspicuous as the brightness of a star,

Legible only by the light they give,
Stand the soul-quick’ning words-BELIEVE, AND LIVE!
Too many, shock'd at what should charm them most,
Despise the plain direction, and are loft.
Heav'n on such terms! (they cry, with proud disdain)
Incredible, impossible, and vain !
Rebel, because 'tis easy to obey ;
And scorn, for its own fake, the gracious way.
These are the sober, in whose cooler brains
Some thought of immortality remains ;
The rest, too busy, or too gay, to wait :
On the sad theme, their everlasting state,
Sport for a day, and perish in a night;
The foam upon the waters not so light.

Who judg’d the pharisee? What odious cause
Expos'd him to the vengeance of the laws ?
Had he seduc'd a virgin, wrong'd a friend,
Or stabb'd a man to serve some private end?
Was blafphemy his fin? Or did he stray
From the strict duties of the facred day?

« ForrigeFortsett »