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To join a trav’ller, of far diff'rent note Evander, famed for piety, for years Deserving honour, but for wisdom more. Fame had not left the venerable man A stranger to the manners of the youth, Whose face, too, was familiar to his view. Their way was on the margin of the land, O'er the green summit of the rocks, whose base Beats back the roaring surge, scarce heard so high. The charity that warm'd his heart was moved, At sight of the man-monster. With a smile, Gentle, and affable, and full of grace, As fearful of offending whom he wish'd Much to persuade, he plied his ear with truths Not barshly thunder'd forth or rudely press'd But, like his purpose, gracious, kind, and sweet. “ And dost thou dream," th' impenetrable man Exclaim'd, “ that me, the lullabies of age, And fantasies of dotards, such as thou, Çan cheat, or move a moment's fear in me? Mark now the proof I give thee, that the brave Need no such aids as superstition lends To steel their bearts against the dread of death.” He spoke, and to the precipice at hand Push'd with a madman's fury. Fancy shrinks, And the blood thrills and curdles, at the thought Of such a gulf as he design’d his grave. But though the felon on his back could dare The dreadful leap, more rational, his steed Declin'd the death, and wheeling swiftly round, Or ere bis hoof had press'd the crumbling verge, Baffled his rider, sav'd against bis will! The frenzy of the brain may be redress'd By med’cine well applied, but without grace The heart's insanity admits no cure. Enrag'd the more, by what might have reformn'd His horrible intent, again he sought Destruction, with a zeal to be destroy'd, With sounding whip, and rowels dy'd in blood. But still in vain. The Providence, that meant A longer date to the far nobler beast, Spar'd yet again the ignobler, for his sake. And now, his prowess prov'd and his sincere Incurable obduracy evinc'd, His rage grew cool; and, pleas'd perhaps t' have earn'd
So cheaply the renown of that attempt,
With looks of some complacence he resum'd
His road, deriding much the blank amaze
Of good Evander, still where he was left
Fix'd motionless, and petrified with dread.
So on they far'd. Discourse on other themes
Ensuing, seem'd t'obliterate the past;
And, tamner far for so much fury shown
(As is the course of rash and fiery men)
The rude companion smild, as if transform’d.
But 'twas a transient calm. A storm was near,
An unsuspected storm. His hour was come.
The impious challenger of Pow'r Divine
Was now to learn, that Heav'n, though slow to wrath,
Is never with impunity defied.
His horse as he had caught his master's mood :
Snorting, and starting into sudden rage,
Unbidden, and not now to be controld,
Rush'd to the cliff, and, having reach'd it, stood.
At once the shock unseated him: he few
Sheer o'er the craggy barrier; and, immers'd
Deep in the flood, found, when he sought it not,
The death he had deserv'd-and died alone!
So God wrought double justice; made the fool
The victim of his own tremendous choice,
And taught a brute the way to safe revenge.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PULPIT AND PREACHER.
- THE pulpit-(and I name it fillid
With solem awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing)
The pulpit (when the sal’rist has at last,
Strutting and vap'ring in an empty school,
Spent all his force and made po proselyte)
I say the pulpit (in the sober use
Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs),
Must stand acknowledg'd, while the world shall stand
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament, of virtue's cause.
There stands the messenger of truth; there stands
The legate of the skies ! -His theine divine,
His office sacred, his credentials clear.
By him the violated law speaks out
Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet
As angels use, the gospel whispers peace.
He stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart,
And arm’d himself in panoply complete
Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms,
Bright as his own, and trains, by ev'ry rule
Of holy discipline, to glorious war,
The sacramental host of God's elect!
Are all such teachers ?--would to heav'n all were !
But hark—the doctor's voice !-fast wedg'd between
Two empirics he stands, and with swoln 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 shamne,
Announces, to the world his own and theirs !
He teaches those to read, whom schools dismiss'd,
And colleges, untaught; sells 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 use; 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 should need such aid.
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church!
I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause..
To such I render more than mere respect,
Whose actions say that they respect theinselves.
But, loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse ;
Frequent in park with lady at his side,
Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes ;
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card ;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladysbips--a stranger to the poor ;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepar'd by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love of world,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride:
From such apostles, Oye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On skulls that cannot teach, and will not learn.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own-
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express bim simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impress’d
Himself, as conscious 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 messenger of grace to guilty men.
Behold the picture is it like?-Like whom?
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again; pronounce a text;
Cry-hem; and, reading what they never wrote,
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene !
In man or woman; but far most in man, And most of all in man that ministers And serves the altar, in my soul I loathe All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn; Object of my implacable disgust. What !--will a man play tricks, will be indulge A silly fond conceit of his fair form, And just proportion, fashionable mien, And pretty face, in presence of his God? Or will he seek 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, instead of truth,
Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock !
Therefore avaunt all attitude, and stare,
And start theatric, practis'd at the glass!
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine; and all besides,
Though learo'd with labour, and though much admir'd
By curious eyes and judgments ill inform’d,
To me is odious
Some, decent in demeanour while they preach,
That task perform’d, relapse into themselves;
And, having spoken wisely, at the close
Grow wanton, and give proof to ev'ry eye-
Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not !
Forth comes the pocket mirror.-First we stroke
An eye-brow, next, compose a straggling lock;
Then with an air, most gracefully perform’d,
Fall back into our seat, extend an arm,
And lay it at its ease with gentle care,
With handkerchief in hand depending low :
The better hand, more busy, gives the nose
Its bergamot, or aids th' indebted eye
With op'ra glass, to watch the moving scene,
And recognise the slow-retiring fair. -
Now this is fulsome; and offends me more
Than in a churchman slovenly neglect
And rustic coarseness would. A heav'nly mind
May be indiff'rent to her house of clay,
But how a body so fantastic, trim,
And quaint, in its deportment and attire,
Can lodge a heav'nly mind-demands a doubt.
He that negociates 'tween God and man,
As God's ambassador, the grand concerns
Of judgment and of mercy, should beware
Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful
To court a grin, when you should woo a soul ;
To break a jest, when pity would inspire
Pathetic exhortation; and t address
The skittish fancy with facetious tales,
When sent with God's commission to the heart!
So did not Paul. Direct me to a quip
Or merry turn in all he ever wrote,
And I consent you take it for your text,
Your only one, till sides and benches fail.
No: he was serious in a serious cause,